Why, how and what should we craft?

It is recommended not to pick more than around five major goals to work on over the course of a year and so I’ve divided my life into five large areas. They are:

  1. Personal balance; health and leisure
  2. Academia
  3. Home
  4. Business
  5. Family and friends

In some parts, those areas are a matter of prioritising – for instance health is the foundation to everything (including being selfish in a healthy way when necessary, to be able to keep giving to others) – whereas putting family and friends in “last” position is by no means how I think in general. The first four areas simply cover my own tasks in project management, while the last includes other people in my actions, so to speak.

For each area I have verbalised a goal, whilst doing my best to fulfill the SMART criteria, and the time span is 2014. A “sub-goal” of personal balance is to work on crafts in a more focussed manner and I’ve decided to share with you my scope related to that goal in future blog posts. Hopefully you will begin to see projects move on from mostly planning to actual execution (including finishing them).

Yesterday I spent some time going through my box of works in progress (it is, um, large) and while I had a few facepalm moments, there were also a couple of screams of glee; after my hiatus I had actively forgotten the true state of said box.

NWF Placemats current status 2014-06-14

Moment of surprise – The tops are already finished

In the evening I was so inspired that I attached the walking foot to my sewing machine and for the first time in my life made two mini-quilt sandwiches. Thanks go to Jacquie Gering for an excellent Craftsy class on using one’s walking foot!

Whenever I surf quiltland I get a huge rush of ideas, but it is very easy to get stuck in that phase without actually moving further. At least that is a weak point of mine, which I have identified as a potential stop light.

Yesterday’s intense learning also showed me that while I might like something on theoretical level, in practice I might feel differently about it. Examining closely the scrappy, improvised mug-rug top and comparing it to the white, very simple back caused a thunderbolt to flash through my brain; I already love designing quilts (have ideas for at least fifty of them already…) but now I have a hunch they will become even more minimalist than expected up until today.

Had I not tackled something new yesterday, I might still have a false idea of my innermost wishes regarding patchwork and quilting. And with that I arrive at the core of this post; honesty and bravery.

I know I’ve mentioned stepping outside of my comfort zone before, but to be honest as well as brave, one has to be focussed in one’s decisions and actions. This means saying no to some things in order to have the time necessary to pursue that focussed path – in alignment with one’s goal for the year or so.

There are so many new techniques to learn and I need clear assignments to avoid getting lost in the jungle of options. In a way it sucks to say no to something, but just think about how much else will get the yes! And how there will be clarity, relief from knowing one is on the right track, doing what one ought to be doing. What truly matters will be put centre stage once and for all.

Do you recognise some of this? Do you have a major goal like I do?

I feel very strongly about being aware of things, listening to oneself, being mindful when doing things, and so on, and I’ve picked up similar vibes from some other corners of the blogosphere.

This angle of blogging is something I’m going to invest a bit more time in from now on, because there’s nothing like being true to oneself. If you don’t have a clue about how to get started, I might have some ideas I can put out there to be helpful. And if you have some brilliant ideas yourself, I’d love to hear them! Learning from each other is always fun.

P.S. Wonder about the post title? I borrowed it from Simon Sinek and his “Start With Why” book, but he presents its nutshell version in a TEDtalk, if you’re in need of inspiration. I don’t like boxing things up too much, but use inspiration wherever I find it, and another example is Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In”; I know nothing about economics, but extrapolate merrily – and quite successfully – to my own world in science and medicine.


2 thoughts on “Why, how and what should we craft?

  1. Kristy Daum

    I really need to take this post to heart, as I have found myself taking on way too much and not being honest with myself about how much I can physically accomplish within a certain amount of time. Additionally, I need to re-evaluate my goals since a lot has changed since I started my small-business a few years ago. I’ll go check out your P.S. links and references.

    1. Nina With Freckles Post author

      Hi Kristy, I’m working on publishing a little pdf to question oneself closer and hope to have it done very soon. It’s about working out one’s wishes starting from life values and I think it might be a project to revisit once yearly or maybe even every six months, just to stay on track with everything. Haven’t been in the MQG forums in a while, so it might be an idea to post it there, too, once I’ve launched it!


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