Friday, March 30, 2012

Just For Fun & Supporting Free

You may have noticed by now that I love flowers. But I'm not so good at nurturing houseplants, and I can't even remember to change the water frequently enough for cut flowers.

Since I'm also a book lover and voracious reader, I loved the idea of making roses from book pages. There's a lot of tutorials out there, but many of them looked too complicated for me to want to delve into (although that hasn't stopped me from bookmarking and/or downloading every paper-flower-making tutorial I come across!).

After hitting the used book sale at my daughter's school, I came home with a 1932 edition of a collection of Eugene O'Neill's plays and a plan. I used a slightly modified version of this tutorial, and I think it came out pretty well. What do you think?

I picked up the vase last summer at a garage sale for 50 cents.

I'm thinking they might make good teacher gifts, along with a vase (made by Scott, if he has time between now and June).

And in an odd way, that leads into how I supported Free this month. I made the pledge in December or January on my Sick Momma blog that I would follow Sister Diane's lead and try to support the bloggers and/or crafters who provide services (tutorials, web tools, information, etc.) to all comers for free. (I've decided to move that pledge to this blog, instead, since it feels more on topic here.)

The background to all this is that it was Diane's book, Kanzashi in Bloom: 20 Simple Fold-and-Sew Projects to Wear and Give, that got me headed down the path toward a crafty business. She even very graciously gave me her blessing to sell my dragonfly magnets, which are based on butterflies she included in a project in the book. She's kind of my idol among all the amazing crafty bloggers out there (and there are so many!).

Most of the ways I support Free are kind of boring to write about month after month. So I've been lax about blogging them each month. Typically, I simply use affiliate links from my favorite bloggers to buy things on Amazon that I was going to buy anyway. (Speaking of which, the link to Diane's book in the paragraph above is an affiliate link, which means I get a teensy commission if you buy anything off Amazon after clicking that link, whether you buy her book or a box of diapers.)

In March, in addition to using affiliate links, I mailed a small gift of two of my dragonfly magnets to Diane as a small gesture of gratitude.

But it's not just gratitude for her permission to sell my magnets. It's also gratitude for inspiring me to try new things that I previously would have assumed were far beyond my skills and abilities. A couple years ago, I never would have even tried making those book page roses because I never thought of myself as artistic or crafty. I thought my only creative talent was in writing. Even after I started making fabric flowers, those paper roses would have been outside my comfort zone. But now I've learned that it's never a bad move to stretch in new directions because even if the project comes out as a disaster aesthetically speaking, I'm bound to learn something new, even if it's simply a greater appreciation of the way-more-talented-than-I crafters and what they do. :-)

Thanks for reading!  I'd love to hear the ways you support the people and businesses who provide free content or tools on the Internet!

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