12 March 2009

Let's talk freebies . . .

This morning, while I was laying in my pre-caffeinated, post-alarm clock gone off world, I had an idea. I totally blame the alarm clock--salsa music at 6AM gets the thought juices flowing. I wish it would get the energy juices flowing because I was late to work, but we'll take what we get.

Anyway . . .

I was thinking about freebies. When I first got online, I wasn't making much money, didn't have a lot of stash, but what I did have was a printer and free time. Between looking for a Schipperke puppy (the search that led me to Chanceypants), I used to search for "free cross stitch charts" on Yahoo. I was amazed at what could be found. I remember thinking, "Why do I pay for charts when all these are out there?" I still don't have a great answer for that, except that not everything free is cute, and not everything cute is free. But, as a result of my brokeness, lack of work on the job at that time, and innate hoarding skills, I have scads of freebies. Home computer, dead computer, work computer, full of free charts. I never use them. Well, not never, just usually not. It's not that I don't ever intend on using them, but I get caught up with my other projects, and just don't have time.

I know freebies can be a sore subject. I know some people don't like them. They think there isn't as much effort put into them as a regular design. And this can be true, depending on whose chart you're looking at, but there are some gorgeous freebies out there. Sanman does WONDERFUL free charts. Sampler Girl has beautiful charts too--thoughtful, smart, and fun to stitch. You really don't have to pay a lot to have a gorgeous finish.

Just to see what I had at hand, I opened up a binder of freebies I had on my bookcase before I left this morning. I think it says something about my character that, when I moved, I left 3 or 4 binders of freebies at the other house, since I didn't have space for them here. Anyway, it was kinda like looking at a bunch of old friends who I'd neglected. There was a freebie, Hare Lines, that I had been kinda drooling over on a finishes post the other day on 123. And I had it and didn't know. There are kitty charts in there. Christmas ornaments I forgot I had. And that was just ONE binder. I've got others, and piles of ones I've printed off. (well, I am endowing my university with this stuff when I die. If something is worth doing, do it to excess.)And I'm letting all these stockpile in my stash for that day I'm a hermit on the beach.

Well, y'all, I am starting to wonder if my hermit on the beach days are now. I don't have a lot of free cash to spend, but I do have all the floss and fabric I've hoarded like gold over the years. And these charts just waiting to be done. What could I accomplish if I took a year and just stitched freebies? I could have a lot of finishes--I get annoyed when I slog away and get no finishes for a while. I could use up some of these supplies that are taking up room in my craft closet that I had to shove around last night to find the stuffing for my St. Patty's Day pillow things. I'd have some Christmas ornaments for the Charlie Brown tree. And I could put all the "stash cash" I wouldn't be spending in the bank. Awesome! It seems like it could work, right?

So, maybe after the fair, I'll start focusing on just doing those charts. I could learn a lot.


Jennifer said...

I have TONS of freebies, many of them collected over the course of my search for freebies for a few ornament blogs. If I see something I like, I save it on my hard drive, along with a picture of some sort if the file is a PDF or other non-graphic file type viewable in Picture Manager. (Yes, I have them all backed up on cd - I just can't bring myself to print them all out)

Since freebies are usually a smaller chart, I usually skim through my collection when I'm looking for some instant gratification. Some people may not like freebies, but I've found some really nice things, especially for small projects like ornaments and such.

Annie said...

It really is amazing how much free stuff is out there. And I agree that a lot of it is very high quality. Definitely enough to keep you busy through your retirement!

CindyMae said...

I love freebie charts!!!!!! To be honest alot of my finishes have been freebies because we are a pay check to pay family and it is hard to spend much on stash. I think that your idea is fantastic!!

Bette said...

I think your idea is wonderful. There are some beautiful freebies out there. Papillion's Garden is one that comes to mind along with BOINK and the Rose Sampler from EMS. All of those remind me of very expensive charts. Maybe this is something I need to think about too.

Raggedy Ann said...

I am curious to see what "Hair Day" looks is a bunny chart?

I have some freebies too and always searching for more..not like I need any more!

Louise in NC

Pumpkin said...

I love my collection of freebies and I do dive into them once in awhile. There are just SO many though and I could probably just stitch them and nothing else. Have fun going through your collection.

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls