How to turn the proverbial “lemon” into Limoncello….

We have all had those time pop up in our lives.  Times where no matter how hard you try to move forward, things just keep popping up that create a backwards slide.  It’s at these times, we generally have two choices.  We can choose to wallow in our misfortune; to bemoan the fact that our car died, that our hours at work were cut, AND and unexpected trip to the doctor all popped up at the same time.  Or we can pull up our big girl panties and realize that our car will now get better gas millage, we get more time to enjoy with our children, and our family is now healthy and happy. Yes, at these times it may seem over whelming but each and every day it gets a little easier until we look back and say “what was I truly stressing about?”

Each time this happens in my life, I admit I succumb to those dark moments of grief and regret but I also realize these moments are getting shorter and less dramatic.  Age has it’s perks.

So one of the perks of learning from the past is planning the future.  I have decided to follow a dream.   Each day I take one step closer, sometimes it’s baby steps other times I feel like a Kangaroo.  At this moment and time I feel like a hibernating Zombie toad, waiting for the warm rains to stimulate some movement.   There have been alot of recent obstacles popping up that need to be overcome.  The latest in my line of “what now’s?’ is this:

Compounding patchwork... computers should not be quils.

Compounding patchwork… computers should not be quilts.

My primary work station, the one I am delicately writing this little dialogue on, has lost it’s ability to open-close-even stay upright.  It’s one of those wonderful malfunctions that can not be fixed…  The screen of my laptop completely snapped off and is no longer attached to the base… it’s a 5 year old computer and is still running like a champ.   Luckily my absolutely wonderful husband rigged up this snazzy “cast” for my computer.  A wooden base to prop the screen up, complete with a little bit of Sugru and a rubber-band to keep the screen from falling forward quickly (my poor fingers sometimes get caught).

Now my husband is a master at building computers, but pre-fab laptops were not meant to be “fixed”.  He has put together a list of the parts he needs in order to build me a fully functioning desk top, that will not only allow me to expand my photography hobby- but will also allow me to have the ability to set up my own web store front!  I AM SO EXCITED!  I have been designing my web store front in my head for years, and I finally get the chance to do it.

Here’s the hitch(es):  Hours were cut back at my full time job AND we are in the slow season for etsy sales.   Among other things…

Here’s the solution:  I have yards and yards and yards of awesome, amazing, unique, colorful, and completely-ready-to-be-made-into-custom-awesomeness fabric and supplies.  AND at the beginning of august I have 1 full week off of my full time job.  You ask, so what does this mean?  If you would like to help me make my goal of getting a new computer built for my business, by my wonderful husband of course, and stock up your swag bags for the upcoming holiday seasons at the same time, this is for you:

  1. first: contact me to discuss what you would like to have made, it can be an existing design or a custom one.
  2. select fabrics from existing stock
  3. expect your item to ship by 8/11/13
  4. RECEIVE 35% off the price.

* as an extra perk if you order an outfit including a piece made from our wonderful ruffle fabric, receive an extra 10% off that ruffle item.

All items will ship first class, unless priority shipping is cheaper.

This discount is not available for orders through etsy, unless you would like to use a credit card (prearranged custom listings only).  All orders will be done via email,  payment with a paypal invoice.  Our email is ursulaglassgoddess@gmail.com.

Please contact me today to get your order started!  And thank you for helping us reach one of our goals!!!

The times, they are a’changing.

adult wing set

Play time

It is always in those moments of deep stress, self doubt, loss, or adversity that people look for support in silly little idioms.   We’ve all heard them, and when times are going great we snort with derision.  But when it is our time to make it through the trough in life’s waves, they stand out.  Everyone has been told:  “the greatest journey, started with a single step” or “where one door closes, another one opens” or my *favorite* “Just let go, the universe has a plan for you”.  Seriously?  Do you honestly think the universe really gives a crap whether or not I am alive, let alone if I can pay my cable bill? Get my car fixed?  I am sorry but that is just a tad too egocentric for my tastes.   In my short life, patterns have become apparent.  As fully functioning adults we need to embrace the patterns and work with them.

With the birth of our daughter, not only did we become an amazing family, but she also gave me an outlet for my artistic creativity.  I have always loved making things, I believe that everyone is unique and has the right to express who they are.  I do it through my craft. I especially enjoy taking old items, I call them “finds”, dismantling them and giving them new life. Either as a toy, an accessory,  a household item, or even clothing.   Since my youth I always collected these “finds”, even today I have pieces I collected years ago… still waiting for their ultimate purpose!

The amazing thing is, there were people who loved my designs (especially those I made for my daughter) so much that they bought them.  Lots of them!  Of course this has added to the  inspiration.

As my daughter grows (we are now into year 2) she continues to inspire the items I focus on.  Does she like to play with cars? or is she more interested in silk scarves?  What is she choosing to wear?  What catches her eye?  Well, for right now there is no absolute answer to those questions.  She will put the silk scarves on her hot wheels and push them around the floor, or she will have 5 socks on one foot, a headband around her neck… and nothing else.  She will crawl into my fabric stashes and pull everything out, just to bury herself in the softness.  But one thing for sure, if I make it for someone else, she wants it.

But times are changing in our household.  We grow and expand, we all learn and move onto bigger and greater things.  Recently I was asked, “if no one bought a single thing more from you… would you still continue to make things? new designs?”  My clear and instant response is “emphatically, totally,  and undeniably: YES”.  I made things long before anyone considered to trade or purchase them from me, and I will be here long after my shop closes.  (Granted I hope that this is a long way off!)

DrossinMethod

Cyprus Dreams

I do not craft my art with intent to sell, I do not redesign to fill the shelves.  I construct works of beauty, because that is what I do.

I love the challenge.

I believe in expressing myself.

And I know there are other people out there that have the same aesthetics as I do.

I do not want to become the next one hit wonder, I do not want retail stores across the world.  What I love most is the pictures sent of other little boys and girls happily playing or wearing my designs.  I love having friends, family, and even complete strangers send me stuff and ask me “what can you make for me?”

So yes, times are a changing.  A few big changes in our household will effect my ability to turn items out at a quick rate.  But I know, those who love my work will understand that what they get is well made, from quality materials, and unlike what you find elsewhere.  Even if for the foreseeable future it will take a little longer.

You see, I accepted a new full time job.  Our daughter will be going to school with her father.  The studio will be a footnote in our lives for the time being.   But this also means that my need for an artistic outlet will be in even greater need.  So I hope you will enjoy all the new changes to my Etsy shop and facebook fan page, and will enjoy all the new designs that flow from my head into reality!  Even if they take a little longer to make an appearance.

Sad Birdie

Sad Birdie

The times are a’changing, and we are looking towards these new adventures with open arms!

Bringing Handmade back into chic!

Ba hum bug.  It was August 30 when I saw the first Christmas decorations being stocked in the stores!  Labor day bar-b-ques had not even been lit, let alone their labors been digested.  The consumerism in the winter holiday season has just become ridiculous and unfortunately taking the magic out of the season.  I LOVE fall.  I LOVE harvest, pumpkins, apple cider, chilly evenings, the passing of mosquitoes, frost, costumes, CANDY, and enjoying family.  This is all being drowned out by that which is around us.

I understand there are a couple things that need to be done really early for the winter holiday season.  I mean you can’t take pictures for holiday cards on December 5th and have them sent out in time… hello!  I am not crazy. Also unless you are INSANE you probably can’t quilt an entire blanket in a couple days either.  There are things that take time… but buying ornaments, trees, or tinsel in August? Really?

Okay, so now off my soap box.  I know there are many of you out there who are in agreement.   But as I was walking through a local big-box store today, I was inspired:  my goal for this upcoming holiday season; is Once a week (atleast) I will share an awesome Homemade project that would help make some wonderful and thoughtful gifts.

The economy is slowly starting to turn around (it is really!!! look at the non-syndicated numbers!), ever so slowly, AND you have a choice where your hard earned money goes!  All I ask is that you be conscious of where your money is truly going ~ whether you buy local, support small business, or standard industry.  Just be informed.

The first homemade project that I am passing on, this is truly a fun one and you have plenty of time to make different versions.  How many of you have a loved one with an American Girl Doll?  Here is a FREE tutorial on how to make her some clothes!!!  http://www.libertyjanepatterns.com/2011/04/free-american-girl-doll-dress-pattern.html

Happy projects, and even merrier gifting!

MUAH

Ursula

Ursula’s Customer Appreciation Giveaway

That’s right, it is time for my customer appreciation giveaway.  Ursula’s Handmade Treasures has turned into more than just a hobby.  My wonderful customers inspire and challenge me, adding more to our little business than they will ever truly know.  Not only does the revenue generated from my “little” business help expand all the wonderful fabrics, supplies, and patterns we get to offer, it also helps our little family in today’s tough economy.  Sometimes, the sale we made the night before pays for groceries the next day.

So as a thank you, and to encourage all my wonderful customers to show off their little ones, I am arranging this giveaway:  the winner will receive 1 (one) complete outfit of their choice made for their child, choosing from the fabrics we have in stock, delivered in-time for the upcoming holiday season.  This giveaway is open to ALL my customers, domestic or international.

Who is eligible and how to enter:

Who is eligible:  any customer who has purchased an item made by Ursula’s Handmade Treasures, either through Facebook, email, Etsy, BigCartel, or SugaBugs LLC.

How to Enter:

1.  On facebook fan page simply post a picture of your little one wearing (or cuddling) the item purchased from Ursula’s Handmade Treasures.

* Professional photographs are welcome, but must contain the watermark of the photographer.

* Professional photographers are welcome to join in, as long as the model is your relation!

2.  Once it is posted on the fan page wall, I will assign a number to your post.   You have the entire month of October to enter!  You may enter more than one photo, but they must contain different products purchased… ie: one of your little one cuddling their mermaid doll, and another photo of them running around in their petti-pants.

3.  November 1st I will use Random.org to select a winner.  That’s it!

Have fun and enjoy showing off all that cuteness!  Please email me with any questions.

A continuation of mini-top hats and other fascinators

I love hair accessories, I always have.  Unfortunately up until recently I had always worn my hair short or slightly past short.  It was practical, easy to care for, easy to style, and the biggest factor was my hair just did not grow long.  Though with the shorter styles all I had to do was wash and go, being blessed with slight body and interesting coloring, it was easy-peasy.  During my pregnancy my hair grew, fast and thick, not uncommon for a gestating woman.  But it was incredibly uncommon for my hair to actually grow past my shoulders.  You see, no matter how I tried, no matter how long I waited, my hair would never go past my shoulders… it just stopped at that length.  It has been two years since the birth of my daughter, and I have only trimmed my hair twice.   It has managed to make it just level with my shoulder blades.   I don’t expect much more length, but that is fine. It is the perfect length for adornment!

Mini-top hats have come back with a vengeance, helped in part by the interest in Steampunk.    But, luckily, most people who take part in Steampunk are also incredibly intelligent and love to learn.  So not surprising mini-top hats are just one facet to all the fun hair accessories finding a revival.   A while back I posted a tutorial on how to make fun little mini-top hats, actually that tutorial comprises 70% of the hits on my site.

I love the fact that so many people have seen it, and many have implemented the techniques.  I have written this fun little post to encourage divergence and imagination.  Take what you learn from that fun little tutorial and transform it into something new and exciting!

Facinators can take many forms, from a flat round base decorated with feathers to a fun embroidery headband.  Heck I even have the sweetest crochet octopus with fun googly eyes.  You can even make them into mini-sculptures.  Let your imagination run, and find fun materials to make them with!

Recently I have been having some fun, and I just wanted to share some inspiration with you.  This amazing pillbox hat, has a unique design.  you would think it’s just the mini-top hat shortened with out a brim.  If you made it that way you would end up with a fez.  What makes this design sit perfectly round on top of the head?  It is an oval.  Simple as that, a human’s head is not round. It is misshapen, oblong, oval, and protruding.  The secret to a well fitting hat: expect the unexpected!

Now, onto some less structured inspiration.  Facinators do not have to stick out of the head. They do not need to provide shade or protection.  Their main function is to keep hair in place… either helping the hair to frame the face, or to pull it out of the way.  So to make this most utilitarian of functions more pleasurable we can add a bunch of sparkle and pizzazz.    Here is a fun example of a simple facinator adhered to a metal headband.

Simple, elegant, and incredibly useful!  Again making this fascinator uses the same basic steps as outlined in my tutorial.  There is a buckram base to help with stiffening the glitter fabric (yes. FABRIC not glitter foam from walmart), and giving a great base to build on.  Another example of a flat fascinator, but this time it is attached to a hair comb instead:

This piece has a couple layers to give it’s unique shape. Underneath the glitter fabric, but right above the buckram base is a couple lines of millinery wire. Strong , flexible, and yet incredibly resilient material.  This wire can be gently formed and re-formed without breaking.  It will hold any shape, for as long as it’s allowed.   And it is resistant to corroding.   Granted if you want to frame large top-hats or Bowlers, you will need to invest in some basic crimping tools. But for simple facinators, a sturdy wire cutter is sufficient.

I hope that these pieces can give you some inspiration in your projects!  The age of elegance is sorely needing a comeback.  Bring personality and style back into the world.  Just because everyone else has a certain piece, does not mean you have to have it too, join me in standing out in the crowd!  I’d love to see what everyone is up to.  Please feel free to post links to your projects below, find me on pinterest, or stop by my facebook page and drop a line.   Happy crafting!

You never know what’s next!

I am always trying something new, there are so many wonderful things out there… how could I not want to?  Most of the time I am just curious about how something is done, made, designed, or constructed.  This also means that I usually end up with alot more respect for an item and artist, just because I now know how it’s done and all the time it takes!  This is one of those times.  There is an artist that I absolutely adore, from her house to her travels!  Katwise!  Take a look at her Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Katwise/320233446531

Incredibly AWESOME, huh?  Well if you take a look at her etsy site, you can see her stuff flies off the digital shelves.  Literally gone in 15 minutes, and she only posts sales once a month.  If you are lucky enough to catch the right day and you are quick at the “purchase now” button you MIGHT be able to snag one.  But just a forewarning:  Her large jackets go for $600+, her arm warmers $60+.   But in the end it’s not the price that attracts me, because frankly they are way out of my price range.   It’s the fact that she changes the most gawd-aweful sweaters into such amazing creations.  So last year Katwise decided to start selling her patterns.  In the first day, I had snagged my very own pattern.  Whoop Whoop.

Humboldt Fog

Now all I needed to do was find lots and lots of wool sweaters.  Well guess what? I live in Florida.  Not to many wool sweaters here… So I expanded my search to include 50% wool sweaters, it only took a year but I finally found the requisite amount needed for the jacket I wanted to make.  My mom even helped by donating some of her “moth” eaten ones…  I know there are some places online that sell reclaimed wool sweaters, but I wanted to do it the “long way” first.  If you want to let someone else do the sweater hunting for you, here is a great site: http://resweater.blogspot.com/ .  After all the sweaters were compiled, it was time to felt them down.  My greatest suggestion is to take them to the laundromat, let them deal with the smell… and the fuzz.  I did 2 super hot cycles, 1 cold rinse, and then dried them out thoroughly in the dryers.

Cutting out all the pieces was the easiest part, and kind of fun.  BUT then… came the sewing.  Granted all you are doing is surging the pieces together, but it took alot of muscle work and concentration.  I started at 8 am and finished at midnight.  Just to give you an idea, the finished jacket is between 5-7lbs.

Full Circle Skirt

Full Circle Skirt

I wanted mine to have a fun hemline, so I made it have a “train”.  The back is about 5″ longer than the front,  it has some fun flow and flounce as I am walking.  Make sure to follow the guidelines on the hood… 4′ is perfect.  My first one hit the ground and kept pulling the hood off my head. Also I do suggest you double stitch all areas with alot of pull- the waistlines, hood, and arm holes.  Otherwise the over-lock stitch is sufficient.  Another suggestion, make the body of the jacket out of the most comfortable sweater (not itchy or pokey), and end at the wrists with your softest fabric.  This hits skin directly.

Will I ever make these sweater jackets to sell?  Only on a custom basis, with lots of caveats.   Katwise is the master, and I bow down even farther after this experience.   Ultimately I think I will stick with my fun fleece pixie jackets… maybe even make a couple for us big pixies?

Ursula’s Mini-Pixie

Here is a direct link for some more fun pictures of the Mini-Pixie Cuteness! https://www.etsy.com/listing/91057894/pixie-jacket-polar-fleece-add-a-little

So Congratulations to Amanda Capps!  You guessed correctly in my little Facebook mini-giveaway.  I look forward to dropping off your sweet “little” prize! MUAH♥

The True Price of Handmade.

The Price of Handmade.

When you say the word “handmade“, many of us think back to the days in our childhood, when our parents frantically stitched a halloween costume for us out of a table cloth and pulled out their expired make-up from the previous decade.   Or we think of those precious Christmas decorations made out of white pom-poms and pipe cleaners, somewhat resembling Frosty the snowman dueling Rudolph.   Do you remember the picture frames made out of homemade play-dough?  Oh my, I can still remember the smell.

Now, what do you think of when someone says it was “made by hand“?  First thing that pops into MY mind is the gorgeous quilt my grandmother spent months cutting out, patching together, and stitching delicate floral patterns with a tiny little needle and almost invisible thread.  Or the exquisite Easter dress that I only got to wear once, covered in bright flowers that my grandfather embroidered when he was spending time in a sanatorium recovering from TB.  Or the delicate hand painted porcelain dolls that my Aunt made me, but I could never play with.  All of these things I still have, and treasure above anything else in my house.  Even the memories bring tears to my eyes.

Heck I even think of the original Model T, which a neighbor down the road still owns and DRIVES weekly. Completely made by hand, restored by hand, and maintained by hand.

When did these two terms, handmade and made by hand, become such vastly separate labels?  When did we start to associate handmade with garage sales, back of the closet/junk-drawer items, or cheap?

There have always been independent artists; designing, making, and selling their craft.  Each and every one of them loves what they do and takes pride in each item that leaves their hands.   My Great Grandmother raised and sold angora rabbits, tanned their fur, spun, knit, and even wove it.  She did this during WWII GERMANY, while raising 5 kids under Russian occupation.  Her craft put food on the table and beer in my Great Grandfathers belly.  My Grandmother sold little girls dresses, knit sweaters, and real fur teddy bears to make a little extra “spending cash”.  All the while she raised 4 kids, learned a new language,  was a sanatorium “widow” for years, went back to school (bypassing an 8th grade Nazi education) to become a RN-technical nurse.  My other Grandmother made hand painted porcelain dinnerware, while raising 2 boys, as a widow.   My Aunt makes dolls; lots and lots of dolls.  While she raised 3 kids, was a Vietnam wife and put herself through nursing school.   Homemade crafting is the life blood of my family, we have always done what we loved  and made money off of it to help support our families.    My family is not unique in this I know.

When I hear “Handmade”, I think of unique, well made, and priceless.

So why is it in today’s society Made by Hand items rank less than Dollar store stock?  Why is it that so many people ask: why should I buy this from you when I can go to the “insert big  box store name here” and get it for less?  How has it become standard that handmade items are the trappings of the economically challenged? dime store commodities? craft fair fodder?

I ask you, when was the last time you bought a shirt from Walmart that lasted more than 3 washes, let alone a whole season?  If you bought a TV in the last 5 years, is it still working as it did on day 1?  How about your car, have you reached 150K miles? on the same clutch?  How about that $60 bathing suit, does it still… have stretch?  We live in a throw away society, manufacturers make items the cheapest-they-can-to-make-it-to-get-it-off-the-shelves.  As consumers, we strive to spend the least amount of money, which has forced the materials used to be of poor quality, the techniques used for assembly the barest minimum, and we don’t care who makes it (children, slave labor, or overworked FOREIGN factory employees).

In our endeavors for that “blue light special”, we as consumers, have been the driving force in the throw away condition of our society.  In response to this the mass marketing has caused us to become conditioned by the stores around us, advertising, media, and (…well…) downright laziness on our part.  Capitalism has its perks, and also its down falls.  Capitalism is run by the all mighty dollar.

Unfortunately this is also starting to transition into the world of independent artists.  It is starting to become standard practice to make something that just works, just stay’s together, the materials are just good enough to get by.   Because guess what, NOBODY CARES HOW LONG IT WILL LAST.  They don’t give a rats-ass that the tent you make for their wedding will still be there for their grandchildren to use.  They could care less that when their 5 year old is 20, they will still wear those dress up wings as a Rave accessory.  Nobody gives a shit that the skirt they bought for this weekends party will be a standard wardrobe staple for decades.  They just DON’T CARE.  They know they can “pop” into Target and get a new bejeweled t-shirt for tonights movie, and then use it for a dust rag tomorrow. Who cares?- it was only $15.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Reality check~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Minimum wage is $8 (ish) an hour.

Average yearly wage for a family of 4 is $21,000.

Gas costs $3.50/gal

Milk costs $4/ gal

Movies for 4 cost $70 for 2 hours.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ monthly health insurance $400~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just imagine, if people re-evaluated their stand on handmade items, the changes that can happen?  Can you imagine a WARDROBE full of items that fit you, are comfortable, make you feel like a million dollars, and you only needed to add 1-2 items a year to “spruce things up”.  Do you comprehend how much money you can save, just by spending a little more money in the beginning?  Or is this to much forethought for today’s society?   Do we all have to look like the Kardashians…. or have accessories like Posh Spice?

How about buying (or reinvesting in) toys that are made with sturdy pieces, will not fade, tear, or flake. What about ones that don’t need new batteries every day, or do not have screens to be stared at or shattered?  Toys that make your child play with them, to figure out what they can do… Can you see your first child playing with it?  How about your fifth child?  Your neighbors child?  How about your grandchildren?

Can you see yourself working in your garage, using the same tools that your grandfather used?  That one day your granddaughter will pick up?  How about working on a car- THAT DOES NOT NEED A COMPUTER TO RUN?  Do you remember the days when the main pulley belt on your VW bug broke and you fixed it with your girlfriends bobby-pin…  I do, but it was my hairpin that got me home.

We, society as a whole, need to STOP, take a breath, and realize that it is our drive for the cheapest bang for our buck is what is truly causing problems.  Everything from the litter on the side of the road to the lack of jobs in the USA.  I know you think this is a broad statement, and want to call me out on it.  But sit back and think about it, really think about it:

~~~You want to go fishing, first off you have to have a boat (where is it made…? not the USA).  How is it fueled (gas won by war, not bought in the USA, not manufactured in the USA).  Okay, now your pole and tackle (where was it made? Probably not the USA… if you are lucky India), how about your bait? (squid and shrimp from china? flies from india? how about worms- from Mexico?).  How about your clothing (made in India? China? Mexico?) How about your sunscreen… hat… sunglasses… fish finder… Beer?  How can we forget the Beer, that had to be made in america?  (That was probably made by an american company with a manufacturer in Vietnam). What about that styrofoam cooler… that had to be made in… wait, China.  Now the ice, the ice was made in America- you watched it come out of an ice machine down by the gas station, okay the ice was made in america by a machine manufactured in Russia. ~~~

That was just to go fishing, with american ice.

Now comes the crux of it all,  You may be asking how can I afford to buy everything handmade (specifically from locals… hopefully in your own country)? You can’t.  Hello, you can’t.  But you can choose to buy them when ever possible. You can choose to make the conscious decision that instead of 5 new pairs of jeans this year, you will buy one full outfit MADE TO FIT YOU, IN THE COLORS AND PATTERNS YOU LIKE.  Step by step you can make the decisions that will not only impact you, your household, your wallet, but also help your neighbors.

You also need to be a proactive consumer, if the item is not made well and of poor quality don’t accept it.  Work with it until it’s right.  BUT you also need to be reasonable.  If you pay $10 for a skirt, you will get $1.50 in material, $1.50 in notions/supplies, and 3/4 hour of work.  That’s it.  The least amount the government will allow an employer to pay an employee is $8 an hour, so why in the hell should an artist/craftsman get paid less?

AH-HA! We have another issue of made by hand-  Worth.  This is not the worth the artisan believes it is, or the worth of the materials to make it.  This is the GENERAL WORTH.   To make this simple, how much do you make an hour? even if you are salaried… you can figure this out.  So why would you expect ANYONE else to accept less?  Especially if they are doing something for you that you can not do?

Most artisans have 6+ years secondary education. 10-15 years of hands on experience.  In the real world this equates to MANAGEMENT LEVEL EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE.  When is the last time you saw a manager making $8 an hour. GET REAL, AND RESPECT THE ARTISAN.  Guess what? When you do respect the artisan, you will get more than you ever bargained for.

Now that you have a grasp on worth, guess what?  We have to add in materials and supplies.  And I can tell you, this is a BIG difference.  There is no way I get the same amount of cost discount that Hanes her way gets.  They are a HUGE company… they pay pennies on the dollar for their supplies.  Guess what the local artisan pays for their supplies? yep, the same amount you do. IF they are lucky they can get a 10-20% discount, like I said… IF.

Now add another fly into the ointment, how about supplies made in america? HAHHAHHAAAH.  What electronics are made in the USA?  Do you know of any textile manufacturer in the USA? How about paint?   If you want it made in America by American supplies you need to add the worth and cost of just the supplies into the equation.  Mind boggling isn’t it?  The rabbit hole has just begun to open my friends.

Not only do you need to respect the WORTH of a handmade product,  but also the basic costs. So that handmade skirt from hand-dyed fabric you are eyeing… that took 12 hours of WORK…  once  upon a time you probably balked at the $80 price tag,  NOW what you really need to do is tell the seller they are underselling them-selves and then order 2. (Because, after all this is a capitalistic society… and if they undersell them selves why not jump at the bargain?)