It is December and I am late again with my blog post. It just seems like the days are so full of things to do that blogging gets pushed further and further behind. As a Folk Art crafter your whole calendar revolves around the craft show season. You set your mental clock to that time, and right now next year's first craft show seems light years away. But the worrier that I am, I always have a little voice saying, "you better get started, time goes by quickly and that first show will be here before you know it." December is suppose to be the time of Peace and Joy so that is what I am going to focus on!
Peace of Mind - that comes when the craft shows are over and they were successful. It seems like we work so hard leading up to the shows and then they are over in a twinkle. I like seeing the inventory dwindle down to just a few things. I find peace of mind in knowing that my customers like my work and keep coming back to see what I have been doing in My Spare Time.
Financial Peace - let's be honest, we craft for the creative expression it gives us, but it doesn't hurt when you make money at it. In these tough economic times I really did think sales would be down, not only at my craft shows but on-line as well. I am happy to report that this was not the case. I get a huge sense of accomplishment when someone truly loves one of my items, but at the end of the day when you count the cash register that is a pretty good feeling too! As a professional crafter we all want to make more than just covering expenses.
Not only do I have my Folk Art business but I now have two online craft related businesses, http://www.printmeprim.com/and http://www.kraftoutlet.com/. I have owned Print Me Prim for over 3 years and love the site. I design and print business products for crafters and small business owners all over the world. I love talking to my customers and seeing all the things they have to offer. I just acquired Kraft Outlet right in the middle of the busy craft season. The site is wonderful and we offer blank Kraft card stock, text paper, labels and grungy tags to a wide variety of people. All of my sites and my folk art are all connected in some way so they all feed off the same creative energy.
Creative Joy - That, for me, really comes when I have lived up to my own standards. I don't really think about what others are doing or use their yard stick to measure my success. As my grandmother Martha would always say, I am as independent as a Hog on Ice! I like making my own rules, calling the shots and pushing myself. I make a business plan for my little companies each January and set new goals, it gives me a great sense of Joy to see those goals met each December and thinking of new directions to travel.
Personal Joy - I have so much to be thankful for, and I am sorry to say that sometimes I get so busy that I don't always express my happiness in all I have. I have a wonderful husband that is my best friend, my partner and work mate and the love of my life. The man has his moments, but he must be a saint to put up with all my craziness. He has embraced the craft businesses and works as hard on my Folk Art as I do. I have three wonderful sons, they are 24, 23 and 21. There were days when I understood how in the wild Mother's eat their young, but for the most part they are wonderful young men, and I love them very much. I have a crazy sister that is my biggest cheerleader and most honest critic. I am very lucky to have her and her husband as close members of our family. I had all boys and my sister had two girls, so I have the benefits of those two girls without all the PMS! Both of the girls have followed in their father's foot steps as a public servant, my brother-in-law is a Fire Fighter and his daughters are an EMT, working on her Paramedic license, and the other is a Cop. But they have also inherited their mothers sense of style, they love antiquing and decorating, so you can imagine their homes. My mother passed away many years ago, but her strong sense of family lives on in all of us and this gives me great joy!
Peace and Quiet - That is something I am really working toward. I am happy to say that I have many, many wonderful friends and we all love spending time together at the holidays, this week alone 5 parties, but I am looking forward to the Christmas Break! All the parties will be over, the kids will be home from school, the web sites will be closed, the craft shows are over, the cooking is finished, presents unwrapped and I am going to settle down for a long winters nap! I plan on reading a book and going to movies and sleeping late (that's 7:30 am for me)and watching TV in the middle of the day. I will take this time to do nothing particular and recharge my batteries. I can spend endless time on Etsy and eBay looking at new and fascinating ideas and expanding my horizons.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Holiday and a Happy New Year! May you find Peace and Joy in your life.
Talk to you next month,
PS - the photos this month are some of my favorite Christmas decorations in my house!