Free Nativity Scene Patterns

Lots of goodies once you look outside the Anglophone internet! La Torre di Cotone started a Nativity Scene in crochet in 2013 and continued in 2014 and 2015. The original set is available here. In the following years the basic shapes were simplified so the people are different but the animals are the same. This… Continue reading Free Nativity Scene Patterns


Cuddly thuribles

Taking kids to Mass is a big endeavour.  Each Sunday I renew my intention to train the boys during the week. I find lots of little ideas to help along the way. One such idea was the cuddly thurible. It began as a crocheted  ball on four strings joined into a loop for little fingers… Continue reading Cuddly thuribles


Silly hats

UPDATE: Silly Hat now on Etsy! Now, first up you may think I’m procrastinating, when I should be working on the cassock pattern. And you are probably right. But at least it brought me back here to remind me of the cassock pattern plan. This top hat is one just finished. The general pattern was… Continue reading Silly hats


Selz, gumroad and seriously simple selling

My husband draws. I persecute computers, so it seemed only logical that I would spend inordinate amounts of time trying to sell his drawings online. Today I listened to a webinar from the abundant artist featuring Tom Morkes who uses gumroad. He is a big advocate of Pay What You Want pricing. Pricing artwork is… Continue reading Selz, gumroad and seriously simple selling


Gittip, patreon, flattr and centup


The whole thing of distributing resources is huge.  Hopefully everyone has heard the usual stats – the population of the world could fit in an area the size of texas, x% of the world’s people use y% of the world’s resources, …

My family is in a strange situation where we are out of debt and taking a year off regular paid work to see if we can generate an income from portraits and other odd things.  Peter is drawing portraits, posting them on tumblr, etsy, redbubble, and every now and then someone buys something.

Most of my effort still goes into things that do not generate any income. I actually pay to do my volunteer work. I do 8 hours helpline per month and I pay $50/year for the privilege. I get to scout out and train up my successors. I still think it is worthwhile, but alongside these ongoing thoughts on how to generate an income it does seem an odd sort of thing to sink time and resources into. On the other hand I get to meet great people and learn new skills. Will there come a point when I have to quit? I hope not. It still seems like there ought to be a way to even things out.  That’s where these micropayments for creators caught my eye.

I’ve come across Flattr before – probably when visiting the Gimp’s webpage. It is a system that is nice and unobtrusive from a donor’s point of view.  Set your monthly spend, click “Flattr” buttons and they pipe money to your favourite projects. So, with my preoccupation with generating revenue, I signed up, added buttons to this blog, my husband’s art shop blog, then got stuck with my jekyll blog. Scouting around for suitable icons I came across Gittip. Then, wondering how many other such schemes like this are out there, I came across a google hangout between four men with beards talking about their respective plans.

Of course, there’s more to it than just putting up buttons. Looking at these videos of how much people are putting into their ideas puts me to shame, but also inspires me to leave off the financial worry and imagine what I would love to be creating.

Flattr seems best right now for non-US projects. It is easy to sign up and seems geared towards having lots of people giving small amounts. Maybe it’s more my habit of spending small, but it’s the sort of thing I’m happy to sign up for. 2 euros per month towards all those free and open source projects that I use every day sounds like a bargain (and please let me know of any other good flattr-able projects out there)

Gittip sounds really well thought out. It is based around a weekly donation. People can see how much you have given, how much you have received, but not who to. Anything connected with Git tends to be very good. I like how gittip itself is funded through gittip – they don’t take a cut of the donation like the other schemes. And you can see how much they’re making and giving like the other members. It may be more for the geeky people, but hey, that’s me – so now I’ve joined up too – even easier than flattr! and here’s my gittip profile.

Patreon looks very attractive – something like kickstarter for ongoing work. Even just framing Peter’s work in that sort of pitch would be very useful.

Centup splits donations with charities of the donor’s choice. I’m out of time – baby calls. but all very interesting ideas here.


Artist’s wife

My husband is Peter Brandt. He draws portraits. He can also test and tag electrical equipment, fix just about anything and hire you a trailer. These holidays much of my time has been spent cataloging his work. I have 789 records in an online database right now and I just figured out I’m missing two… Continue reading Artist’s wife


Bright baby hat

Cable cast on 77stitches on a 5.5mm circular needle or double points.  Knit. Change colour. Knit more. Then when it looks about right,  (K9, K2tog) to end. K next round. (K8, K2tog) to end, and so on, until you get down to 7 stitches then gather them up and weave in the ends. The cardigan… Continue reading Bright baby hat