Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Slow Down, Focus

I just spent I don't even want to tell you how long trying to decide which photo I should include at the top of this post. Mind you, the photo really has nothing to do with the post. It's just one I like. A photo I thought of using for the banner of this page, in fact.

But actually, perhaps this is a good metaphor for today's theme: I need to focus. Don't get hung-up on the dinosaur picture. They are all cute! Just pick one and move on.

You see, I have decided that I would like to participate in a holiday craft fair, and this particular craft fair will take place in approximately 5 1/2 weeks. At the moment, my current HeyAllday Handmade inventory includes 7 turban headbands, 3 1/2 carpet bags, and 4 stuff bags. But in order to participate in this craft fair? I will need a lot more stock than that. What if it's crowded? What if the customers like my stuff? I mean, it is the holidays...the one time of year when society tells everyone that they have to buy gifts for EVERYONE. Maybe these customers will be jolly and generous? Maybe they will be drunk? Either which way, I must be prepared. And so I start to make a list--a very scary list--of everything that must be done before then:

-Make 15 carpet bags and 15 stuff bags (at LEAST).
-Forget about the sewn turbans for now...those are for springtime anyway.
-Crochet 20 turbans...these make great impulse buys!

So that means that I need to make 3 of each type of bag and 4 crocheted turbans every week between now and December 10.

And suddenly I am feeling insane. Can I do this? What if they turn out shitty because I'm working so damn fast? What if I stop sleeping altogether? What if nobody even wants to buy any of it? And then I have, like, 40 bags at my house and a zillion turbans, and alllll that time spent. Will I literally be crocheting at the Thanksgiving table?

And yet, I actually think that I can do this. And I am just hopeful enough to believe that maybe, just maybe, the customers will buy some of it. If I can just keep my head down, keep to my schedule, continue to love every second of the creative process, and possibly lure friends over to cut out fabric in exchange for home-cooked meals. If I do these things, then maybe, just maybe, I will succeed.

I wrote this yesterday on the way home and felt somewhat calmer after getting it out. So I thought, hmm, maybe this could help another insane crafter somewhere who is attempting to prepare for a holiday craft fair. And so I share it with you.

11/1/11  6:30ish pm
Slow down, focus. There is no need to mindlessly hit refresh.

I know what it is. The synapses want to fire in that way, the one that you have come to recognize as self worth. It's in numbers, hits, pageviews, dollars spent, likes, loves, and comments. It can be bought and bartered, but it doesn't matter. What is said is said, what is made is made, regardless of whether or not anyone else is looking. To care so much extracts the heart from the matter.

I know what it is. I am vulnerable. To tell the world and not succeed (and here's where someone--probably your mother--says it's better to have tried...).

Focus. What do you want to make? What do you have to say?

Last week, I understood. Not the full picture, but my next step anyway. I was hit with the thought that I had finally percolated and was ready to be consumed. This is where I am supposed to be. I nearly burst out laughing as it hit me. Tears of relief in my eyes.



  1. You can do it!
    It is hard to quantify the time you will spend with money earned but you will be successful and enjoy the challenge...I just know it!

  2. I hear you here! I'm torn between lots of little things I can make quickly & sell cheaply or a few bigger things that show my style more. Trying to do a good mix of both in the 4 weeks I have.

  3. What is said is said, what is made is made, regardless of whether or not anyone else is looking.

    Too true. Sometimes I rely overly much on this concept (*cough* 10 NaNo novels), but at the end of the day, you have to love it. The process, I mean. And you do love it, always, even when you hate it. Happy (not-so-)crappy crafting!

  4. Who wouldn't love your creations!! They are gorgeous and made with love. Are you sharing a booth with friends or going solo?

  5. Yay! Thanks for the words of encouragement, people!

    Kat, I'm trying soooo hard to keep quality in mind, but my goodness those shortcuts are tempting. Here's what I think: buy high-quality materials and keep it simple and you can't lose. And if you wouldn't buy it yourself, don't try to sell it to someone else.

    Erin, I want to READ one of those ten novels sometime, by the way. Will you make me an anthology for Christmas??

    Kaye, I WISH I was sharing a booth with a buddy. Maybe Miss Tara Grey can come out and sell some jam with me. :)