Sunday, October 28, 2012

Softly Addicted

A recent article caught my attention.  "Soft addictions", according to author and inspirational speaker Judith Wright, are "seemingly harmless habits - like watching too much TV, overshopping, overeating, and surfing the internet for hours - that rob us of our time, zap our energy, and keep us from leading a more meaningful life."  

Now, fast forward this thinking to your craft.  Most of the people I know that have some sort of crafting hobby would probably jokingly call themselves "addicts" when it comes to creating what they love.  Boxes, bins, closets and even rooms full of supplies, unfinished projects, more supplies, unopened project kits, books, patterns, more supplies, and on and on...  

As I sit here typing, I have 2 trays near me AND a coffee table full of projects I'm working on!  My sewing studio is cluttered with supplies overflowing, a closet FULL of fabric, boxes and bins of little components for the many types of stitching that I enjoy.  Then there's also a closet upstairs in the guest room full of scrapbooking, cross stitch, wood turnings, paint, pillow forms, styrofoam, frames, etc.  Yikes, do I need therapy?

Starting and not finishing a lot of projects is a sure sign of soft addiction.  Oh, no!  Okay, well, I have been working on eliminating a very large amount of items that I'll never get to this past year.  I'm proud that I have four less boxes of craft magazines and books, and three less plastic storage bins of cross stitch kits, fabric and supplies!  Next up is to begin purging the cotton fabrics that I'll never make anything with...some lucky quilters should graduate to their own 'soft addiction' from this pile! 

There is really more to defining a "soft addiction" than the accumulation of material things.  It can overtake your happiness and fulfillment with life, pulling you into isolation and away from everyday responsibilities.  That's certainly easy to have happen occasionally, but I have to say that I find myself always prioritizing my other responsibilities way before I allot time to craft.  That usually means I don't have a lot of new creations to show off, but my family will always come first.

But according to Ms. Wright, a "soft addition" isn't all together a negative thing.  She explains that "when you're doing a craft, it's this beautiful thing where your creativity's flowing and there's new ideas coming forth.  You're more in touch with your feelings, or maybe you get an answer to a problem you're having.  It becomes this thing that makes you MORE.  You've got more of your feelings, more energy, you're more alert, and more of you is coming through.  That's when it's a beautiful passion, in a good way." we're talking!  Since most of us crafty types could never see ourselves totally eliminating what we love to do from our lives, learning to understand that soft addiction can be positive is essential to understanding how to keep it in check.  And remember, if it starts to feel overwhelming and you find yourself pulling away from everyday life, or the clutter or procrastinating nature in you is starting to emerge, it's time to rethink how your craft is impacting your life.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Really Big Sheeoww and I Can't See You!

This weekend's craft show is fast approaching!  I've been spending these past few days pricing up items, making signs, business cards, creating my overall's all fun, but oh, so much work!  My daughter has decided (or maybe been guilted) to attend with me, so I've put her to work making something quickly that she can sell.  She has a real unlike me trait to not be interested in sewing, but she loves scrapbooking.  So I found a lot of free labels for her to cut out and make up some magical reindeer food bags.  Gosh, there's a lot of great resources online for these, just type "free reindeer food labels."

On another note, I'm quickly finding out just how fast a cataract can progress.  I was diagnosed a year ago, and since then I need reading glasses to stitch and read now almost all the time.  My right eye is getting worse for wear, and it's frustrating.  Some of this is obviously due to age deterioration, but most is from the cataract developing.  And even more frustrating is the cause of this.  Twenty years ago, I became absolutely plagued with pain in this right eye and was diagnosed with iritis, which is treated with steroid drops and at one point, an injection (YUCK!).  Year after year, the symptoms would keep reoccurring, then the treatment process (which took months), then a few months of feeling fine only to have it come back.  After finally being diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 1996 and the subsequent treatment for that, I've been iritis free since then.  Supposedly, some early Crohn's 'flare-ups' can be in the eyes.  So now, even though we're told that these types of steroids are safe, I have to wonder why I only have this cataract in the one eye that was treated with them for long periods of time.  If you know someone who is being treated for long periods with prednisone, please urge them to find other means of treatment, if available.  It may act like a 'cure all' for what's ailing them, but the after effects can do more harm than good!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Time for a Celebration!

With this morning's cool temps in the 30's, it's already feeling like winter will be here before you know it!  My wonderful friends on the Old Farmhouse Gathering's Etsy Team have put together over 100 brand new handmade holiday items just for you!  The celebration begins today and runs through October 15th.

I have four new items for your consideration. Here's a peek at two of them.

I'm already in show mode, and will spend the next day or so preparing for my first big one on October 20th.  Whew, there's a lot of prep work to putting together an attractive booth!  I'm signed up to do three brand new (for me) shows this year, so it should be exciting to meet some new customers (hopefully!) and sell in different venues.  Craft shows are starting to become a bit more scarce now, as many are dealing with too many regulations, insurance costs, and attracting quality vendors.  This isn't all bad, since there was a time not too long ago when there seemed to be an over abundance of shows, all on the same weekend!  Plus, it's becoming more of a challenge as a vendor to recover and profit after paying the show fees, which seem to increase a lot each year.  However, it's still an enjoyable experience for me to meet my customers face-to-face, and hear all the wonderful comments, so I'll keep doing these for a while!