Thursday, October 27, 2016

Time Management

If you've managed to shower, put on clean clothes, and cook at least one meal all on the same day, someone has probably asked you "How do you do it all?"

Because, from the outside looking in, other people look amazingly productive. We see them making costumes from scratch - but we don't see that they haven't showered in two days, and their children are eating cereal for a fifth consecutive meal. We can't do all the things.

When attempting to do all the things, I prioritize. Things get set up in order of deadline. Which means that 99% of the work on a project happens right at the deadline. That is when the project finally gets some attention. It isn't procrastination - it is prioritization. And in case you missed it, that last sentence was rationalization.

It cracks me up when people are impressed with my time management skills. When they praise how much I manage to get done. It is nice to know that most people don't see all the things that end up falling through the cracks...

People compliment me all the time on my time management skills. They're impressed by how much I get done at the last minute.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Coupons at the Craft Store

I'm a huge fan of saving money on craft supplies. Because every penny I save buying craft supplies leaves me with money to buy more craft supplies. And I think that most crafters feel the same. Which is why I don't mind waiting behind a couple people in line at the craft store. It gives me time to go through the crumpled-up receipts at the bottom of my bag to find a current coupon, lets me go through the e-mails on my phone to see if any of this week's deals apply to the items that I can't go home without, and gives me a chance to check the website to see if there are any deals that mean I should get out of line to go fill up the cart some more.

And sometimes, the coupons justify grabbing one of the expensive chocolate bars at the register. Almost. Which leads me to the question, why don't they ever offer coupons on the chocolate? Wouldn't the stores make more money if we paid full price on the craft supplies while picking up discount chocolate? Or maybe craft stores are really chocolate stores getting us to pay full price for their products by offering coupons on craft supplies? Interesting business model...

I also want to give a nod to my friend Jenny from Craft Test Dummies for inspiring today's graphic - she hopped onto Periscope after having a commenter on this post admonish her for recommending using coupons at big box stores. Sorry, lady... you're going to have trouble prying the coupons out of this snarky crafter's glue-covered hands...

Monday, May 9, 2016

I am not the internet police

I try to fit about 3,476 hours of stuff into each day. Some days I make it all happen. Barely. But even if I had only 6 things to do a day, I would not add "internet police" to my list of things to do. But some people want me to police the internet. They think it is okay to snag images and content that my creative friends and I create, and post it on their own channels without attribution. And they feel good about themselves when they add a disclaimer that if we find one of our images on their site, their instagram, wherever, that we should send them a note so that they can credit us.


Just No.

I spend my days creating cool stuff that I share for free on the internet. You spend your day finding cool stuff that other people made, and posting it to your social media. Your job is pretty easy... just add on the part where you find the source of the content, and credit them. A quick image search on Google will work most of the time. And if you can't easily find the source, it doesn't become a "finders keepers" situation where you get to appropriate it for your own uses. No source = no go. And there are some people who want you to ask before you use their content... which is totally valid!

Making me, and all my crafty friends, come after every person who uses our content without attribution would mean we no longr would have time to CREATE the cool content. Which means that these appropriators would have to actually create their own cool stuff. Or try to. Because it isn't easy. It takes supplies, and skills, and time. And a whole lot of creativity.

Stealing content = sucking the creativity off the internet.

Don't ask me to be the internet police. I already have a gig.

Monday, May 2, 2016

What really happens for Teacher Appreciation Week

We got a note home from my son's school informing us that this week is Teacher Appreciation week. The class mom arranged a "theme" for each day. Monday we bring in a note. Tuesday it is a flower. Wednesday it is a sweet treat. I think it is a great idea. I don't think there is a way to praise our teachers enough! But, just because I send my child off to school does not mean that I have "free time" during the day to create daily themed gifts for my son's teacher.

Reality is there are only 24 hours in the day, and I have to spend some of them with my head on a pillow. Surfing Pinterest.

Thanks to all the teachers who have come into my life. Y'all helped shape this crazy mind of mine.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

We don't always finish

In a race, you have to cross the finish line to get your medal. When playing sports, you have to wait until the last inning, until the final buzzer, to realize the outcome. Crafting doesn't work that way.

Crafting is a process. And sometimes the purpose of the process isn't to finish. It isn't to walk away with something complete or whole. Sometimes the end-game is to learn something. And sometimes that something is about yourself. Your final score is that you are more complete. More whole. And the creative journey didn't need an end for you to get there.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Craft Definition: Craftastrophe

When is a mess more than just a mess? When you can't see what is holding it up anymore. When you're not sure if you're crafting on top of a card table or a pile of boxes. When the only thing keeping the supplies from creating a sparkly avalanche onto the floor is your crafty mojo. That's when you know you have a craftastrophe on your hands.

Like many natural disasters, you can't see a craftastrophe coming. In most cases, you don't know that a craftastrophe has occurred until you look up, and realize that you're in the middle of one. In fact, a passer-by is more likely to recognize you as the victim of a craftastrophe than you are.
But fear not. If you've found yourself in the aftermath of a craftastrophe, there is no need to call FEMA or the Red Cross. In most cases, you can choose to extract yourself when you deem the time is right. And although there may never be full recovery, in general, there are lots of beautiful things that are made in the process of forming a craftastrophe.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mumble, mumble, misunderstanding.

I talk too fast, and too much, and too often. Sometimes I fill dead air with witty banter, and sometimes I fall short of the mark. It isn't my fault that I understand how demanding situations are. Howling at me to fill the void with something. Anything.
And when I acquiesce, when I relent to the insistent silence and say something... it is often the wrong thing. Somehow, with a dozen different phrases and facts running through my mind, I sink my teeth into the wrong one.
Do you know what happens when you've said absolutely the wrong thing at absolutely the worst time? Silence.
An onerous silence that insists on being filled. And when again I comply with the demands of the quiet, what I say is no longer my fault. Regardless of the words I choose, they will be misunderstood. Because I have to say them while speaking around the foot that I already have put in my mouth.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

You call this a mess?

There are some crafters who operate in a perfectly clean, white, sterile environment. And there are even more crafters who masquerade as if their craft space is pristine. They share pictures on Instagram or on their blogs, inviting us to gawk at their immaculate space. Their crafting paradise. Though, if we could see beyond the frame of the phone screen, we'd likely see that their unadulterated expanse of crafting cleanliness is limited to what they chose to share. Because most creative folks are surrounded by the refuse of the creative process - drips of hot glue, crinkled remnants of washi tape, and wrappers from candy bars.

So, if you think a space is messy, if you think that a surface looks like it has been disrupted by the creative process, you might be right. But it is just as likely that what you're seeing is the cleaned-up version of the space. The temporary tidiness. The calm between the storms. Crafting is a messy business, after all.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

It is all on YouTube

Some people say that they learned everything they ever needed to in Kindergarten. Well, YouTube has made Kindergarten obsolete.

Anything I need to know, anything I'm interested in, I can find it on YouTube. How to slay the Ender Dragon in Minecraft. How to separate an egg. Unclogging a toilet. Tie dye techniques. Really, just about any craft - though some of them are doing it wrong. In fact, you can find lot of things being done wrong on YouTube. Just ask the trolls. There are plenty of them hanging out on YouTube as well.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

When it comes to Drama...

Drama finds me. It sneaks into banal corners of my life and makes them turns them into Mardi Gras Parades of drama that trail through days or weeks, sucking my time and energy.

Which isn't to say that I don't like drama. I'm a fan of Thursday night television. Spending a weekend of bingeing on a Movie of the Week marathon sounds like a perfect way to pass the time. Because drama is best enjoyed behind glass - either bullet proof or touch-screen. Drama is best enjoyed with a side of popcorn and extra heartburn-enducing butter. But the heartburn, and ache, that comes with being ensnared in drama isn't nearly as fun.

Maybe, when I was a teen, I enjoyed suiting up to grab a slug of drama between friends. Because teen girl friendships are woven out of lipgloss and heartbreak. But as an adult, I prefer to hang out in pajama pants and measure myself a dose of wine while reaching for the remote. I've got all the drama I need saved on my DVR.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Inspiration Challenged

We all have it. A project we've started. But not finished. Maybe you started it yesterday. Maybe it was a decade ago. It doesn't mean that you'll never finish it... it just isn't finished right now. You lack the inspiration to get your project to the finish line.

With the New Year starting, people are resolving to work harder, do more, and make things happen. But I'm giving you permission. Permission to let the project lie if the inspiration isn't there. Let it sit, and wait for the brilliant flash of inspiration to come... or let your grandchildren find it and figure out what to do with it long after you're gone. Either way, feel free to start a new project if that's the way that inspiration moves you. After all, you don't need my permission to do what you were planning on doing anyway.