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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Remembrance Bears

I do a lot of crochet at the moment, amigurumi is my absolute favourite to do, probably because it is made up of many smaller parts, which makes it finished quickly and varied at the same time.


I used to give money to Charity on a regular basis and I technically still do but because I don’t go out as often anymore I am not able to just drop a few pounds in the bucket as I would have done two or three years ago. So I came up with the idea of making and selling craft items and then donating the profit to charity, in theory this is a good idea I mean what can go wrong right? You make whatever it is that you are going to sell, sell it and donate the money minus what it cost you to make and sell it. Well I made bears, and decided that £10 was a price I was prepared to make and sell them for, all excited I posted on my facebook page Bex’Bits&Bobs what I was going to do, then I bought the bits I was going to need to make the bears

Cream yarn (I used Aran)

Pink yarn (also Aran)

DPM/camouflage yarn (worsted weight)

Red DK yarn

Black embroidery thread

Safety eyes

Hypoallergenic stuffing


Next I made up the bear according to the pattern which I got off I love her patterns because when I was teaching myself to crochet not only did she have the written pattern she also had videos so if I got stuck I was able to play the video and watch her do it. It means that anyone can do any of her patterns and I love that. Then I posted the picture of the bear on my page Bex’Bits&Bobs, to begin with only a few people ordered bears and I was a little disappointed because in my mind I had a figure of how much I wanted donate to my chosen charity, which by the way was a military charity that helps veteran’s find housing and jobs etc. but the figure I had in mind didn’t match what I was going to make, so I decided to take a hit and donate the whole lot, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

 I then made all the bears and posted pictures of each of the bears, each one being slightly different, they all had different facial expressions and eye colour, then just as I was about to give it up as a bad idea, I got more orders to make more bears (a few people enquired but didn’t order, I think the £10 price tag,  was a little too expensive for them, which let’s face it is fair enough). I will get to that in a little while. I also got people asking if I could put the poppy on the helmet, initials on the feet, make heart feet and other ideas, it was great and just what I wanted it to be about. After all bespoke does imply that it is made for YOU. So I made the bears according to what people had asked for, in total I made 13 bears, 12 were paid for and I used one as payment to a little girl as I needed some help to see if something else I had been working on would work for what it was intended.

Last week I transferred £70 into the charity that I had chosen this year, I am already thinking about my next charity, which will have something to do with cancer, not sure if I should do cancer research or donate to the nurses? Once the money was in their account I felt like a massive weight had been lifted from my shoulders, I am not sure why I felt burdened by the money, I used to work with much more than that and it wasn’t an issue for me, I didn’t even see it as money, so why this felt different I don’t know. Anyway I had a discussion with my husband about the money I had donated and how many I had made at that point. He asked if all the money had come in yet, I also had to pay a fee, you see, so it is certainly prudent to only pay in once. At that point not all the money had come in, but I had worked out a few days before how much I had to transfer and once that money was in I transferred it all. The conversation with my husband had left me feeling uneasy though what if I had made a mistake and not transferred enough? So I sat and worked it all out, as it happens my total profit on 12 bears at £10 each was £23 so I needn’t have worried but it just goes to show that £10 for a bear wasn’t really that expensive.

I would love for Bex’BitsandBobs to be a business, to have regular customers and make things for people that they want but can’t make for themselves for whatever reason, it’s not though, I don’t charge for my time and I only charge for the items what it cost me to make, I am perfectly happy if I can buy new craft stuff and donate a few pennies to charity, it all keeps me busy and out of trouble. In a way I guess being a business wouldn’t be a very good idea though, the problem is knowing what is fair, fair for the customer and fair for me too, I don’t mind giving my time, but at the same time no company would give their time up for free, and neither would they give away products for free, more over the likelihood is that they have staff and the ability to turn out more product and source materials at bulk price, I however am on my own, some days I am just too sore to concentrate on anything so days like that are a bust, and I am not able to source items in bulk because it isn’t prudent to do so, both from a financial stand  point and a storage point of view.  

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