Friday, 26 March 2010

Earth Hour 2010: 27th March 8.30pm

The Earth Hour is tomorrow! And it's going to be the third time I participate in the action. Of course, Earth Hour is not enough to preserve the environment but it is a great way to raise awareness and spread some good feel around the globe. It is also a fantastic way to feel connected with the global community of people. Here is what Earth Hour website says:

Earth Hour 2010 takes place on Saturday 27 March at 8.30pm (local time) and is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community throughout the world. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Europe to Asia to the Americas will stand in darkness. People across the world from all walks of life will turn off their lights and join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Read more on the website and switch off your lights tomorrow!

Circle of Friends Award

What a fantastic beginning of my Friday. I woke up to see that I got this very sweet award from Amy of Ruby Mountain Beads. Have a look here to see what Amy loves and while you're over there, don't forget to check the fantastic jewellery Amy is creating.

Ok so here is who I pass the award too:
1. Victoria of Donauluft
2. Fiona of TizDuster
3. Snowbell of Snowbell Jewellery
4. Petronella of P8 Buttons and Fabrics
5. Jessica of Jess Gets Crafty

I should also tell you about 5 things I love...and it's hard to choose the top 5. Let's see:

1. I love Mr P. also known as my_soon_to_be_husband. I love him for all of the right (and a few wrong) reasons but mostly I love him cause we laugh together a lot.

2. I love spring! The air here is finally warm and sun shines more and more often. I even washed windows to get ready for more light. And of course with the coming spring I also love Easter holidays. They are always so clean and bright (despite the religious background) and there is loads of delicious food.

3. I love travelling. I haven't had a chance to do so much of it recently (except for our holidays on Gran Canaria). But at the same time Denmark is my fourth home (I was born in Poland, lived in Germany and studied in the UK) so I am in some sense a constant traveller.

4. I love crafting. That's not much of a surprise. But most of all I love finishing projects. There is nothing better than the feeling of job well done.

5. I love reading. Or maybe more precisely, I am addicted to reading. One entire wall in our living room is covered with books and I usually have 3 or 4 books started and laying around my apartment. I cannot go to sleep without reading at least a few pages, no matter how tired I am.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Warm Coffee and Croissants

Doesn't it look scrumptious? The green cozy is my first really finished knitted project. I am so proud of it and I think it looks fantastic. I know there are several design flaws but I ignore them and stare at my coffee pot instead of drinking it.

And by the way, I am sure you all know it's Etsy Euroweek and I've been featured in this lovely European-themed treasury!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Spring Paper Project

Spring has been shy so far in this parts. Despite a few really sunny days at the beginning of the month and the temperature steadily rising it is still very grey outside. So, one of the evening me and Mr. P had a nice, crafting session and came up with this lovely origami cranes to put in the windows.

Now we have a nice flock of blue, green and yellow birdies, flying together around the apartment. The day feels brighter right away.

Most of the cranes are hanging in the window. But I am also thinking about bringing some young willow branches from the nearby forest and making more colorful origami decorations to hung on them.

What do you think about it? Do you like to decorate your house? Is origami your thing?

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

How-To: Setting the Price

After struggling with price setting for my scarf (see this post), I decided to do some research. It turns out, unsurprisingly, that pricing craft and art items proves to be difficult for many people out there. We worry that the price is too high while it is often too low. We disappoint ourselves by not charging the price, we feel is appropriate. And very often, we simply have no idea how to reach a reasonable price.

Below are some tips and useful tools collected from all over the craft sphere. I know they helped me and I hope they will help you too.

  1. Arriving at reasonable price

Now, this may seem like a taunting exercise, but it is in fact a simple mathematical equation.

Item cost = cost of supplies + (hours x your hourly wage) + selling fees

cost of supplies – this is self explanatory, but you have to remember to consider all materials you used to create this piece.

hours – this not only includes the time you spent working on a piece, but also procuring supplies, taking and editing photos and posting items on the Internet.

hourly wage – this vary depending on your country of origin and how much you would like to earn. I think it is not a bad idea to start with 1,5 x minimum hourly wage of your country and then adjust according to the price your competitors use.

selling fees – this are costs of etsy or artfire postings + postage supplies

Item value/price = item cost + profit margin

profit margin – how much you would like to earn on this piece. How valuable you think it is. Some people suggest you should triple the item cost or charge as much as the market will bear (i.e. as much as people are willing to pay) but I think it is a much better practice to add the value you think is appropriate. I find it better to charge the lowest price I can bear. But don't undersell yourself. Charge what you think your creativity and skill is worth.

  1. Reality check

To make sure that your price isn't completely unreasonable, compare it with your competitors' prices. To identify your competitors, check other crafters in your category. And remember, mainstream manufacturers are not your competition. You create one-of-a-kind pieces of art and they make uniform items. Their price will often be lower but it should not concern you, because you create in a different category.

  1. Too high, too low

Now that you checked competition, consider revising your price. While doing so, remember that too high prices may discourage your shoppers (especially, if you cater to students and young people) but too low prices will almost certainly cause suspicion. Customers will often overlook low priced items assuming that the quality is also low.

It is a good idea to have a wide range of prices so that each of your prospective customers can choose something affordable. At the same time you will give them a chance to try your products out, before they are ready to spend the big bucks.

  1. Useful resources

For more information on pricing check out this few exercises from Etsy. Use rolbe etsy calculator to calculate the price, using the cost indicators. And check out this website for postage costs.

And btw., the great photo on top of the page was taken by DCvision2006

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Putting the Price

It's been quiet around here the past couple of days. Partly because I've been working on a long term crochet project. To be perfectly honest, I am not a biggest fan of large projects. I'm the immediate gratification kinda girl. If it takes too long I get frustrated and toy with dropping the project all together.

But of course, large pieces are so much more impressive in the end. So, I pulled myself together and the past 2 weeks I spent working on this scarf. Now I already have all the 40 squares and it's only a question of connecting them into two lines. I promise that as soon as it's done, I will let you know.

The biggest problem I have with this kind of projects however, is setting a price. Making one square takes around 30 min. 30 min times 40 squares = 20h. Plus minimum 2h for connecting the squares into a scarf. Minimum hourly rate in Denmark is around 100kr per hour so I should get 2200kr for this piece. This amounts to around $400. Do I think this scarf is worth that much? Absolutely! I put my skill and effort into this piece and it is one of a kind. But would you pay that much? Probably not. After all, to you it is "just a scarf".

How do you deal with this kind of problems? How do you choose prices for your items?

Friday, 5 March 2010

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things...

One of my favourite things is to discover new crafty people online. I love looking at inspirational projects, great patterns, and colourful pictures. This is also why I "waste" so much of my time reading blogs (oh thank you Google Reader) and scanning through my twitter stream.

Today, I'd like to share with you 5 of my absolutely favourite blogs:

1. Do Stuff!
This is one of the first craft blogs I started to read. And some 2 years later I am still loyal and as charmed by Leethal's aesthetics. Her work is colourful and whimsical and inspires me to try out new techniques. Leethal works with everything from knitting, embroidery and sawing to photography, colouring and spining yarn. She is also a full time crafter and sells a lot of her fantastic patterns and craft sets online.

2. Feeling Stitchy
This one is a group written blog about (big surprise!) embroidery. And even though I don't embroider too much I still really like looking at the amazing projects featured on Feeling Stitchy. I especially like the fact that the blog presents how embroidery can be used to create art pieces rather than embellishments on handkerchiefs.

3. Dude Craft
Paul Overton's blog is one of these very special places on the net where you can find truly original...everything. As Paul writes about himself: "He delights in the unusual" And I delight in his choice. And when you are at it check Make and Meaning where Paul is a contributive author.

4. Carina's Craftblog
Carina's blog is one of the most colourful places on the web. Every time Carina posts another project, I get all envious about her skills! But at the same time she inspires me to try more colurs and colour combniations in my own work.

5. Yes and Yes
Sarah's Yes and Yes is a relatively new discovery of mine. She writes a bit about crafts and fashion but mostly she writes about life. And her stories are not only well written but also fascinating. It's the kind of civil journalism I like the most. My favourite is Sarah's True Story series where she interviews people with interesting life stories.