Over the years when in recession more and more people turn to making gifts with a view to saving money, out of these creators there often is born a true talent that with nurturing can go on to make such beautiful items and stay the distance in the handmade market whilst others get found out and fall by the wayside.
Galleries for some are too expensive but could be considered a good point to start to get your products known and if well labelled with your contact details and website may produce further sales direct. There is however a strict selection process to enter galleries which some may find daunting. I like the fact that you often have to produce exhibition standard work for assessment by your peers refreshing that you know they care about what is displayed and you will exhibiting alongside other professionals. Approaching a gallery is no mean feat and be warned as they are often entered into through word of mouth recommendation rather than a direct approach and most of all they expect the exhibitor to be professional and you often have to book an audience in advance.
The hardest part of giving handmade is for the men in the family, mine have no interest in much apart from kindle books so this year had to resort to kindle vouchers, nothing handmade about it but one thing I always try to do is give the recipient something they want and not something to be relegated to the back of a cupboard, so in some cases handmade is not appropriate.
I made silk boudoir cushions this year as gifts for two girlfriends and both were so pleased with the gift, Kim very kindly left a comment on my last blog post and Christine told me over the phone that she loved that I made her something each year. This type of response makes it so worthwhile that the time and effort is appreciated by the recipient. I love to give more than receive and especially love to make to give thinking of the colours and designs that the person would prefer and as time is so precious now feel any gift handmade is giving part of yourself as well.
So lets together make 2012 a Handmade Year boosting the true value of handmade and the uniqueness of the given gift.
On a creative note been playing with my machine and as Valentines day is only round the corner! plan to stitch a lace heart bag using water soluble backing then mounted onto wine red silk, will enclose a Swarovski heart on a lobster clasp, this can then be added to bracelets, pendants, bags etc with a hand stamped personal message card on the inside and a matching tag on the outside. You never know could be used for an engagement ring with 'will you marry me?' on the tag. Plus some heart confetti, such an old romantic and so long ago since I was asked, oh! approx 35 years ago now. Also to make this week an initial canvas, jacquard frame bag with a diamante heart details, so much to do not to mention post to my website, Wow Thank you, update my blog plus Facebook and Twitter. A crafters work is never done.
Check out the other blogs of tales of crafting do at 1st Unique Gifts blog