07 April 2009


There's a relatively new feature on etsy that allows a buyer to request a custom item from anyone else in the etsy community, negotiate a price and receive said item in the mail in a timely fashion. They've dubbed this custom order forum Alchemy. It's perfect for that very specific thing you've been searching for but can't seem to find. That by all logic should exist, and simply doesn't.

Since I have some extra time on my hands these days, I began perusing the forum a few weeks back. I love to make caramels, but I also love to sew. And while I can bake something new without a second thought, whenever I try to sew something out of the blue I get stuck. I'm hyper critical of the things I'm going to make and when there's not a specific recipient in mind...I spin my wheels, haunted by the thought of the final object sitting on the shelf in my increasingly cluttered sewing room gathering Oakland dust.

I take direction well, in other words. And so naturally, Alchemy appeals to me. It presents an excuse to try something new, without risk of uselessness. And so it was that several weeks back, I bid on a project for a nice lady named Megan in Pittsburgh. And came to make her some sparkling magenta accessories to hold her various things. I lined them in seafoam oil cloth and seafoam cotton print, coordinated but different. I sent them out in the mail several days later and received the nicest feedback: If we were in third grade, I'd offer to french braid your hair.(!)

I've been Really Busy since I took this first project on and so haven't done anything like this since...also my version of an excuse for the hiatus in posting to this baby blog...but I intend to keep my eyes peeled in the near future for other alchemies to bid on. When sometimes you tend to be a hesitant maker, like me, its nice to have a real live person out there to cheer you on.

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