Staying organised

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Please tell me that I am not alone…

In some areas of my life I am very organised; in others, ridiculously random. And no matter how hard I try I do not seem to be able to control my stash.

I’ve resorted to ‘job bags’ for some of my projects (a throwback to my office days when design projects would be kept in large folders to ensure none of the artwork went missing) and buying yet more ‘really useful boxes’ but I still have stuff trailing all around the house like a toddler’s primary coloured plastic.

Since I try to discipline myself not to cut out a project until I am actually going to sew it this leaves me often in a quandary of indecision. And despite the fact that I try to never have more than two unfinished projects on the go at any one time, I still manage to make an incredible mess.

This is my attempt to keep all of the pieces from a quilt I am making up as I go along together. It worked fine until one of the ties broke and I had to unwrap everything to put it back together again!

Maybe I just need to go back upstairs and get organising… Again.

Cat x

Guilty pleasures

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Yesterday, one of my favourite fellow crafties, Rachel from Foxglove and Gingersnap was chatting about how she reads her crafty magazines. I found myself blushing slickly because I have to confess that I’m a really big magazine addict

In fact all of us in the Cat household are. Suggesting a trip to WHSmith or the local equivalent would not be considered odd at all. KC’S is currently a big fan of The Phoenix, Kid likes triathlon and rugby, Kitty often buys Vogue and Belle Armoire, Mr Cat has to share Top Gear and his cycling magazines and guards his sailing ones jealously.

And then there is me! My primary excuse is that the publishing industry has been a fundamental part of my entire working life and I love it. I still have the cover proofs for the first publication I was ever wholly responsible for (a weighty little tome about European advertising) and I still love Thursday mornings because that was the day of the week when the new issues would be delivered. As part of my current consultancy I read about 3 magazines a week, more when I’m writing on a topic I know little about.

Which brings me to my confession about crafty magazines. A little while ago a friend asked if she could borrow a few to look for inspiration. Well…. I had to deliver them by car because I couldn’t carry them all. And that wasn’t even a third of what I could have offered her. I now can’t open one of the drawers in my bedside cabinet because of the pile of reading matter in front of it. However, I am on the case. I have started culling my collection, taking out the relevant pages and using a specialist scanner to create my own digital collection. It’s an ongoing project on which I don’t expect quick progress because of course I start reading the darned things as I go through them!

Also, with my professional head on, I find I am intolerant of poorly produced publications. One particular offender was printing articles with white out of yellow text in a minuscule font that was almost impossible to read, which when taken in tandem with their inability to print inside the magazine what they had said they were going to, had me pulling my hair out. I now try to restrict myself to a few gems… Selvage is a real delight and I love all of the stuff produced by American publisher Interweave so much that I am considering importing it regularly for my own commercial venture.

Now all I need to make me really happy is some freelance work with a crafty/sewing publisher. Any offers gratefully received!

Cat x

The art of being lucky

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One of the hardest things about working for yourself is motivation. Every morning you have to hoist yourself out of bed and create your own goals for the day. If, like many self employed people, you have adopted this particular work pattern because of family commitments then you probably have the added distractions of getting other people out of the door by a set time. Which means that by 9am you feel like you have already done a whole day’s work!

In my ‘other’ life I often come across people who ask ‘I want to set myself up in business/I’m just starting out as a freelance’, how can I be successful?’ Well the straightforward answer is hard work. Not even the seemingly most talented individual gets to the top without huge amounts of effort. Those that do get there by a stroke of good fortune often find the time and energy commitment required to maintain their position is far more than they were expecting, and possibly more than they are willing to commit.

Today I am going to put some concerted effort into being lucky. Starting with binding my beautiful quilt.

Cat x