This past week was a little crazy at our house… My husband and I finally decided to tackle the ugly back-splash in our kitchen. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t exactly ugly, but in our dark kitchen that faces North East, which has only 1 small window, combined with dark brown cabinets that reach to the ceiling, this matte tan colored tile did look awful, especially because it seemed to suck up any light that did enter. So we decided that we would just remove the old tile and install something nice and bright and shiny….As with many projects, what you think will be an easy and quick job, turned out to be a major undertaking, with us trying to break the tiles off the wall with hammers and crowbars.
These tiles were not going anywhere, so in the end my ever patient husband cut out the drywall, tile attached, and that’s how we finally got rid of the tile. Do you know that it already looked better with just the insulation showing?
No, really! Anyway, newly installed drywall and beautiful new shiny white subway tiles were all installed by late Sunday night. It looks so great and bright, even though it still needs grout, but we are hoping to finish it all up by this weekend.
Why tell you about the back-splash ordeal on a quilty blog? This is why: Many of us love to quilt or do something creative to feed our soul, but sometimes it is hard to find the time to do so when you have other responsibilities. I don’t think there are too many of us who can just do whatever we want whenever we want. There are responsibilities as homeowners, as parents, as children, as spouses, and as employees. Often times it is too easy to get sucked into all those responsibilities that we forget to look after ourselves and our needs. And did you know that spending time on a hobby is a great stress-reliever, a self-esteem booster, and a great way to socialize too?
Before you go pointing out the obvious, we obviously did not NEED to tear apart our kitchen walls this weekend, that was by choice. But having my boys home sick for a couple of days this week and having to run to doctor appointments and the pharmacy was not a choice and still something that had to be worked around. Obviously the world does not end when we don’t get to take some time to be creative, but I know for me personally, that I am a better mom and wife when I have had some time for me. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but creativity does feed my soul and I need it.
So how can we make sure that we get some time to create every week, if not every day? I went on a search and found dozens of articles dedicated to this dilemma….here are a few suggestions:
- Schedule a block of time for your hobby. Write it on your calendar.
- Designate a space in your home for your supplies and projects. If you have to haul it all out and put it all away it will be too easy to forgo your crafty time. So use a room, a closet, or even a caddy, where you keep everything at your fingertips.
- Say “no” to things so that you can say “yes” to things that are important to you. Don’t feel bad about this. You are important too.
- Get up an hour earlier so you can create. ( Or even 15 minutes…if you have everything set out you can get a lot done in just 15 minutes a day).
- If you have a friend in the same boat, offer to watch their kids/do their groceries/whatever, in exchange for them doing the same for you.
- Sign up for a class. This has a double benefit: You won’t put it off because you have paid good money to go, and you will get to meet some new people who share your interests!
(For more info on these ideas you can check out the following links: http://www.exploringwomanhood.com/homelife/hobbies/maketime.htm
For me personally these things have worked well:
- My quilt room is right on the main floor ( it is actually our formal dining room, but a quilt room was a better use of space for us) so I can pop in a few minutes to do this or that while supper is cooking or while our youngest is doing homework. I am still available, but don’t need to be right there.
- I always have multiple projects on the go in multiple stages. So if I need to sit with someone I can stitch down a binding, or do paper-piecing. If I am talking to someone I can do mindless pressing of blocks. If I’m stuck waiting on the phone, I can chain-piece on my machine.
- Get together with a friend and “make a date to create”. I used to get together with 2 different friends about once a month and we would spend the whole day creating. We would drink lots of tea, chat, and would “make art” , each of us alternating providing lunch/treats and those days were heavenly!
- Sometimes I simply tell my husband “I need to go into my room”. He understands and will jump in and cover for me. ( This was way more important when we had 4 kids under the age of 13; Now that our kids are older and all in school I can find that time most of the time while they are out ).
I hope that all these ideas can help you in some way to find a little space and time in which to be creative. And to help you get started on some projects, here are a few links to some FREE patterns!
What ideas and suggestions do you have for making time to be creative? Please share in the comments! And if you haven’t joined already, won’t you join our Facebook group? It is such a nice group of ladies who like to share their creations and really show support for each other…they are a special bunch!
Until next time…happy creating!