Archive | January 2013

Hey You! Be Gentler With Yourself!

I have to confess, I spend more time chatting with my online friends than I do face-to-face interactions. I think part of it is that I can chat with them any time, yet continue to work. I like that. I really do enjoy being productive. Heck, when I meditate and collect my thoughts, 99% of the time my spinning wheel is involved. When I was going through my Christmas rush, I put in an average of 14-18 hour days. I would unwind and reward myself by working on a project that I wanted to work on (which often meant I just ended up working on more orders LOL)

I do have some issue though, recognizing just how productive I am. I think it goes back to when I was in an abusive relationship. My partner was constantly putting me down, claiming that I did nothing. I mean, working 40+ hours a week at a factory job wasn’t enough. I wasn’t entitled to sit down and stitch to relax. Even when I was “relaxing”, I was doing something productive. But not according to this person. This has been an ongoing struggle for me. I am trying VERY hard to break this cycle of thinking, but when you hear something constantly for a few years, you start to believe it. Apparently I’m not alone here.

It wasn’t until a friend of mine threatened to reach through the phone and smack me upside the head that made me realize just how productive I am. I confessed to her that I didn’t feel I had done anything that week. She told me to take a look at what I had posted on my Facebook profile. There were at least 4 hats in the last couple of days that I had made. Those are just the ones I had posted too. A light came on. She told me I was being too hard on myself. After she had pointed these things out, I realized that she was right.

I was chatting with another online friend that thought she was in a bit of a slump too. The last words of her post was that she was going to go work on an item. Ummmm… If you’re making something, it’s still productive! I think she had an “ah-ha” moment when I pointed that out to her and told her what my friend had said as well. I sometimes wonder if we have it set in our minds that we must be working on orders to consider ourselves productive. Here’s a thought though… What are your plans for the item you’re working on that isn’t an order? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to sell it, right? I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.

I think many of us are just too hard on ourselves. It may come from the bar that we have set for ourselves, the image that society has of artists/crafters/work-at-home parents or it may come from the critical asshats that we’ve run across in our lives. Or any combination. What is not taken into consideration is that we never leave our workplace (unless we’re fortunate enough to have a studio). Many of us don’t have set hours. We work around the clock just to make ends meet. And we’re certainly not paid a decent hourly wage for our work. Heck, if I was paid factory wages for the work I put in to get Christmas orders out, nobody would be able to afford my work!

We don’t get overtime. We don’t get benefits. Paid vacations. Promotions. So why do we do this? We all have our own reasons. To stay at home with our children. To prove something to ourselves. To say “bite me” to those who say we do nothing. To have items to barter with rather than use cash. I think many will agree that it’s for the love of what we do.

Sometimes you just need to take a break too. If you’ve been working non-stop, sometimes you just need to back away. If you were working a “regular” job, you would get vacation time and days off, right? So why is it not acceptable to take some time to yourself when you’re following your dreams? That time could include working on items that you’ve been wanting to work on, but just didn’t take the time. A favorite of mine is working with bright, vibrant colours. Whatever speaks to you. And if you feel like just flaking out on the couch, then do it!

The next time you feel that you haven’t been productive, take a look at what’s in your hand. I will bet you anything that you are holding something related to your work! It doesn’t matter if you need to take a break from orders. And guess what? If you’ve made something for yourself, it’s still productive. How many times have you wore something out the door to the store and got a sale from it? I bet it’s happened more than you realize!

Be gentle with yourself. Take a step back and look at all you HAVE done. I bet you will be surprised just as I was. And if you haven’t done much in the last little while, be gentle with yourself. When was the last time you took a vacation?

Yeah,that’s what I thought. Be gentle with yourself!

Spinning is the New Garlic

There are some pathetic individuals in this world who thrive on sucking the energy out of others. I’ve seen them referred to as “Energy Vampires.” I think this is a perfect description. They do everything in their power to drain you of your energy. They believe this puts them in a position of power over you. If you allow them to do it, then that’s what happens. It’s certainly an easy thing to do if your spirit has been weakened enough to attract those sorts of monsters into your life in the first place. They will target ANYTHING or ANYONE that empowers you. They will try to turn loved ones against you and often use them as pawns in an attempt to bring you down even further. They will attempt to discredit you and say slanderous things about you to anyone who is willing listen. They are smooth talkers and master manipulators. Why do you think you allowed them to attach themselves to you in the first place? Depending on how much power you’ve allowed to be sucked away from you, quite often they are successful at all of this. You then find yourself alone, completely at their mercy. Once you’re onto what they’re doing and stand up to them, they bump their sick little game up. They will stop at nothing in an attempt to keep their hold on you.

Unfortunately, I found myself in a weakened state once upon a time and attracted one of these ruthless creatures into my life. And as I said, once I understood what was happening and tried to shake it off, they pulled out all the stops. Since I’ve moved on they have found new victims to feed off of, but they still try to feed off of me and will use whatever they can to do so. My energy is even more attractive now because it’s the most positive it’s ever been. Energy vampires really don’t like this because this means that they have failed at their mission and they’re losing their bite on you. That spurs them on to try even harder to suck this more precious commodity away from you. Energy vampires can’t stand to be proven wrong and it’s even worse when they lose a victim.

But do you really think I’m going to give this creature the satisfaction?

HELL NO.

With what this soulless  monster has been targeting in my life, they are expecting me to shut down like I did when their fangs were fully buried in my energy field. Entities like this don’t seem to change over time, but they seem to forget that other people do. Quite often their victims bounce back even stronger than they ever have been. I’m no longer a victim. They just haven’t figured that out yet.

The best way to deflect their ongoing attempts at weakening your spirit is to carry on and do whatever you need to do to help maintain your positive energy. Sometimes this is not an easy thing to do, especially when you see the pawns they drag in to try to use against you. But hey… Even if you end up being happy out of spite, you’re still holding onto your power. They want you to shut down. Don’t give them that satisfaction.

So how am I arming myself and fighting back?

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Spinning is the new garlic. This is how I’ve been warding off the attempted attacks. I’m sure it is assumed that I’ve shut down, I’m depressed and all those other lies that have been concocted. But guess what? A person in the state of mind that energy vampires try to put them victims into wouldn’t be able to accomplish things like this. Their drive to do anything is completely gone. I know this because it has happened in the past. Oh no… What’s going on here? The vampire is trying to tell everyone that I’m still in that same state, so what am I doing spinning yarn? That just plains “sucks” doesn’t it?

So yes, spinning is the new garlic. It’s better than a knitting needle stake through the heart, right?

 

Note to Self…

Sometimes I’m amused with my train of thought.

I decided that I needed to do some spinning because I’ve got a couple of people wanting yarn (I’ve been dealing with a sick little one and fighting it off myself all week, so I really wanted to spin). I have a box that I was keeping roving in for my current project. I already had it ready to spin. I believe the term is attenuated. I didn’t really want to take it out of the box because there is no way that it would fit back into the original bag. I then remembered that I had a yarn order in the car that had arrived on Tuesday. I didn’t bother opening it because I didn’t need the yarn right away. I figured that box would be perfect to put the roving in for the spinning project I was going to work on.

As I opened the box, it occurred to me that I had ordered a grab bag of yarn in addition to the yarn I needed. It was only $7, so why not? I kinda kicked myself that I forgot that I had ordered it. When I opened the box, to my delight, there was some purple yarn! (purple is my favorite colour and has been for as long as I can remember) Not only that, it was yarn that was made out of polar fleece. Now I was REALLY kicking myself that I didn’t open the box sooner!

I decided that I’m going to make myself something out of this yarn. It’s like they knew I would love it! If I had have had a choice of yarn, I would have grabbed this in a heartbeat. I’m making a hat right now. I’m hoping there’s enough left over for some fingerless gloves and a cowl. Even just the hat would be wonderful.

I did do some spinning tonight, but I decided to spin up the wool that was in the original box. I went through all this when I didn’t need to since I was spinning the roving in the first box. Feel free to smile and nod or just shake your head.

Note to Self: ALWAYS open a box of yarn. You may have ordered something you forgot about.

Misguided Designers and the Gifts they Give

After buying a pattern last week where the designer had stated that “you cannot sell the items made from this pattern”, I have decided to create my own shrug. I’m actually going to send “thank you” vibes to this designer because if they had have stated their wishes in the pattern listing, I wouldn’t have bought it. And I wouldn’t have got angry when I saw the fine print at the bottom of the pattern, trying to dictate what I can do with MY work. I’ll respect your wishes and not sell MY work made from your pattern (with the one exception I made before seeing this statement). I’m coming up with a prettier, better-fitting item that I can call my own. Thank you for your narrow-minded thinking and misguided perception of power. You’ve forced me to reach into my creative toolbox and come up with my own thing. That alone makes the money I thought I had wasted worth while! And if I end up writing the pattern out and selling it, well, I’ll be sending you even bigger “thank you” vibes.

Yes, I was very angry and frustrated at the time. But I ended up getting an even greater gift. I took my anger and turned it into creativity. This is the biggest project I’ve ever worked on without a pattern. And by golly, I’m going to make it pretty!

20130106-143730.jpg From the pattern

20130106-143759.jpg My OWN design

For those who are unfamiliar with the in’s and out’s of patterns and your rights v.s. the designer’s rights…
When you purchase a pattern, you are purchasing directions to make an item. You cannot legally claim it as your own, copy, sell or share the pattern with anyone else in any form (unless you have some sort of agreement directly with the designer). You CAN sell the items that you have made from the pattern regardless of what the designer says. You own YOUR work, you’re the one who bought the materials to make it and you’re the one who put your time in to make the item. They don’t own the item, they own the pattern. Many think that they can tell you that you can’t sell your work online. There are even bigger rip-off artists that try to sell you “cottage licenses” for various periods of time which they claim give you the right to sell the items you made from their pattern. THIS IS A SCAM. You’re not even legally required to provide a link back to the designer (although it is good Karma to do so).

I was 3 rows out from being finished this project when I noticed the designer’s “wishes.” Had this designer listed their wishes in the pattern listing, I would never have bought it. While it is a beautiful design, I will not support people like this. What was even more frustrating was that the item I worked on turned out to be a little too small. There is NO WAY I’m going to rip out all that work and start from the beginning. I also don’t have anyone that I could gift this item to. Nor should I have to. I am going sell this item because it is my RIGHT to do so. I’ll even provide a link to the designer, but I will also include a note regarding their wishes.

I think most stitchers who do this for a living are on the same page. I’ve found that this is quite a sore spot in the crochet community. Many who I’ve talked to about this issue have felt the same way. It’s one thing if the designer states this up front. We have the option to purchase it knowing their preferences. But when it’s not put in the pattern listing, that is just plain dirty. I will NOT respect their “wishes”, I will exercise my rights. I have a family to feed and I buy patterns to make items to sell to feed said family. Why would I buy a pattern where I can’t sell the finished items from?

If you design patterns and you don’t want people selling THEIR creations from your pattern, then don’t sell your patterns! It’s that simple. People are going to do it anyway regardless of what control you think you have over THEIR finished items.

Links:

Patterns And How They Are Affected By Copyright Law

Selling Goods Made From Patterns – Copyright Infringement?