This topic is always so hard for me to write on. Some days I’m able to accomplish so much, and other days it’s a struggle to make a hot meal for dinner. Creating, crafting, spending time on my hobbies, doing things that inspire me, that fill me up, that make me feel like “Maggie” — there is a true ebb & flow to these opportunities. Many, many years ago, before we had any babies or even moved away from Michigan, I had a lot of time to create. Even once we left Michigan and were in Minnesota, I had a lot of time to create. Even when we lived in California, I had more time to create (compared to today).
These are all choices we’ve made, and none of them are right or wrong or better or worse. And I want to make these choices, because deep down in my soul they’re what feels right. Today, at this very moment in my life, it’s easiest and most-fulling to create in 20 minute increments. I enjoy “basket” projects, things I can easily start and stop without much prep or clean up. I enjoy working with my hands, using color, texture, different fibers. Embroidery has been the perfect fix for my need to create.
Sometimes, thinking about my history with sewing — starting Gussy Sews and then later, Caroline-Made, brings a variety of emotions. But then I remember this: without that history I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I absolutely love the freedom of where I’m at today. I, in a totally different (but very personal) way, am overjoyed to not have the responsibilities of running a handmade shop.
And so these 20-minute work increments, when I can pick up my needle and get to work on an embroidery project — one that includes all of the materials needed in a cute little box (or basket), I’m all heart eyes over the idea. It’s what I need right now, this season in my life — this very short, super fast paced season.
And so this is how, when my heart is enveloped in motherhood, I craft.
Instead of fighting against the flow, I work in small bits of time. I keep my supplies nearby. I focus on working on things that bring me joy. And, I look for ways to create so the final product can then be enjoyed over and over again — similar to painted lyrics hung on the wall or finger knitting garland for a bookshelf or mantle.
Twenty minute increments. Give it a shot :)
PS. this bicycle embroidery kit is from I Heart Stitch Art.
Isn’t embroidery the best? I am so happy that you’ve discovered this craft and it’s bringing so much joy to your life right now! Good luck with the end of pregnancy and birth, I keep checking in on your instagram!
Thank you, Jen! And yes, IT IS THE BEST! Enjoying it perhaps way too much ;)
Such good words friend. As I approach motherhood (and endure pregnancy!) I want to remember this advice. Will be on the hunt for my own craft basket to fill this need! ❤
YEOW! So very excited for you, dear Ashley! :) You’ll have to let me know what you decide to put in your basket! xoxo
I have learned so much from you! I’m so thankful you take the time to share the things you know with us. I’m addicted to finger knitting now! I’m always looking at the pictures you post on Instagram for ideas on how you display your garlands. :-)
20 minutes is a fantastic idea! Enough time to make progress on a project, but short enough so that you can make time for it often. Perfect!
Thank you April! And I totally agree, “short enough so that you can make time for it often” — that’s exactly it! :)
Loved reading this post; you’re a girl after my own heart when it comes to needing that creative fix to feel sane! Projects that can be picked up and put down throughout the day, without requiring a ton of setup/cleanup, are perfect; and embroidery, knitting, crochet, and so on are so well suited for this. Thank you for sharing these lovely lovely lovely photos of your bicycle kit! You’re doing such a lovely job of it! Thinking of you daily.
I love reading your blog! Thank you so much for sharing your joys with us. I just ordered this kit after seeing/reading here this morning. My mom passed away in January, and I miss her so much. I’ve been looking for something fun to do, to help offset thinking too much and being sad ( I probably worded that completely wrong, but I hope you get my heart in that.) I am looking forward to getting the kit, thank you for that bit of happiness that will be headed my soon. I’m thankful for you today! :)
Oh, many blessings to you as your new kit arrives and you begin your stitches :) You will love how Sarah puts everything together!
I always enjoy your thoughts and ideas on this topic Maggie! Thanks for sharing. I do the same thing and have a few projects in “busy bags” that are quick to pick up and add too throughout my days. The bigger and more intensive projects have their own tubs too.. Cos every once and awhile I get to dig my hands into them too!
Thank you so much, Tameeka! xoxo
Just what I needed to hear today. I went back to work full time a few years ago (once my girls were in school) and sometimes I really miss all the creative time I used to have when I was at home with them. Working in small increments is what I have found to work as well; creating fills my soul and makes me who I am, recharges me. makes me feel connected to the world. I need to create, I just need to do it differently now than I did a few years ago.
Have you read the book, The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner? I HIGHLY recommend it! :) Jessica shares truly practical tips on how to mix your hobbies with life (including having a career and children). I’ve passed my copy on to many dear friends. It’s an easy read but full of so much encouragement.
This book has been recommended to me by several people, I may just need to read it. Balancing everything is a constant struggle, and goodness knows a little extra encouragement can’t hurt. I just finished reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and found it incredibly encouraging and enlightening in terms of living a creative life, and weaving your creative life into the everyday…it was so good.
Big Magic is on my nightstand right now! Glad to hear you also enjoyed it! :)
Oh, Maggie… does this ever speak to my heart! Currently all I’m getting is during nap-time… if I’m lucky! :-P I had a conversation about balancing it all with my Hubs last night, and I think we’ve actually decided to swing the budget for a little help. Someone to help with the housework once every 1 or 2 weeks. Just so it’s one less thing on my plate. Since I am running a business, & trying to grow it, I just can’t do it all.
Creating anything is so involving for me, I really need to have time to put my heart and soul into it. And that’s hard to do with little ones! But it’s so, SO worth it. I’ll have to check out the 20 minute thing… maybe that will give me a bit extra time to make stuff! :-)
[…] current hobbies: mostly books and small craft projects and family […]
[…] work on an embroidery project (I LOVE this shop of super fun embroidery […]