Back to the Swing of Things

Every now and then we all hit that low spot where we don’t allows follow up on a blog post or work in progress. Projects can take a long time and losing interest is a very real thing. It can be hard to if the projects or things you want to accomplish seem overwhelming or overly time consuming, sometimes even make you feel like it’s just not worth it anymore.

Other times I have felt this have also been part of knowing whether or not my audience will want to participate in what I want to share with them. Those feelings of dread, worry or overall depression can make completing things difficult. That’s why I wanted to share this post today.

Even though things are tough, time consuming or maybe even boring. If you do what you can to persevere, you really can accomplish anything. Take for example the list of these next few things. How can something like one or more of these help You to get done what you are wanting to accomplish?

1. Find your Accountability Partner

Do you have someone who you can rely on to keep you reliable? An Accountability Partner is someone who can keep you on track by sharing your goals with them and turning them into things you can have conversations about and follow up with consistently. You can pick anyone really, a spouse or significant other, a friend, a family member, even a co-worker or boss. Finding someone to be able to discuss and keep accountable with can also help you develop stronger short term and then long term goals!

2. Take Action

What ever you decide, take action on it! Let your decisions become your reality and make it happen. One example of mine growing up was my middle school band teacher, “if you keep your instrument out and ready to play, you are far more likely to play than if it was put away in storage.”

So taking action can be as simple as preparing the things you need to accomplish your goal. Having things readily accessible make it easier to accomplish our goal. Other ways you can take action is by sharing your goals and timeframes with your accountability partner or trusted person. Letting others know your goal and deadlines creates a purpose to follow up because you are being required to follow through with expectations you set with others.

Don’t be afraid of the nervous jitters or butterflies. We all get them at some point. Use that nervous energy to commit to action and next time you might find those feelings are less while your courage and determination grows!

3. Seek Council

When in doubt, ask it out loud! A wise person always listens to others around them. How you use that information is completely up to you and is part of your actions. You don’t have to be an expert about everything, but having the knowledge to be able to look and ask for answers will always be an invaluable resource.

Be careful though on getting advice from others that may not share the same determination or drive you want to be able to take action. Spend your time with others who want to succeed and want you to succeed too. If your getting council from those who are accountable and take action, you are much more likely to become more accountable and actionable yourself.

4. Believe

No matter what you are you’re biggest fan as well as your biggest critic. Accept the good and the bad but don’t give up. Know that as long as you continue to try and believe that you can continue to make progress that you will always be successful in the end. Believe you can and you will!

Social Distancing and Crafters

Face Masks I’ve been working on as one way to pass the time after all the kids have gone to bed. I’ve been keeping very busy.

As a crafter and Mother to 4 kids, I know the most productive crafting time is after they have all gone to bed. I’ve been doing this long before Covid-19 came along. I have found things that help the quiet (or a quiet a sewing machine can be) time pass alone not feeling so alone. It’s more than being alone, as a parent its time to actually spend with myself and my thoughts. There are many thoughts and self-conversations I would think would make for an excellent Vlog or Podcast but until I get the gumption to actually put my face and voice to digital media, printed word it is.

I live life as a passing of one project at a time, like remember when I was making [insert project] and [insert event] happened?

I am not the fastest crafter by any means, but I do get it done!

My first go to when I’m in my alone crafting time is rehashing all the projects I have currently in progress. Right now there are many. A blanket for my Mom’s BFF in Virginia. Another blanket for Basil to match her decor in her room, everything in turquoise or mint. Sewing many many face masks, but this project will span the whole of 2020 and onward. I’m eagerly awaiting some hand spun wool yarn from my Husbands co-workers wife who spun it herself. I would love to make the best sweater ever from it! And, once I get my new Singer Heavy Duty Sewing machine, I am going to then make bowl cozies. All because I am so tired of having to find a way to take a hot bowl of food out of the microwave.

If you have a problem of any kind, I bet you there is some kind of crafty person out there who can make you a solution of some sorts.

Blanket for Kaola

I live life as a passing of one project at a time, like remember when I was making [insert project] and [insert event] happened? Whenever I think about this question as it leaves my mouth I think back to how long it took me to complete that said project… I can say a blanket is pretty heavy on time it takes me to complete it.

15 Minutes Later…

I just finished watering all my house plants as I remembered it is Saturday and that is the day I chose to water my plants. To make sure that I don’t over water anything and nothing is forgotten that is why this day is the one day for watering only. It’s harder to forget that way to.

During this time Theodore has also been put down to bed for the night as its 7pm local time and he’s not yet 2 years old. He was ready for bed, rubbing his eyes and all. Little boys are the most adorable when they are cuddly and sleepy. Those are my favorite parent moments.

I have found in my own personal way of crafting that it is impossible to have only one WIP (work in progress) at a time. If I don’t feel like I’ve got too much going on then I start to feel idle and restless until I find another project to work on too. I’m not saying that everyone should work on everything all at once because there are those out there, and I’ve met a few, who cannot have more than one thing going on. It just doesn’t work for everyone. So please, work on your own projects at your own pace and preference.

The next thing to help my solitude during alone crafting time is Audible. I love audio books because it allows my hands to be free to craft. Audible has not paid me either to put a plug in for them, I really just love their service. So far Game of Thrones has kept me going for over 60 hours of audio time, 5 hours remaining of the second book now.

The last thing that I’ve been working on during my alone time is creating videos and working towards my goal of having a Vlog entry and even a podcast some day. Some day I am going to get there, some day.

I have read a lot of articles where Covid-19 has had a big impact on others who are not getting their needs for social interaction met. So the biggest thing as a crafter I want to advocate for is that no matter what, no matter how far, and no matter who, please reach out to your friends, family and co-workers. It doesn’t have to be a super long conversation, even just a check in will help. Pay them a compliment, find something nice to share maybe. Let’s still enjoy each other’s company even if we are not face-to-face.

Thank you for your time and thank you for supporting the Arts! Check out our Family’s latest creations on Social Media and shop us on Etsy.

A Good Story Told is an Experience.

An experience that you see physically in your mind’s eye without getting up from the floor you’re sitting in is a good story. You’re imagination goes wild, images fly past you and you’re just sitting there. Something exciting happens and your heart starts to beat a little bit faster, you lean in closer to the person speaking just to hang on to every word. Eventually you realize you’re about to drool because your mouth is hanging open, so you stop for just a moment to recompose. That’s a good story and a good storyteller.

Now an online storyteller is someone who can capture the emotion of the words without sounds that can still captivate you and keep you going for one more sentence, one more page before you’re too tired to keep your eyes open. You hear the story as you read it off the page, the screen, you hold in your hands. Descriptive words still describe entire scenes of colors and sounds and tastes and smells, you can still feel the hairs on your arms tingle with excitement. But, digital storytelling is where you seek out a story, a novel, a excerpt, just to find that one missing piece you longed for.

You found out your favorite book is coming out with a sequel and in our digital world you must have the preliminary showcase pieces to get one more taste.

A good story will keep you interested and searching for more even after you’ve read the last few printed words, and the authors biography on the back pages. That is a good story.

The Road Never Walked On, Just a Click Away.

In our digital age, there are now more “roads” that extend far beyond what you can measure on Earth. Businesses, in hopes of staying current, took the beaten path off the pavement and placed it on your screen. Your direct viewership gains their business the foot traffic it takes to keep alive digitally and physically. A Cyber Infrastructure. The business and personal use of these online technologies allows for everyone to be able to interact with everyone else that they share a common interest with. I use common interest because an individual will not typically visit a site or place that does not fit what they are looking for or interested in.

We are living in the middle of the largest increase in expressive capability in the history of the human race.

Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody

@GardnerCampbell states in this video from the University of British Colombia that we are not in the middle but at the beginning. We, now, are innovating how we interact with each other digitally and our level of openness with one another. Our interactions can lead us to be open to the world by sharing a blog or site on larger social platforms but we can also just be open to each other, both of these require us to have identity markers so we can still be individuals among the masses. The last thing is we also should be open to ourselves, self-aware of what we are doing and who we really are. Using Gardner’s words, we should “decorate our lockers”, create a self brand that we can share online and personally.

Going back to the business sides of things, businesses that have existed for some time are making the digital move to a cyber infrastructure beyond the pavement by their front doors. To do this they typically cannot keep doing what has worked well in the past because our digital age requires a digital thought of connectivity. It’s no longer about telling someone about some thing, we need to share it and involve them. This turns into “Likes”, “Shares”, “Re-tweets” and followership on social sites.

Although, thinking of the digital future, an age old saying I once heard from my Mothers when she owned her small town craft store comes to mind again and again with an online footprint. “A satisfied customer may tell one to two people of their good experience but an unsatisfied customer will share their terrible experience with everyone willing to listen.”

“Well, I have a bag of gold, would you like a bag of gold?”

Of course, I don’t share that information with the intent of dissuading anyone from being open to the world, but I hope that as a human being this information and age of digital sharing can inspire us all to be the good person and do the right thing. Be kind, rewind… and redo. All philosophical aspects aside, we all use these digital face lifts at some point in our online careers. To make improvements and staying relevant not just in content but in location is all apart of staying alive online, i.e. maintaining a followership.

As I go through the information from DS106, I find it more and more interesting how I can tie all these things into what I hope to accomplish with Vogel Craft Co. Each video, article and how-to is helping me to build my skills as a Social Media Consultant aiming to help businesses and other people build their social media infrastructure. By building bridges we can all make changes for a brighter digital future.