Monday, 18 March 2013

Good old fashioned bartering

A good friend of mine makes absolutely gorgeous polymer clay jewellery, including beautiful large hollow beads. She and I have just spent a lovely evening in my workshed where I taught her how to make her own sterling silver ear wires and simple clasps, and she swapped her son's old car seat for the tuition - I posted about the earrings she made a couple of weeks ago here. Her son had grown out of the seat, we needed another for T's car, and it's perfect for Jamie.

I'm a hopeless gardener. I'm forever optimistic about it but once I get out in the garden I don't know where to start, especially as the garden got out of hand while I was in the last few months of pregnancy with Jamie and then I was so ill after he was born. I perfectly happy weeding and cutting the grass but heaven help me when it comes to the rest of it, and what with the business and the boys I don't have the time to get the garden back into order. But another lovely friend of mine is has a small gardening business, and when I asked her if she could fit me in she suggested swapping gardening for jewellery. She gets so much more done in an hour than I could in a whole afternoon, and I get the time for jewellery making instead!

And then there's Brenda, she of the amazing stones that I've used in quite a few of my designs, such as here and here. She, and her husband Paul, regularly come for jewellery tuition, which she partly pays for in cash from stone sales in her etsy shop or in stones that she lets me choose from her stash. And, of course, they use Brenda's stones in what they make with me too! One of the rings that Paul has made Brenda is pictured above.

Three win-win situations - three situations where we swap our skills and goods for other skills, three situations where both parties are delighted with the deal that they've made. Good old fashioned bartering at its best! And I'm sure that my friends and I aren't alone, especially as websites, usually locally based at first, are now being built to help people link up to swap their services. So, have you turned your time and skills into useful goods or skills for your household, or treats for yourself even, without purses being opened?

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