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Sunday, 15 July 2007

A Crafty Moment

Much as owning a craft shop might seem like some sort of seventh heaven, it does have a huge downside - you don't get to craft much. Well, that's not strictly true - you do get to make stuff for demos & classes but you don't get to create in the same way.
For example, most of the layouts I create are for classes - which means I can only use it if I have enough of the product for everybody and if it's cost effective. And when it comes to the actual techniques & design, I can only do it if it is achievable in a couple of hours, suitable for a wide range of abilities and sufficiently generic that it will suit photographs of a wide variety of topics and for a wide age group. That is a whole bunch of limitations.
It's a similar situation with cards and when you add the time constraints of having to run the shop, work on the new webshop, produce newsletters, post on the blogs & the forum, create XX number of projects for classes, in store display and various clubs, creativity has to make way for speed. When I look at what I was producing two years ago (when I used to write for craft magazines) and compare it with my recent work, it's easy to see how far the quality has declined.
The upshot is that I rarely create anything for me and anything I do create has loads of limitations and has to be made for a specific purpose. The answer is equally clear - set aside a period of time to spend in 'designer' mindset rather than 'craft shop' mindset. This is the time that I can make stuff just because - and I can use whatever products, styles and techniques that I choose. More than that, I can spend those few hours on just one project if I choose.

I had my first practice run last night. It was hard. I spent three hours making just one card (I did keep thinking maybe I should hurry up & get another couple done LOL). I added all the touches that I have been missing out to save time: inked every little torn edge; layered more than two papers; used overlays(on the tag in the pocket), eyelets & brads even though I wouldn't have sufficient for 8 people; Decorated the little file card (in the pocket) and lined the inside of the pocket (which you can't see other than when the tag is removed). You don't necessarily notice the little extras - it's more a case of noticing when they are not there - it's kind of what makes the difference between an OK card & a good card (trying to be modest here - I think it's fabulous LOL).
And OK, I'm sure I've made better but not bad for a first attempt. And although it was made for no particular purpose, I think I have just the perfect swap to use it for. Drop me a comment, let me know what you think!!


Looby said...

WOW - that's IS fabulous - so glad you are crafting for you and not just the shop - you'll have that mojo back in no time!

Auntie Jane said...

Go Girl go, get those design juices going and soon you be ahead of yourself - can't be bad!!

Still Loving Cosmo Cricket!