I had something super exciting happen the other day (Sunday) and I really wanted to share. See, it was all the result of what I saw as a little act of kindness on my part…
This is a bit long, so grab your beverage of choice and bear with me if you want to come along…
To start the story… I got involved in a spinning group several years ago, where you could take fiber from someone who didn’t spin and turn it into yarn for them in exchange for a portion of the fiber for yourself. I agreed to also dye the wool I got sent into two different colours for the lady. As time went by, I managed to get it done, it just took a bit longer than I originally expected and made sure to keep her updated on the status of the projects. When I was finally finished and ready to send her the yarn, I found she had unfriended me and was no longer in the group we originally met in. So I searched for her on FB and sent her a message that her yarn was ready and waited to hear from her. Months passed and while the little icon said she had read my message, I heard nothing back from her. After a year, I figured she wasn’t going to claim her yarns.
Enter some of my dad’s friends from online. He had been to visit them last summer in person and they had put him and mom up at their home for week while they were there. No money was allowed to be paid for food or lodging, just come and visit us. It was a kindness they hadn’t expected and have tried to do small things to send some of the kindness in return. The wife of the couple crochets in her down time and I thought it might be nice to send her one of the skeins of unclaimed yarn as a gift, just pay for shipping and I was cool. She was thrilled at the chance to receive it and was more than willing to cover shipping. When I checked in to be sure she had gotten her parcel, it turned out she had and both her and her husband were in love with my work. She paid for the shipping and added a little extra for me, a pleasant surprise I was happy to get. Her next message came back with “Did I happen to have anymore that she could actually buy from me please?”
Well, I had a suitcase full and some extra that I had set aside, that I was willing to sell and offered some group shot pictures to let her know what I had. Pictures were sent and she comes back with “I’ll take all the blue stuff right now please. How much do I owe you?” I was thrilled at the sale of these skeins of yarn all at once and was even willing to give her a deal. She wouldn’t take the discount and insisted on paying full price. Then her next message stunned me to the absolute limit of my expectations… “So let me know how much the cost is for the rest of the yarns and we can figure out a payment schedule that works for us both”
I asked her to clarify, just to be sure I had this right. This lovely lady was serious!! She absolutely wanted all my available hand-spun yarn, at full price plus whatever the shipping would cost. I was waiting for someone to pop up and yell “April Fools” or inform me that this was all a hoax. Nope, she was serious about it and wanted the lot… I was on cloud nine at this point, this was every artist’s dream and I was living it at this moment!!
She has set out a payment schedule to ensure I get the full amount over a decent amount of time and in the meanwhile, I will turn skeins into centre-pull balls for her to use without ending up with tangled messes… my way of thanking her for her patronage and major purchase. She works at a job during the day and feels that now she can come home to spend her off time crocheting with stuff that is better than what she can score at Wal-Mart… I am pleased to be able to fill her stash with my unique, hand-crafted yarns and now have lots of room to move forward with creating more hand-spun yarn to fill its place in *MY* stash for sale.
So from what I saw as a small, personal act of kindness came this blessing that has bloomed into my life and at a time I really needed it. This has not only brought a small and steady income for a few months, it has boosted my self-esteem in a big way too. I have been battling with several health issues of late and my drive to do things has slipped and as I had an every growing stash of things to sell and not many options to sell them, there was little incentive to change things until now.
This has proved to me once again, that if you can find the right person or audience, you will find someone who appreciates hand-crafted goods and willing to pay what it is worth.
It has also reminded me that random acts of kindness, given in the spirit of receiving nothing in return, can sometimes yield large and unexpected returns!!!
Be kind to each other folks…
So I have been cutting back on going to in-person sales, festivals and other events where I could sell my hand crafted pretties. My one friend that was my major helper in getting things moved in and out and doing the set-ups and breakdowns, had her shifts changed and was not available for the typically Saturday events and I am not able to manage in my own anymore. So I am trying to decide where best to go for online selling of things like my handpun yarns, hand knitted wearables, and my beaded jewelry and charms. It’s hard enough to find a decent and affordable online venue, where I might actually make sales and I come up with a new product idea!
I was talking to a friend on the phone one day and we were discussing the aromatherapy bracelets and how the idea was neat, except she wasn’t a jewelry person, so a bracelet wouldn’t work for her. In a few minutes my brain came up with these… A single lava bead will hold your drop of essential oil and then you can attach it to a key chain, zipper, cell phone case, or they can be converted to a pendant to wear as a necklace if you *are* a jewelry person. She suffers from stress and anxiety and does find aromatherapy helps, I wanted to find a way to make it work for her and the rest as they say, is history….
So I pulled out my inventory of beads and findings and started creating. Next came the challenge of trying to photograph them, one of my crystal clusters turned out to be perfect for getting the right angle to show them off. For now I have a sales page on Facebook that I have listed them on. (https://www.facebook.com/frogpondcollective)
I am going to have to work on pictures of my other stuff so I can get things online, although I find it challenging really… Finding that balance between setting my stuff up just right, then getting just the right shot(s) and then spending all the time to list is and then not have any traffic looking at your work. Honestly there are days I am wondering if I shouldn’t just make it a big discount sale for charity and give up doing sales of any kind all together. Sorry, my frustration is showing… Let me tuck that back in the corner for now.
I’ve posted a couple of pictures of the new product here as a sample, if you have a Facebook account, please stop by my page, take a look at the rest of them and maybe leave a like.
“The gift of the Rose”
They were starting to get frustrated and give into working in pairs and trios, scouring every inch of the floors, walls, pillars, artworks and furniture to try and find anything that would match the clue.
She took a deep breath and tilted her head back to look up at the ceiling, the one place they weren’t looking…
“Ah…” she breathed out “light!”
Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and try out using her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.
Sniffle, sniffle, snort…
Cough, cough, HACK…
Sniffle, sneeze, honk…
Honk, snort, sneeze, sneeze…
SNEEZE, SNEEZE, AHCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…!!!!!!!!!!!!
HONK, HONK, HONK!
Shuffle, shuffle, rattle, shake, gulp….
Tick, tock, tick, tock, sigh……
To those who suffer as I do, solidarity to the tissue holders!
To those that do not, I honk in your general direction you lucky buggers…
For anyone that isn’t a spinner that needs to wash out skeins after they are finished being spun, who like me, waits until I have a bunch [or a couple dozen] of them to do all together and make the effort worth the time, you can take a pass on this blog if you want…
For anyone who is, please read on… I got a brilliant light bulb moment back about 6 months ago and finally tested my theory out the whole way and I have to say it saved me a ton of stress and angst. I use the washing machine, fill it with hot soapy water, soak them awhile, spin them out, add a bit of vinegar to the rinse water, soak again, spin out again and then hang them to dry. While they are all going through that washing, rinsing, being all wet cycle, my paper tags can’t stay with each skein and then I lose track of what each one is and yardages on each, etc. Memory like a sieve most days, some of you have to hear me on this…
anyway, brilliant idea came about when I realized there were a pile of bread tags in a dish that we had been saving for some reason no one could remember and I was going to toss them out when I happened upon the idea of using them as ID tags for my skeins.
I picked out the white tags with no printing on them and with a sharpie marker I started labelling them “A, B, C, D, …” and so on until I got to R [ran out of tags at that point], then I grabbed hinged ring to keep them all together and neat while not in use. All I needed was a notebook and I started ID’ing my skeins and listing all the pertinent information on that skein under the letter on the bread tag.
Finally got to a point where I really needed wash the skeins I had finished, or make up more bread tags and tossed all my skeins into a wash & rinse cycle… Lo & behold! There are all my skeins, clearly tagged and now I just have to refer to my notebook to create paper labels for each one once they are dry and ready for sale or storage.
How easy [and cool] is that!
Take these tiny little things in the picture, they are silicone nose pads. For those that don’t wear glasses, they are the things that keep the frames from rubbing your nose raw if you get a pair that don’t have them ready made in the frame itself.
Last week I lost one of the pads on my glasses. It had to have been sometime on Thursday I lost it, but I didn’t notice it was missing until Friday morning when I put my glasses on first thing in the morning and things didn’t feel right.
I took them back off to see what is amiss and there was the problem, one missing pad, leaving me with a little metal stump to press into the side of my nose and put an incredible amount of pressure on one tiny spot on my nose. It was quite painful, like someone pressing a sharp pencil tip into the side of my nose. A little eye glass shop was going to charge $5 to replace just one… My Optometrist’s office would replace it for free if I could wait until Monday.
Monday afternoon I was finally able to swing past the Eye Dr.’s office and get that little silicone piece replaced, can you say “what a difference a tiny little thing like that can make”?
It made me think about all the tiny little things that make life tootle along in our day-to-day life. We can rant about how tiny things bug us, irritate us, anger us, frustrate us, but I would like you all to think about the little things that make our lives easier, different, better, more comfortable, cleaner.
Like the little nose pads on glasses, clicker buttons on pens, all the little seals in our cars/plumbing/etc, the safety pin in the bottom of your purse [or desk drawer], a sewing needle, a penny, a hearing aid no bigger that the tip of your little finger…
I could keep going, but the point I want to make is I stopped to take a look at one tiny thing that made such a difference in my life and wanted to share the idea that tiny things can make a big difference in all our lives, perhaps we can all take a moment to be grateful for at least one every day.