Finding the Joy in Creating

Hello-January-2

 

I hope the new year finds you happy and well.  It has been cold here the past few days, although true to Texas weather it looks like that will change in a few days.  As is often true of December, I’ve spent some time thinking about what I finished in 2014 and what I wanted to set as a goal for 2015.  I feel like at the end of each year I seem to feel that I didn’t accomplish “enough” and I vow to do better in the coming months.  But maybe the issue isn’t that I am lacking, but rather I need to reevaluate my perspective.  One of the people I most enjoy following on Instagram and Bloglovin’ is Amanda from Ms. McPorkchop Quilts (@heyporkchop).  In September she did a blog post about quietly creating and what she’s learned about what she enjoys about creating and why she creates and it really got me thinking.

My December was really a lesson in what isn’t working for me.  In the first week of the month I had a number of deadlines I was trying to make – finishing up a handmade swap, making some gifts for the guild board, and finishing two stitched ornaments.  Add on top of that the realization that I had not finished any of the pieces I’d put on my MAGIC (My Annual Good Intentions Contract) list to finish in 2014.  So, because I’m a glutton for punishment I made the executive decision that I would finish And They Sinned by the end of the year (or technically by January 6th when the guild meeting is).  So, I broke up the remaining area I had to stitch into equal parts so that I could see what I needed to get done each week in order to finish.  Of course, I didn’t really take into account all that other stuff I had to get done, or the fact that I was trying to finish the most densely stitched part of the entire piece in one month – a piece that thus far had taken me like three years.  But hey, hope springs eternal, right?  So, I did manage to get the swap, the ornaments, and the board gifts done and mostly by their deadline – but I was an absolute wreck doing it.  Add in the normal stress of the holidays and I was wound so tight no amount of eggnog was going to help.  As for And They Sinned, obviously you would know if I’d finished it because there would be fireworks and a band.  And possibly the Goodyear blimp.

Over the past week or so though, I’ve had a good bit of time to think about all of the above and what I could do to alleviate some of the pressure and not end the year feeling like a big failure.  So here’s what I know –

  • I don’t like deadline stitching/quilting – I work full time (sometimes more than full time) so I have limited amount of time to spend on crafty pursuits.  I’m also a slow stitcher/quilter so hitting a deadline is tough for me.
  • Swaps/Exchanges stress me out – I love the idea of swaps, I don’t like the pressure of worrying about if what I’m making is good enough/my partner will like it.  Plus, deadline.
  • I tend to toss a project to the side if I make a mistake or come to some creative decision fork in the road.  This is a big reason why I have so many WIPs.
  • I do better focusing on one project at a time rather than attempting to work in a rotation or jumping from thing to thing.
  • There is a lot of guilt/pressure associated with my stash – there are things I loved when I bought but years later I’ve yet to get to them, some I still love but some I no longer have any interest in.  But the sheer size of what is essentially a ginormous to do list weighs on me.
  • Blogs and Instagram are great sources of inspiration for me, but can also make me feel like I’m not good enough, not creating enough, etc.

For 2015, I’m going to try to keep all of the above in mind as I set my intentions for the year.  I did have my customary New Year’s Day start, because that’s a fun way to kick off the year.  I then went back to ATS though.  Once I let go of the self-imposed deadline, I was able to actually enjoy stitching on it.  I am making good progress on it, mostly because I’ve had some time off work and no place I needed to be.  It feels good to just focus on one thing and not worry about all the other stuff waiting in the wings.  I am going to focus my attention this year on working on some of my WIPs – one at a time.  The other thing I’ve already started, that I intend to continue, is whittling down my stash.  All those charts, projects, fabrics that don’t speak to me anymore are going – some I’m selling, some I’m donating, some I’m giving away to good homes.  I want to enjoy my time creating and know that the stuff I have taking up space in my closet are things I’m truly excited about and love.  I already know I have some deadlines for a few projects this year, so I’m going to spend some time in January to determine when those deadlines are and plan/kit what I’m going to do for those deadlines.  99% of what runs me right up on a deadline is trying to figure out what I’m going to do and gathering the supplies to start it.  I know I’ll be in a better position to make those deadlines if I go ahead and get the planning done.

One other thing I intend to focus on this year is my blog.  You may have noticed that the blog looks different.  I’ve been planning to move my blog over to my own domain for some time now, and it is finally moved.  If you go to the old blogger address you’ll be automatically redirected to the new location, so no worries there.  You may want to update your feed if you’re following me through Bloglovin’ or Feedly, etc.  The new address is here.  I’ve still got some tweaking to do, so everything’s in a bit of a mess right now, but I’m really excited to finally have everything in one place.  You can go to my home page and then from there you can get to either this blog (Cozy Egg) or my lifestyle blog (Cozystyle).  And since I have a nice shiny new space to blog in, it only makes sense that I should, you know, blog.  I really and truly do love Instagram – it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s fun.  But, the reason I started a blog, and the main reason I keep a blog is that I like to tell the story of what I’m creating.  So, I hope you’ll continue to join me here and check in on what I’m working on and how I’m doing with my 2015 plan.  I still have several things from 2014 that I want to share with you too, so more fun things to come.

Wishing you a wonderful start to 2015 and igniting that creative spark.

I am grateful for Pitbull, stitching grass, and twinkle lights. 

3 thoughts on “Finding the Joy in Creating”

  1. I can certainly identify with your comments and thoughts in this post. You gave me something to think about as well. I have already decided to stitch more from my stash for 2015 but, even though I am retired, I still find that deadlines just add too much stress for me; I retired so I could de-stress. This is definitely something that I need to work on managing so each day has more joy than stress. Sounds like you are on your way to enjoying 2015 – good for you!

  2. I know you mean about deadline stitching, I can’t do it either as I feel as though I am rushing it rather than enjoying the process. I also work full time so my stitching time is limited too and I do wonder how some people produce a finish every other week!
    i love the look of your new blog layout and look forward to seeing your lovely stitch this year:)

  3. You must have read my thoughts when you wrote this post! I can relate to all of it – the feeling of inadequacy that my walls are not filled with samplers, the never ending pile of WIP calling to me but never enough time to really enjoy the stitching and the overwhelming pile of stuff that makes me feel guilty for spending on it but not stitching.

    I also find the “exclusive/Limited edition” trend by designers highly annoying and more pressure that I may miss out if I don’t acquire it NOW! This year I pledge to enjoy myself and do what I love because I love it and for no other reason.
    I hope you find your joy and I will be reading!

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