Time and Comparison

Time is an interesting thing when you are working in a product based business. People want things now. Instant gratification! I understand; you see something beautiful and the desire to hold it, touch it, use it is immediate. But, how does it look from the makers perspective? Coming up with original, creative ideas takes time. Making the first, second and maybe third prototype takes time. Once you are happy with the final product you need to photograph it and market it…more time.

It’s hard to be on the maker end. The one man factory as such.  People are starting to see the value of handmade goods, but you can still feel like you need to be working faster to keep up with all the beautiful things you see on Instagram or Etsy. How is it that everyone else’s hands seem to work so much faster than yours?

(The start of a little something using upcycled cotton yarn that will be naturally dyed once finished)

How do you keep your focus and not compare yourself to others? This is not a new dilemma. It’s something that others have talked about at length. It comes back to the idea that I want to look at others work and feel inspired, not the overwhelmed. The maker community is so supportive, but sometimes the first thought is to compare yourself. It’s hard to remember that through the lens of a camera people can make their lives seem completely different.  You don’t know what’s going on in the background, just as they don’t know what’s going on in the background of yours.

As more and more people begin to talk about this balance of work and home life, it becomes a little easier to give yourself the time and space to figure out how it works in your own individual life. Giving yourself grace. What gets done, gets done. Being able to focus on the “why” and not the “should” or the “have to”. So, I’m going to make myself some more tea and a few lists of all the ideas in my brain and attempt to give myself some space to focus. And remember, one step at a time!

How do you manage balancing work, time and comparison?


Ideas and where to go with them

I have been feeling like I have a million ideas in my head lately. There are so many things I want to make; either original work, trying out a new knitting or sewing pattern, or hacking one of my already owned patterns to make it new and different. I’m trying to balance this with thinking of ways to get my business and my work more visibility (oh, and take care of my family). All of these ideas and thoughts have made it hard to focus. Where do I start? What do I want and/or need the most? Does someone in my family need/or want something? What would customers be interested in? What can I do to get my name out there in a world that is so bombarded with info everyday? I could go on and on.

I want to create useful, beautiful things for myself, my family and others. I would love to be able to help provide for my family through my work. My making provides me with an outlet, both creative and physical. If I’m not doing something with my hands when I’m still, I can feel out-of-place. This is difficult when my mind has so many ideas swirling though it and I have a hard time focusing on my work. Recently, I have finished a few works in progress and it feels nice to have those completed and ready to be listed on Etsy. Clearing my mind and hands of these couple of projects has left some space for my other goals.

I have also started work on a small quilt using hand dyed fabric. It is going to be hand quilted and I’m really looking forward to the slow, meditative work of stitching. I would love for this quilt to be the basis for future work that I could sell. I have been greatly inspired by the work of sugarhouseworkshop.com, folkfibers.com, and saltandstill.com. The work of these women has left me wanting to learn so many new skills to further the depth of my work.

For my making, it is a work in progress, everyday. Making a decision and focusing, knowing that there is no wrong decision. I want to be intentional about my making choices and not just jump into something because I think I have to. I want to make things that will bring myself and others joy.