Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Crafting Journey

Rewind to 1994, it was my freshman year of college, and Martha Stewart was just becoming a big deal.  It was about this time that I was bitten by the craft bug.  I don't know the exact day or time, but making and selling my handmade items just seemed like something I needed to do.

Do you know what Friendly Plastic is?  It is thin strips of plastic in crazy colors that when put into simmering water becomes pliable.  I used to make this plastic into brooches and hair accessories.  It was fun, but short lived.

I took up creating with flowers and ivy.  I made tiny topiaries and painted clay pots.  I made frames to go with them.  They were adorable, but my college activities were eating up my free time, so I took a break.

~ It didn't help that up until this point the only money I was making
 came from the purchases of my generous family. ~

By this time in my journey I was married with 2 little boys, and a desire to try my hand at something new.  I discovered scrapbooking.  The paper kind... digital scrapbooking was far away from becoming a 'thing.'  I got the wonderful idea to make pre-made scrapbooks.  Books that were decorated and made specific to the customers wants and needs... they just needed to add their photos.  I sold a few of them (to family),  and a local gift shop even stocked them for a few months.  But, for some reason people just didn't get it, and alas... back to the drawing board.

We had begun our homeschool journey at this point, and even though crafting was a part of our everyday, I put the 'crafting to sell' basket back on the shelf.  I knew that a new season would come that would allow me to take it off of the shelf again.

~ But, the season came back sooner than I anticipated. ~

I had picked up sewing years before making lap quilts, skirts, and pillows for myself and family.  I decided to use some of those skills and make quilted handbags.  It wasn't long until I heard "You could sell those!"  Deja vu?

Ok, so if your still with me... the bags didn't really go anywhere.  To make a long story... longer... I tried my hand at selling Gold Canyon Candles, Creative Memories Scrapbooking Supplies, giving Homeschooling Art Lessons, and making stuffed bunnies for baby showers.

Then along came felt food.  It was really love at first sight.  I cut, sewed and created a rather impressive collection for my children... at the time I was pregnant with baby number 6, and about all I could do was sit... and thankfully sew!  But, even after my children's toy room had become mostly made from felt, I just didn't want to stop.

Fast forward to present day and I am selling my creations on Etsy and Shoppe152 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  People that aren't related to me are actually showing interest, and willing to pay for, my felt creations!  Woohoo!  A 20 year journey that has been crazy and fun (mostly).

~ I still create more than I sell, 
and I am far from quitting my day job... 
ok, I don't really have a job outside my home 
(unless you consider homeschooling a crew of 7 work, and I do), 
but you get the idea. ~

To be honest my courage and dedication waver daily.  Mom guilt hits me almost every night.  "Am I doing the right things?"  "Should I have been playing a board game instead of sewing a squash?"  "Maybe I should just stop this crazy notion of owning my own craft business and get on with my life!"

But, as crazy as it may sound,  I love creating and sharing my work.  So, if you are still reading this, thank you.  I often wonder how many moms out there are like me?  How many of you have dreams of creating?  Or maybe writing?  I would encourage you not to give up!  If not today, then maybe tomorrow... Even baby steps are better than none at all.

Stay on your journey... no matter how crazy it may be.

I would love to hear about it!  Please share your projects, concerns, and dreams with me in the comments, or start a conversation on my Facebook page.

Join me back here on Friday.  My Etsy Shop will be having a Re-Grand Opening.  For a sneak peek click over and have a look.  I have been adding new items daily.

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