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Topic: Being mindful of reality  (Read 1109 times)
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yellie
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« on: March 16, 2013 10:40:14 AM »

I am a full time grad student working part time. I don't often have time for crafting in addition to reading, research and writing papers. I have tried to find some instant gratification type crafts, but it's really not my style. I like things that take time, a lot of time, and a lot of effort.

How do you balance the rest of your life with your passion for crafting?
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2013 09:51:48 PM »

Some weeks, I have to schedule crafting time in. It might mean going to bed later, or not going out as many nights, but I have to think ahead to plan for it!
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013 10:09:11 AM »

I agree about scheduling it in, I really have to fight for time.

I have also started to acknowledge that even small projects will take me months to complete... last year was a 2 baby sweater, 1 purse year (literally that's all I got done). 
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013 04:54:02 PM »

I don't schedule it.  It is an important part of my life.  It helps that I don't have kids, and do shift work, and long shifts, so I bring projects to work on during my breaks.  Also, I don't sleep a lot,  and craft to destress,  and freshen my perspective in life.  I participate in swaps to help me focus on specific projects, and stick to schedules. 

Would you consider maybe journaling?  It would be fluid, and portable, and could be a good way of expressing creativity with no limitations.  You can be as detailed, and expend as much time as you want, whenever you want to.  You can leave a page as is, or use it as an idea to jumpstart other projects. 
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013 01:31:31 AM »

It's how I destress.  I don't sit still watching TV,  I have a craft going.  I also substitute real crafting time for internet time.  Sometimes I swap out weeks - ie one week of super limited to no internet, and all crafting.  The next week I do whatever I want.

I noticed whenever I need more time in my schedule, if I cut out the internet I find a TON of time.  (Says the girl posting on an internet forum... can you guess I'm having an online week?)

Have you tried cooking?  It is a fairly fast thing with gratification that you can share with friends.  Sometimes I cook more than I do other crafts.  Starting last weekend I made a traditional boiled dinner, two loaves of banana bread, and stuffed shells.  They solved two issues- wanting to craft AND dinner.  Plus they were delicious, my boyfriend loved them, and they were more than one night meals.  I felt all creative playing with the different recipes too.


Otherwise something I found that really helps on long term projects (or projects that are drawn out for ages), is to take pictures of your progress every night- plus make a point of doing something to it each and every night too, even if it is just one stitch- one row of knitting, one SOMETHING.  That helps you keep a good head of steam going.  The pictures are great since you don't end up thinking, "Holy crap, I've been working on it for months and done Nothing!"  Flicking through the pictures in order and watching a project come together is really impressive and gives a serious sense of purpose as well as gratification.



Sometimes it's really fits and starts for me.  I have a cross stitch project that might end up being a more than 10 year deal.  I keep putting it away and having other things get in the way too.  The thing that has kept me from totally dumping it are the pictures I took last year when I really started making progress.  I know I will finish it when I can. 

In the mean time, some of the smaller craftie things have kept me feeling good about being creative.  I do a lot of different things, so I do change it up.  When I visited a friend in SLC last year, I took a bunch of super small cross stitches with me to work on them.  It was a nice break.  I also enjoyed some little mini projects I made as gifts (beaded snowflakes).  They were so fast...  it was great. 


Sometimes we take breaks from our crafting for the boring parts of our lives.  The cool thing is that our crafting stuff keeps and will be waiting for us after that graduation, when the big project is done, after the move, when we heal from surgery, whatever is going on.  In the meantime, we can even plan our next move! 
Sometimes I start sketching out patterns at work on the back of my calling card copies I keep....  In school I used to do stuff like that in the margins of my notes for a class.  Whatever it takes to keep it going.
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013 09:53:36 PM »

When I started my masters, I started knitting. Previously I had mostly stuck to sewing. Knitting is portable, you can add a few stitches in spare minutes (waiting in lines, boring seminars, commuting etc) and you don't have to drag out a whole bunch of equipment to do it. I wouldn't sew unless I could commit at least 2 hrs to it, but I can carry my knitting everywhere. I am an incredibly impatient person so having something to do when I'm forced to wait enables me to be calmer and nicer. Between knitting and storing all of my readings as PDFs on my ipad (the GoodReader app is pure gold) I'm always able to entertain myself and get work done.

I would recommend knitting on circular needles (way more portable). And I would recommend either the Purlbee beret pattern or Crazy Aunt Purl's slouchy hat- they're quick and simple I must have knit both about 20 times. Even better they both use about 100g of yarn each so they're pretty cheap. Ravelry is an excellent source of free patterns and advice too.

By the time I finished my thesis, I had the time to move on to spinning and knitting more complex items and pretty much everyone I know now has a hat.
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2013 08:39:55 AM »

When I started my masters, I started knitting. Previously I had mostly stuck to sewing. Knitting is portable, you can add a few stitches in spare minutes (waiting in lines, boring seminars, commuting etc) and you don't have to drag out a whole bunch of equipment to do it.

I'm glad I'm not the only one knitting in graduate seminars and classes.
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2013 08:11:36 PM »

I can vouch knitting around like that is really popular!  I have seen many students knitting here and there around UAF.  Smiley 
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2013 12:18:01 PM »

Crafting is & has always been such a huge part of my life & who I am, I've always worked at making time for it, or choosing different craft projects to do in different situations. I'm a busy mom now, so I have lots of portable crafts like my sketchbook, embroidery, or knitting to grab & go if I'm sitting in a meeting at school, or for in the waiting room at the Dr.

What are your crafting goals & what would you like to make?
I have to suggest trying embroidery if you haven't already. It only has to be as complicated as you want it to be...so you could get some quick crafting-gratification.  Wink
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2014 09:51:01 PM »

I don't really plan my crafting time, I just sort of craft when I have extra time on my hand. Like right now I'm online and getting in some late night crochet to.
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