Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Give You Permission

Rather than grab onto a sullen pout that the calendar is running faster towards Christmas, I take some serious steps that have served me well. Keep in mind that I wasn't born with these techniques but rather I have had to cultivate them, born of frustration and exhaustion.

Are you a kindred spirit? I believe so.

Before we get started, let me give you permission. You are the person who is usually sewing out of love for the recipients of your gifts. Some people buy out of love for their recipients. One is NOT more noble than the other. Each should be an expression of our heart lest it be falsehood to gift in any other manner. Give yourself permission to not sew for anyone you don't love...truly!

1. Before starting any creative projects, put away all the distractions from your creating space.

For some of us this will entail whole cleaning. I recommend that you figure out what you can do in less than half a day. Your inspiration area may never be ready to be featured in "Where Women Create" or "Studio". The goal here is to make it so that you can function.

I recently purchased new Koala studio pieces (which I love, love, love). I am having my flooring worked on in a few weeks. It would be a ridiculous choice for me to work on re-decorating and putting my stash of stuff "away". So, I have stored it in a couple closets. To get through Thanksgiving, I first dumped it in the areas. All the while, I sort out things for donation or for dumping if it isn't inspiring me any longer. Out of sight. Out of mind. (Take that how you wish.) Last week, I started digging through the stuff to find the things I WANT to work on. I set aside anything that is beyond my ability to finish in this short time.

And repeat: I sort out things for donation or for dumping if it isn't inspiring me any longer.

2. Set out all the things you would LIKE to get done for the holidays.

I stacked the things up that I WANT to sew. I went to the store and bought the colors of fabrics that I really want to sew for my loved ones. I have been petting the Figgy Pudding fabric at the store. I know I have some very special people in my life who are going to love these fresh new things. It is time we all quit thinking it noble to refrain from sewing with what inspires us in the hopes that it will inspire us to want to sew the ugly stuff we are hanging onto in our stash.

And repeat: I sort out things for donation or for dumping if it isn't inspiring me any longer.

I made sure to add some new patterns that inspire me. When I brought it home, I made a list of what I want to get done. Went to bed. Wake up and remove the unreasonable things.

As I sort through the projects, I remember the stuff that I have in my stash that will help this project. I find piping and plan to use it all up (because I know I will lose it and forget it later).

As I dig through that older stuff, I sort out things for donation or for dumping if it isn't inspiring me any longer.

Depending on my mood, I will decide my course of action. Respecting your patterns of behavior, you need to decide how you best function. For me, when I am tired, I can't sit a long time lest I get sleepy. So, I like to stand and cut. I put in a good movie and start cutting out everything. I lay out two or three projects that when I am more up to sewing, I can just sew.

If I am ready to sit and sew, I will pull up Pandora on my computer and listen to music and sew and sew and sew.

Start asking yourself about when you are most productive. I find that late at night and early in the morning are my best times. I also respect that sometimes I need a 20 minute rest in the afternoon. This may not be a nap but rather a time to just enjoy quiet and not doing. When you start practicing these disciplines that respect your own style of creating, you will find that you not only are more productive but also are much less frustrated. Giving your creativity as a gift should benefit the recipient but also the giver. Give yourself the gift of PEACE.

All the Best to You, jill

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