Craft Calendar 2017

Carnelian bracelet - work in progressLast year, I tried to begin a craft calendar in April which I didn’t get to follow very closely, but which somehow helped me focus on the things I had hoped to do during the year.  HOPE is the operative word, being that a lot of things got in the way and somehow derailed my efforts to be more disciplined with the crafting.

Besides the list of tasks, I am also trying to identify PROJECTS to focus on for the month to help my productions goals along.

No more excuses, but let’s give it another go in 2017.  Again, I hope to be able to achieve more given this list of goals, and watch out for updates as the year rolls along with a monthly round up of how I’ve been doing.  (Edits, progress, deletions/additions)

I had started drafting this post in January but had gotten stuck.  So let me begin with the current month, February.

February

  • Work on the #GiftOf50 peripherals (gift tags, gift wrap, etc.) and keep creating gifts.
  • PROJECT: Start working on a light coat for Spring.

March

  • Work on getting my tour guide license.
  • Visit Lion Brand Yarns and enroll for a knitting class.
  • PROJECT: Easter cards

April

  • Begin work on fabric clutches.
  • PROJECT: throw pillows for the sofa

May 

  • Get my tour guide license.  (More on this later.)
  • Bead fabric clutches
  • PROJECT: Beaded brooch

June

  • Start planning my halloween costume, another paper fairy gown.
  • Design my holiday card for the end of the year.  (Need to determine materials.)
  • PROJECT: Launch Bead Tours

July

  • Post a clutch for sale in the etsy shop.
  • Launch first postcard set project.
  • PROJECT:  OZ projects

August

  • Start creating the halloween costume.  (Will try to actually sew one instead of pinning one together like the last time I made one in 2015.
  • PROJECT: paper boxes

September

  • Start series on Holiday-themed articles.
  • Work on Christmas decor.
  • Produce holiday cards.
  • Create gifts to give for the holidays.
  • Launch second postcard set.
  • Stock up the shop and launch holiday promo.
  • PROJECT: CHRISTMAS DECOR

October

  • Finish holiday card.
  • Start series on handmade gifts for the holidays.
  • Put up my Christmas tree last week of October.
  • PROJECT: Holiday Cards

November

  • Mail out holiday cards.
  • Decorate tree first week, deck out the house.
  • PROJECT: Wrappers / Bags for the holiday gifts

December

  • Create and make gift packaging.  (Wrapper, embellishments, tags)
  • Thank you cards
  • PROJECT: Recycling holiday wrap and cards

Here’s to a productive and crafty 2017..

Craft Calendar Update

My Paper Flower GardenI had written about my craft calendar a while back in the hopes of planning my projects for the year.  It wasn’t really a strict calendar, but mostly just something to work through as the year went on.  I had often been caught “unprepared” or lacking time to do the projects I had wanted to devote my attention to, so I started in April.  Below is a quick update, followed by a revised calendar.  This is mostly for my own personal list so that I can keep track, but it also shows how my crafting has gone to date.

April

• Get started on my fabric clutches. (Something I’m currently working on.) – I am proud to say I actually started working on this and managed to complete one tiny purse which I now use as a jewelry caddy in my bag.  It’s been a continuing learning process from me, and I’m hoping to get back to experimenting and trying to work things around in the fall.

•Create more pieces and post in the shop. (Ongoing)  – My personal trips to Fiji and Manila which meant preparing pieces to give away have greatly hampered posting in the shop, but I will keep on.

•Start taking sewing classes at Mood Fabrics.  – Enrolled, attended, and I am happy to report that I have a working tote courtesy of the class and can now operate a sewing machine without hurting myself.

May

•Get my tour guide license. (More on this later.) – I had hoped to work on this so that I can eventually offer “bead tours” in the stores here in my area.  To be able to operate legitimately, I have to pass an exam and acquire a tour guide license which I hope to work on before the year is over.  (That’s a more reasonable target for completion.)

•Start making pieces to wear and bring to Fiji. (Trip planned for end of June with bestfriend, Donna.)  – Done!

June

•Start planning my halloween costume, another paper fairy gown. – It’s August now and while I know I will be sewing part of the costume, I haven’t really sat down to sketch how my gown will look like.  I do intend to do a fairy or a queen costume again, and like last year, I intend to make it out of paper.  Son.

•Design my holiday card for the end of the year. (Need to determine materials.) – For years and years I made holiday cards until life caught up with me, and things became a bit tumultuous that I didn’t have the time to worry about making my own.  This year will be different.  I am hoping to come up with my preliminary ideas soon.

•Create pieces to bring home to Manila in late July or August. – Doing as in right now, and I’m leaving on Saturday.

•Launch bead tours. – Not until I get my tourguide license.

July

•Work on throw pillows (if the living room renovation has already started, if not, just make designs.)  – The living room renovation is hinged on several other things that haven’t yet come to pass so no, this hasn’t happened.

•Post a clutch for sale in the etsy shop. – It appears that I had greatly overestimated my abilities at making a purse so I will humbly admit that I am unable to peg a timetable as to when I will eventually get to sell one.  For now, I’m learning, creating, learning and trying to get better at this along the way.

•Launch first postcard set project. – I tried to do even just one postcard, but it appears that though it is advertised as being “easy,” getting my postcards printed is proving to be a little more difficult to do.  I am starting to work on it and will hopefully have my (first) set by the end of the year.

•Take photographs and source materials in the Philippines. – I’m due to be in Manila this August, so I will report on this upon my return towards the end of the month.  (Hope to feature some of my suppliers as well.)

With August here, following is my revised calendar taking the above into consideration.

August

  • Plan and start creating the halloween costume.  (I had made a plan to try to actually sew one instead of pinning one together like last year, even if it will be made of paper.)
  • Create paper boxes.
  • Rescheduled: Work on holiday card ideas.
  • New: Enroll in the next sewing class at Mood University. – I am so excited by this as the next class will see us working on a garment piece of our choice.  I had to forego the summer session because of the trip to Fiji but can’t wait until the fall when the next set of classes begin.

September

  • Work on Christmas decor.
  • Produce holiday cards.
  • Create gifts to give for the holidays.
  • Launch second first postcard set.
  • Stock up the shop and launch holiday promo.
  • Rescheduled: Get tourist guide license.
  • Continue working on purses.
  • Start working on halloween costume.

October

  • Finish holiday card.
  • Handmade gifts.
  • Put up my Christmas tree last week of October.
  • Launch bead tours.
  • Finish up halloween costume.

November

  • Mail out holiday cards.
  • Decorate tree first week, deck out the house.
  • Create wrappers for the holiday gifts.

December

  • Create and make gift packaging.  (Wrapper, embellishments, tags)

It is always good to see progress when we are working towards achieving a goal or set of goals as listed in my craft calendar.  I have long stopped trying to beat myself up over not being able to do more — the point is to be able to do something, no matter how small it may be.  Crafting is a passion that rides on my every day routine which is made up of being a mother, making a living and trying to go from day to day.  So I try not to be too rigid when it comes to this part of my world which has been a source of relaxation and a channel for the creative side of me.

I like that I was able to actually do some major projects like finishing a beginner sewing class and getting my shop going again.  Thanks to Etsy’s autorenewal for listings in my shop, I am able to make sure that my listings stay, instead of having to check on them manually when they expire like I used to.

I am getting more focused and organized now and hope to even be more focused and organized in the coming months and into the following year.

Getting there..

My Craft Calendar

My dream job is to really be able to schedule time to work on my crafts between trying to keep a presence here, write what I want to write, and stay on top of my almost 12-year-old.  Right now, my days revolve around a day job that pretty much takes up my whole day from 8am when I am usually on the bus to Manhattan, to 7:30pm when I walk in the door.  After that, 80% of what’s left of my moments awake are devoted to motherhood.  The usual chat and hugs between homework and dinner leave me very little time to sit down and unwind and fiddle with my projects.  What happens is that I end up sleeping at or just past midnight, but it doesn’t mean waking up later.  I will get up before 6am to start my day over the following day, no matter what time I slept the night before.

#craft toys just arrived!  Working on some #invitations using my #spellbinders #grandcalibur machine.  Just waiting for my #paperstock to arrive.  #crafthappy. And can't wait to get started!  Love these #dies..I found it rather frustrating that I came up with projects last year which turned out okay, but which would have really been “great” if only I had found the time to work on them way in advance.  So four months into 2016, (late, I know..),  I thought I’d plan ahead for the rest of the year.

So for the most part, only I can really understand what the calendar is about, but the point is for it to remind me of what I plan to do and keep me focused.  And yet again, I’m hoping to start posting here more regularly, not monthly.

Here’s what I hope to focus on in the coming months:

April

  •  Get started on my fabric clutches.  (Something I’m currently working on.)
  • Create more pieces and post in the shop. (Ongoing)
  • Start taking sewing classes at Mood Fabrics. (Free, already enrolled, due to begin end of the month.. Yay!)

May 

  • Get my tour guide license.  (More on this later.)
  • Start making pieces to wear and bring to Fiji.  (Trip planned for end of June  with bestfriend, Donna.)

June

  • Start planning my halloween costume, another paper fairy gown.
  • Design my holiday card for the end of the year.  (Need to determine materials.)
  • Create pieces to bring home to Manila in late July or August.
  • Launch bead tours.

July

  • Work on throw pillows (if the living room renovation has already started, if not, just make designs.)
  • Post a clutch for sale in the etsy shop.
  • Launch first postcard set project.
  • Take photographs and source materials in the Philippines.

August

  • Start creating the halloween costume.  (Will try to actually sew one instead of pinning one together like last year.)
  • Create paper boxes.

September

  • Work on Christmas decor.
  • Produce holiday cards.
  • Create gifts to give for the holidays.
  • Launch second postcard set.
  • Stock up the shop and launch holiday promo.

October

  • Finish holiday card.
  • Handmade gifts.
  • Put up my Christmas tree last week of October.

November

  • Mail out holiday cards.
  • Decorate tree first week, deck out the house.
  • Create wrappers for the holiday gifts.

December

  • Create and make gift packaging.  (Wrapper, embellishments, tags)

The calendar is obviously not set in stone and is meant to just be a guide to help me focus.  As crafting is not my number one priority, it usually becomes an afterthought and then a cause for a flood of “should haves” and “if onlys”.  I’ll revisit the list from time to time to report on how I’ve been doing.