I am hoping that this post is not as egotistical as it sounds. I get asked the question "How do you find the time/ How do you do it?" a lot. It was the most frequent comment at the craft fair and it got me thinking. There are quite a few ways to take the question so I have tried to look at it from all approaches. I am busy, and I do feel busy, as I work full time and have a little girl so craft time gets arranged mostly in the evening as a time to relax.
The most important thing is "wanting" to do it and this is the key. I find the time because I enjoy it and I love seeing people appreciating things I have made. When I think about it I realise that I am actually doing no more than those people who ask me how I do it. I am just really lucky that I get to show off a pile of stock on a fun display, or photograph an "army" of turtle egg cosies. If, at craft fair time, everybody that I know had stalls of how they spend their spare time then I know I would be amazed at the mountains of books read, the miles ran, the music learned (and perfected), the baking done and the food made, as well as broods of Children raised and well loved pets. I never know how to respond to the "How do you do it?" question because my answer is normally I just do it because it is fun . It is flattering to be asked but I never feel like "it" is anything special because everybody has an "it". I hope that most people are lucky enough to have found one they love as much as I love mine.
To answer the question in a more practical way when it comes to getting things done I find three things have been helpful:
First of all I do not do it alone, I have my Mum on speed-dial for advice, I have fantastic friends , the local makkin and yakkin group and my husband is incredibly understanding and supportive of the things I feel I "need" to do. It sounds cliché that we do things as a team but it is true.
Secondly sometimes I just don't get things done. My blog posts can be sporadic and I phone people sometimes to tell them gifts will be late or that cards will be bought. It has taken a long time and some effort to accept that this is okay. I am terrible at finishing projects for myself, I still have a quilt to finish, and I have a friend that threatened not to accept gifts until I made something for myself. Sometimes we just get ill or caught up in something else and cannot do the things that we planned to. I am slowly learning to not be too tough on myself which is easily the most difficult part.
The third part is planning, I write lists and have 'post it' notes everywhere. I break each project down into smaller tasks and tick them off as I go. If I write something down I no longer have to worry about it as I know it will be there when I go back. This helps me keep track of where I am. I also try and schedule in a catch up day where I can finish things. This is helpful if I have underestimated how long they will take or had to unpick seams. This is really important when I have Christmas presents or craft fair stock to make as I am producing quite a large volume.