I am definitely goal oriented. From the time I get up in the morning, to the time I go to bed at night, I have mental goals that I want to achieve. Some of these goals are as simple as putting the dishes away that are in the strainer to picking up the dogs’ toys which they have strung out all over the house. But others are more complex depending on what project I’m currently working on. My goals usually always have an end result in something I can see. The fruits of my labor are tangible. I’m always making something, baking something (usually not a good thing for my waist-line), painting something, or, much to my husband’s chagrin, planning a project for him to do.
I’ve been through all the crafts; I sew, knit, crochet, do counted cross-stitch (when that was a big thing); I do all sorts of beading, including Kumihimo (a Japanese braiding technique), polymer clay and vinyl stencil making. I own two sewing machines, a Silhouette Cameo, polymer clay roller, several kumihimo disks, a laminator, and of course, a computer or two. I know and have used most of all of the Microsoft products and most of all the Adobe products. I own two or three cameras, including one semi-professional Canon. I photograph and print my own pictures as well as composite and create with Photoshop. My kids and grandkids know that should they want something for crafting, more than likely, grandma has it in her “mom cave”. It’s not that I can’t settle on one certain thing, its just that I love creating things. I love seeing the end result to my hard (and sometimes, not so hard) work. And, I love learning to do new things.
But this is where the problem arises. I love so much seeing the end result that I often times don’t enjoy or appreciate the time spent getting there. After I retired from my full time job, I decided I wanted to get a part time job to help defray the costs of my medical insurance. I found one of the most asked interview questions was “what is your worst trait and how do you combat it” or something to that effect. Not that I don’t have bad traits, but I didn’t believe saying things such as “I have no patience for stupidity” or something like that, would fair well, I developed the following response. Because it is true. When I am crafting something, whether it is on the computer using Photoshop, or beading, or sewing, the closer I come to the finished product, the more hurrieder (new word) I get. I’m so excited to see the end result, that I find that is where I make the most mistakes. So, how do I combat that? I build in enough time before the self-imposed (mostly) deadline that I can stop, walk away, and come back with fresh eyes and look back over what I’ve done. It has helped me immensely.
My most recent adventure is quilting. Only one other time in my life have I tried piecing together a quilt, and that unfinished quilt is still in a Rubbermaid tub in my basement. One of my friends is a quilter, as is my sister-in-law, who is quite accomplished, but I’ve never really felt the urge until a couple week ago. I read a crafting blog site which I’d discovered when I got into vinyl stencil making with my Cameo Silhouette, and on this blog site was the most adorable quilt pattern called “Jane’s Ladder.” It contained all the pastel colors of pinks and greens and yellows that I am so drawn to and the neutrals of tans and grays and it was small. Crib size. My size. I started reading the directions for this quilt and thought…I can do this. I loved so much the colors in the quilt that I ordered the “charm packs” directly from the company. That is, after I figured out what “charm packs” were, and HSTs and RSTs.
And, just in case you are interested, “charm packs” are precut 5″ squares that come in packs of 42 different colors and patterns. HSTs are “half-square triangles” and RSTs are “right sides together”.
I’m about half-way through piecing the squares together. Yesterday, as I was ironing down the seams on one of the squares wishing I could start piecing the squares together to make the quilt, I realized that I was so focused on the end product, that I wasn’t fully enjoying the process of making the quilt. That, in itself, is a revelation. To understand that I need to enjoy the time it takes to make the product, as well, as the end product itself, is enlightening. So tpday, and tomorrow, as I go about the task of sewing and piecing, the squares together, I’m going to remind myself that the journey to the end is just as important as the end.
(But, I still can’t wait till its done! Stay tuned).