Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Five for February

I'm planning on spending a good deal of time this month exploring some of the challenges associated with the concept of "Work Smarter, not harder".  As a craft professional, I am always struggling with balancing the creative energies, the business energies with the life is supposed to be fun energies. All work and no play makes Linda (or Belinda, as my dark alter ego is known) a dull girl...and we can't have that.  So this group of 5 ideas is loosely 'stitched' around the idea of how to get more productivity out of what you do.

1.  Multi-task wherever possible...it does take time to creatively come up with an entry to a show or a quilt challenge, so whenever you can make one challenge piece to fit into 2 contests, it's worth a shot to explore the options. I have two that I'm looking at right now, and by massaging themes and deadlines, I think I've come up with a concept that will fit 2 different entry forms.  I will get back to you on that one, but I also know this is a strategy that other quilters employ a lot. Sometimes, you might need to pick your battles, but sometimes, if you just look at an issue from a different perspective, it will work out. Funny, those old sayings ARE true after all.

2. I love magazines, and as the picture below shows you...I have my fair share (and then some).

But how to read them all, let alone find some of the projects?  These are mostly from the sharing tables at the guilds I belong to.  I'm good at returning 2, and then taking 3 more. This pile is probably as bad as it ever gets. This does tend to be a screen porch activity, but I take 2-3 down with me every morning over coffee. There's something about the peace and quiet - I get to just leaf through a magazine leisurely before things get crazy. If I find something that's of interest, I scan it into the PC and file it as a technique, a pattern, a resource article - and (this is important) I always put the magazine title and issue month into the title so I can find it. Then the magazine is put into a tote bag with the word "share" on it, so I take them with me to the next meeting.

3. If it's anything to do with Christmas - or with the words 'fast' and 'gift' on the cover, that goes into the Christmas magazine basket..I'm not kidding you. Saves me money every September when they hit the news stands. One thing for sure, I know by now which ones I'm going to make, and which ones I just like looking at. 

Both 2 and 3 were discovered before I found Pinterest...we'll see if it keeps up.

4. Never, ever leave your sewing room for the night with an empty bobbin or a broken needle...somehow, it just seems too hard to walk on by and not start sewing.

5. Use online activities, such as the Drop and Give me Twenty Challenge for 2013, to tackle an overwhelming project one step (or block) at a time.

What is the biggest time saver you've found?

1 comment:

  1. Number four is seriously brilliant. How many times do we get fed up after a less than stellar session of quilting and walk out with not even a needle in the machine after we broke the third one in a row? I actually read this a few days ago and it has stuck with me and I have made sure to follow this advice.