I am a crafter. I am one who knits. I’ve dabbled in crochet. I sew. I paint with acrylics. I scrapbook and I quilt. Crafting is in my blood, maybe even part of my DNA. My mom crafted when I was little, everything from sewing clothes to latch hook and even Macramé. Macramé is a craft on my never-tried list. I hope to try any craft at least once. Sometimes I will try too many all at the same time.
You see, I have what I like to call Too Many Craft Projects syndrome, or TMCP for short. I start one and I can’t seem to finish it before I start another one. I currently have 5-20 in progress projects and unfinished projects in my craft room.
Why does a crafter start so many craft projects and never finish them? What can a crafter do to prevent TMCP?
Create a deadline for yourself.
A deadline keeps us wandering crafters on track. For instance, when I need to finish a Christmas tree skirt in time for Christmas, it gets done before Christmas. It may get done a day or two before, but it’s done by the deadline. However if I have a project that I start and I don’t make a deadline, it usually ends up in my unfinished projects bin. Projects that end up there are rarely likely to see the light of day again.
Just keep in mind that you don’t want to set an unrealistic deadline. For instance, if you have 1 hour per week of free time to work on a project, and a project that could take up to 9 hours, you wouldn’t want to set your deadline for 1 week from the start date. Keep it realistic folks, so you don’t set yourself up for failure.
Make sure you have all the materials you need before you start the project.
I hate having to run to the store for items right in the middle of a project. Plus, it elimates wasted time so you don't get distracted halfway through your work.
Keep a motivation binder.
I have a binder of printed pictures showing the projects that I’m currently working on and the ones I would like to do. Maybe that’s a little OCD, but when I’m lacking the drive to finish a project, getting a little motivation from the starting image or images from similar projects gives me the kick I need to return to the task.
Give yourself credit for the work you have done.
A lot of crafters, myself included, tend to be our own worst critic when it comes to our work. Sometimes you just have to congratulate yourself for the progress you have made. Even though you may see flaws in your own work, embrace them. That is what makes your project unique.
Sometimes it’s okay to throw in the towel. If the project is just not working or maybe it’s over your skill level, it’s okay to say “I quit.” Just don’t dwell on the unfinishable.
Maybe some of you are saying, “Marissa, this seems like too much work.” Maybe you’re the lazy crafter, and that’s okay. There is another option. Take a class. There are many options in the Pocatello area to get your creative juices flowing. By taking a class, you are guaranteed to stick to your deadline, the materials involved are usually supplied, the motivation is there, and you get to take credit for your work after the class. Almost instant gratification.
CEWT will be offering a plethora of craft classes this summer. Be sure to check them out and keep your deadlines. Visit http://cetrain.isu.edu to learn more.