Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What I learned at my own workshop

I taught a workshop last night and in the process, I learned a lot. It was a temari ball workshop that I was asked to give to a local stitching group. Here are the highlights of my lessons. I am sure that many little lessons were learned by me, but these are the BIG ones that really stick out in my mind.

Lesson # 1.

Set your price per head with a minimum number of heads.

I had agreed to do the workshop before agreeing to the price. Silly me. So last night I ran around the table containing 11 people for 3 hours and was paid $50. I had taught some workshops in the past through a weaving group that I belong to and we were paid $120 plus materials. I think that that is much more reasonable. Thankfully I received a kit fee in which I included a fee for the time it took me to make up the handouts (about 6 hours) and was promised for 15 kits. So I feel a little better about getting $95 for my efforts last night.

Lesson # 2

Have a maximum number of people.

In the case of temari balls, 11 was a bit too many. I couldn't keep an eye on what everyone was doing and there were the fast people and the slow people and some ended up waiting while others took up a lot of my time. Some people charged ahead thinking that they knew what they were doing and ended up having to pull out a lot of stitches.In temari, every step is important and not following the exact directions from the first will lead to problems later.

Lesson # 3

Don't expect people who know a lot in one area to be proficient in a related but different area.

In the case of last night, the group was a group of embroiders who range in age from mid 40's to 60+. When I asked my contact how experienced they were, she said that their group were all very good. In this case, a very good embroider does not translate into a good temari ball stitcher. The "expertise" of the group was one of the reasons that I agreed to host a workshop for such a large number. Live and learn.

Lesson # 4

Be VERY specific about the materials that you ask people to bring.

I thought that I had done this, but I guess that I was just specific and not VERY specific. For example I said "glass head pins" when what I should have said was "Glass head pins in the following colours and quantities , 8 green, 8 yellow, 8 red, 1 black and 1 white." Next time I shall know.

Lesson # 5

Buy the beer before you go and not on the way home.

We didn't finish until slightly after 10 and in Fredsville the Liquor stores all close at 10. Even if I flew, I couldn't have made it. And I sure could have used a beer last night after I got home.


Valerie said...

What a great post! I especially loved #5!

jackie said...

#5 was and still is one of the most important lessons. I guess that you can tell that I was never a boy scout. I wasn't truely prepared. For the workshop, yes, for the aftermath, no.

Diana said...

Liz and Kate always said you had balls. I just never knew how many! By the way, they are beautiful!

jackie said...

I'm glad that you like my pretty balls. All of these balls are now in other peoples hands. Some were bought, some given away. I have to start on a new set of balls now.

Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

Thanks so much for the little critter, antelope, deer. Do you know the song home home on the range? Where the deer and the antelope play? That used to be Kansas, now it is just deer, playing in the roads! I shall put the envelope in the Christmas decoration box and be totally amazed and thrilled next christmas that I have a wonderful friend in NB who sent me a pressie.

jackie said...

You are most welcome! Thanks for the sample or roving. I spun it into a tiny skein. When I tried to send you a photo, there was a disconect between the keyboard and seat and I couldn't figure out how to attatch the fool thing in my web based mail account. You can see the pict in one of my earlier posts.

raggedj said...

These are spectacular, jackie! You're right about the metallic thread...i can just imagine what these are like in person. Also, it sounds like your workshop was a lot of fun! oh..and the temarikai.com site was a great referral... it blew me away. I want to call in sick next week and wrap some new balls! Thanks for the inspiration....now here's something ELSE shiny to distract me from another thing I should be doing! :)