Subtitle: The Hobbyist’s Dilemma
One of my favorite projects from last year were these homemade button cards.
I created them as swap gifts for my fellow team retreat goers at the Legitest Retreat Evah. This was a team retreat for the Kelly Bangs Creative team. So much fun! I had the best time evah!
I hand-sculpted all of the little buttons out of polymer clay and stitched them to the cards one by one. I stamped my “brand” on the top.
I started working on these more than a month before the retreat and I sure needed all the time. The hand blending of the colors (only the good colors!) takes a long time – the clay doesn’t come out of the package in these colors, it’s always a little too, I don’t know, too red, too purple. My hands were so sore, and my smart watch thought I was doing an elliptical workout. haha. Then the baking, the varnishing, the positioning of the buttons just so. Then piercing the paper with a big needle and sewing them all on. And, finally, the stamping. Making over a dozen of these took all month.
When I think of all the work these took, I just laugh. I wanted to do it because I had a vision in mind that I really thought would be so cute. And I think it was!
After the retreat, I posted pics to Instagram. It was hard keeping them a secret! They were so fun to create.
Inevitably, I received a few donation requests. A donation request is when someone is hosting a retreat or crafty get-together and they are looking for swag or door prizes. “If you have any of those cute button cards….”
I don’t know why I mention this. I guess it’s because I felt like I ran a marathon and was then asked why I couldn’t just do it again. I’m afraid they were a special, you had to be there, sort of gift. I’m ok with it. I don’t even know how I’d put a price on all that time I invested. [Sweaty smily face emoji]
I have a friend who likes to encourage me to sell my handmade projects. Sometimes I do sell a few things. But, being a hobbyist, I have to try really hard to protect the joy of my hobbies. I tried to tell her once that the handmade bag she was talking about in particular took 18 hours to make. “It’s a for free or for me project,” I explained. What that means is that it’s a gift or I keep it. No one would want to pay $200 for a zipper bag (ahem, if you would like to do so, please contact me on Insta, bestie). Eighteen hours? It had tiny patchwork quilted squares, hand-stitched quilting, and neon pink vinyl divided pockets inside. Sometimes projects are easy and sometimes they are crazy, but #worthit.
Sometimes the vision for the finished project insists that it be made. Even if it takes a month.