Monday, September 30, 2013

The difference between done and perfect

You've been there: It is 2am and you're still working on a project. This sucker has taken up way more time than you thought possible. You know what time the alarm is set for, and that time is drawing nearer. You're so close to being finished... but your eyelids are getting heavier and the silence of your sleeping family is pulling you into dreamland. So you do the unthinkable. You slap those last pieces together and turn in for the night. Because let's face it, sometimes it is better to be done than to be perfect. Because the difference between done and perfect ... well that's about 3 hours of sleep.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How I do it all...

People have gotten into the habit of asking me how I do it all. For those of you who don't know me, let me tell you what "it all" is... I have a husband and two young boys ages 5 and 18 months. I run 2 other fairly successful blogs. I have a couple more blogs in development. I work for an agency to run blogger campaigns. I freelance write for one of the top 10 sites in the US. I craft. I sew. I sew a lot... this year I have been cranking out quilts at an average of 2 a month. I'm totally serious. A couple were wall hangings, but most were not.
I teach classes at a local quilt shop. I'm on the board for a local mom & child organization. I have joined the PTA. I travel out of state almost every month. Sometimes more than once. Often with the kids in tow. There is probably more, but you get the picture.

How do I make it all happen? Here is the scoop:

I don't homeschool. Yes, there are a lot of amazing bloggers out there who homeschool their kids. I bow down to their greatness. There is no way that I could manage pulling together a curriculum for my Kindergartener, and teach him the basics he'll need for the rest of his life. I enlist professionals for that.

I don't sleep a lot. 8 hours is a luxury that I rarely get. 4-6 is my usual night, and at least one of those hours is usually in my chair where I pass out while at the keyboard. Which makes for some really funny posts. Did you know that I can sleep-type. I can, and when I read it later, it is hysterical.

I'm behind. If all is good in CraftSnark Land, I put up a post every Monday. This post is going up Tuesday night. 36 hours behind is not too shabby in my book... especially since I'm about 10 days behind on a couple other projects...

My dishes, laundry, and other miscellaneous housework are never caught up. Even when my Mother in Law comes over. I spend two days cleaning, and there is still one room that everything gets shoved into and the door gets closed. And locked. You know - just in case.

My kids watch TV. Not a ton, but more than I would like. Lucky for me they like the more educational stuff, so my mommy-guilt is fairly low on this point.

I don't cook every night. Unless you count microwaving chicken nuggets, and putting them on a plate with apple slices and yogurt. Because if that counts, I'm a total gourmet. The wait-list to get a table at Chez-CraftSnark is about as long as it takes for me to clear off all the mail, assorted crafting supplies, and whatever was left on the table after breakfast.

So now you know my secret formula. How do I do it all? I don't.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Save Money on Handmade this Christmas

There are very few things that get me frothing at the mouth the way controversy about handmade gifts does. I love giving handmade. I love that I spent time thinking of someone as I made the gift for them. I love thinking about how much they will enjoy the gift as I create it. I love picking out specific colors or components especially for the recipient. I love almost everything about giving handmade.

Except the cost. Giving a handmade gift is insanely expensive. For example, I love making quilts. To buy fabric at a quilt shop costs me between $10-12 a yard. It takes about 5 yards of fabric to make a quilt top. Then another 3 or so for the back. Then $25 for the batting. And if I have someone else do the quilting, that's at least another $100.

Even something "small" like jewelry is an expensive endeavor. Purchasing the materials and the stones to make a piece of jewelry adds up, especially when using quality materials like crystals, semi-precious stones, and precious metals. And then once the piece is complete, you still need to spend money to box and package up the piece!

None of this factors in the time it takes to make a gift. How much do you get paid an hour? If a crafter's time is worth $15 an hour, then 4 hours of time would add $60 to the price of a gift. Those handmade gifts would get expensive, fast!

More than anything else, the emotional value of a handmade gift is impossible to calculate. If I make something for you, I desperately want you to love it. I loved it enough to give it to you. It is a piece of myself, and does not come with a gift receipt. There is no way to return, exchange, or get a refund on handmade.

To save time and money on Christmas gifts... I can just go to the store. Everything can be wrapped up with a gift receipt. And if I'm feeling especially un-creative, I can just give out gift cards.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Craft Definition: Errands

My life has been taken over by errands. Drive here, pick up this. Drive there to drop it off. Pick up kids. Drop off kids. Get groceries. Drop off recycling. Go to GoodWill (where I can both drop off and pick up - that is some serious errand efficiency!). So much of life is spend erranding. If the craft stores could add on a "food" section, we might be able to get something really exciting going... and a whole lot less errands!