I know I'm not the only person who has overheard browsers at shows comment on how they could probably make whatever it is they happen to be admiring.
To be fair, I sometimes think the same thing, but would never say it to the person who has taken the time to actually make something and put themselves on the line to go and sell it. Plus, something that appears simple is often more time consuming or complicated than you realize.
Fortunately, more often than not people are marveling at my work, but when a comment like that arrives on the scene...it stings.
Once, someone dismissivly commented to a friend that my wallets looked like they'd be a good, "rainy day project" for her children. My response? I hate you and want you dead. No, I'm just kidding! I only thought it. :)
By the way, she had five of them and they were little and looking at my wallets with Cheetos and Crackerjack covered fingers. They were excited by the Curious George cardholder and cute so I could easily overlook the fingerprints and stained streaky tablecloth (with four more hours left in the show). However, I couldn't help but feel a little insulted by the mom. It was over in a minute or two, but I did feel defensive before I moved on.
I'm writing this post to tell on myself.
I think these gnome girls from Green Fairy Things are adorable. They make such a nice grouping and feel Waldorf inspired...the perfect little guests on a nature table. When I first saw them, I'll admit that I could see myself making a set to put on a planned nature table in our apartment. Shame on me. Even with shipping they are under $5.00 each.
Their bodies are perfectly painted, their caps are stiched into cones, their hair has been braided (except the boy) and they have perfect eyes. Have you ever spent time putting a coat or two of paint on small pieces of wood that have curves? I'm not good with a sewing machine so forget about stiched caps that fit perfectly and stay on. I've been down the road of "even dots for eyes" before. It's harder than you think and once you make a mistake it's all over because you can only turn the head around and do the other side so many times (like once).
So, I didn't even try. I don't want to try. I want to admire the cuteness, support a fellow etsyian and save myself a lot of time...really, I think once you begin considering the work involved they could be fairly priced even higher. They are adorbable and and I couldn't make them for less if you included time.
Handmade gifts rock and making them is fun, but buying them supports the creative efforts of another. So, as you're thinking of holiday gifts this year I ask you to not only consider handmade, but also handmade by others. Because in some cases, maybe you could make it yourself, but would you?
p.s. The woman in my booth with the kids added insult to injury when she used the corner of my tablecloth to wipe the littlest one's mouth. Sweet.