A Few More Crafty Resolutions for 2011

Happy New Year!   It's that resolution time of year and if you're anything like me your crafty life could use a resolution or two.  Here are five to get you started:
Knock Knock Studio
1. Get organized
You can't work if your space is piled high in supplies. If you're organizationally challenged, check out some of our past Workspace Wednesday blogs for inspiration.  Get crafty when it comes to space saving and storage solutions turn tea boxes into drawer dividers or cans into pencil holders.  Optimize your storage space by using wall space.  I was inspired by a pegboard design in Ready Made magazine.
Journal by BlueStitchBooks
2. Use what you have before buying more
How many times have you bought supplies only to find that you already had that item?  I do it all the time – I must have a dozen sets of number 8 knitting needles!  If you've got 8 balls of the same yarn – make a project with that first. Figure out what size brushes, needles or what color pencils you need before you buy another.   I’m writing a list of all the needles I have and keeping it on my iPhone ( I bet there’s an app for that).  Write down what colors you don't have in your silkscreen paints. Keep an easily tracked inventory if needed in a notebook if you are lo-tech.  Check out some of the journals available from The {NewNew}.
Pillow by AlexandraFerguson

3. Finish at least one unfinished project before tackling a new craft
Many of us have multiple interests and mediums. If you spin and knit, finish spinning that skein and knitting that hat before moving on to a new embroidery project. Don't buy expensive screen-printing equipment when you've got 4 unfinished quilts sitting in the corner in a basket.  In other words, just say NO, temporarily that is!
4. Donate unused supplies
Did you decide that sewing was just not for you but still have a box of fabric? Give it to a nursing home. Tons of empty sketchbooks that you’re ignoring in favor of beadwork?  See if there's a daycare that can use the extra paper. Pastels a thing of the past? See if your local elementary school can use them.  Schools, nursing homes, and women's shelters are always good places to contact about donating supplies.
5. Use your powers for good
There are plenty of charities that accept handmade goods.  Sew up a stuffed toy and give it to the women's shelter. Knit some preemie hats and give them to a local hospital. For inspiration check out the hats The {NewNew} and visitors to the Maker Faire donated to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital last fall.
Share your crafty resolution for 2011 with us!  We'd love to hear from you.

Time Management the SMART Way

September seems to have just flown by. Working a full-time day job, keeping up with my accessory design business and trying to have a personal life proved quite the challenge this month.  Before I realized it, the first of the fall shows was upon me and I was scrambling to be ready.   I was just not working SMART, as the time management guru’s call it.  While I wouldn't wish my September on anyone, I know I am not the only one out there who could use a refresher course in goal setting and time management.

Manage your time like a Superhero
SuperMan Recycled Vinyl Clock $20
SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Timely

Set Specific Goals
Set up goals that are specific and you will have a clearer path to envisioning where you will end up. The clearer the picture, the easier it is to visualize what you need to be doing. Without a clear vision, you can't always see where you’re going or where you expect to end up.

Create Measurable Goals
One of the best ways to measure success involves tracking the number of items made and/or actual sales of items.  Once you've set specific goals, figure out the best way to measure them and your progress toward them.

Set Attainable Goals
An attainable goal is a goal for which you see a realistic path to achievement, and reasonable odds that you get there. This does not mean that the lower you aim the more likely you reach success. Goals that work best have a challenge in them, they are chosen to be as ambitious as possible, but still reachable.

Write it down and keep track of progress
Coptic Bound Dot Matrix Journal $16
Know What's Rewarding About Completing Your Goals
A goal is rewarding when you have clear reasons why you want to reach it. Have specific reasons and expected reward in writing or depicted visually. Imagine how you are going to feel when the goal is reached. Then, if you get stuck and don't feel motivated, read your reasons and look at the pictures.

Make Your Goals Timely
Having a specific timeline is one of the best ways to ensure you reach for your goals. A deadline is also your protection from procrastination and unreasonable perfectionism.

Ellis Designs