It's October and although it doesn't seem like the holiday season, it is for crafters. To help motivate myself (and maybe you, too), I thought I'd write up a post of 10 Holiday Planning Tips for Creative Gals
…& No Freaking Out
1. Create a Mind Map of what you like to do. I had our 14yo gal work on one last weekend, since she needs to do some fundraising for her upcoming ballet trips (NYC!). She simply wrote, "Ballet" in the middle, then drew lines and circles out from there with every single idea that came to mind: beading, crocheting, drawing. No editing allowed! Your mindmap may also be jotted onto paper, but if you'd like to create a simple and quick mindmap from the computer, just put random words into Wordle.
2. Write down your Who Gets What Wish List. You probably will not be able to complete every project on this list and that's okay. But write down what you'd create for who (whom?), as if life was an easy road to maneuver.
3. Prioritize the Who Gets What List. If you could only get projects done for three people, who would get them? How about one? Who gets the one project that will get done? This project is your top priority. I usually choose three people, for three types of projects: brainless, bit-of-thinking, and mind-consuming.
4. Have a brainless project to do. Or, an easy project. The brainless project is for those times when you are waiting for the washer to turn off, because you're pretty sure it'll only be a minute, but it sometimes takes a few. It's for the times when you're at the dentist's office and you know you'll be interrupted by the receptionist at any random second, if not by your child who keeps asking questions. Great brainless projects: knitting in stockinette stitch (I'm making a scrap blanket that is always on the needles, ready for any brainless moment), an embroidery project of a drawing, sketching, crocheting a potholder.
5. Have a 'bit of thinking' project to do. This project requires a bit more concentration, so you'll pick it up when you anticipate having a solid half hour or so to work on it. This project is great during the baby's nap which may or may not be long, and it's great while lasagna is in the oven (45 minutes!). Good bit-of-thinking projects: beading on a string, following a crochet pattern, writing down a few thoughts, working from a sewing pattern.
6. Do mind-consuming projects when you can be alone. You probably already have this figured out, but it's amazing how many times I must remind myself to not plan on doing a mind-boggling project when the kids are running about. It usually takes spilled beads or glued fingers to rememember, "Oh, yeah, mind-consuming projects are for the times when I'm alone." If your life allows you no time alone, first: thank God for such a full, fun life, then: don't do mind-consuming projects. You still have the brainless and bit-of-thinking projects to do, and they're fun, too. Mind-consuming projects: anything with flame, hot glue, and more than one sharp object.
7. Watch those sales ads now. If we watch the local craft stores' sales ads that come in the mail or through email, we can save a lot on the materials we need for projects. Start looking now, wait, and you'll find that whatever you need will go on sale within the next month or so.
8. Purchase some crafty supplies online. I purchased gorgeous red velvet online one year for a fraction of the price I'd have paid in the store. It was used as a Christmas tree skirt for a long time, and later as Red Riding Hood's cape. I also purchase oils, bath product ingredients, dried herbs online. These items are much cheaper online, and very hard to find locally.
9. Know when you just need to buy. Young mommies and young brides need to listen to me on this: life is just a bunch of phases. Whatever phase you're in, you can know one thing for sure: it will pass. If your life is all babies & toddlers, go ahead and start a craft project (because I know you must), but don't set any timeline expectations. It's okay if you never finish it — you'll look at that unfinished project one day and it will remind you of cozy, crazy baby days. If you do finish it, wonderful! But don't feel guilty about purchasing – instead of creating – something. I think personalized holiday cards are one of the easiest custom gifts to make. There are many places to create holiday cards. Try this company: Storkie Christmas cards. Here are a few of their designs:
10. And finally, when you cannot think of what to do – either because you have too many ideas or too few – a problem I run into rather often! - there is always inspiration to be found on Pinterest.
What would you add to this list? I love being inspired by you, so please share!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the Storkie holiday blogging program. I received compensation for my participation. All opinions are 100% mine.