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freedom of an uninspiring day

Being a crafter or designer is a full time job. When I'm not making, packing, promoting or posting, I am thinking about colour palettes, product development, new ranges and improving techniques. If I'm out in the car, I observe the colours of the countryside, when I am trying to fall asleep I combine different techniques and design processes in the hope I come across a new idea that is unique, aesthetic and viable to make, (both in production costs and post-ability!), when I am in the bath, I might recall my particular interests and inspirations in the hope something might be transferable as a new development process....the list goes on.

As a rule, I wake up having planned the night before what I intend to do and if I am really on the ball, I get all the equipment and materials ready the night before too. Throughout the making process, I keep detailed analytical notebooks on any successes or failures. These notebooks are vital as they are a constant, vital source of information for future developments. I find that first thing in the morning my mind isn't very creative but by late evening the ideas are coming thick and fast. On days I have no inspiration, I go and do my garden, observing the flowers and leaves, colours and patterns. I have a belief that design cannot be forced, and on days where I have a block, I believe it is my mind telling me to take a break, get away from design and give my mind something else to think about. Nothing good comes from worrying that a creation isn't forming...sitting with a stack of materials and no idea what to do with them is really toxic. With so much more to do than just make, I therefore take a day off.

Me and my daisies

Beside the garden things I would do are:

1. Check equipment and raw material stock, which I do every now and again. It is good to remind yourself of all the little bits and bobs you're bought and forgotten about, and vital to make a list of things that are running out.

2. Check the calendar as to what is the next celebratory expense, eg Mother Day, Easter, but bare in mind as a Crafter, you work to a calendar up to four months ahead of everyone else, depending on how long your personal making time is. There's nothing more bizarre than designing valentines cards when everyone is just starting their Christmas shopping!

3. Research on Pinterest. I find this web site INCREDIBLY resourceful as it is rammed full of so many amazing things. It is the perfect research tool to see if the ideas I have, have already been made. I never bother to make something if it has already been done.

4. Social media takes up a lot of time, and is crucial in getting your wares out there. I tend to look through the craft pages I am part of and often give advice. I make sure I go on social media 4-5 times a week, simply to post a picture on Cats Punky Stuff Facebook and Twitter to keep the pages constantly ticking over. I don't really like Twitter, but I do it anyway. It may be the first port of call for new enquiries, so I do think it is important to keep on top of it.

5. My online Etsy shop also takes up a lot of time, with updating the notifications, checking what is due to expire soon and generally assess how it is performing.

6. These blogs I am writing take a few hours to compile, so whenever you see this blog, you know it was probably a dry day, creatively.

What happens when I have some spare time!
Me messing about!

Crafting is a full time job, not only because of the high level of self-motivation you have to have, or all the behind-the-scenes research work that is so time consuming, but you have to fit in me time too! Planning well ahead is crucial, not stressing with difficult achievements is vital, worrying about dry days is pointless, but when you get everything right, the rewards are priceless.

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