Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Defining Success

These scarves were woven from Bambu 12 and a wool lycra (the white stripes.) They were one of my few unqualified 'successes'. So little of what I create actually matches the fibre vision in my head. These came very close. :D

Speaking of 'success' I have c0ntinued to think a lot about the shape of my life to come.

As my energy flagged due to the increasingly difficult time my heart was having pumping blood to where it needed to be, I narrowed my focus about what I considered to be a 'successful' day to the point where the only thing that counted was if I'd been as productive as I felt I needed to be to keep my business going. Pay the bills, make my loan payments, etc.

In terms of weaving, that meant at least 3 to 5 forty-five minute sessions at the loom every day, or some other task related to weaving - skeining yarns to dye, several hours in the guild room dyeing yarn, pressing, etc.

Now that I have come to the realization that my productivity and actual sales are badly out of sync, I need to adjust my definition of a successful day. Either that or seek out more opportunities to sell my work, and that seems way too much of a challenge at this point in time.

Doug and I have done the craft fair circuit, and we are tired of the hustle-bustle, generally during the worst weather months. Been there, done that, not real excited about doing it again.

As my energy continued to flag over the years, I dropped all activities that took energy away from my weaving goal. My house sadly needs a thorough cleaning, my social life is practically non-existant (apart from the internet!), and I don't think I really understand 'leisure activities' anymore. Or at least my friends tell me that I don't. :}

My bobbin lace is scheduled so that I can do some, my spinning wheels languish mostly forgotten, my reading is done in snatches usually in waiting rooms, or for a few minutes before light's out. Once in a rare while I'll set a jigsaw puzzle out, but not very often. Usually if I have 'spare' time I'm fringe twisting, hemming, or at the very least knitting scarves for donations to worthy causes.

So tonight I came to the realization that I don't have to stop weaving altogether. Weaving is much too much a part of who I am and who I want to be to ever stop. But I don't need to do it for so many hours every day. I am toying with the concept of setting my goal for success at 2-3 forty-five minute sessions a day, instead of 3-5.

Tomorrow I will finish the turquoise warp, just in time to leave a naked loom for me to come home to. Like a blank canvas, a naked loom is full of potential! What will I do when I get home? I'm not sure. I do have a few ideas, because I *still* have a stash that will outlive me several times over, and stash reduction will continue to be a priority.

But the very finest cotton and linen are now history. In fact, they are so much history that I have been enticed to buy some new 2/20 mercerized cotton. I'll be placing my order tonight. :)


Sandra Rude said...

Bravo, Laura. It's really important to match your goals to your physical ability to meet those goals, or your morale level drops dramatically. I've done the same with my weaving life. And I heartily agree about craft shows - exhausting, and increasingly unprofitable :( so I'm on a search for other sales methods.
Cheers - Sandra

Laura said...

Hi Sandra,

Now that we've sorted out the Lipator as culprit in my 'illness', I can actually weave like I used to. :} I'm just figuring out that I don't *have* to! :D There is a certain amount of freedom in that, if I can re-think my priorites. :}

Good luck with finding other ways to market your gorgeous textiles.



Sharon Schulze said...

As long as you buy less than you wove up it still counts as stash reduction, right?

I have a good friend who had to reduce her stash drastically and quickly and ended up giving away a LOT of yarn. I helped her and brought home more (although I gave even more of it to others) but I'm wondering if it counts if I didn't pay for it.... ;-)

I applaud your soul-searching, Laura. It's hard to do at the best of times but darn near impossible when burdened with health problems. I love reading about your struggles because they help me think about my own prioritizing and choosing.

bibliotecaria said...

Sounds like the fact that you are finally getting a handle on your health is allowing you to remember the joys of a balanced life. Illness robs one of the ability to have balance, because your body demands so much.
As for the selling, I have no idea if this would work for you or not, but have you considered using etsy.com or any other form of internet selling? It would, I think, require much less energy from you. I just have no idea if the prices you would get through it would be worth your time and money.