Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Craft Show {in favor of Goals}

Last week I was stuck.  I kept asking myself what I should make next for the craft show, but finding no spark of inspiration, no sense of direction.  In fact, I actually felt like making nothing, which is totally not OK with me. 

And then on Thursday, Seth Godin said...

Stuck?

It might not be because you can't find the right answer.
It's almost certainly because you're asking the wrong question.
The more aggressively you redefine the problem, the more likely it is you're going to solve it.

After my "I'm grouchy" confession here on Friday, my friend Miranda asked me if I was feeling ready for the craft show.  And it all came rushing out.  I realized that I wasn't feeling ready because I didn't know where "ready" was.  I had abandoned my original quantity goals (number of items to make for the craft show) in favor of an endless make-make-make (don't stop making), keep-making approach.  While this was productive, it fully eliminated my sense of progress.  Finish something?  Ok, well make something else!  I had no idea if I'd made enough.  I wondered if I was making too much.  But, worst of all, there was no "enough".  So, what am I doing again?

See, it was confusing.

Miranda reminded me that I love goals.  Soo.... on Sunday night I updated my inventory spreadsheet and redefined my inventory goals.  With the show less than 3 weeks away, I have a pretty good idea of how much I can get done between now and then.  I set some steep goals in the covered journal department and some very reachable goals for 2 other categories.  Once I reach these - done!

And, immediately the ideas starting rolling in.  No exaggeration!

I'm agreeing with Seth - if you can't find a solution, redefine the problem.  And, when preparing for a big event or milestone, it's not a bad idea to reevaluate goals as you near the finish line.  In my case, it lends a fresh sense of momentum!

Wanna see what I made since yesterday...

Yellow Brick Road covered journal

Yellow Brick Road journal cover. I'm feeling mostly-monochromatic would be a good way to round out my covered journal offerings, since I have so many color-explosion pieces.  This one was worked in a half log cabin style, vaguely inspired by Bethany at Make Me a Quilt.  

soooo happy

I never cease to enjoy using up those tiny whittle scraps.

Mod Neutrals covered journal

Last night I also worked on a new wall art piece, in neutrals.  And there were left over neutrals, so obviously....

with Madrona Road Haystack

That Madrona Road Haystack in brown fits the vibe perfectly, don't you think?

Well, I have 2 other covers in the works, plus a date with cookie-making when the kids come home.  Yes, indeedy, it's a better day!

P.S.  I took photos today for the covered journal tutorial.  Look for it on Thursday!


33 comments:

  1. oh baby baby! can't wait for you tutorial! i am dying to make some of these since i got mine from lindsey! i need tons and tons!

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    1. Oh, you make me laugh! You needs tons and tons (wink).

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  2. Looking good! (cheerleader for the craft show). ;)

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  3. Woo Hoo for goals....and tutorials : )

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  4. U r doing good girl. Where did you get your labels?

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  5. oooo, i cannot wait for the tutorial. i started piecing part of a journal top, but couldn't really wrap my brain around the current tutorials out there (could be sleep dep, for sure). anyway, i know how awesome your tutorials are, so i'm super stoked you're writing one for this. thank you SO MUCH for taking the time...

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  6. I promise to use your tutorial bunches. I was thinking how great journals would be for my friends as Christmas gifts. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  7. Those covers are beeeautiful! I can't wait for your tutorial too! Where do you get your graph paper journals too?

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    1. I get the graph paper ones at Staples: http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/StaplesProductDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&krypto=NU77kImmWkb3R217FwfmOya9P%2Bc0nX7%2Fc1GJOYWLlPdloJ84NxgMBrH4z3ti9fO0RpPs6przD4Oj%0AjO%2FdHjiql7%2BUKcTI8yLYKWqgBeSeWd%2FkWP0Hnyva5w%3D%3D

      The regular composition books can be found everywhere right now for back to school. A normal Mead or similar composition book is exactly right!

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  8. I'm loving all these journal covers, Rachel! It's an endless stream of color inspiration.

    Your first point about being grouchy because you felt you had no marker for progress makes so much sense! It definitely rang true with me this morning; I work in research, so it is really HARD to set goals and see them through on a deadline and sometimes there is never an "enough"! Glad you found a way to work through it.

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  9. Are you going to do a tutorial on journal covers? Please? I'd love to do one for me and for grands, too.

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  10. You have a very wise friend Rachel! Very timely as I have lost sight of what I want to do work wise, thanks! I love your new covers, the yellow is very pretty, must try to use some more! and I think the brown tones will convince my husband that I can make something for him that looks manly. Looking forward to the tutorial cause yours are awesome!

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  11. i like that quote very much. i often feel stuck, too, and that's a great way of looking at the problem differently. thank you for that! and, as always, thank you for the inspiration and eye candy. your new journal covers are lovely, especially mr. yellow brick road (he totally has my number)!

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  12. Wow I feel inspired every time I read your blog...darn you... now who the heck is Seth Godin, pause check out his website.. pause Why do I not know who he is. There is a lot of knowledge to be had. Maybe I need an idea journal so that I can keep all my inspirations straight.

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  13. Glad to see you're feeling reinspired it can be hard making things for events and not knowing how much is enough. I opted out from an event as I knew I wouldn't be ready, but you're making such great progress!
    Keep up the making I hope you post an update to everything you've made so far =D

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  14. Thank you so much for posting your journey through this craft show. I have found all of your insight very helpful. You also make amazing colorful things that I absolutely love!

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  15. Well done! Some very good advice there. Thanks.I am making for a show in 4 weeks time so this is helpful.

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    1. Oh, we're about the same time! Good luck to you!!!

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  16. I love all your covered journals and look forward to the tutorial. Have you thought about making camera straps and or strap covers for the show? They are pretty easy to put together. No matter what you have to sell, I'm sure you're going to do well. Everything you make is lovely!

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  17. Love the yellow brick road. That is my kind of journal cover.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. It's a great remedy to a grouchy disposition to work with yellow!

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  18. After seeing all of the awesome journal covers you have made I have decided I would like to make some for Christmas so I am waiting for tutorial. I think you are doing well for the craft show. One year a friend and I worked all summer making things for a craft show at Christmas and we had a lot left over but Canadian's are so cheesy.

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  19. Love all of your journal covers - they're very inspiring and gorgeous to say the least. I can't wait for Thursday and sooo looking forward to the tutorial, thanks so much for sharing!

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  20. Love your journal covers -- each one is so unique!

    I've been sort of spinning my wheels and feeling apprehensive about a craft fair I have coming up the end of October. Many ideas, not enough focus. Thankfully, I have 9 weeks yet to get ready, but I REALLY like your idea of setting inventory goals.

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  21. Don't you love when you find the answer that is within? I always love your bright colors, but when I saw that neutral cover, it was all over for me. I really like that one!

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  22. what a great quote, and so true! hurrah for redefining the goal

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  23. I read Seth Godin too - so often his stuff doesn't really apply to me, but then it will hit me right between the eyes.

    Great journal covers - glad you are back on track!

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  24. I love monochromatic! I'm glad you got your groove back and everything is working out of you.

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  25. I especially love the neutral one. Gorgeous! It is so difficult to feel progress without a definable goal, I agree! I'm glad you were able to reassess.

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  26. I love Seth Godin's inspirational comments, he always seems to know what I am thinking each day. Your continual posts about making for the craft fair have been inspirational too! I can't wait for the tutorial tomorrow either, especially since my husband has a collection of those composition books which need pretty new covers.

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  27. I'm looking forward to reading your tutorial as I'd like to have a cover myself.
    Glad to read you're "on the road" again.

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