Tag : cath-kidston

Be kind to yourself. It’s January! Stop to eat the biscuits – even if they are broken.

I’m tired. But, it’s January – who isn’t tired in January?

The days are dark, it’s (seriously) cold, I think we are all just trying to make it through, right? Trying to stick to New Year’s resolutions, trying to be ‘good’. In fact; who thought it would be a good idea to make resolutions to in some way change your life, when it is hard going anyway with the dreary days, dark evenings and the knowledge the party season is over?! And, that’s before we even think about the mess our country’s politics is in!

For the first time in years, this year I didn’t actually make any resolutions. I’ve had a bit of a declutter, and I have a bit of a list going on of what I would like to achieve, and how I would like this year to pan out – but nothing to STOP doing, which is a refreshing change! Resolutions are good – if you have the will power and true desire to do whatever it is you are doing. But all too often, very easy to just ‘give up’ and then feel weak and berate yourself as a ‘failure’ when, actually, you are just trying to get on in life, in January of all months! Be kind to yourself.

With that in mind – one thing I think perhaps I – and most of us to be honest – should do, is exactly that as a ‘New Year’s’ resolution: to not be so hard on ourselves. Be kind.

I, in particular set myself high standards. I get these ideas of things that need to be done and have to be achieved – but I need to stop and remind myself that actually no-one else has said that has to happen. I have set the targets, I have set the goal posts – so if it doesn’t work out exactly as I imagined, then maybe I can move the goal posts and actually stop and reflect not on what HASN’T been achieved, but what HAS.

That’s quite hard for me to write – as I quite LIKE getting lots done, I LOVE being almost too busy – but actually, sometimes I do (and you if you are reading this knowing you do too!) need to stop. Watch more TV. Read a magazine. Paint my nails. Time out. And do NOT feel guilty for it either! Time on yourself is time well spent. And, referring back to the first sentence of this blog post. I’m TIRED. And that is partly my own fault!

I am also tired, because I have an all too often sleep thief toddler, who is in the ‘terrible’ twos (they aren’t that terrible ALL the time – sometimes the tantrums can be slightly amusing… although often in hindsight, not at the time while you try to placate a screaming, anger filled little person.) Who knew it needed to be THAT specific spoon, and actually it IS the end of the world if their biscuit breaks in half. I understand that to them it actually is devastating… but sometimes to take a step back and look at the bigger picture to see that while it is a challenge to resolve, this is NORMAL toddler behaviour – learning about what they want, they don’t want and that things aren’t always their own way. Obviously, you tell them it’ll be OK, but they learn that sometimes Mummy cannot just ‘fix’ the biscuit.

I am tired, because in addition to the aforementioned beautiful, challenging, amazing bundle of energy that is our little man – life is happening. The house. The dog. The (attempt at a) social life. Running a business. (Or, trying to!) And, I am growing a whole other human being.

Into the second trimester now, in fact literally approaching half way as I write (time slow down, please?!) I am feeling MUCH better. Christmas was crazy – with all our amazingly busy workshops and events, and actual Christmas to do in addition to morning (all day?) sickness and feeling like a walking zombie for 3 months wasn’t ideal – but, I got through it. Things went well. Classes were booked, people attended and from what I can see – lots of happy crafters!

There, point one of congratulating myself! Well done.

I am winding down now though, I need to start…

When I first found out I was pregnant, of course – we were delighted. But, I did: Panic. What is the business going to do?! How will it sustain over the next year, or two, or five?!

The answer to the above questions are of course, it will be OK. Just like a toddler realises they can still eat the biscuit, just in two halves – it will be OK!

I think in the background of this worry lies the buzz word(s) ‘Imposter Syndrome’. I have heard a lot about this recently and actually, I think we all do feel like this from time to time… Where you question if you are good enough, question if you are essentially a ‘fraud’! Obviously, I am not a fraud in the true sense of the matter – but there is certainly self-doubt at times.

A lot of self-doubt can come from comparison. Believing that what you see on social media is what you get. You’ve (and I’ve) got to remember it is not what you get. It isn’t always real. Or, it IS real – but it isn’t just the photos that are filtered, it is the content too! You certainly don’t see photos on The Crafty Lass Instagram of our little man having a meltdown as he lost ‘his’ leaf on a walk and demanding to sit IN a puddle. Or the days I cannot be bothered to craft – and sit and watch First Dates instead! Obviously, I and anyone else that ‘filters’ their content doesn’t LIE – they just post relevant and appropriate things. I want my feed to be full of colour, and fun and making and creating. As a business, I need to reflect positivity. Not piles of washing and grumps!

I am currently reading Cath Kidston’s ‘COMING UP ROSES – The Story of Growing a Business’ – and for anyone building a business, or a brand – or actually just loves Cath Kidston – I would highly recommend. Very inspiring! There is a quote on the back of the book that really hit a nerve with me:

“When you’re self-taught you always worry that you will be found out.”

That is IT!

I (think I) am more than qualified to be ‘The Crafty Lass’… however, I need to ensure the business grows, expands, onwards and upwards. What if I can’t do that?

After a very successful year, with so many amazing things achieved – the timing of this pregnancy actually couldn’t be better. Although I will need to stop whilst things are on a high – it will be chance to reflect, plan, decide how the business will move forwards, and in what direction.

The husband came up with a brilliant and timely appropriate analogy – that the car was now designed, built and running. And, once the baby arrives, I won’t need to de-ice the car – the engine is still ticking over. And, he is right – the business won’t die a death. People won’t forget – mainly because I won’t let them! And, the business is flexible enough to adapt to the new (likely even more sleep deprived) life we will be boldly treading in. I quit my 9-5 to allow for a flexible life, and I need to ensure I grab that opportunity with both hands and not let it go – as I am forever grateful that although where The Crafty Lass is now has come about due to lots and lots of hours and hard work – and it didn’t happen overnight – but, I am grateful that it can and does work. And, work around family.

People keep asking me about when I will be ‘stopping’. And the answer is I don’t know – and I can’t really see me fully stopping! When you run your own business, you are never truly ‘off duty’. I mean, I literally am The Crafty Lass. OF COURSE I WILL stop! I won’t be writing posts in the labour ward… although saying that, I was induced with our little man and to distract myself from the process, I was crocheting most of the time in hospital! But, seriously – I will stop when the new bundle of joy arrives for a period of time – length of such to be decided there and then, and focus on them and us and little man – they are only very little for such a short time, but I am sure the craftiness will dip in and out of life too.

I do have some big plans for maternity leave – I have already started on a book (well two actually, but one is more of a general idea with a contents page and hundreds of thoughts and images in my brain, and the other is an actual full in the writing stages) and it would be great to make that the project I really get up and running with in the early how have we made a person months. Or, to be kind to myself – if that doesn’t happen as it is more important to sleep, then that’s OK too. All in good time, as the vision and desire to achieve won’t go away.

So, that’s it – ignore the Imposter Syndrome. You ARE good enough. You CAN do whatever you set your mind to, but just do what you can. Stop to take time out for yourself. You are doing GREAT – it is January don’t forget – and we are all in this together! Stop to eat the biscuits – even if they are broken.

x

Categories: Business, General Craft

National Stationery Week

I love stationery. If I really have to admit it – I am a stationery addict… I have drawers FULL of felt tip pens and pencils and biros, and fun and quirky notelets and post-it notes, the list goes on… I am sure enough to open a small stationery shop.

However, amongst the quantity there are some particular quality items I would be lost without… really! Some are old timers that I have had a long time, some are new additions that I now can’t be without – but here, for National Stationery Week are my cherished items!

National Stationery Week runs from April 27th – 3rd May 2015.

http://www.nationalstationeryweek.com/

 

1. So, to start with – we have my ‘The Crafty Lass’ notebook from a beautiful shop in Sri Lanka. ‘Barefoot’ is full of hand woven fabric products, you name it, it is in there made out of fabric. But despite wanting to bring back the whole shop – the covered notebooks I was particularly drawn to, full of lovely cream recycled paper. It has my notes, ideas, to-do lists for setting up The Crafty Lass. It doesn’t leave my side!

 

2. My Cath Kidston pencil case. How many adults do you know that take their own pencil case to work….? Well, I do. When I was about 11 years old, I took my Mum, Dad and Auntie on a shopping trip while on holiday in Perth, Scotland to find THE perfect pencil case for the new school term. It is still talked about to this day that it took MANY shops, MANY hours to get the right one… It was important! Recently my fountain pen leaked in the case, so there is now a large blue stain inside, and you can just see that through one of the cream spots – so, it’s not perfect, but it is still my lovely pencil case.

 

3. My Parker fountain pen. This was a gift 2 years ago from my brother and sister for my birthday. I have always wanted a lovely proper ink pen, and now it is pretty much all I use! I love ordering extra ink cartridges to ensure it never runs out… sounds sad! But, I love that my handwriting always looks better in this pen, and it is very ‘traditional’ to put proper ink to paper.

 

4. When not using my fountain pen, I mainly use my pink fineliner – I was always taught in school that I should only ever write in Black, or Blue. Red was strictly reserved for teachers. However, now that I am an adult – I happily write in every colour and whatever colour suits me that day! But I consistently go back to this pink fineliner… it is starting to run out – so, soon I will need to find a new favourite, but until then, I will continue to write in whatever colour I want…!

 

5. The old traditional highlighter. I am abit of a ‘list’ person – for what I need to get achieved that day, week, year, lists on my fridge of long term life plans, lists of shopping for whatever is needed in the supermarket, lists of lists… A highlighter is my friend as I can highlight stuff off my to-do list only when it is DONE.

 

6. Car and truck rubber bands. These, are actually my husband’s, but they have conveniently ended up in The Crafty Lass office. Fun! When being used, they obviously don’t keep their shape! But, I know that they are shaped like a car…

 

7. Birdie paperclips. These are a very recent addition to my stationery collection – a gift from my lovely sister. Just how great are they! They certainly brighten up bundles of paperwork…

 

8. Giant pushpins. These, are also a new addition, again a gift. I love that they are so bright, and huge! I need to buy a corkboard simply just to use them!

 

9. Read, urgent, later clips. Bright, helpful, organising stationery! These will be much needed in the coming weeks once I no doubt have more paperwork to be organising…

 

10. ‘LOVE’ Washi Tape. What is not to love about this?! I have this design in three colours (pink, green, black) and are all from IKEA. Some Washi tape – although all beautiful can be rather expensive. IKEA has jumped on the bandwagon and gone all out with fun and quirky designs, but at traditionally low IKEA prices! Why use cellotape when you can use something as beautiful as this!

 

11. Vanilla smelling cupcake rubber. Yes, that is exactly what it is. It looks like a sweet, it smells like a sweet – but it is for rubbing out pencil errors! 🙂

 

12. Cartoon post it notes. These really get the message across!

 

13. Star pencil sharpener. This came from a Christmas cracker about 5 years ago – but it is pink, sparkly, and actually works pretty well! I love it, as it is the sort of thing I would have loved just as much when I was 5 years old – but I love it just as much as an adult!

 

14. Old, but beautiful scissors. These, used to be my grandma’s. When she sadly passed away – I was given her sewing box – full of lovely old silk threads, needles, little unfinished projects – and many pairs of scissors. Although rusty, they do still work. I owe them some TLC with some WD40 and a clean up – but I love them just as they are.

 

What are your favourite and cherished stationery items?

 

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Categories: Stationery

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