Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More Octopus Love - and Ms. Crafty Manners!

Futuregirl had this lovely post today about a woman who had made 99 Octopi ornaments from the Octophrost: Santa of the Sea pattern . . . and then I wandered over to the flickr pool dedicated entirely to Octophrost . . . it's making me - and Ms. Crafty Manners* - think a lot about generosity and reciprocity.

I mean, yes, this is the holiday season, and yes, we all want to give something meaningful to our friends and loved ones (like Octopi ornaments), and yes, we all want to be generous as teachers (like sending out patterns early or giving lots of free advice). And - at the same time - we want to be compensated for that time and energy that we put out as teachers. Sometimes, I get frustrated by how much I am asked to give away - lots of information, advice, etc. Yet most people don't really want to be greedy - and the compensation that comes back doesn't have to be money.

And Ms. Crafty Manners reminds me that the compensation I want often comes from a completely source or in a completely different form . . . for instance, I recently asked for a photo of a finished project from a women who had corresponded with me via e-mail after seeing my craft segment on AM Northwest. She is having so much fun with the project - and having this photo of the magnets she made as a gift for a school teacher has left me with a wonderful sense of accomplishment and satisfaction - and it now it all feels like a really good exchange . . .


All this is not to say that the exchanges have to be one-for-one or that every action needs reciprocation from the same source in an I-give-you-this-you-give-me-that way. Just that the energy needs to flow both ways. And this was a wonderful energy flow . . . just like what happened with Futuregirl and the Many Octopi Makers. Ms. Crafty Manners would approve. And now I have to go buy an Octophrost Pattern.

(*Ms. Crafty Manners is my much better behaved alter-ego, exploring the etiquette of all things crafty. I expect her to pop her head in from time to time, putting her two cents worth in on copyrights, teacher treatment, workshop manners, and all things polite in this frequently rude - but ultimately well-intentioned - beg, borrow, and steal world of the arts.)

2 comments:

gl. said...

yes, i am looking forward to hearing more from ms. crafty manners! i once had an "artist etiquette" series that never got published, but i always thought it would be worthwhile, and even just the discussion of manners leads to more self-awareness.

Bridget Benton said...

It does lead me to be more self-aware - and to notice those times when my speak and do don't quite line up . . .

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