November 5, 2010

Knowing Your Limits


So, I have to give credit to my insightful husband for this post. He has been talking to me a lot recently about the seperation between work and home and thought it would be a reasonable conversation to persue in the DIY/blog world.'s what I'm pondering (and I would LOVE to start a little conversation in the comments, so please don't be shy; chime in)!

1) Do you ever have trouble reconciling your professional life and your crafty/DIY life? Some of you might be really fortunate and have a profession where craft/DIY is your work. For me, I have made a huge effort to leave work at work and enjoy my personal time at home creating and crocheting. Sometimes, though, I feel frustrated because I enjoy my creative side so thoroughly, I'm always searching for my "million dollar idea" so I can stay at home and craft full time. Do you share the same sentiment?

2) Do you ever find that your craft carries limits? For example, I love to crochet and think I am really gaining skill and speed, but I am restricted from a multitude of patterns because most of the yarn community is focused on knitting. How do you deal with this situation? Do you learn the new craft? How do you reconcile this situation?

Sometimes I'm really torn between keeping a paycheck and feeling like I'm losing my sanity and losing my paycheck but keeping (and improving) my sanity. It's pretty perplexing!

A lot of my crafty friends don't work full-time or their full-time job is in the craft industry. Some of my friends do work full-time. Either way, I am constantly searching out various outlooks and opinions! Do share...


  1. I find myself constantly daydreaming about quitting my marketing job at an arch/engineering firm and making thing and thrift shopping all.the.time. When I get home from work I am so tired and drained from dealing with people all day all I want to do is sit in front of the tv. Ugh! Constant struggle. I can't quit my job because my husband doesn't have a job that could support us. It's hard but I just keep pushing through until either my husband gets a job that will support us or retirement.

    How do you get the motivation to come home and work on your craft?

    ps. love your blog. :)

  2. Hi. I just stumbled upon your lovely blog through Freckled Nest. I'm glad I did. This post describes my thought process every single day. I actually work in a creative field (I'm a hairstylist), but I work for a corporation and my manager has strict rules as far as dress code. Through the years I have been told how to wear my hair and make up, what kind of shoes to wear, what kind of pants to wear, to cover up my tattoos, etc. We have to wear a shapeless black polyester smock every day. On top of all that, there is the dealing with people part. People are vain and selfish and rude. I am so tired of babying clients and having them walk all over me. We work strictly on commission (plus tips), but when we are slow we can't leave the salon. I mean, we can take our little half hour lunch and 5 minute drink runs when we are slow, but we can't go home early if we've only done one haircut from 10-2. We aren't allowed to read books but we can read trashy gossip mags...uugh. I hate hate hate my job. But, I make pretty good money, and it's stable. I have 2 daughters to support so risking an income loss isn't an option right now. I dream of maybe someday (like maybe when the girls are grown) owning a shop of some sorts. Etsy seems like a descent option for someone with a full time job. It's just that, how do you find the time to do that when you work 40 hours? I've even thought about going back to school so I could get a teaching job for the awesome schedule. Weekends off, and done by 4....snow days, Summers, spring break, winter break and tons of holidays throughout the school year off? Yes please, Sign me up! I don't know. It's rough. You are not alone in your thoughts though. I'm sure there are a ton of us out there struggling with these feelings on a daily basis! I am interested to hear other people's thoughts on this as well. :)

  3. Hi Liz! I, too, just found your blog through Freckled Nest! This post hit home for me because I've been thinking about these things A LOT lately. I'm active duty military, and it has been difficult for me to reconcile my professional life and craft life. There aren't a whole lot of people I work with that 'get' my need/desire/talent to craft and create. I have a few crafty friends but not anyone that ones to create full time like me! I love my job, but it's just not able to fulfill/provide opportunities for my creative needs. So, when my commitment is up, I will be joining the reserves and making a go at a crafty life!
    For your second question, I think your crochet in a world of knitters makes your products unique and more interesting! As a new crocheter my self, I think it's great! I just could not get in to knitting...and it seems like you really like to crochet - if you're going to be doing a lot of something you might as well do something you really enjoy.
    And Nan - I am the same way. I have all these great ideas about crafting things while I'm at work, but I get home and there is dinner to make and a baby to feed and a house to clean and a husband to hang out with and it's really hard to find a balance to it all.
    Thanks so much for this post and providing a place to have this discussion, I think it's a really important one!

  4. I am so happy to read these posts. Thank you for being so thoughtful in your responses. To answer a few things:

    --There was a year or two that I was so tired when I came home from work that I just plopped down on the couch and watched TV until it was time for bed. I was so unhappy during this time that I had to change something. The key element that was missing from my life at the time was creating. It really is a part of me to the core. I just simply love to create. It could be a lesson plan or an afghan; I always need a project. My husband understands that most evenings I need about 30-60 minutes to create. He can definitely sit with me while I do it, but I have to do it to stay happy and focused. It has been a mutual understanding and a key part of our relationship, that I often find ways that we can create together. For instance, my husband has more artistic abilities than I, so sometimes if canvas is on sale, I'll buy a large canvas and we'll paint it together. Once we bought a cheap 3 pack and painted individually but in the same room. His was way cooler than mine, but it was the point of doing it together. Sometimes, especially this time of year, cooking is my source of creativity. Truly. We cook together a lot, as well. I think it's all about priorities and seeing how you can mesh and multitask.

    I do love to crochet and this time of year, when my business is crazy busy, I love to think about staying home and doing it all day. However, it's not that busy all year long. So I need to find a way to make it more economical before I can seriously consider an alternate profession. One of these days :)

    Thanks again for your awesome comments!