Happy New Year everyone! I’ve read an awful lot of blog posts about resolutions and the idea of ‘new year, new me’. I’m not very good at that sort of thing. I have a short attention span, one day I can be completely adamant that I’m going to do something, and the next I will forget I said it. I stopped making any sort of new years resolutions a long time ago, but there is something I want to do more of this year, skill swapping.
The idea is that you exchange favours or skills in return for someone else’s. There is even a website you can register your skills on in order to swap with someone else http://www.swapaskill.com/.
Last year (that still feels weird!) I inadvertently participated in this a couple of times to great success. Around October time, the toddler group I take our daughter to asked if I could crochet them some fruit from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I ended up designing the fruit myself as I couldn’t find a free pattern any where. They offered to pay, but I gave them the fruit for free. It only seemed fair as it is somewhere my daughter loves to go, and we only pay a pound for 1 1/2 hours of fun every week. They had taken some pictures at the group of the children for a newsletter, and the beautiful, professional prints were available to purchase. I bought some of Amelia as Christmas presents for the grandparents, and as I had crocheted the fruit for free I was given a greatly reduced rate. My first successful skill swap! (The photo has been cut down a little to cut out the other children)
A few weeks later, my brother-in-law advertised that he was after a new wood work project. Half joking, I told him he could make me a wooden frame to display the fabric I had made from scraps leftover from the bunting for our wedding – see here. He agreed, and feeling quite bad I offered to make something for him, perhaps and attractive bobble hat? He decided he wanted a crocheted centre piece for their new kitchen table in cream and red, so I set to it. A couple of days later we swapped and I’m really pleased. I had been wanting to display my fabric for some time, but wouldn’t have been able to construct a frame on my own.
I love everything about this concept. As someone on limited income that loves being creative, it seems to make perfect sense to offer people my skills in return for products or services. I’d love for this to be something that people do regularly, it’s a wonderfully economic and social way for everyone to get what they want and need. If I had to make one resolution this year, it would be more of the same!