Friday, September 12, 2014

Finding my craft mojo

People always ask me, how do you find time to craft? I am happy to share the tips and tricks I have for fitting this in amongst two boys, a busy household and running my Close To My Heart business. Some days, I wish this would happen:

There are a few things I do to make life easier though.

First off, I make sure I have a written to do list. This takes the form of an excel spreadsheet I have with all my upcoming design team requirements, classes and workshops, and the ideas I have for each project as well as any items I need to order. Right now I have each month on a different sheet and have planned up until the end of the year. This takes care of any last minute panic trying to get a blog post sorted or realising I don't have enough supplies for a Gathering.

For general crafting, a lot of it happens when my youngest is napping during the day, or at night when the boys are in bed. This can be a hindrance however, as the lighting isn't great at night and sometimes my design doesn't look as great in the morning!

For my scrapbook layouts, I use a template to plan each page. That way, I know if I have a page that will be a double page spread, I know where it will have to fit within my album, rather than making a whole lot of layouts and then realising that they do not flow in my album.

If I see a page or layout idea that I want to recreate, I pin it to my Scrapbook Layouts Pinterest board. I print out the images of each layout, as well as making notes of which photos I want to use with this layout. I also use the Close To My Heart Ideas Books to plan my scrapbook pages in advance. That way, when I go to print my photos I know what size I need. Here is an example of my planner with notes I have made about each page.

Pinterest can be a great tool, but I make sure I limit my time on there to 20 minutes when I am searching for a specific idea. I have my ideas split in to groups: Cardmaking Ideas, Close To My Heart, Craft Ideas and Scrapbook Layouts. This way, I know where a layout, card or specific CTMH idea will be within my Pinterest boards.

Once I have my ideas, guides and layouts together, I am able to quickly put together a scrapbook page without wasting time. This method does require some preparation, but every six months seems to be enough for me as I can plan my albums quite far in advance since I am a bit behind at the moment!

I also schedule craft time into my diary, so that it is written down. It is easy to be distracted, so I make sure to split my time into sections for family, housework, craft, running classes etc so that I always know when my time is needed where.

I love participating in challenges, as the time limits force me to get something created within a specific time frame! It also encourages me to use my stash by featuring items I usually wouldn't use, such as butterflies on a boy layout or a technique I have not tried before. My favourite challenge blogs are Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge, CASE Study, CASology, CSI, Heart To Heart Challenges and Merry Monday, as well as any others that take my fancy when I have time.

The last thing is to always make it fun. There is no point in me working on projects I don't love, or doing things that i am not passionate about. Find what you love, and embrace it. Whether it be jewelry, Picture My Life, cards or mixed media, go with what makes you happy. At the end of the day, my mantra is:

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