Sometimes it’s really difficult to find the time to be creative even when that’s your job! Having two kids, unexpected DIY projects as well a million other small mundane tasks that push the creative side down the list of priorities. Once you fall out of the rhythm of making and posting online it gets really tough to get back into it.
I was starting to feel under pressure to post daily on social media but didn’t have anything new to share. Some days I knew I could be creating but I was tired and lacking inspiration. Sometimes it seemed that what I want to make isn’t trendy……..The comparison trap is easy to fall into!
I mentioned this a few times to creative pals in real life with everyone saying they felt the exact same thing! This is just nuts!
So I decided to do some creative re-evaluation, asking myself a few super basic questions. Which are almost too simple but writing them down was really useful and thought I’d share them in case you might find them useful.
– what is making me stressed?
– what inspires me?
– what do I need to change?
All the answers came back to the same truth… Do what you want!
It turns out I haven’t lost the creative bug love but I do need to follow my own path . Macramé (like everything else) comes in waves and trends; sometimes it’s certain knots, or fringes, or swags or tassels that are THE thing that month. Its so hard not to get caught up in that but I want my work to be reflective of me not fashion. From now on I’m going to be working at a slower pace, doing limited collections exploring different techniques, and hopefully carving out my own niche.
I’m also sure I’m not alone in feeling under pressure to share new work on social media every day. Worrying if I have the right hashtags, the right filters blah blah blah! I do need and enjoy Instagram; connecting with customers and the wider community but I’m not going to get wound up about whether every post is totally on brand. Me and my life and my craft are all bound up together and that taking a more holistic approach is much less stressful!
I still love teaching workshops, but will be shaking things up a bit with some exciting collaborations in the near future! I’ve also branched out into some community projects using craft as a life tool which has been very rewarding too.
Having a quick analysis of my life and creative process has been super easy and has lifted a big weight from my shoulders! Let me know if you try it out or if you have any tips and pointers for streamlining your life and business!
In the run up to Christmas it has been really exciting to see the buzz around the #justacard campaign encouraging us all to shop small and indy. In my mind shopping local always ties into being less wasteful.
This year I’ve made some small changes to my shopping habits mainly because I was so tired of poor quality food, extra plastic and waste. Changes such as re-starting my veg box delivery, getting milk delivered by a local dairy and supporting local makers where I can. Putting money back into to the local community, getting better quality produce (less food waste for a start!) and service has been a pleasure.
It occurred to me that if these choices are important to me as a consumer it’s doubly important as a maker.
When my business focused on vintage I used to say “why buy new when I could buy vintage?” Now that I’m focused on my own creative output I definitely don’t want to be adding excess waste to the world. I also want my customers to be confident that I’m making smart choices in the materials I use.
If you follow my Instagram you’ll notice my colour palette is nearly always off white. This is not just an aesthetic choice (although I do love warm ivory tones). I’m making a conscious effort to only use unbleached, non-chemically dyed fibres, which are eco friendly. ….(I’m planning some more natural dyes in the new year as the turmeric was such a success!)
As part of my making process I keep all the off cuts from my large projects to use on smaller makes. This is something a lot makers do as it’s simply wasteful and uneconomical not to. However using unbleached cotton allows me to compost any small trimmings that cannot be repurposed.
Hopefully you will appreciate my transparency and not think I’m being preachy! I’ll continue to make changes going forward as I reconsider my packaging, promotional materials and selling venues.
This is likely to be the last blog post before my Christmas break so best of the season to you all!
As you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram I’ve decided to phase out the vintage part of my business. This really hasn’t been an easy decision as vintage was the beginnings of Madehame.
Trying to balance the demands of a small business with a young family is difficult. Recently it’s become harder to justify the sacrifices needed to maintain the vintage collection, whether that is time spent sourcing or the storage space needed.
I want to devote more time to growing the creative side of Madehame as well as being more present at home, but being pulled in so many directions left me failing in all areas So in an effort to be less stressed, more focused and content I realised had to let the vintage go.
One reason I held on so long is thinking I would be disappointing all those who have supported and championed my small collection; that I wasn’t being true to my original goals. But when I stopped and thought about it from the beginning I didn’t really have a goal in mind other than having a successful creative outlet that allowed me to exist within and outwith motherhood.
I hope everyone will understand my reasons for closing this chapter and see the satisfaction and personal pride I get from making, teaching and selling macrame.
Thanks for understanding and continuing to follow my journey.
As a last hoorah I will be selling all vintage stock at 50% off at my next events.
When I first started my journey into self employment teaching others wasn’t even on my radar. However when the opportunity came up i thought ‘why not!’ It has been more fun and rewarding than I could have hoped for. Sometimes working at home on your own can feel a bit isolating and to be honest I had been secretly missing the direct contact from my old day job (although definitely not the job!).
Anyone who has met me knows I like to chat! Which is why I enjoy doing markets. Moving into teaching is a very different experience; but for me it’s a best of both worlds. I get to spend time meeting and chatting with new people while sharing my love of macramé. Win win!
At my last class I was also delighted to invite my long time friend Katie Noble along to take some action shots. Katie has such a natural unintrusive style of photography which really suits a busy class. I hope you love them as much as I do!
I have one more workshop this year at For Fika Sake, who get a special mention for being fantastic welcoming hosts! If you want to join me booking can be made here.