Thursday, May 26, 2016

Doing It All

by Staci Louise Smith

I get to make beads and jewelry full time.  I am also mom to three beautiful children, three rescue dogs, a rescue parrot, and wife to a self employed contractor (and let me tell you, he is BUSY and works many many long hours too).

(kids at Christmas, cause yeah, they don't often sit still together for pictures all at once anymore)
On the other hand, these guys all sit anytime there is food out.

People ask me all the time how I do it all.

I assure you, I don't.

There is always something not done- usually cleaning.  And not even because there isn't time, it's really because I just don't enjoy it.  So it is always LAST on the list.

My kids are VERY helpful and do wash and help with everyday chores like vacuuming and dishes and such.

(here are the kids helping to shovel last winter- they really pitch in!)

However, even without hopes of doing it all, my business MUST bring in income.  And if you are self employed in the arts, you know we put twice as much time in as most would for the income we make.  For me, I don't mind, because I would rather do this then anything else.  However, I have had to find ways to "do more".  I still don't do it all, but I am learning to plan better in the studio, and do multiple things at once.

For instance, I had to make beads to send to Bead and Button with Marsha Neal and Nikki Thornburg (they will be selling both their beads with a little bit of mine thrown in at booth #608 ).  

(shamless plug- if you are going to B&B stop by and see Marsha and Nikki- all of our beads are divine together!!!!)
Here is a pair of earrings I made with my earring components and Nikki's headpins!!!

And here is a necklace I made with Nikki's headpins, my focal and Marsha's accent beads!!!

(yeah, I squeezed making those samples in too!!)
Keeps me from being bored, right?

Anyhow, I also have a free class I need to work on for Craft Art Edu.  I also needed some blog material for future blogs.  


As I was making the beads, I made the items for my free class, taking pictures along the way.  As I painted the beads, I painted and photographed for my class.  I also found a great topic for a blog- on using ONE mold and how you can still make an original bead each time.  (FYI- that is another post, and the molds I made were to save me............TIME!)

I try to do most of the labor intensive stuff in the studio and office while the kids are in school or after they go to bed.  Because once the kids come home, its help with homework, dinner, and time with them!  

So I am learning.  Sometimes I can't multi-task.  Some things need all my one on one attention.  but I try, that is all I can do.
There are days I don't get to set foot in the studio or office.  And you know what?  That's fine.  Because I do all the shopping and cooking around here.  Kids have Dr. appts and dogs need to play.  I haven't found perfect balance, but I am always trying to make my time more efficient.

So how do you "do it all?"  Do you have areas you are proud that you have streamlined?  Are you still feeling overwhelmed and see area's you feel you could improve on?  (there are always area's we could improve on, right?)

Because we only have two arms and one brain, right?

I know for me one of the things that takes my time is sheer lack of desire to do something I don't feel like doing.  Since I work from home, I can get very bored.  There are some tasks I plain old don't feel like doing on certain days.  So I find that I then do other things that are not of top priority, to avoid said task.  So I have found that I need to sit down and tell myself that this is a business, and I am at work, and if I punched a clock I would HAVE to get all this done before 4.  Sometimes that helps me to put it in perspective.  Sometimes I just end up cleaning out drawers.....................


Karen Z said...

yep. housework is my last choice as well. I hate it. And, I don't have kids to help. Lately, I make time for my passions (art, gardening, jewelry making and other crafts, reading), and do the rest as I can. Feels best when I create, of course. Messy probably means I'm happy, and nobody's happy when I'm not!

Nova Leigh's said...

I don't mind to clean up the bead room, sometimes I find my fire in that.

Unknown said...

Ok, I totally get you. Have 3rd bedroom with filing in respective piles... waiting for me to open the door and go back to it. But. I want to design. I go to the shop and see one piece sold and I immediately want to go to the bench to fill the void. Then, there's the dreaded pricing and tagging. Ugh. I have gotten better as creating Publisher tags printed with repetitive text. I suppose I am streaming!

lakesuperiorwaves said...

Hope you sell lots at B&B!! I always enjoy the peeks into your life that you give us. It makes us feel like you are more real! So excited to hear more about your new class!

Karin said...

I have found that there are certain things in my house that need/should be done first every day before I get to sit and work. I've been playing around with different ways to organize my time, like dedicating certain days to certain tasks, like photography, listing items in my Etsy shop etc. Some weeks it works like a charm, other times I get hopelessly side tracked by every "squirrel" that crosses my path. It has definitely made a difference to start treating making jewelry like my job and letting my family and friends know that. Once I got them on board, it became a lot easier to carve out the time I needed to work.

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