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Value, Worth and Service

September 7, 2015

I hope you in the United State are all enjoying a restful Labor Day weekend.  I sit in reflection today on all those brave souls who came before me with sewing, knitting, weaving and other textile skills, gifts and talents that were destined to be chained to garment work or locked in textile factories; under appreciated, under paid and over worked.  No matter what your opinion of unionized labor, we all must shudder at the thought of women and children dying in factory fires, mal-nutrition or other illnesses.  I in contrast have the luxury to sew, knit, crochet and create in a myriad of ways under my own dominion.  Yes, sometimes I fall into the “woe is me” mentality and feel under-valued for what I produce.  Yet, I am the one who decides when I work and what I price my work at, and I do have gratitude for the blessings and luxuries my First World life presents me with.  I have recently been evaluating my fees and pricing while taking into account my current overhead costs.  Quite often as a self-employed artist I just fall into the “I love what I do” mantra and over look the fact that I need to make money!  So, it is time to take note and make some appropriate adjustments.  New pricing for my private lessons are now in effect reflecting those calculations.

And that is where we get to the subject of VALUE.  You need to know is what you get for those new prices!  You are not just getting the benefit of learning a new skill when you take a lesson. (sewing, etc.) I read this from the New York Times article this weekend, We’re All Artists Now;  “A number of books published recently suggest that creativity has the same holistic benefits as a weekend at Canyon Ranch Resort and Spa, boosting self-esteem and relieving stress.”  So there you go!  What would you be willing to pay for a trip to a spa, or even a massage, acupuncture or other holistic experience?  I want you to come in for your lesson with the knowing that you are WORTH it!  Yes, it is my job to create a peaceful, creative, stress-free environment and guide you with patience, fun and creativity to fulfill your dreams of sewing new curtains, learning to follow and skirt pattern or knit a cable sweater.  And that is what I love to do.  My joy comes in sharing these creative skills and seeing them used for fun and relaxation.

On the subject of textile and garment labor I want to share the artwork of a dear creative friend of mine, Marilyn Hrymak of Baba Yaga Designs.  Marilyn has shown her work in the Pamela Penney Textile Arts gallery over the past several years during our special event weekends.  She is exhibiting one of her amazing pieces, GREED KILLS later this month at ARTPRIZE in Grand Rapids, MI.  If you are in the area, please take the opportunity to see her work.  “Greed Kills” is a memorial to the 1246 Bangladesh garment workers that perished in three preventable disasters that happened in 2012-2013. These workers, mainly women, were paid roughly $38 a month in the $18 billion clothing industry. Also remembered in this piece of art is Aminul Islam, an outspoken courageous labor activist that was kidnapped, tortured and murdered. (see the rest of the description HERE)

A student sewing for FUN!

A student sewing for FUN!

To finish my Labor Day thoughts I would like to share that I believe we humans here on earth are in a time of great transition.  I feel the energies shifting.  A Wave.  I desire to ride on the Crest, but sometimes it feels like teaching sewing and creating art just isn’t riding high enough, considering the troubles humans face around the world.  Then I realize we must all start where we are, and I am here.  It is my desire to transform the skills that have in our past enslaved humans into the gifts and talents that lead to joy, self-expression and relaxation. I believe that this type of transformation is an important step in our collective Evolution.  This is how I SERVE!  (My weekend reading has included the Paul Selig channeled texts which state: I Know Who I Am, I Know What I Am, I Know How I Serve) Now, back to my book the weekend isn’t over yet!!!

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