Tuesday, 8 December 2015

taking time, and making time

i've been in go-go-go mode for so long, i can't quite remember the last time i took a proper moment to sit and focus on only one (major) project. after this weekend, that's my plan. at least for a couple of weeks.

last friday was the opening for my when nature fought back exhibit at manitoba craft council. i had a great time, and want to extend a huge thanks to the 57 folks who came through over the evening, my mum for helping out with running errands and just generally being awesome, tammy and corrie for having me, and to mel for being my host and also my social buffer for the evening ha. large social events as an introvert are interesting and frequently exhausting exercises, but they're also great. the exhibit is up until january, so pop by during office hours if you can!

my body, of course, decided to start relaxing as soon as the exhibit ended, which doesn't exactly work for me because i still have to be functional until after this weekend. and when my body relaxes after a project, it also tends to shut down because it's worn out. i've been in constant nearly-nap mode for the past few days despite work, selling at fa la la!, and getting to spend five hours helping a friend do hardware install on one of his projects (invaluable experience, because i still don't really get the electronics side of things and hands-on experiences will help cement that in my brain and muscles). this weekend will be the last big push with the ruby street studios holiday sale, and then i can chill for a little bit and focus on only one thing - knitting the samples for my first book.

for those of you who tuned into the first episode of my podcast (a new exercise i started last week and which i'll be attempting to put out consistently for at least the next few months), you already know about my book plans. but for those of you who haven't heard yet, i'm writing a book. it'll be a book of knitting patterns, available in e-book and also hard copy form, and i'm planning to release it next fall. i'll be able to talk a little bit more about it in april, after spending time with my dear one in nova scotia and doing the photoshoot for it in march along the bay of fundy. but until then, you just need to know that i'm working on a book, that it's the focus of my knitting time over the next few months, and that you'll be able to get your hands on it sometime next year.

i also received some news last night which i can't share with you yet (probably not until january, actually), but it's incredibly exciting and will allow me to take my conceptual craft practice in a whole new direction. it will be big, and juggling it and the book will probably get rather interesting. which brings me to my next point...

i've been thinking about how to balance my time better (i'm actually signed up for a webinar this friday with tara swiger on exactly that subject). the reality of my current situation is that i work a 40-hour work week outside of my home, completely unrelated to my personal practice, and when you factor in the travel time, it's really more like 50 hours that i lose every week. which is fine, because it pays my bills and forces me to not be a hermit and is teaching me skills that are useful in other aspects of my life. but it also means that i have significantly less time to devote to the various threads of my practice. and so i have to prioritize. which i am not always good at, but i need to try, purely out of necessity. so.

i'm keeping the etsy shop closed over the holidays (it's closed right now anyway because of the studio sales). after the holidays, i'll reopen it, but i'm not going to worry about keeping it regularly stocked. maintaining a full and comprehensive etsy shop is a lot of work, and realistically, i don't really sell my yarn much online. i'll continue making stock for in-person sales, and fill wholesale orders, and i'll keep some undyed bases on stock so that if someone wants to place a custom order, i can fill it quickly. this will save me countless hours of photographing and listing orders that basically sit on an online shelf until i sell them in-person, and then i have to remember to pull them from the shop. because natural dyes mean i can't just repeat colourways in a consistent manner, i need to photograph every single item that goes in the shop, and i just don't have time for that these days. so this is the solution, at least for now.

so in the new year, if you want to order corrie, or perfect sweater, or mermaid hair, or ecoprints or gradients or 80/20 sock, you absolutely still can. and you can order regular or large stitch markers too. but i'll be doing dyed-to-order instead for the yarn, and hopefully that works better for all of us. and if you want a set of five of hearts, don't forget to ask your lys to place a wholesale order. they can grab some mermaid hair at that point as well (those are the two options available for wholesale orders, just fyi).

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