Thursday, 10 December 2009

Another post

Its been a busy week and my blogging has taken a bit of a back seat.
I tried to take some photographs on Monday but as this was the level of light in my sitting room I gave up. (and drank lots of tea)
It goes with the general air of gloom in the media at the moment..every time you put the radio or Tv one...Global warming, recession.....isn't it all depressing?


I honestly can't quite say where the week has gone.
Its been a mixed week. (I just deleted the list of things I've done..too boring)

Meet my new friend given to me by Sue at the felt group.
My eyes grew to twice their size when I saw the gadget that is the....


MARTHA PULLEN THREAD STAND!!!

Its got to be good with a name like that..a bit like 'Carters Little Liver Pills' or 'Potters Vegetable Cough Remover'..all inestimable successes.

Its all set up and, on the whole, seems useful.
I'll let you know.

EDIT for Christine: It does what it says on the tin.
You stand your threads on it...poke the ends through the holes on the top and use them when needed.

But I wonder why Sue didn't want it?

Anyway...the sun shone a bit on Thursday so I hauled myself away from the sewing machine and into the woods, missing canine company dreadfully.
I envied people their four legged friends but look. Dogs in my village come in twos three fours and even sixes.
Four here trying to cross the cattle grid..

Three more trotting along..and I'd just seen two going the other way.

But I think these 4 Newfoundlands get the prize for sheer dogginess. My flash fired so their eyes look scary...like 'The Wild Things'
What you can't see is that they also had two large spaniels.

I think they thought I was a bit mad photographing them.
I asked if they lived in a big house and they said no, a cottage.
The sun shone weakly but it was lovely if rather muddy walk.




The floor of the woods is covered in lovely shapes...



Perhaps the inspiration for my shapes?

I have become a bit of a one trick pony lately but I never tire of doodling with my machine(..and Martha Pullen)

I made these for two galleries . I'm always amazed at how even though its me sewing using the same stuff I always use, each 'group' or each session has its own character.


I sometimes just sew with the flow and other times its a labour.

I now have actual 'Stockists'.
The most recent three are The Shop in Lewes, Sussex; Fibre +Clay, and Arthouse2, Havant.

Some time ago I blogged about the difference in the price of my goods when sold direct and sold in galleries. I have discussed it at length with other makers and with gallery owners and have come to the conclusion that my things ought to be more or less the same price everywhere.

So for that reason I am going to have to raise the prices of the felt brooches.
I'll do it gradually but as they go out of my etsy shop I won't replace them until they are all gone, then make a fresh start at something a bit nearer the retail price for as long as I have other people selling my work.

I'm sorry to have to do this but its only fair. Galleries have overheads and are doing a good job of displaying and selling my work.
But don't forget..my postage is free for UK buyers.

And finally..I had a boiled egg today in my own egg cup.
No sign yet of the Dorset Cereals Goody bag.

38 comments:

karen said...

I love these, fabulous colours. Oh my, the dreaded pricing debate, don't even get me started on that!

Julie said...

Don't those dogs look gorgeous? Can't imagine what it would be like to have so many dogs in a cottage - hectic and crowded! I have been walking a friend's dog for the last few days and have quite enjoyed getting out in the fresh air although I didn't go anywhere as lovely as your walk.

kay susan said...

Hi Jackie - the pricing debate..oh my! There's two sides to this, of course. The shop/gallery has overheads but on the other hand the craftworker needs a decent return on effort. Around here, most places want to put on a mark-up of 40% - for me to even break even on costs of materials and my time for some of my more elaborate items this would put the retail cost far too high for people to consider buying. One gallery I spoke to was even offering to display in their 'physical' shop or list in an Etsy shop, but still at 40% commission. So, basically, the galleries want me to work for next to nothing, but would be really annoyed if I 'undercut' their prices at craft fairs or online. I am reminded of the days when I was an IT contractor and the Agency I worked through was prepared to negotiate on mark-up, because as they said, 10% of something is better than 40%of nothing! Galleries take note!

Know just what you mean about the gloom - I HATE it when I have to put the lights on indoors during the day.

Chris said...

Oooh, I have thread stand envy. lol. I had to raise my prices too, but it is not fair to be competing with retailers at lesser prices. Take the plunge and raise them as high as you need to go.

Linda said...

Oh you've definitely inspired me to get out and walk....maybe this weekend (the forecast is looking good!) I'm still amazed by the sheer quantity of brooches you make; and every one a precious gem. We'd all recognise your work anywhere....
X

Christine said...

I'm sorry I have to admit defeat and ask this, as it's probably self-evident but ... what does the thread stand actually DO?

PS Great brooches - cheap at twice the price!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

FOUR Newfoundland dogs? Think of the drool!! (but that doesn't stop me loving them anyway).
Mmmm...speaking of drool....your brooches are gorgeous and I never get tired of seeing them. They all look so different from one another.

arlee said...

Awesome as Always!
I do have a question though : will 'Potters Vegetable Cough Remover' help that nasty phlegmatic celery in my fridge?

Joei Rhode Island said...

A one trick pony??? Each one is so different and has it's own personality. And I'm still trying to visualize 4 Newfies *and* 2 Spaniels in a cottage.

Robin Mac said...

I can't begin to imagine 4 Newfies and 2 spaniels in a cottage! I have enough trouble with 1 blue heeler cattle dog puppy in a large house. As always your brooches are stunning and so different. cheers, Robin

Jude said...

Wonderful dogs..have you had anymore thoughts on a puppy??
I do miss autumn colours and walks in muddy woods. Yes, I can see where you get some of your inspiration from.
The thread gadget...hmm!!
take care Jackie

silverpebble said...

One trick pony? I counted at least 27 tricks. That's quite some pony. It would get on 'The One Show' for sure. Adrian Chiles would interview it. Neigh.

I've always thought your work was underpriced.

x

Gina said...

I was told a long time ago when I joined Open Studios that prices of things I sell directly should be the same as those in galleries and mostly people don't blink an eyelid. After all you have overheads too. Your work is beautiful as ever and worth every penny!

Menopausal musing said...

On a very foggy, cold morning in the south west, it's lovely to see the beautiful bright colours of your work bouncing off my screen..... lovely stuff.

CAROLYN SAXBY said...

I really enjoyed your post and loved seeing your walk in the woodlands and those lovely oak leaves. Have a lovely weekend Jackie

Heather said...

Beautiful photos from your winter walk. I love ferns and oak leaves, and those Newfoundlands would keep you warm on a cold night! You might feel as if you are a 'one trick pony' but there is such variety among your pieces - no two are the same. We were discussing that very same price issue at our group meeting on Tuesday, and the more productive members agreed that prices should remain the same no matter where the work is shown.

nimblejacks said...

galleries here in swansea are the same. One tried to say the other was not as "posh" as them and so therefore I should only sell through them! One is VAT reg'd the other not and so on. Never an easy topic to tackle, pricing. I thinks your brooches are beautiful i love the way the velvet is so 3D on them and the gorgeous colours too. Own website is my thinking this spring alongside Etsy.. And those newfies???They make my olly look positively weeny

Rosie said...

This post is a visual feast ... the lovely misty shades of the winter walk, then, like the sun coming out, the incredible colours of the felt and velvet. Priceless!

whitney-anne said...

The right price - that's a tricky one. I've noticed that some things on etsy sell for ridiculously low prices. Do you price yours the same? If it's too low then you end up feeling used somehow. The same with galleries and the 40%. I've given up making certain things because I end up with just pennies.
Thanks for raising the topic though, good to know others all go through the same thing

Mary said...

There is a woman who lives near me who has Newfoundlands - 6-SIX-of them! and she walks the every day all by herself! It's crazy.

JP said...

the brooches look so lovely in a group - glad you enjoyed the walk and the dogs

Anonymous said...

They are beautiful !!
Dawn

Twiglet said...

Oh I do wish I could doodle on my machine and produce such gorgeous things!!

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

It's very smart to have your etsy prices closely match the gallery/shop prices. I don't think they have to precisely be the same but it's nice when they're similar. That way the shops/galleries will want to continue selling your product which is always an added bonus for you in terms of exposure.

The thread stand looks great. Fantastic for easier thread changes. Have a great weekend!

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Lovely photos (except for the first one - it has been dark and dreary hasn't it?) and adorable dogs.

Marta said...

Hi, just discoverd this blog and oh me what a discoveery it is!!! So much beautiful things, I will read and admire all your entries here in the following days.
Sorry for my not-native speaker English... Marta from Belgium

Victoria said...

Jackie, I miss Mo so, every time I go for a walk and see others walking with their dogs, I practically jump on them, (the dogs not the people!) I just need to pet them, hug them and soak up there sweetness.

As for your pricing... you are making the right move. I wish pricing wasn't so damn difficult, and that we didn't always feel so damn guilty about it!

Pomona said...

I am a great fan of Potter's Vegetable Cough Remover, too! I love your work - price seems to be such a difficult thing for designer-makers, and there are no easy solutions.

Pomona x

kirsten chursinoff said...

Yes, keep your prices even all around. That way, the little bit extra you'll make on direct sales helps to compensate for the percentage taken from the gallery.

Most galleries that I know of insist on this policy.

I've worked at a few galleries and I know they're expensive to run. But wouldn't the world be a sad place without them?

Helen said...

I definitely think you can put your prices up - I know I would have paid more for my brooch!

Chriss said...

I have just made my first etsy purchase and it was for your creations. I never thought I would be able to afford such beautiful and original things but thank you so much for giving me the chance. Love those Newfies, and they have a whole lot of love....

Lorie McCown said...

and there you are in 'Selvedge' magazine! whoohoo! I feel like I "know" (I wish I did!) a fiber star :) so great, Jackie, you work is and always will be a huge inspiration for me.. xoxo Lorie

DILLY said...

Luvly doggys an luvly creashuns!

¬"

Shelly said...

Hi Jackie -
Merry Christmas !! I've been away from the blogs a while, but had to pop in and see what you've been creating. Such lovely, beautiful jewel-like colors to the brooches. And quite a nice machine you've come into !! New toys are always fun.
Love your walk pictures. I think those huge dogs run the cottage.

All the best,
Shelly

Christine said...

Thanks for the thread stand explanation, Jackie - somehow I had the idea it must do something more spectacular than just, well, stand there, but I can see how very useful it could be, even just standing still.
Would save a lot of time currently wasted on the search for the thread-that-I-just-put-down-a-minute-ago-it-must-be-here.

Hens Teeth said...

I feel for you Jackie, walking without a dog is just not the same.
x

joanne May said...

Hi Jackie,
I agree with you...It is a depressing and dark time at the moment with the news but seeing your lovely photos and vibrant work will brighten up every ones day. I say... Thank goodness for creative people like you!:)
Have a special Christmas and a creative New Year!

Ann Christine Dennison said...

I love those machine doodles!



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