Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fall (aka Autumn) & the Other Kind of Fall (the One That Pride Goeth Before)

Good Sunday morning to all of you & a special welcome to my new followers!  I'm glad to welcome all of you this wonderful fall day!  I know, I know ... it's not fall yet. However, it kind of feels like fall here on the farm.  The temp today is going to be 80 degrees which is not really a fall-like temperature but at least it's cooler than it has been for a while.  To add to the thrill of it all the weatherman is predicting 100% chance of showers & thunderstorms throughout the day!  I'm not a big rain fanatic but this prediction brings with it gray, dark, overcast skies (which add to the illusion that fall is actually here) & it may actually turn out to be a little cooler than 80 degrees because of the dampness!  You may have noticed that I've even changed my blog decor to fit the season   : )   So, happy happy day!!!  So I wish you all a Happy Fall!

It even smells like fall because I'm wearing this!
Opium is my favorite fall/winter fragrance. It always makes me think of cold & snow.  I don't know why but it does   : )

This has been a good week & also a bad week.  First the good.  TA-DA!!!
I completed stitching 5 ... count 'em ... 5 stitching projects this week!  The one done on evenweave which you can see a bit of peeking out in back (the white stuff) is an exchange gift so I can't show it to you yet. However, the other 4 show you that I have continued to work on Country Rustic Primitives designs with visions of people flocking to my Bittersweet Farm Primitives handmades shop to buy them   : )   

Now for the bad news.  A couple weeks ago I contacted all the primitive selling sites that I know of (7 or 8 of them) to ask about selling my handmades.  Most ignored me.  However, there was one site that asked me to send a few photos of my work to be juried by their panel of, well, jurors.  I sent a dozen photos of my primitive cross stitched items as well as my primitive painted items.  Now ... those of you who know me well know that I am anally perfectionistic.  I won't even allow a small knot to be on the back of a cross stitched pinkeep where no one will see it unless they take it apart!  Good heavens, no! If I discover something like that I have to frog my work back to that point to fix it & then continue on my way.  Anyway, I sent my photos & waited.  I felt I had a pretty good chance of being accepted because I checked out all the sellers on this site & at that time no one was offering primitive cross stitched items, nor were they selling painted items similar to mine.  So much for optimism. Yesterday I received an email from the site basically saying "thanks, but no thanks." Actually, that would've been a kinder response than the one I was given.  The response I did receive explained that they have "strict guidelines" & told me my work was neither interesting, varied, nor original. In other words, it wasn't good enough.  I'm taking a look at the site again as I write this. I see items which are based on or made exactly from the patterns of others.  Are these items "original?"  I think not.  There are lots of paper mache dolls & clowns in several of the shops which certainly makes me wonder about the intended meaning of the word "varied" in my response.  There are many shops featuring dolls, pumpkins, & other such items made of fabric.  There are a couple shops offering painted items but not in the same primitive style as mine.  One person has some primitive cross stitched items in her shop at this time but she uses Aida to stitch them!  AIDA!  REALLY!  AIDA! Where's the barf bag?!?!?  Incidentally, she does not indicate they are stitched on Aida. I only know this because I really liked one of her pinkeeps several months ago & bought it. You can imagine my horror when I received it & found that it was stitched on Aida.  I wonder how many other customers were likewise disappointed when they received their pinkeeps?

(Special Note to Aida Lovers:  I do not mean to offend your choice of stitching fabric.  It's just that I personally don't care for Aida although I do use it on occasion ... but not for primitive projects!)

Do I sound bitter?  I hope not.  At first I was extremely hurt & highly offended to the point of sobbing uncontrollably.  I envisioned myself giving up on my plans & not selling anything anywhere.  All the primitives & craft supplies I no longer want ... to the dump with them!  The stitched items?  Santa would find good homes for them.  I had a few hours before bed last night to calm down.  This morning I don't know which path I'm going to take.  Truly, the dump/Santa thing sounds like a good idea.  One of my dear friends is always so concerned about my stress level, God bless her.  When I told her of this experience she said she gave me credit for even thinking about selling things, saying that she would not have the patience to take photos, write descriptions, package the items & mail them.  She said she would just donate them to a shelter or some such place just to get them out of the house.  She's got a point there.  I do wish I had waited a bit before dishing out money for custom made logos for my shops but sometimes you have to pay a price in order to learn a lesson    : (   I'm not real keen on throwing out a few hundred dollars' worth of primitive items & crafting supplies either ... Lord knows I could use the money ... but my friend is right.  I don't need the stress.  Would I pay a couple hundred dollars to someone to take away my stress? I surely would so perhaps therein lies the answer.

Needless to say, right now I have no idea what I'm doing but if any of you have read this far I give you my heartfelt thanks   : )   My posts do tend to get a bit lengthy at times.  However, I haven't posted anything since last Tuesday so perhaps my wordiness today can be excused   : )         


butterfly said...

Oh Shirlee I am so sorry , all that work, just go ahead and give it a try. They just don't want you working on their patch, you go for it girl.
Love your new header such lovely colours.
Don't let people hold you back, there will always be those type of people out there to kill your dream , You will never know if you don't go for it, hugs.

tangerinedream73 said...


Chin up girl, things will get better I'm sure of it! I have been a dedicated reader of your blog for about six months now. I come over from Cathy Boyd's blog With Needle and Thread. I thoroughly enjoy your posts and look forward to hearing what you have to say. I think your work is lovely. Here is something a dear friend told me a long time ago and while a little crude, it helps in times like these. Illigitimi non carborundum which is Latin for don't let the bastards get you down.

Amy Varnell-Miller

Linda said...

Hi, Shirlee, don't give up!! You are so talented. Why dont' you start a selling blog? Lots of ladies do that and seem to be selling a lot. That's another option, don't get rid of your stuff.

Trace4J said...

Happy Fall!
Love your new header.
Its Fall with my air on too.
I agree you do beautiful work.
Keep your chin up.

Judy said...

I'm sorry for your disappointment over the selling site. Is it difficult to sell from your blog? I have recently purchased a couple things shown on a blog. While I don't know the particulars of selling, I hope something will work out for you. Love your new blog header--althought it was so peaceful to see your home and the winding lane(I have always wanted to live in the country). Good luck...don't give up!

Judy heartland stitcher

Maureen said...

Good grief Shirlee cut yourself some slack and quit over thinking things.Open an etsy shop, list your goodies for(I beleive it's still) 20 cents an item and then market your etsy shoppe every chance you get. I hear from other crafters that are enjoying an increase in sales there now.Shoppers are starting to think holidays with summer winding down.Strike while the iron is house and have fun with it!

Vickie said...

Well Shirlee, do NOT give up! We have tried a few businesses in the past. Not what you are doing, but we tried. Now, none of them worked, but you will NEVER know until you TRY! Go ahead with the plans. Just pace yourself. You can do it! We believe in you!

~Sara said...

Oh Shirlee, I could write you a book about this. I don't want to come across as arrogant, bu t I am at a point in life, mature wise that i don't care what people think anymore.I am going to do my thing and if someone likes it they will purchase it, if not they will pas it by. I know I will never be a millionaire doing this, but I have to look myself in the mirror everyday, and I like me. Some groups are clicky, and snobby, while yet others will steal your ideas and cast you aside, while still others want something for nothing. I enjoy selling on etsy. I am my own boss, I answer to no one but the customer and they are all that matters. I will go out of my way and do custom order all day for someone that appreciates it. Keep on keeping on and anytime yo want to vent look me up. Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Blessings ~Sara
ps~ I love all of your stitching's, haven't seen your other works yet.

Carol said...

I'm sorry to read about your disappointment, Shirlee--please don't give up! I think you should definitely try selling on Etsy or even right here on your blog. Can you just add a little tab at the top and sell that way, the way some people sell unwanted stash. The groups you contacted were probably all close friends who just wanted to keep their circle of sellers small.

Chin up and carry on--you can still make this work :)

bettyj said...

As one who received an example of your beautiful work, take Sara's advice and persevere. Good luck. Again you know you do wonderful work, so pay no attention to nay sayers

Kim said...

You could try a selling blog, or try Etsy. At only 20 cents a listing you don't have much to lose.

Chris said...

Oh Shirley. I am sure that your pieces are wonderful and that they just have different sensibilities. I mean Aida, come on. Some people just don't like any competition too, you may have threatened them.
You keep on your path(fist pump here!!).
I love your new fall blog look.

TheCrankyCrow said...

Well, already know what I think. I will add a selfish vote for the Santa list and hope the heck I'm on it! ;o) Ok....ok....I still think a selling blog - or even Etsy - with cross-marketing here to direct us wayward sorts to your offerings is the way to go. What do you have to lose??? Certainly no more pride as that has pretty much been taken care of. Honestly, the more I think about it, the more it reminds me of grade school and the infernal cliquishness of the immature. I very much agree with need to march to your own drum. Most folks don't "get" me - even some of my closest friends sometimes look at me with utter dismay and say things like "you aren't seriously thinking of putting that in your home" - but I do, and it pleases me well. And when I come upon people do "get" me, I feel like I've come upon one of life's richest blessings.

Anywho - I've said more than enough. Like your posts I guess, my comments tend to get a bit lengthy at times too. ;o)

LOVE the new blog dress!! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Kaisievic said...

Shirlee, the people at that site need their heads read! Your work is lovely and anyone would be proud to own it. Like Cranky Crow - I vote for the Santa list and hope that I make the cut.

Lots of stitchy love, Kaye