Tag Archives: handmade

Going Live………..

Before we moved to India, I was a small business owner. Yippeee for me. But I totally got away from it because it was just too hard to manage from a distance. But no more!

A Reason To Write is back. The website – complete with shopping cart – went live today.

Enjoy!

Oh, and you can get a discount on all orders until March 31st by entering the discount code “ThankYou” in the shopping cart when checking out. And, Thank YOU!

He works hard for the money………

When shopping in India, it is hard to really be sure what the right price to pay is. In open markets, haggling is the norm and prices almost always seem (more than) reasonable when you compare them to what the same item would cost in the U.S.

However the truth of the market is that some people are charged more money than others for the same product – especially when there are no price tags. So you have to be a little street smart. Whenever possible watch what the Indian before you pays for something. That is closer to the right price. And you can listen in on their haggling even if you don’t completely understand Hindi  – the prices are almost always quoted in English – at least the number part of the price.

Today I went to Dilli Haat – it is a fun place with lots of vendors from all over India. There are tons of merchants selling scarfs – so I asked a few what their prices were before I began buying and frankly, I saved myself quite a bit of money. Another good tip is that the “first customer of the day” is auspicious. It brings terrible luck to the merchant if he does not give the first customer of the day a good price. Apparently that is true of the last customer of the day also. Although I cannot verify that because I am never up late enough to be the last customer of the day.

It really always makes me laugh when the vendors say – “oh, but you are my first customer, I give you very good price.” Then I smile and chuckle a bit. And they assure me – “ma’am, no really, very first customer brings very good luck.”

It is quaint in a way and it is sincere. But it sounds so gimmicky. You do have to be careful not to laugh too hard because you can really hurt their feelings. Especially if the are not used to dealing with westerners.

Another tip – walk away. Just say no thank you and walk away. They almost always ask you to come back for a better price.

And just take out of your wallet what you are willing to pay. Have that in your hand and nothing else. That worked well for me today.

And know that nearly e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. here is handmade. Don’t be too woo’ed by that.

Finally, when you see someone working at their trade and you know their work is meticulous and their prices are no where near ridiculous – don’t haggle.  Just treasure their workmanship and value their time and appreciate the beauty of what they have created. Know that you are walking away with part of the artist’s art and soul. And know that you are lucky to have seen them in action.

This guy makes wooden stamps for block printing – a popular design technique for fabric. Notice how rudimentary his tools are – just a piece of wood and a carving tool all jockeyed on a bench he probably made himself. His medium-sized stamps were about $5 each. They must take him many, many hours to complete. This guy gets a “get out of haggling free” card. I simply cannot imagine how he can make a living when he is selling his art so inexpensively. Nevermind how he manages to get up off the floor after sitting like that all day.

Save the Date…………

final graphic w tree


AWA

Holiday Mela

Sunday, November 15th
10:00am to 3:30p
at the
American Embassy School
New Delhi
Entrance fee: rs. 200
(children under 13 free)

Over 100 vendors
food court
used book sale
kids activity center

Pimp My Font……..

As you might recall, in a previous life I had a handmade stationery business. So, it makes perfect sense that I am always on the prowl for the perfect font. And handwriting fonts are my favorite fontalicious variety of font.

Holy font, batman – if you love fonts, I have great news for you.

There’s a young lady named Amanda and she likes to make fonts out of handwriting samples. No, dear font freak, I am not kidding. And she gives them away for, say it with me, FREE. Seriously. And, yes, I love her! And her fonts are fontfabulous. She has an entire line of “pea” fonts. If you don’t know what I mean, check her and her delicious fonts out at Kevin and Amanda’s Free fonts.

You can thank me later.

have you hugged your mailman today…………

I hope everyone has a moment like I had yesterday – I kind of stopped in my tracks and thought “life is good”. We all take things and people for granted – it’s just human nature – we get busy and forget. It happens. But every now and then, we should just stop and take a deep, cleansing breath and be grateful for something. And something small. Something that seems insignificant but something we would miss terribly if we didn’t have it.

Enter Bob. Yesterday, it was Bob that I was grateful for – our mailman. He rocks. Seriously. He rocks.

Even without a rock star mailman, I love getting the mail. LOVE IT! and MISS it in India. All of our mail goes to my husband’s office. About every 2 weeks we get a package of mail. But just the essential stuff  – translation – bills. yippee. I don’t even get to walk to the mailbox everyday or look out the window and see if the flag is down.

Those of you who know me know that I have had a handmade stationery/invitation business called A Reason To Write. So I am all about the s.n.a.i.l. mail – and really cute mail – well that is just  a little slice of note card heaven.

Short story, very long – yesterday I went out to the mail box and there was my mailman – Bob. He had a big smile and said, “I missed seeing you last week – everything okay?” Yes indeedy! He gave me a big hug and told me how nice it was to be able to see our family. And he had a couple of lovely pieces of mail that had absolutely nothing to do with how much money I owed to other people. Yes indeedy!

P.S. I never saw mail trucks in India – how do Indian people get their mail?

When the stars line up……

Many of you know, I used to own a stationery business (www.AReasonToWrite.com). Moving to India put that on hold (for now). I was (more than) a little sad to think of not being creative – but holy guacamole – I found the paper store to die for. It is called Four Seasons and it is in Jor Bagh. Rohit runs it – he is delightful. He used to live in New Jersey and he misses Dunkin Donuts. What’s not to love! I mean, he sells beautiful paper and he loves doughnuts – we were destined to meet.

Rohit tells me that Oprah’s friend Gail has shopped in his store. (Yes, I mean THAT Oprah.) Maybe I will run into her. He showed me which paper Oprah likes and I swear I almost bought him out of it. You can tell her to contact ME if she would like some more. A little handmade paper blackmail maybe not be that impressive so I will lurk in the shadows hoping to spot that BFF of hers.

So anypaper, here is a small sampling of the handmade papers I bought there…

scan0001

It turns out that the paper is made by handicapped children. Seriously, that is a little gift. Because now when I buy it, I am helping to employ handicapped children – it’s almost charity. How can you argue with that?

The stars are definitely lining up. Invitations anyone?

Clearance Sale at A Reason To Write…

If you are just coming across this, unfortunately this was a sale in 2008. Happy Holidays!

Most of you know that my family is moving to Delhi, India in a few weeks. daisies
So, A Reason To Write has slowed way down. I was not able to participate in craft shows this past fall season. But I do have quite a bit of inventory left. So I am having a clearance sale.

All packages of 4 (adorable) handmade cards will be $4 each.
That’s right – half price. I also have quite a few embellishments that I just never got around to using. So I will be putting those out – perfect for card making/ scrapbooking – as well. They will be sold at the wholesale price I paid for them – which means a big fat 50% off retail.

I also have some gently used rubber stamps and other supplies that will be out at rock bottom prices.

So, if you have time and interest – please stop by on
Friday, Jan.16th
5pm – 9pm.

If you know where I live, no need to rsvp.
If you do not know where I live or have forgotten,
please feel free to email me at areasontowrite (at) cox (dot) net  –
this is a clever way of writing emails so that spammers don’t discover your email address – you type it just like you would say it out loud with the”@” and “.” symbols – I will send you directions.

Please feel free to bring a friend! If you work for Orvis, you will get an additional 25% off.

Now, that’s a good question

I’ve been asked by quite a few people if I am going to homeschool my children in India – ha ha, that’s pretty funny – and NO! There is a perfectly wonderful American School in India and they will go there.

So, what was the good question? What will I do with my handmade stationery business? I don’t know exactly – now I sound like a politician – but seriously, I don’t know. But  I am taking as many orders as I can handle before I leave. You can see some designs at www.areasontowrite.com and, of course, you can call/email me if you want to see something that isn’t on the site. So, if you think you would like to order something, please just let me know!