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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Getting Paid: My First Commissioned Project

I recently was approached by another stitchy friend (of the knitting variety) with a Janlyn shawl kit. She had mentioned she had a friend who purchased it because she liked to shawl, but wanted someone else to cross stitch the tea roses that were meant to embellish it. My friend mention that I might be able to do it, so she brought it into work to look at.

Oh. And she wants to PAY ME.

So, I have never been paid to stitch anything. I usually make things as gifts - purchasing patterns, fabric, and floss and paying for the framing myself (someday I plan on putting up a blog post about my framing procedures). Occasionally someone will purchase a kit and ask me to stitch it, but I never have charged. I have though about selling my work, but there is a lot I need to  be clear on since I have yet to create my own designs and copyright rules sometimes make it difficult. But someone who needs stitching done does not infringe on any of that. It is kinda like asking someone to come in and paint your living room. You are paying for a service.

Flattered that my friend would think of me, I agreed to take a look at the kit. Here are some pics:

 Here is the shawl with floss and an image of it completed. It is actually very large.


This is a close up of the shawl. You can see the tea roses that are meant to be stitched along the edge of the shawl. Each design in no bigger than 5 x 5. This why I agreed to the project.



There are 9 designs in total. They are fairly simple (no half stitches or french knots) and minimal back stitching. There is also only about 7 or 8 colors, which means it is not a complicated design.

Payment was also something I needed to consider. I have never asked for money for my stitched projects so I was unsure on how to determine to charge a fair and reasonable price. So I did a little detective work. It seems many cross stitchers tend to charge by the stitch, customarily $.01 a stitch. Others charge a flat rate. Since I am NOT going to count stitches (no way!), I decided to give the customer (my customer - weird!) a choice: $8.00 an hour or a flat rate of $100. She chose the $100. Which works out to about 12.5 hours of work breaking each design to not quite an hour and a half per design. I know it might be on the lower side as far as pay goes, but this is my first paid gig and it is in a medium I am not too experienced handling - I think it is fair. Of course if it was a framed piece of art I would probably be more inclined to charge $10 and hour (pretty standard) plus supplies because I am more comfortable and much more experienced stitching on plain fabric. I go on a new stitchy adventure. I am nervous but really excited. i plan to post updates about this project, so visit often. And of if all goes well, I may make this a side business. Wouldn't that be cool?

Wish me luck!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Blog Hop #16: Oops, I Did it Again! Losing Needles

Dang! Missed Blog Hop #15. That's a bummer. Oh well. Moving on...

 Hop #16 asks:
"How many needles have you lost? Feel free to estimate. Tell us your best 'lost needle' story."

 Good Lord! Quite honestly, I don't even want to know! The thought of someone in my house stepping on a wayward needle scares the crap out of me. I think my husband is the most fearful. When I am working on a project (usually sitting on the couch) and I say, "Uh, oh...I dropped my needle." this look of fear comes across his face and he answers with a very nervous, "Well, you better find it!". I always laugh...but it us a nervous laugh.

So...I don't know how many. Probably dozens. Hopefully, they have been vacuumed up never to be seen again. Luckily in the 15 years i have been stitching, I cannot recall anyone in my family stepping on one.

So, I don't have a really good "lost needle" story. What I do have are many, many "found needle" stories. Such as flipping couch cushions and finding several needles that I never knew were missing or my husband spotting one randomly sticking out of the carpet. I have found needles in my car, at work...even in my closet under my shoes. Really?! I find the less needles I carry with me, the least likely I am to lose them. Too many needles, too many opportunities to drop one here or there and not think much of it. I do think the longer I have stitched, the less the needles have been lost. Maybe I am more aware of my supplies and how they are kept so I don't lose track of them as often.

 But there is always that chance of one escaping...

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Blog Hop #14: Looking Back on 2012

The first blog hop of 2013...woo hoo! Here's the prompt:

What was your biggest stitching accomplishment in 2012? 
What was your favorite stash acquisition in 2012 and will you be using it in 2013?

Hmmm...good one. I would have to say my greatest accomplishment was the mere volume of items I created this calendar year. I am a gift giver - so I am sure I have given at least ten separate finished items to friends and family over the last 12 months. Mostly for new babies (three, I think) and close to a handful of small (and not so small) personalized items to friends. I was also able to complete two things for myself... or my home at least. That is a feat in itself! I hardly make a thing for me to keep. I hope that will change for the year 2013. :)

Two fairly recent stitchy related acquisitions I hope to make good use of are a floor scroll frame and a LED floor lamp. Both of them were "adopted", so they were previously loved. But I am uber-excited to test them out together. The scroll frame stand was purchased from Craig's List for $25 and the lamp was salvaged (for free!) from a lonely existence living in the corner of a dark room. I have used the frame quite a bit - it is most helpful for large pieces like my monster of a mermaid project. The lamp is quietly waiting to be put in use for the first time. Since I got it right before Christmas - I haven't had a chance to try it out.

Together, I have a feeling they will be most helpful in assisting me over the next 12 months of creativity and gift giving fun.

Happy New Year, my stitchy friends!

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