Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Crafting Method

Thanks for all the nice words, ya'll! I feel like I am nesting already. The cleaning & organizing has begun to set-in ;>)

In the last post Saralyn asked one (very serious) question: how do you find the time to craft--from deciding what you want to make, to finding a pattern, to actually completing the project--and homeschool? I'm having a horrible time keeping my house in order while homeschooling and simply gaze longingly at the stash of material in my sewing corner! Any tips would be much appreciated.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want to make before I actually do it. Planning how I will assemble something or what type of fabric I will use or even making sketches and approximate dimensions of the finished product. It was the same way when I worked as a pastry chef: I would review & review in my mind what I wanted to do first, like how to assemble 500 pastries or how I was going to decorate a cake, etc. so that way when it came time to do it, it was like I already had rehearsed it. This sounds kinda silly, but then I spend less time hemming and hawing and trying to figure out what to do next.
{This works for other areas of my life as well!}

I keep a folder under my bookmarks called "tutorials". That way when I come across something {during my morning blog/computer time} I want to make, I just file it away for when the mood strikes. Less time searching around for the needed instructions and all my ideas are neatly tucked in one place.

I do a lot of my pattern cutting at night after the kids are in bed, while I am unwinding or watching TV.

I have a dedicated sewing area, which is my "formal dining room/playroom". I can't tell you how much this affects things. It is in the main part of my house so I am always near the kids, either with them right in the same room or just an earshot away. I can do a little at a time as the kids {!} allow like a few minutes of ironing or organizing my next pattern, etc. It is connected to the kitchen as well where we homeschool so occasionally when dd is working on something self-directed, like a workbook or craft project, I can sit for 10 minutes or so and sew. When I was an avid scrapbooker, my workspace was in the basement & I really had to make an effort to go down there to use it. This one thing has made a huge difference.

We only homeschool for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours a day. This is formal school, not including gametime or reading or other learning activities.

I don't have the cleanest house on the block. I'm sure this may seem "wrong" to some people. I consider my house to be in decent shape most of the time, but you wouldn't want to eat off the floor and there is a small layer of dust on the edges of my fan blades. I really find that, since I am a creative person, I need some sort of outlet for that energy. It makes me a more fun, more relaxed, more emotionally healthy mom. I think all moms {dads too!} should do a little something for themselves, whatever it is they enjoy, whether it be exercising or reading or going for walks or bubble baths or cleaning/organizing {!}, on an almost daily basis. Our families will all be better for it.

And last but not least, I have a wonderful husband who supports my hobby & has hobbies of his own which I support. We both understand how these outlets benefit us personally & the how those benefits carry over to our family.
There is many an occasion {about once a month, especially during the warmer months} that he will take both of the children for the entire day to his parents so that I can do whatever it is I wish. Prime crafting time! We also have 3 other sets of grandparents {my kids basically have 4 grandparent houses} that like to take the kids for the day or even overnight. More time to myself! This is actually happening today, when my mom is taking the girls to the movie theatre & then overnight for a sleepover. I'm sure I'll get some sewing done, then hubster & I are going to take off to Janesville, just to see what's there.

So that's how I do it. Hope that isn't more than what you wanted to know, but it is a question I get asked from time to time. Maybe today you will carve out a little time for yourself to do something you enjoy. Cheers!


Alisa said...

I get asked this question fairly often too Rebecca. And sometimes its kind of like an accusation. Like... must be nice to have all that time to sew... I think I could almost write word for word what you have written. Having a designated sewing area where you can leave things out and work on them in 10 minute increments really helps. Love, love all of your recent projects! Make sure you take time to rest (I know, I know, sewing can be just as restful as a rest!) Take care.

Beth said...

I hope you don't take it like an accusation. Many are just curious because we all are interested in how people manage their time...I think it always gives ideas to how we can change things up a bit. I totally understand the need to have this time...with me it's not crafting (ha ha! all know that!). My outlet is working out and cleaning. I think it's awsome to hear how people take time for themselves...makes for a much happier home!!!!! Maybe you could do a workshop, Becki, for us not so skilled in the area of creativity!

Erin said...

Just out of curosity...Is 1- 1 1/2 hours typical for a homeschool curriculum day? I do realize that you are not including reading and gametime...but I thought it was a much more time consuming decision.

Rebecca said...

From what I've read, that amount of time "seems" typical. She's only in 1st grade after all!! And you have to remember that I am only teaching ONE child, so my time isn't divided/required by multiple kids. It seems like much of the time in a public school is consumed by "the group" and the teaching/moving from activity to activity of a large number of children. We don't have lunchtime {well you know what i mean} or recess or potty breaks or settling in time or any of those other necessities that a normal school would need. In that amount of time we cover: History {daily~Biblical}, a thinking game/science/art project, Scripture memorization {daily}, song/rhyme to reinforce Scripture {daily}, devotion {as dictated by curriculum about 1-2 times per week}, handwriting or thinking skills {alternating}, storytime & comprehension {daily}, math {daily} and I have just added phonics {3 times per week}. It is probably closer to 1 1/2 hours, but sometimes if I am tired we will take breaks or skip the art project, etc.

It's not as time consuming as you would think. We are trained to think school takes hours upon hours because most of us went to public schools for the entire day, but one-on-one teaching goes a lot faster than 25-on-one. I am sure as she gets older & the lessons get more complicated or we do more involved activities then we will spend more of the day 'doing school".

Thanks for being curious :>)

Saralyn said...

Thanks so much for uncovering your secret! I like your tutorial storage idea a lot. We have three who are school-age so do school about 4-6 hours each day including music practice, but still, I should be able to get some sewing done if I can get out of the deer-in-the-headlights stage!

Erin said...

Thanks for clairifying. I spend over an hour and a half with K1 and K2 when they get home reinforcing what they have learned by doing homework with them and listening to them read. I guess it seemed like a short amount of time only because I have never tried it. I have purchased some books for Kyla lately. One being hooked on phonics handwriting and Kindergarten in 30 minutes a day so that I can do more preschool than she is getting at preschool two days a week. She seems to me to be advanced for her age(if I was comparing her to her sisters)and is quite a sponge right I want to take advantage of that.