Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Making the time for daily crafting

One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to make time every day for crafting. After having daily craft projects for the last two years - my Sky Blanket and my Year in Seconds video - I'm hoping that it won't be too much trouble to squeeze in a few minutes to work on something.

How to make time for daily crafting

I've already talked about my crafty plans for the year ahead, and I've got a few brand new long term projects that I'm going to be working on. It's a bit of a mixture - cross stitch, weaving and crochet - and I'm looking forward to getting properly stuck in.

To help me I thought I'd first look at the reasons or excuses that might stop me, and then brainstorm some ways to get over them.

My barriers to daily crafting are:

* Finding the time

* Guilt at doing something purely for myself

* The thought of having to get everything out to work on and then put it away again afterwards, especially with a large project like a blanket

* Working on something that I need to concentrate on, for example trying to keep track of the number of stitches, when people around me are always asking me for something

* Simply forgetting, or just reaching for something easier to occupy me like my phone

Here are my solutions:

* Finding the time - I need to plan the daily crafting into my daily routine. I'm very lucky that I do have plenty of time I just need to make sure that I don't waste it.

* Guilt - I need to not have it! Many studies have been done that show how important crafting and other hobbies are, and crafting is important to me and my mental health.

* Accessibility - I need to come up with ways to store my works in progress so that I can get to them and tuck them out of the way easily. I've already made a start with my latest crochet blanket project, I've packed all the yarn, hooks, stitch markers, pattern and so on into a box which I can carry around the house with me and which keeps everything contained and looking tidy.

Yarn all wound up in a box ready to start crochet

I'm keeping my cross stitch all together in a zip lock bag which can be picked up and taken around with me, and it's also a nice portable project if we are going away for a few days.

* Concentration - I need to divide my projects into those that need total concentration and those that I can work on with people around. This might be different parts of the same project - for example with cross stitch I can work on the complicated bits while I'm alone and then catch up with the filler bits when there are people around.

* Forgetting and being distracted - hopefully some of the above steps will help with this. So having a project set up and ready to go, or having an easy bit of project ready and waiting to be worked on.

To keep me motivated I like to come up with little challenges to myself. For example, my latest cross stitch sampler is made up of different sized rectangles. I'm aiming to complete one rectangle every month, and because they are different sizes I can save the smaller ones for months when we have a lot going on. If I get ahead of myself that's a bonus!

I also like to share my crafts to Instagram and I want to get into the habit of doing this daily too. Nicola and I run a crafty community using the hashtag #craftingismytherapy_currentmonth and we are really pleased with how many people have been joining in. We are currently using #craftingismytherapy_january and it's lovely to see so many amazing projects and such a variety of different crafts being shared, we both share our favourites at the end of each month.

If you are also looking for ways to fit crafting into your daily life then I really enjoyed reading this article about making time for crafting and I've also blogged in the past about fitting in my crafting around small children. I'd love to hear any more tips if you have them!

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