Saturday, November 2, 2013

Catch 22...

I'm stuck in a bit of a catch 22 situation at the moment. During the year I have been working long hours trying to get a big (for me anyway) stash of hats and bags, dolls and whatnots ready for the Christmas season so that I could make some impact by doing a mass listing on etsy and hopefully actually make some decent sales before the end of the year.

But crafting is always a precarious way to make money and have I always earned my rent and paid my bills by doing freelance design work. This year has been HARD... design work has gradually become scarcer as this recession drags on and on, but my bills have kept getting bigger and bigger. The cost of living in the UK has skyrocketed! Utility bills seem to have doubled and the astronomical rise in my weekly food bill has become a little hard to believe, am I eating for 5 suddenly of does everything cost so much more? Of course, I live out in the country, and the nearest places to shop are the big supermarkets (you know the ones that conveniently promise to match each others inflated prices?) and the cost of petrol eats up any savings I could make travelling to cheaper stores.

I saw on Autumn Watch last night (lured by the promise of seeing something cute live in the studio - Nick Baker!) that this year we have a bumper harvest of berries, nuts, mushrooms and so on, to keep our fluffy/feathered friends in good eating for the coming Winter. Well, much as I love wildlife, b*gger the Badgers, they will need to fight me off as I forage for windfalls in the hedgerows of Caerwys, I am swapping my Nigella cookbook for a Ray Mear's guide to how not to poison yourself while making Muffins from moss and Lichen Lollipops - a girl's gotta eat!

Now I have run out of work and savings at the same time so have had to sign on for benefits, and had to close my etsy shop because I can't make sales AND claim benefits at the same time. I feel I am not far away from becoming a character in an Erskin Caldwell novel (but with higher standards of hygiene and morals of course!). I also had lined up some craft fairs for the Christmas period and now don't know if I will be able to do them. So pretty much everything is on hold until I have found a part time job which brings in enough to cover the rent each month or my investigation of Working Tax Credits proves a bit more fruitful. I think the best approach is to keep my fingers crossed and post preview pics of the items I HOPE I will be able to put up for sale shortly. I will keep you posted.

So, that's cooking Nigella style - OUT, Ray Mears style forraging - IN.... and some Nick Baker for Eye Candy (he's the one on the left by the way)...


C said...

Yve, really terribly sorry to hear this, it's a horrible position to be in and the Catch 22 of having to close your Etsy shop is galling. Fingers crossed tightly that something turns up again on the design front soon, a nice big long-lasting lucrative project I hope!
I empathise - last year was my annus horriblis - I didn't quite resort to foraging for berries and nuts but certainly cut back on everything drastically and lost a lot of ground. (Btw, Working Tax Credits have helped me out during leaner times, definitely worth claiming if you're entitled to them as allow you to continue self-employed, I've always thought they are a brilliant incentive/aid for those of us who really want to keep working full-time but who, through no fault of our own, have inconsistent levels of income.)

Yve said...

Thanks C :o) Weirdly, last year was pretty good for design work, at least I didn't take too much of a drop in earnings, but the cost of everything rose so much I ended up really stretched anyway.

I am hoping the Tax Credits route is workable, right now I need to get the forms, (they said it could take 'up to 3 weeks' to post them out to me!) then fill them all out and just hope they process them quickly. I can't see me being able to get off Jobseekers before Christmas the way things are going though, and then there will be no design work and no hope of etsy sales either!