At the beginning of a new year I like to pause and reflect on what I have learned over the past year. 2014 was full of lessons, some good, some learned the hard way. But everything that happens is an experience that I can learn and grow from.
Today as I was carrying in groceries through the fresh snow that needed to be shoveled off my front deck I looked down at the top step and noticed something orange. What on earth is that? I took a closer look.... oh, it's a pumpkin from Halloween! YIKES!
So that pretty much sums up the last half of 2014. It was a blur and I tried to fit in family and holidays where I could. And I didn't do a very good job at any of it.
My planning and scheduling was not very good. But last year was a year of trial and error as I try to figure out how this crazy world of crocheting works.
I started off well with listing patterns for sale in February and my pattern listing continued to grow through the spring. Then summer came - I was so happy to home with my daughters for the summer that I forgot about being self-employed and lost a lot of time. (this will be an area needing better balance next year)
In September with the girls back in school I suddenly realized that I had my big artisan market the beginning of November! Last year I ran out of items on the first night, I did not want that happening again. So the crochetmania began! I went through my stash of yarn and my pile of patterns and I got to work. I crocheted and I crocheted and I crocheted. Then I started to get email regarding orders for Christmas and I was staying up to midnight or later every night trying to create. I was even able to write a pattern or two during that time.
My mind kept telling me that I had to create as much as possible before the Artisan Market, my Facebook page was rapidly growing and people were getting excited about all the goodies that I would have available at the market. The November date was closing in rapidly and I felt so unprepared and completely overwhelmed.
I recruited my daughters to help in anyway that they could. I paid a friend with a cowl to spend a morning sewing on all my labels (she did a better job than I could have done!) and I drank a lot of coffee.
Whenever life gets like this you know something is going to happen. I have never had this problem before but here it was, a very severe problem. My hands were so sore that I could barely hold my crochet hook, I was in so much pain I was taking pain killers everyday so that I could keep crocheting. I would go to bed with a heated wheat bag on my wrists and forearms trying to get the pain to subside so that I could sleep.
Have you ever had that problem? I didn't know what to do, so I emailed my friend Becky over at Farmgirl Paints, I noticed on her IG feed that she would wear gloves when she is creating her cuffs. She told me that the gloves help and she gets hers from Tommie Copper. I looked all through the stores in my city and couldn't find gloves anywhere, (I figured there must be a lot of sore crafting hands) so I decided to purchase online, I didn't want to wait for shipping but I figured I had no choice. I am so glad that I went this route. The Tommie Copper gloves are rehabilitation gloves and are infused with copper and zinc, and they have little silicone grips on them. As soon as they arrived in the mail I put them on, and I left them on as I did everything around the house. My hands felt like they were at the spa. I would highly recommend them. I will be ordering the wrist sleeves soon as well. If you suffer from pain - I am so sorry, it is not fun at all. Check out the Tommie Copper gloves, compared to what else is on the market the price is comparable and they are a really good quality. This sounds like a commercial! :)
So the artisan market came and went. This market is always a success for me. This year the big hit was cowls, anything with buttons and the color grey. I wish I would have made more fingerless gloves, headbands and boot cuffs. I was shocked to see my two day total was double what I had made the previous year. I really appreciate this event, so much so that I volunteer to help organize it this past year and I will volunteer again for 2015 market as well.
I thought that after the market was done that I would have time to make a few Christmas gifts for family and relax before the craziness of Christmas began. But it didn't stop. I continued to get orders for Christmas gifts and my motivation to continue to make money took over my instinct that I needed to start saying "no." I delivered my last order on Christmas Eve morning. I really wish I had that time to do over because all I wanted to do was to sleep through Christmas instead of appreciating and enjoying Christmas time with my family.
I am writing this blog post as a reminder to myself that my family needs to hold more of an importance in my life. Money is needed to pay the bills and keep the heat on in the middle of a cold Saskatchewan winter, but I know that our needs have always been met and we will be taken care of. It is my responsibility to take care of my family.
I love to create with yarn and I love living in Saskatchewan. This is where the two merge to become one.
Find Living Skies Crochet on Ravelry!