Prayer ropes

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It’s taken a couple of years, but I’m finally getting back into making and selling prayer ropes, and so I’ve added a Prayer ropes page to this blog again, where people can find information about ordering them. I’m mainly trying to support myself by bookbinding, but, while there is a demand for that, it is taking time to get established and earn enough to live on. Plus I would like to continue doing prayer ropes in order to make them – and possibly some other products – available in South Africa.

I have recently received some requests asking if I am still making and selling prayer ropes. When I left the Netherlands I had taken down my Prayer ropes page, where I had been selling prayer ropes from. The reason for this was that I had had to close my Dutch PayPal account. I had intended putting it up again once settling here (not that I intend trying to earn a living by making prayer ropes, but it is still a good thing to do, for several reasons) but that has not been so simple as getting a PayPal account in South Africa seems to be more complicated than anywhere else in the world. I should hopefully manage to arrange that in a couple of months’ time. However, I have put up a temporary page in the meantime in case there are people who want to order prayer ropes and are willing to pay by sending Amazon gift vouchers – that would actually help as the same bureaucratic hassle that is delaying me getting a PayPal account is also delaying me getting a credit card, which makes buying online rather difficult. (I actually rather like the idea of a barter economy, although I’m not quite so sure that I like Amazon). I also plan to update the page once I have new photos which show the greater variety of beads now available.

I had intended writing something about my prayer rope experiment earlier, but that was tied up with other details in my life which took longer to get sorted out than I had expected. I will write about broader developments soon, but I am taking down the prayer rope page, at least for the time being. But I would like to thank everyone who supported this enterprise, whether by buying prayer ropes or by linking to my page – or simply by expressing interest. The initial response was very encouraging and did help me to survive the last few months financially. But it was also just a really good thing to be doing for a while, and helped to ground me in a prayerful work. While the initial demand did not continue, there has been interest from some shops which could provide a more long-term outlet. But there are practical reasons why I need to suspend things for a while.

In the rural area where I have been staying recently, one sees quite a number of roadside stalls which people place outside their gates for selling various products. They are simply left there, with products, a list of prices, and a pot into which buyers put their money. The one next door sells eggs, jams, preserves and some plants and there have recently also been berries as they are in season.

This gave me the idea to experiment with a sort of online stall. My life is still betwixt and between – things are coming together in quite an exciting way but some things are still unclear and it will take awhile to jump through some legal hoops. In the meantime I am not able to work legally (my Dutch residence permit is an exceptional category), which means that I am not able to earn money. And that is, well, something of a problem at times. However, I do have all sorts of creative skills. Most of the things I can make would probably not be of much interest to people walking down the road, but they may be of interest to the people who visit my blog. Not all of them would be practical to send by post, but some may be – hence this experiment. I am going to start by seeing if anyone is interested in buying prayer ropes, and I hope to add other products in a few weeks’ time.

If you are interested in finding out more, then please go to my Prayer ropes page.