Monday, 2 January 2012

Must try harder! (posted by Jo)

What would we do without New Year and a chance to start afresh with the motivation that only saying goodbye to Christmas can bring? I love Christmas but afterwards am so keen to get things sorted out. My last six months have been almost completely craft free so to make anything would be a resolution in itself. But I've tracked my dry spell down to three things which I think will help me keep my juices flowing.

I am like so many crafters and have lots and lots of unused stash. I am in danger of becoming a mere collector. So often I find that when I rediscover something I can't remember why I bought it in the first place. So my first resolution is, when I buy something new, to make a note of the technique or project I want to use it for.

My second resolution is to be more open-minded about what materials I use. Since I have been crafting less I have not been able to keep up with what is fashionable in the crafting world. So I need to achieve results using what I already have and even pull in materials not intended for crafting. I hope this will make my work a bit more original too as I am not slavishly following recipes.

Thirdly I want to follow the advice of my good friend Judith. I am the only one of our Quartet who doesn't have a dedicated crafting space. It means I don't have a room or studio to worry about keeping tidy but it also means that when I want to craft I have to trawl round the house looking for things in all the odd cupboard corners I have to keep my stuff. I also have to put it all back again at the end of the session. If I only have an hour free to craft then most of it is spent getting out and putting away. Judith suggested having a little portable kit so that I can craft from my armchair without too much effort when I come home from work in the evening. I have a KP2 which is a very useful tote. But I have been using it for storage. Now I am going to fill it with my most used equipment and a couple of project boxes and bring it out in the evenings to make better use of my limited spare time.

I lost all motivation before Christmas and worried that I was no longer even trying to find crafting time. But I am feeling strong urges to get started again now so I am looking forward to having something to show on here again soon.

I hope you are all feeling refreshed and bursting with ideas ready to start the New Year. I know many of you craft your way through sad times and adversity and I hope it gives you as much joy and strength as seeing what you make gives to me.

Happy 2012, everyone!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

My resolutions (posted by Elaine)

As Judith and Lesley have already said, life has been pretty hectic for us all lately, but we are starting 2012 intending to try harder to keep up with our shared projects this year.

Like the other girls I mean to try and keep my craft area tidier, keep on top of Christmas card making through the year and make better use of things I have already. Here are my specific resolutions though!

Firstly, I keep looking at projects on different blogs that incorporate machine sewing. I really like the effect and although I have traditionally used an old Singer treadle sewing machine for my sewing, I do now have large and small electric machines, so I have no excuse, but to make time to get practising and try and master this skill to add a new dimension to my projects.

Secondly, in order to make better use of my stash, I have resolved to stop buying loads of stamps I don't get around to using. (The trouble is there are such a lot of amazing images out there!). So, I will really try to get all my stamps indexed and organised by subject this year and that will need to include cleaning them properly and putting them away when I have used them! This is what happens when I don't and I have to have a massive clean up and it is very tedious!

Lastly, I really want to try and make more time for experimental and fun crafting, instead of always meeting deadlines and planning all the things I make instead of going with the flow, and I really hope some of that crafty playtime can be spent with the other quartet girls this year - that would really be special.

Happy New Year everyone - enjoy your crafting and make every minute count!

Elaine x