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Comments

amanda

ugh. I so know just what you're talking about. Almost everything I make is super quick, because that's all the time I have, and I too loose steam and concentration once I have to put it away to start again later. I do miss and long for 'longer' bigger projects...those marathon crafting sessions we can only dream about. I have to remind myself that those will be possible again in the future...just not while the kids are so young. If only we didn't need sleep...hmmmnn....

Amanda

I much prefer the all-in-one approach too. But it's not possible, is it? I've forced myself to work on things in small spurts. It helps that I have my sewing group on Monday nights, at least I can count on that time regularly. I've also found that journaling about a particular craft helps me: I write about plans, steps, roadblocks, cut it into small blocks of time, etc.

I do find that the disaster that is my craft room doesn't help my situation. When I can carve out a portion of the dining room table, and have the project there, not have to clean before doing a small amount of crafting, that seems to work best.

Of course, this is coming from a great non-crafter of late. (My excuse? It's too humid in the northeast. I'm not used to humidity anymore. I feel like I need gills just to breathe.)

susanne

i'm amazed that all you moms find ANY time to craft (and do it so well). i have no excuse, i have no kiddos, i'm not in school, i don't even have pets! i think i'm just very adhd when it comes to crafting--yet i always choose the long project even when i know i don't have the attention span to finish it.

don't forget it's quality, not quantity! :)

capello

Well, I've always though that you make beautiful crafts at lighting speed.

I'm a quick to start, slow to complete crafter. Like once I realize what I've got myself into I start to panic. But I keep working at it and eventually get the job done.

But yes, it is hard. And no, you are certainly not alone.

hannah

having seen your work in person, i can attest to the gorgeous, meticulous, tiny detail. i cant imagine how in the world you could get anything done even in a 15 hour stretch. dont get discouraged myra, im sure you will work out something. i think we all have lulls. im in one right now. make something small and satisfying for yourself, like a barette or something.

jenny vorwaller

being a mum, i really work around the things that i have to do in the day. a dash of this and a dash of that kind of productivity...so it works that i can begin a few things, and rotate working on the ones that i feel in the mood for in between all the things that keep me busy as a mom!

Courtney

My son is only two, so I really have to choose projects that can be done rather quickly. There will be no hand quilting for me...but I also don't expect to finish in one sitting. I usually work on one project for 2-3 days. Those bloggers who have signigicant output every day amaze me, but I have never use childcare, so except for the occasional few hours on the weekend when my husband will take my son out, I only have naptime and bedtime to get everything done. Good luck in finding the ever-elusive balance.

persephone

Thats why I make small plushies. :) During naptime, I draw out patterns, cut my fabric, do the pinning... Then at night, when the boys are tucked in I can sew it up quick, then stuff and finish in front of the TV with the hubby. But I have no idea how some mothers do it, posting everyday with a new creation. I'm envious!

justJENN

I make my MIL come stay with me for months at a time.

Oh and I'm on the dope.

Lilli

I hate having to stop whatever project I'm working on. My consolation is to daydream about it while I'm doing something else. Often I come up with these really great craft ideas or designs when I'm busy with something else.

Good luck figuring out what works for you :)

A.J.

I think slow and steady wins the race. If you work consistently, day after day, you can get a lot done.

I remember Toni Morrison saying that she gets her work done by not talking on the phone. And not watching television.

My mother got through law school with five kids by getting up at 4AM to do her homework. I love the early mornings for getting some crafting time in, because my kids are late risers.

Kate

I too long for the days when I can craft all day and get something finished in one go. Instead I have given up sitting and relaxing in the evening (and a bit of sleep) in favour of sewing. Not my ideal, but at least I get something done.

Emy

I can never finish a project in one sitting and if I do, wow, I'm proud!! Spliting projects up often helps. I'm working on a quilt and right now my goal is to get 1-2 blocks done a day.

I get 2-2hour blocks of time a day to craft. I often long for more. What I'm considering is now that school is out, hiring a babysitter once or twice a week in the afternoon so I can craft. Then I'm not ignoring my son and he has tons of fun with the babysitters. My tip is to get a young one, 13 or so. They're more likely to play with your kid and not invite boys over. Or if you can find a boy babysitter, even better.

Often during the day, I carry a notebook around with me and plan my projects. This also helps because at least I'm doing something crafty.

Donna

I was just talking about this to my husband. I homeschool my daughters, so they are home with me all day, one is 7, the other is 3. We have a fairly large home, but because my husband works from home, our one spare room is his office, so I work at the dining room table, which is a mess all the time. We eat around the house. I try and get an hour or so to work in the evening, and leave stuff out so sometimes I can work for a half an hour while cooking dinner, that sort of thing. Around Christmas when I had a ton of projects, I had boxes for each one and that seemed to really help, instead of the huge jumble. But I kind of like having a number of projects going on, and then every few weeks I take a day to just finish things up. It is hard, but I think you need to realize that I read your blog and think holy cow, she's doing some great stuff. So when you read our blogs, you are just seeing the end product. There are some mom bloggers who really seem to turn out some amazing stuff daily, but I think most of us are like you.

MagFly

You just get a nice husband to do (nearly) all the housework... I know I'm lucky

momo

i totally understand your frustration...i'm like that too!! if i can't finish the craft within the same day, it will be destined to sit there for ages and get dust all over it!! that happens especially with beading projects becos of my small apartment, i cannot afford to not put away the million boxes of beads and wires!!

sometimes it may help to just sit back and relax...don't think too much...put some music on and light some scented candles...then follow your heart and make whatever craft you wish =)

Ness

Uh-huh! and I don't even have any kids, just the pooch!

weirdbunny

If I can't finish something that day, it just lives in the sewing box for evermore! Istant results is what I like.

joyce

last night i came home from work, ate dinner, and HAD to finish the quilt i started. it bugged me that it hasn't been finished yet. the last thing was to "hand sew" the back part of the binding which i started from 7:00 to 11:00 -- but with breaks tending to my 3 year old son. he's pretty good about entertaining himself.

Krista

Oh! You are one of the crafters that I've been marvelling at for so long now, at your productivity and creativity... I say to you - well done!
I wrote about this

http://smartmom.typepad.com/sm/2006/05/bloggin_on_the_.html

not too long ago when I was at the peak of what you're feeling. Apparently we are not alone (judging by the comments here and on the post I just linked to). I know so well what you are expressing here in your post.
I haven't found a solution yet, but I have to share two things in case you are considering the route of cutting back, like I did:
1. My stress level from trying to fit in so much crafting and insisting on finishing projects the day that I start them (I'm like that too!) has decreased hugely. I don't feel so frustrated and on edge because I've got projects I am dying to start (or finish!) but I just can't. It's nice to have lowered my expectations and my kids have really noticed a change. This is a happy thing.
2. I am missing sewing everyday and am going through huge withdrawl and feel the urge constantly, to be making something. I worry that I'm going to lose my crafting mojo. I feel really behind on projects and although the stress about it is lifted, I feel quite sad about it.
I have definitely found what so many say to be true, you can't cut out what it is you love to do, totally, because it is what you are, what makes you a whole person, part of what makes you happy. To deprive yourself of your craft is unhealthy, and a really bad idea.
I am like you, I sacrifice sleep (that I need) and a cleaner house, so I can craft when the kids are in bed. I also often give up the time I would normally spend doing big walks in the evening, or sitting with my husband after work... :(
I hope you and I and all others in this dilemma find a balance that works really soon!!

samantha

yep I'm a sleep sacrificer too. In fact, sometimes my favourite time is really late at night (early in the morning?!) when I'm quietly finishing a project while the rest of the house is asleep. It has led to myself being labelled 'narky' in the morning, but I guess things could be worse! It is really hard to find a balance, and I can get really antsy if I have to spend too much time doing non-crafty things - like you know, cooking, cleaning etc. etc. I think too - that it is hard to get time for crafting because it is not always taken 'seriously'. Bad people who think these things obviously have not seen a true crafter's work.

Leslie

Like Amanda said up above, I use a journal to track ideas and doodles to bring a project together. But like you I feel everyone else is so tirelessly productive. I try not to think about how much other people produce, or SELL! It'd drive me crazy with misplaced envy and frustration.

I'm sure you're working at reasonable pace.

jennifer

i go in waves like that - sometimes i am a crafting machine (like last night, check out my blog). but other times i can go a week without knitting or sewing, not being able to decide on what i want to commence work on, if anything. but then it picks up again and i get all inspired.
hang in there, it's probably just one of those waves. ride it out. you're an incredibly talented and inspiring artist and there's more out there for you to design.
xoxo

Mia

I have started a category on my blog called one-hour craft. I am a mum, working fulltime and feel the same sort of time pressures. Therefore I am only doing craft at the moment which takes an hour. It is amazing the amount of things you can make in that time.
The time I use I call 'stolen time', and I can't see a break for the next twenty years. Oh well I choose to be a mum, to work and to be as busy as I am.
Good luck with the juggling act!
Mia

BitterSweet

I've actually resorted to bringing my crochet or knitting into school and working on it during classes! Obviously this option isn't aplicable to you, but maybe you could take smaller projects with you on errands or appointments, like waiting to see the doctor or something? My trick is to never stop moving; I take my crafts everywhere.

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