Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Creative Quandry

So we woke this morning to temps in the 40's, and it had been raining for several hours...meaning that the fairyland of snow that fell late last night soon turned into swampy mushy mud-mess. Hard to believe that less than 15 hours later, over 5 inches of thich wet heavy snow cover was gone. I want a snow day DO-OVER! But I AM glad that it didn't turn into an icy slippery dangerous mess for drivers this morning. That is indeed a blessing, after all the horrific stories on the news about the reign Mother Nature has over so many blizzard torn places right now, along with the flooded ones as well. I just cannot understand how people don't believe that there are some serious funky things going on with the weather across the whole World as of late. (can you say global warming...?!) It is especially frightening because we cannot do anyting about it AND it may only be the start of worse to come. **shudder** When will humans realize that they are NOT in control of everything, but DO have control over so many things that they choose to ignore?
(or, case in point, choose screw/with up!)  Well, THAT is a whole other post, I suppose!

Today I sort of came to the peak of being very frustrated and torn about how I have been using my "daily creative time"...(aka- the glorious freedom to spend almost every moment of the entire day exactly as I choose!) and here is why...

I am starting to see (and admit to myself) that perhaps I have been a bit -um...overzealous in signing up for swaps on Swap-Bot here garage studio looks like a crafty little Santa's helpers workshop (which isn't exactly a bad thing!) but I am also spending more money at the post office than on food lately! (really not a good thing!). I have been torn about it all, because while I SO enjoy creating and recieving amazing works of art in the swaps, I am finding that it is taking up AWHOLEHECKUVALOT of
my time everyday to keep up with it all: searching for swaps, finding out the details, getting on watchlists, signing up on time, fullfilling the requirements in the creations, doing the online maintenance of reading & responding to messages and comments, rating what I recieve, responding to ratings, checking for swaps I have not received by the deadlines, contacting those swappers, nicely packaging up the swaps, going to the post office to mail things, buying supplies I might need for a certain swap, taking & posting photos of what I create on my FB page, keeping up with my group forums, etc., etc., etc...!!  (I KNOW, I am tired just from writing all of that and I know there is even more I do that I didn't think of to list here!)

Some swaps are "easier" than others, like simple postcard swaps or email ones, but overall, I think I am starting to get in a bit over my head...or at least out of my time-management/productivity intention comfort zone! (WOW! THAT sounded a bit too corporate speak to me...ICK!) So I am sort of at a decision making point here- I just feel like this is bound to end badly if I don;t get some control over it and feel more comfortable with how I am spending my days. There is just so much I want to do that is NOT getting done and I am really feeling an absence of sorts, along with increasing stress.

I am currently signed up for 10 art/mail swaps (most of which I have created already), and as of today, am on the "watchlist" for 35 more (also some which are done, and some that are email photo swaps, and mail photo swaps too). And dozens of new swaps are posted daily...but YIKES! That is a shi* ton on my create plate, isn't it?
Hmmm...I don't have much experience with breaking addictions, which is what this is starting to feel like to me! More work than I am not working on MY art anymore at ALL really! I mean, I realize that it is the "down" season for what I mainly "do"-my "job", as it is, which is mainly creating photo cards and other assorted little lovelies to sell at art fairs, craft bazaars, etc. little events around town, and which really does not kick back into happening here until around May or June (other than a few smaller spring ones which I have not done in the past).
I do still have A FREAKIN' LOT of "inventory"/stock left from recent holiday sales that I can afford to "take a break" from producing arts & crafts to offer for sale for awhile. However...there are several MAJOR projects which I have been avoiding have not had time to get to and have needed/intended to for over a year now... (YIKES! How time flies when you are wasting it by posting photos on Facebook and reading 43 blogs everyday overcommiting to something so fun yet kinda unecessarily time consuming.


It's a difficult quandry for me. One one hand, I SO enjoy the Swap-Bot challenges, trying things I never would have thought to, sharing my creations with others and getting positive feedback, knowing I have made someone happy with what I made for them and receiving so many amazing works of art as well...along with the company of and connections with many very sweet, fun, talented, thoughtful, inspiring people I have come to know over the past almost year of swapping. But just the fact that I am feeling a lack of, I don't know what the world is...productivity? No...that's not quite it...Artistic fullfilment? Hmmm..closer...Personal creative experience? eh...I DO usually get THAT from creating swaps...
I just cannot name it, but as I am feeling unbalanced in these pursuits, desires and intentions of creativity, and it has been bothering me more lately, those are sure signs that I need to make some adjustments.

 I am uncertain as to how to "wean" myself, but I think that now might just be the perfect time to make some decisions---or rather, let them be somewhat made FOR me, since I am anxiously awaiting Jan. 24th, which is when I will be leaving for a 16 day trip back home to be with my kids, grandson & friends. So that will put much of my major creating on hold for awhile. I usually get soomewhat craftstircrazy on these trips because I don't have the opportunity to be making anything while there, but my days are filled with amazing moments of bliss and contentment from time spent with my most beloved ones.(nest to my Jeff, of course!)
So I think I will start paring down my "watchlist" of swaps, finishing up what I have started and ease into a more balanced feeling attempt to create not only for others but for myself as well.

And tonight I started that by completing step one of a project I got all excited about and bought supplies for almost a year ago...homemade goats milk soap bars. My hands have never been cleaner! :)


"We need to maintain a proper balance in our life by allocating the time we have. There are occasions where saying no is the best time management practice there is."
Catherine Pulsifer, from" We Never Seem to Have Enough Time"

I think I need to remember, affirm and live by that wise and true quote, in order to remain:

Happy Me-Laurie Z!


  1. Prioritize, (breath), limit the number you keep, (breath), and then let go.

  2. I agree completely about swap-bot. I've come and gone many times over the past couple of years. I've got it under control (now) so it's my place to go when I need a little creative push or I want to test something out. It's supposed to be fun, not a chore. Swapping is expensive. I make sure it's a swap I really want to receive as well as create.

    I think your trip will be a good way to "break it off". LOL Maybe drop most of the swaps that don't close until after you get home and then you can start fresh.

    You can do it!