I'm so happy I decided to "shop the stash" this year!! OK, so I didn't exactly have any choice, what with being a Starving Student and all, but... it's been hovering around -20C, with windchills between -30 and -40C, for almost two weeks now, and the roads are skating rinks. The malls are complete zoos, even more than usual apparently, and I don't even want to *think* abotu what the parking is like!
Perfect conditions for staying inside and crafting
Also, there is eggnog here. And rum. Hee hee. (Um, some of the presents might be kind of EXTRA-creative this year )
As I said, $40-$50 is the going rate for freelance graphic artists in my area.* Like jewelry making, that's not something you can just do for 8 hours. You'd burn out. So the hourly rate has to go up to reflect the fact you can't physically do as many hours. A working day is usually 3-4 hours of creative work, and 2-3 hours of the unpaid (or un-billable) stuff like organizing your workspace, networking with clients, arranging shipping, getting supplies, financial tasks, learning new skills, catching up with industry trends and news - all that stuff. And jewellery making is exactly the same. The hourly wage for the physical making of the jewellery is only part of the picture. Another way to look at that is to think about overhead, as an earlier poster mentioned.
As for training - training is what one makes of it. Yes, I'm self taught in most of the techniques I use - but the ideas and the creativity are ME. They aren't just "mine," they are WHO I AM. And I do not come cheap! Not to mention I have 14 years of university under my belt - I may not have learned to solder there, but I learned how to research and I studied art history quite intensively, both of which do show in my work.
I do think most people in North America have a totally unreasonable idea of what a person's time, skills, and manual labour are worth. Too many years of buying things at Wal-mart for ridiculously low prices have conditioned people to think that everything should be cheap, with no consideration for the human effort that goes into making those items. As a result, ALL effort ends up getting devalued.
*Also, you have to look at context - there is a labour shortage in my city such that retail jobs pay $12/hr. That's good because rents are breaking $1000/mo for one bedroom apartments.
P.S. Am I the only one who loves something more the less they paid for it? I paid $5 for my bike (it's an '83 schwinn world tourist and WAS in mint condition until about a week ago) and i like it way more than any bike i've ever bought new.
I have a 1985 touring bike - Japanese chromoly steel, top of the line but an obscure brand - that I paid $5 for at a church bazaar last year. I have named him Pegasus and I love him . I could never afford a new bike of anywhere near this one's quality- the steel is lightweight and springy and he is FAST. I'd be looking at $1000 or more for a comparable modern bike. (This is to justify the amount I have now spent on parts!)
I don't know if you have painted yet, but the folks in the classic & vintage subforum at www.bikeforums.net would have lots of advice. They will also want pictures, because they LOVE Schwinns.
There's also a poster here, username !b, who does bike restorations. I got to meet her the other day and she's really sweet.
What fun!! I love bikes and I'm making it a bit of a mission to get everyone I know out on good bicycles. (I do buy adult bikes, but since my main interest is in the ones that are 20 years old or more, there's not too much worry they are shady at all. Mostly I buy bikes from people who have had them in garages for years and years, and everyone is happy to give the bikes a new lease on useful life).
One thing does worry me just a little bit about the Tiger Bike, though. The paint on the rims of the wheels could potentially interfere with braking. It might be safer to take the paint off there, or do a couple of really tough panic stops just to make sure. Losing brakes is no fun! (I discovered that on a hill once... I was lucky!)
My sewign machine needs to have an automatic shutoff at 10 too And even during the day, I have been known to sew the same sleeve or armhole facing in the wrong way, twice in a row, and I just cut 2 collars out now because one of them always ends up upside down.
I am wondering if this will be better now that I am on meds for ADHD. I have been beading ratehr than sewing,a nd I know it makes THAT a lot better (way less tipped vials of beads, etc).
Apparently I stull cannot typr tho. (left typos in for illustractive purposes).
Love the necklace I'm another "unstable" artist - 30 years of undiagnosed ADHD can do that, lots of fun with anxiety, depression etc, never mind that I'm just naturally a very mercurial person and can go from mood to mood awfully quickly (I tend to scare therapists, some of whom have thought I am bipolar - but I'm hyper, not manic).
I'm actually studying toward a degree in psychology myself - I want to do art therapy with young people who have learning difficulties. And I don't mean the highbrow version of Art Therapy - I mean, "here's a box of crayons, let's see what happens." Or, "here are some yarns/paints/clay/model kits, would you like to choose one?" I think that the physical act of manipulating materials and producing something that is concrete and unique is a fundamental need of the human creature. We ALL need to have accomplishments that we can see and touch. Knitting socks was a MAJOR part of my recovery from a bad anxiety disorder. As was riding my bike Could be an interesting combo, down the road... a psychology practice that looks like a bike kitchen crossed with a craft shop...
I LOVE bikes What kind is yours? What kind of shape is it in? (Check out the Completed Swaps gallery, there was a bike themed swap back in March).
You can use autobody paint on bike frames. The best way to do this is to strip it completely, though - you don't want to get paint inside any parts that need to keep moving, especially spray paint. You will probably also need to sand or scuff the surface a bit to help the new paint stick, and you'll definitely need to sand out any rust if it is a steel frame. You can get some really nice results with "rattlecan" paint if you are patient!
I personally tend to keep my bikes ugly but in good working order, but I'm also too lazy to commit to a full strip down to repaint. I know if I did that I would instantly NEED to ride that particular bike and it would drive me nuts
If you have killed a pair of tires, you probably also need to replace your brake pads and give the rims of your wheels a good cleaning (Brillo pad with Simple Green works great). Get the bike shop to check whether your chain is wearing out as well - it's less than $20 for a new chain and it makes a huge difference to the bike's function. What gearing do you have?
Wire baskets are pretty easy to find - there are versions for handlebars and to attach to a rear rack - and you can decorate those really easily with a crocheted cover, ribbon or yarn woven through, etc. The ones made for bikes specifically come with an attachment to put them on the bike, but you can re-purpose almost any appropriately sized basket with a couple of zip ties
Depending on the style of your handlebars, check out the bar tape at the bike shop. There are some CRAZY fun patterns of bar tape out there! You can get neat grips too, if you have flat bars.
As for the theft issue... I always try to lock my bike up next to one that is newer, more expensive looking, or has a crappy lock. I have a decent U-lock and my 2 main bikes are both 20+ years old (one is an upright English style cruiser, the other at first glance is a "ten-speed" - really it's a Japanese touring frame, equivalent to buy today would be in the $1000 range... but most people don't know that).
www.bikeforums.net (Classics and Vintage section) has some great people who are happy to help with projects like this - I'm Buglady there too.
That's a reaction to the sedative. The same thing happened to me when I had my wisdom teeth out. They use a large does of Valium instead of inhaled anaesthetic for things that go in your mouth. It's not fun to come out of, at all.
I hope you feel better soon - and go buy (or make) yourself the prettiest pincushion in the world!
I started participating in the forums discussions (because I love the ones here, so I felt right at home!) and immediately got 14 new "hearts" and had 2 people ask if they could profile me in their blogs! *happydance*
Also, I got a really sweet convo from a lady from whom I ordered some earrings. She had been sounding really discouraged in the forum thread, hadn't had any sales in a while and her area's in a pretty bad economic state. So I looked at her shop and fell in love with 2 pairs of earrings It worked out nicely for both of us!
Of course, when *I* make *my* first sale, y'all will probably hear the whoop from wherever you are!