Friday, June 7, 2013

There is a season ...

One of the most important lessons I think I've learned so far in my sojourn as a parent is that for all things, there is a season.  The difficult times like sleep regressions, teething, seemingly-endless colds, midnight feedings ... they're all temporary.  While at the time, they might seem never-ending, in reality, they're all just phases that will pass.

For weeks now, it seems like the only hat I've been managing to wear is my "mommy hat."  I love my little man dearly and cherish the time we have together at home - I really wouldn't trade that for anything in the world - but my artistic, creative side has been a little out-of-sorts and is feeling a bit neglected ... and worried about how it will be even more neglected when #2 comes in a matter of weeks!

I know, deep down, that this is a just a bit of a difficult phase in my sewing journey, and it too will pass, but at the same time I can't help but wonder what I'm doing wrong (or perhaps ineffectually is a better word) and how I could be sure that I'm taking even just a few moments to nurture myself and my craft ... which in turn really made me start thinking about how I look and function when I'm actually being creative.

I know this is a sewing and crafting blog, so I'm hoping you don't mind me sharing a few thoughts. Maybe they'll provide a little help or inspiration to those of you whose creative sides are also feeling a little repressed by their real world life... and hopefully, they'll serve as a reminder to me of what my artistic self looks like and how it acts the next time I'm feeling a little unfulfilled or unproductive!

Set time aside to create ... but commit to spending that time on your craft!

Going from two hefty naps to one, often mediocre, nap really caused my crafting time to take a huge hit.  Coupled with my third trimester need to get like 27 hours of sleep a day, I've been feeling like I hardly ever see the inside of my sewing room.

But then I realized that that just isn't true.  I actually do get to spend a healthy majority of my free time in my sewing room ... I just spend it plugged into the computer, with my back to my sewing machine!

It's amazing, when I think about it, how much time we waste on Pinterest, Facebook, those silly little time-sucking games like Farmville or Candy Crush, and the like.  For me, they're a great way to unwind and zone-out for a little while, but I never, ever walk away from them with a feeling of fulfillment or accomplishment.

I've been making a huge effort the last few days to keep the computer powered down, and {amazingly!!} I'm actually finding myself with a bit of sewing time, even though the amount of free time I've had hasn't changed a bit.

Mis En Place

I'm probably revealing my dire love of TV cooking shows, but these chefs really have a smart thing going here.  This french phrase literally means, "putting in place" - basically, it's the idea that you organize, prepare, and assemble all of your ingredients and tools before you start cooking, so that you don't have to unnecessarily interrupt your cooking process with prep and other distractions.

This is a really fantastic concept for quilters, too!  I am most definitely an ADD quilter and usually have way too many projects going on at once.  This can be a bit overwhelming for my sleep-deprived mind, though, and I'll admit that there have been times where I've spent my entire span of sewing time just trying to figure out what to sew and where I was when I left off last!

Most weekends, I can usually manage at least one straight hour in my sewing room, and I've found that I'm more apt to have a more productive week if I can manage to get a bit of my cutting, sorting, and prep work done ahead of time, so that all I have to do is walk into my sewing room, turn my machine on, and go to town!

Having everything set up ahead of time also lets me sneak in 10 minutes of sewing time here and there (like when Daddy is overseeing bath-time) ... and that can really add up, or at least add to the feeling that I'm getting something accomplished.

Keep your workspace de-cluttered and organized!!

This is a tough one for me.  I'm not a big cleaner to begin with and I think that there's a fundamental part of me that just throws a hissy fit at the idea of "wasting" my precious sewing time on cleaning.

... But then I have days like I had the other afternoon, when I wasted my entire time trying to find my 6.5" square ruler in the mountain of stuff that used to be my work space.  Incidentally, the darn thing was on my desk, acting as a coaster to my ice water ... which would have probably never happened if I had gone straight over to my sewing machine and hadn't started out with a little Farmville 2 and Pinterest ... just saying ...

I think this one is going to be where I need to start showing the biggest signs of improvement.  I'm still using my plastic-shoe-box system, in an attempt to keep projects separated and slightly organized, but I need to put some massive effort into general organization, and post-project clean-up!

So, with that being said, I'm off to spend the rest of little man's nap cleaning up my desk and prep tables  ... maybe after a quick nap and some MasterChef on TiVo.

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