lpcrochet


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Motivation Monday

Well I survived the craft fair. Two days! The first day (Friday) was miserable. It was freezing and raining all day and we sold almost nothing.

Miserable, miserable, miserable.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and I personally don’t know how well my cohort fared, but I made more than triple the entire booth fee. I call that a successful day!

LPCrochet

Here is an unflattering picture of me nearing the end of the day on Saturday. My table is there on the left. Our items had been pretty thoroughly picked through at this point.

The worst part of craft fairs:

  • Carrying your booth
  • Setting up your booth
  • Nit-picking customers
  • Hagglers (This isn’t a garage sale people!)
  • Price complainers
  • Packing up
  • Carrying your booth

The best part of craft fairs:

  • Making money
  • Meeting fellow crafters
  • Trading with other vendors
  • Compliments
  • Gushers

You can see there are a few more downsides than upsides, but making money — if you make enough — is a big enough PLUS to get over all of the other stuff.

Friday, as I mentioned above, was an awful day. Full of nothing but downsides. I stayed with my in-laws that night and headed to their house feeling very dejected and discouraged (and cold.. very very cold). Had Saturday not been part of the deal, or had it not played out the way it did, I very well may have given up craft shows altogether.

Saturday was a wonderful day full of upsides. I made money! What a bonus! By 11:30 I had made back the booth fee. Once I made more than I paid for parking and food for the two days, I considered it a “profitable” day — we won’t get into materials costs.. I don’t want to dwindle my “profits” too terribly haha! There were a few downsides — some nit-pickers, those are the customers that stand at your table and try to figure out how to make your items, they’re usually fellow crafters and have no intention of actually buying anything. I try to strike up conversation with the nit-pickers. Let them know I’m not “the enemy” so to speak. I’ll just tell them where to buy the pattern for whatever it is they are nit-picking, but typically they are also too cheap to pay for patterns. I had one haggler, seriously.. you’re NOT at a garage sale! In the end, I let him haggle. I couldn’t believe it. I swore I wouldn’t do that, but it was 2 dollars, it was the end of the day, and I could tell he wasn’t going to pay full price. I decided my pride could take the hit in the name of moving merchandise. I also had a few price complainers. These are the people who will just about DIE before they’d make eye contact with you. It’s much easier to complain about your prices loud enough for you to HEAR, but not TO YOU.. They only complain to their shopping companions. Funny enough, my biggest price complainer’s companions both ended up buying from me. So there. Take THAT Complainer!

All in all it was a good experience. I’m going to rebuild my stock (I sold more than half of my merchandise!) and try to get into a show in November. Preferably INDOORS so I don’t have to set up that God-forsaken tent and sit outside in the cold all day. Seriously. Carrying your junk to and from your booth space? Hands down the worst part of doing a craft show. My entire body was sore for 3 days.

I am still not back on track with my running goals. And on that note, I am also going to be changing the format of the Motivation posts. I’ll keep you updated on progress still, but no more pictures. It makes my hubs uncomfortable (I think, he didn’t say that), and I was a little creeped out recently to get a notification that someone had taken one of my pics for some reason (blech!). So, there you have it — from now on, I’ll be focusing on the craft portion of my blog with updates on running/exercise progress, diet (I think we’re going gluten free! Yikes!), but that’ll be about it. I was tired of looking at those stupid pictures anyway.

Happy Monday!

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Hey…That’s MINE!

You may see the title of this post and assume that I’m about to tell you a story about my 4-year-old. Sadly, you would be assuming wrong.

Let’s talk a little about one of my biggest pet peeves as a crocheter.

Copyright.

Do you already know where I’m going with this? The crochet community (and all handmade, from what I understand) has been abuzz recently with much talk, and even more confusion about what “copyright” encompasses in the world of handmade goods. I’m going to focus on crochet, because that’s what I’ve familiarized myself with.

Some designers seem to be under the impression that if they write a pattern, it gives them license to determine how things are produced by that pattern, and furthermore, what may become of any items created using it. These designers are either blatantly making up their own ‘laws’, twisting the existing law to suit their purpose, or are simply unaware of the details covered in the actual law. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume it’s the latter.

Crochet Design Copyright

What I imagine some people are actually doing (see Sweet Brown .gif below ha!).

Please forgive my crude drawing skills 😛

In a nutshell — or read directly from the copyright law website here— the copyright ends with the written pattern. The end. Easy peasy, right?

There is no “for personal use only”. There is no “You may sell after the purchase of a cottage license”. There is no “you may not sell any finished items”. There’s not even a legal “Please link back to my web address”. That is just a common courtesy (that we really all should follow. I mean, really, let’s give credit where it’s due).

This is a pet peeve of mine because we’re all in this together. We all started somewhere. We’ve all taken the time to learn how to crochet the stitches, and read the patterns. I don’t understand where this sense of entitlement came from (MINE!! MINE!! MINE!!). This idea that someone else owns the rights to something I created, essentially from a piece of string, is outrageous. The crochet community is, for the most part, a very tightly knit (no pun intended) group. I guess there are always a few “bad apples”, as they say.

In my opinion, it boils down to this (I literally cut and pasted this from an online discussion I was in earlier today and apologize for any redundancy):

As much as the authors don’t want you to sell anything made from their pattern, they have exactly ZERO right to tell you not to. As has been very thoroughly discussed in this thread, copyright does not extend to finished items. It covers the pattern only. Pattern authors can ASK people not to sell finished items, but in my opinion, that only hurts their business because, as I’ve said here, I will personally never buy a pattern that has a contingency. We’re all crocheters. We’re all fiber artists in our own rights. If we’ve gone through the process of learning how to follow a pattern and actually crochet the item, that finished item is ours to do with whatever we want. Not all of us crochet to sell, but a LOT of us do. I don’t understand WHY a person would go through the trouble of writing/formatting/listing a pattern to sell and expect no one to sell their work!? WHY?! Most of the time, it’s because they themselves are selling the finished items and want to try to control the amount of competition in the market. Well, too bad. Once you sell the pattern, it’s mine. Not to sell (the pattern), but the items I create with my hands and my hooks are mine, and I will sell them all day. If they don’t want people making their items to sell, they should *probably* not put the pattern out there.
Like I said, it’s a pet peeve of mine. One that I feel very strongly about. I intend to post free patterns (of my own), links to free patterns that I love, and links to patterns that I love that are not free. I will NEVER try to tell you what you can and cannot do with items that come off of  YOUR hooks. If it is made by you, it is yours. If you make it and love my pattern or my blog and you want to let people know where you got it, great, but I don’t “require” that of you — I get enough mothering in with my own children. I don’t have time to mother fellow crocheters. It would be cool to see some link love, not gonna lie, but it’s your choice.  I will also NEVER link you to a pattern designer who puts these stipulations on their patterns. I don’t support selfishness, and I won’t propagate the misuse of “copyright” law.
Sweet Brown

Seriously — Ain’t nobody got time for that.

That being said, it’s isn’t ok to use someone else’s pictures as your own. I actually suggest you watermark your pictures to deter people from using them. It’s also not ok to use someone else’s blog content as your own (actually covered by copyright law), and you obviously cannot take a pattern (free OR paid for) and call it yours, or redistribute it without permission.
Where do you stand on this topic? I’ve found there seem to be very few people who side with the “do not sell-ers”, but I’m open to hearing why you disagree with me if that’s the case.
*Be forewarned, I’ll delete bullying comments (even if they’re in agreement with me), so be nice. I’m looking for lively conversation, not crafter-bashing. Thanks!
*The above .gif is not my own creation. I borrowed it from a terrific .gif site I found, http://www.gifrific.com. I’d hate to infringe on copyright in the midst of my copyright post!