Tag : gdpr

DREAM BIG. worry less.

I am blown away. Absolutely, to the point of tears today.

The amount of messages I have been receiving from friends, old friends, people I have only met once – people who I have NEVER met – telling me I am inspiring. I find it bonkers! 

 

“It is genuinely refreshing to see someone making their dreams happen.”

 

“You’ve reassured a lot of people who are also trying to juggle everything.”

 

“I have just read your blog post and couldn’t agree more! Congratulations on all the wonderful things going on for you and for being a self employed super mum!”

 

“I read and feel exhausted and inspired by your success – keep going for all us who are still dreaming!”

 

“…how do you fit it all in, you are a real superwoman! I am in the first year of my business and you’ve got me thinking about thinking out of the box a little more!”

 

“Well done Mrs – Inspirational – TICK”

 

“I know we’ve only met once, but I just wanted to say I’m always blown away by how you’re living your dream! You are really inspiring so thanks for all your crafty lass sharing.”

 

It’s great to see someone working on their dream, juggling being a mum (and no sleep – I can still relate to this sadly! 😂), and living their life to the full. And encouraging others to do the same. What we want from life looks different for all of us but we should all attempt to live our fullest version.”

 

This is just a small selection. You can see why I got a bit teary today. I told little man that mummy wasn’t really crying – she was really happy – people were reading what she was writing, and it made them, and her happy. He didn’t quite get it and offered me his ‘racing car’ and ‘gingerbread man’ – honoured indeed.

I am just writing about, and sharing what I do in my life. Doing a few crafty things, being a wife, a mummy. And the honest answer to the most common question? I don’t know how I get it all done.

However – I would like to be realistic with you. It is not all glitter and paper roses…!

I am a confident person. I am confident of The Crafty Lass and where it is going and the vision for the future. I know the price of a workshop – and why it is that price, how to calculate margins. Confident in what I am teaching. I can walk into a room of 100 people and not be phased by talking to them. Design my own website. Design my own product. Approach editors of magazines… But:

I am a natural born worrier. I worry about lots of (often insignificant stuff) from what I look like (don’t we all?) and what people think of me, of The Crafty Lass. I worry that I will never get it all achieved. Worry about things like Google rankings. And, if what I am pitching to the crafty world… is right. What if I am wrong? Worry that I won’t live up to expectations (usually my own – too high!). I worry. But, it means – often, I CARE.

When I feel overwhelmed – and a bit ‘wobbly’ (not just in the growing older, had a baby and drink too much wine, eat too many crisps scenario) …which recently with the major different avenues the business is taking it happens more than you think (wine and wobbly!) – I talk! The Husband would say too much (!) but, saying some of what I need to get achieved in X amount of time – makes it suddenly feel achievable. I am CONSTANTLY writing lists. And re-writing lists. Crossing stuff off, and re-evaluating what next… Planning what needs to get done across the day, week, month… year.

And, when for whatever reason, I just can’t talk to The Husband, family, friends – sometimes, it is good to get an external view point. And, although a week behind, in honour of #mentalhealthawarenessweek and – with a comment yesterday:

“Isn’t it refreshing to see honesty rather than the often B******T we see on Instagram?”

I see a Life Coach.

What’s one of those? Well – it is in effect, a ‘counsellor’ – but whatever the ‘label’ – she just listens. And advises. She ‘directs’ my train of thought. She makes me feel light when I leave. She makes me feel that I am actually superwoman. Thank you Donna – you are an amazing lady – who I genuinely think needs a medal listening to some of minutiae worries! 

Anyway… it also helps that I am usually up from 5.30am onwards with little man. I do always feel a bit smug when I’ve put the washing on, dishwasher is on, dinner is cooked and I have managed to send a business email, maybe even a flower or something or other made, and am often dressed, make-up on way and my second cup of tea by 7.15 am… It means I don’t have to feel ‘guilty’ if later in the day I indulge some R&R…

By the way – despite what I feel like when leaving my life coach appointments, and what I have been told by several people in the last few days – I am NOT superwoman… One thing that DOES get me through the day when required is a ‘nana nap’. As I indicated on my previous blog post – that seemed to hit home with lots of people – I am tired. 

I do seem to (very oddly) thrive on little sleep, but recently… not so much. I am tired.

When little man naps? I often do too. Well, sometimes… (ha!) Sometimes I indulge in watching First Dates. Or, having a cup of tea and a cheeky (large, needed) slice of cake. Or, when really needed… doing more crafty things! But, recently – there have been more snuggles and snoozes than anything else.

Our little man, loves to be held when he sleeps. And I, no matter what we ‘should’ be doing as parents – allow it! He doesn’t sleep in the day for long – never has done – and there will be a day, not so far away – when he would love nothing LESS than to snuggle into mummy’s arms for a cuddle and a sleep. So, I indulge me him when he wants. And I do try and sleep too. Or, usually check emails… (with one eye on First Dates!)

Sleep or no sleep – it is the down time and re-connect part of the day.

I would also like to point out:

The Crafty Lass Instagram feed is my brand. Our brand. It is everything we are doing, everything we want it to be, and more. It doesn’t show the down days, or the hard days. Of course not! To build a brand, you need to portray a strong vision – that every single day is happy, and obviously for us: crafty. And – mostly – they are! Perhaps, sharing this blog post goes against this strong vision – but equally, I am an honest person. And people KNOW that there are things going on behind that one single snapshot of your day – you choose to share what you want people to see.

There are days where little man’s temperature is sky high and you are transferred to hospital as the doctors can’t help you any more (last week… worry ahoy! He’s fine.) There are days where you are just low, for no reason. There are days where you feel like you are losing your mind as you hear the nursery rhymes go round and round and round. There are big, sad life events. There are days where a delivery doesn’t arrive and you absolutely NEED it for a workshop – and you suddenly have to drive to Hobbycraft to buy things last minute that you shouldn’t really need to. The days when HE JUST WON’T SLEEP. BUT NEEDS TO. (Why do they do that?)

I say this because as much as the social media feeds ARE my life, there are no lies or faded edges, but I ‘choose’ what to show.

Yes, I do work hard. And long, long hours. (But, it doesn’t feel like work!) And I would agree – I do have the patience of a saint (2,500 hand cut paper petals anyone?!) But most of all, I have support from family, friends, and mentally – my ‘Life Coach’. And – your messages!

I am determined. If I want something to happen? I will make it happen. Even if it takes years. Speaking to Kirstie? I god damn made sure if she came to my tent, she would know The Crafty Lass. She would know I made those flowers. Annoying – maybe? Driven – yes.

As this vision gets bigger, the dream changes, the ideas get grander – it is exciting that you are all joining me on this journey. 

Your messages – please keep them coming. They make me worry less. They make me feel like it is all working, and worth it. I didn’t set out to inspire people, but I am delighted that I am apparently doing just that.

Thank you… and remember, DREAM BIG. worry less.

Categories: Business, General Craft

Life. Got. Busy.

So, blogging used to be a thing.

In fact – I should start that sentence again. It used to be THE thing.

This business started out as a blog, (and I quote) with the aim as…

” a design, craft and things to be inspired by website and blog – but the long term plan is to sell graphic design prints, greeting cards, and ultimately hold creative ‘Craft Workshops’ on how to make lots of lovely things! So, watch this space – exciting times ahead!”

And – to quote from my first ever blog post:

“The aim of this blog is to post inspirational thoughts, design, craft, pictures. To look at seasonal ideas, things I am thinking about, doing, dreaming of… Long term, I would love it to be more than just dreaming and minus the 9-5 day job.”

At the end of March 2018, it was 3 years ago that I made these announcements. I announced to the social media world, my friends and family that I had quit my job to start a blog called ‘The Crafty Lass’. And so here we are…

I am certainly minus the 9-5: it is great being self employed – you get to choose what 18 hours a day you work! 

With holding workshops on evening and weekends, making commissions, paperwork, accounts, PR, marketing (you get the idea) in the week… And, we have gained a sleepless 19 month old along this crafty journey too! There is certainly no concept of ‘time’. I quite often ask The Husband what day it is – when it is clearly Saturday as we sit and watch the F1 ‘quali’ and/or the footie scores come in (sporty household!) or, forget that it is ‘Monday’ tomorrow (no Sunday night blues here…)

Anyway, ironically, this ONE blog post has so far taken 3 days to get to this point!*

*Edit. I now started this over ONE MONTH ago (!)

There were ’21’ blog posts in March 2015. There were ‘0’ in March 2018.

So… TIME. What’s that?

In a huge contrast to the earlier blog posts – where I knew what I needed to achieve in the day – like write a blog post, perhaps a mooch into town, meet Mrs XYZ for a coffee, have a meander around Waitrose whilst trying to figure out how I was going to sort out this ‘craft business malarkey’. Ironically all that mooching and planning, plus a dog and the aforementioned 19 month old, means I now have NO TIME AT ALL. Well, no spare time anyway. Things have escalated slightly… There is a to do list as long as my arm – from work out how to make a realistic ranunculus paper flower, to (just!) do a ‘stock take’, update GDPR regulations on my website, work on those (several) press and event commissions, work out where my car keys are, just where is the missing yellow stacking cup for little man, what are we going to have for dinner… No meandering around Waitrose aimlessly now. 

I don’t see my friends, I rarely see The Husband – let alone a ‘proper’ social life. (The Little Crafty Man has more of a social life than me, that is for sure!) I can just about arrange to have a date every week with the online Tesco delivery man… 

This isn’t a ‘oh, woah is me, poor Paula’ post. This is just a genuine honest view that self employment – although amazing… my gosh it is busy wearing all those hats! And, that for anyone that is close to me, and actually bothering to read this – I am sorry if I have gone wayward in responding to texts, to calls – I do care!

Since those early blog posts 3 years ago, I am surely – living the dream? Well, a HUGE part of me is. My life has gone in directions I never knew possible, and the small (and big!) things I ultimately wanted to achieve – are happening. The dynamic of the business has changed. I miss blogging – but surely it is better be so busy going that you have no time to blog about what you are doing!

I am discovering that dreams change. They adapt, they get BIGGER!

In the past few months, I have wanted to blog about the exciting things we have been up to – but as you may have guessed, I have had no time to do this… so to wrap up everything in a neat summary:

We have featured in several local and national press articles: Prima Magazine, The Women’s Institute national magazine – WI Life, Mother & Baby, on the Telegraph website to name a few… National Press? Tick!

We have featured as a craft tutor at The Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire – teaching workshops to lots of lovely crafters… Big ambition achieved there. Tick!

And, as part of this – I was commissioned to make the ‘Super Theatre Main Stage’ display – 132 handmade paper flowers flowers, approximately over 2,500 petals (it took around 47 hours of flower making…) Never imagined this, but – hey, pretty exciting! 

Oh, and actually met, had a conversation with (and my flowers were complimented by) Kirstie Allsopp. HUGE unexpected – Tick! #fan #triedtoremaincalm #failed

I am working on product designs with several companies… Tick!

Last night we hosted a ‘charity’ craft night – with all proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society – we were knitting Twiddlemuffs! What are they? Check out one of our previous blog posts (yes, I actually managed to post something on this!) BBC Radio Northampton were in attendance to film and record the event – and this will shortly appear on their social media and on the radio!

I am working with the WI on several exciting crafty developments… 

I have become a ‘judge’ for a local flower festival… Really fun, and great to be a part of… 

I have 3 photoshoots booked for press in the next 3 months… 

I have been approached to ‘speak’ at various local events and teach crafts to various groups…

I have set up a new ‘career’ workshop called CLICHE (Crafty Lass Inspirational Career Help & Education) to help other people who want to just quit their 9-5 and take the self employment plunge… 

BIG NEWS – if I didn’t have enough to be thinking about – I am writing TWO (why not?) books…

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick!

It is all just happening… the cogs are turning, daily developments. It is exciting, it is KNACKERING!

With these time heavy developments I am slowly learning that there does need to be a balance to all of this – I cannot function on 200% level without a stop. Especially when Little Man still rarely sleeps all night…

And so, there will be a break (hoorah!) in the Summer. August is OFF – to allow NO workshops and LOTS more mooching. But…

Knowing what I am like – I categorically CANNOT guarantee I won’t ‘work’ in that time ‘off’ – I actually already have lots of lovely things craft related planned in – as I am already thinking that would be a perfect time to make all my ‘Christmas’ demos! Yes – I cannot wait for The Crafty Lass Christmas in August!

However, it will be a nice to do: to just ‘sit’ and ‘craft’ (if little person will let me…) and make things at my own leisure… as we also have some VERY exciting news for later this Autumn, Winter and in 2019 – so, we need to get ready for that! (Watch this space!) August will be some down time, a moment to stop – reflect – sleep – have some well needed family time. Oh, and to make festive sparkly things!!!!!!

But, thank you – if you’ve got this far… for your own time, your support, your bookings. The Crafty Lass is going from strength to strength and I couldn’t have done it without you!

Right… back to my to do list! But remember – Don’t quit your day dream…

Categories: Business, Charity, Christmas, General Craft, Places to Go & Things to See, Radio

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