Monday, April 18, 2011

Am I "sort of" a perfectionist?

Is there such a thing as being "sort of" a perfectionist?  Because if there is, that's what I am...
The true fact is, if I don't think that something I made is "perfect" (to my standards) then I will simply put it away and just tell myself that I will work on it later.  I have a gown I started over ten years ago that still hasn't been finished, not even touched, because I don't like the way the zipper went in.  I didn't have much experience with zippers back then, maybe I should bring it back out...  I also didn't want to touch the hem.  I think the best way to hem it would be an invisible hem, which at the time I was creating the gown, needed to be done by hand.  I HATED hand sewing, so it was just an additional reason to put it away.
I have too many projects in some state of progress, either because I got to a point that I couldn't make perfect, or because I found something that I thought I could do more perfectly.
What does this mean exactly?  Well, when it comes to my project of making diaper bags to sell, it has drawn out a project/idea for over five years.  Nothing was perfect.  I shopped for fabric, found a pattern style I liked, and started cutting out pieces.  That's where things fell apart.  I couldn't find the "perfect" linings, the "perfect" zippers, the "perfect" additions to make these bags my own.  I would blame it on things like not having the right sewing machine, not having enough money, not having the right resources.  At this point I have enough fabric for about 100 bags, and have about 50 in some stage of production.  I've completed only half a dozen bags so far, a couple as gifts, a few for sale, and I made two custom bags for myself.  In those six, I may have only felt that one or two were "perfect" to my own standards.  I have even asked people what they look for in a diaper bag, so that I can create that "perfect" bag.  Too many notes, not enough follow-through.
I don't know what I am searching for.  I think I want someone to tell me that my stuff is no good, because sometimes that's how I feel.  I have had little actual training, mostly I have just learned by doing.  I have gotten better over the years, well, my sewing technique has.  My zippers have much straighter seams, I trim away excess allowances, I have even been known to press a seam every now-and-then!
I have an upcoming shower for a family member and of course, I want to make a bag and a blanket!  I got way over-ambitious and added more to my list, I wanted to make a nursing bracelet, some wash clothes and burp clothes.  I had to reel myself back.  I don't have time to try new things, especially not jewelry making!  (rolling my eyes at myself)  If I still feel the need for the burp clothes and wash clothes, I can save that for a "coming home" present!  So, that's just the first of my distracting ideas that lead me down the path to not finish a project.  Then we come to the actual preparation work...  I don't love the patterns I use, but I haven't had time to create my own yet.  What better time to create something new than when I'm on a schedule, right?  Uh-huh...  I cut out the squares that will be the blanket top, that's a no-brain-er.  On to the bag.  I want it to be do-able with the supplies I already have, but to add my own customizations.  I started too big, and reasonably paired-down the bag.  Although I didn't get as far along as I would have liked, I feel like I found a happy medium to satisfy my creative edge and wanted to customize a gift, while still looking to make everything "perfect".  Since the gift is due in two weeks, I will post pictures later.
Let's see how much trouble I can get myself into in the meantime... 

Procrastinating and Taking on Too Much

First of all, what IS too much???  Is there really such a thing?  Is that like offering to make a ring bearers pillow, a flower girl dress, alterations on the wedding gown and mother-of-the-bride dress, helping to make napkin rings, plus I've got two bridal shower gifts and a baby shower gift I have slated to make...  And all of this must be completed within the next two months, some by then end of this month.  But I can do it all, I'm super human, right
It's all about the time management.  Oh, that's where I get a failing grade...  I am a professional procrastinator...
Oh, and I forgot, I still have to clean up my sewing room because it's a mess and I can't sew anything until I have enough room to work.
Organization, that's what I need...  Anybody got some to spare?
Or do I simply like the chaos?  Do I thrive on that feeling, that last-minute adrenaline rush that gets me through to the end?  What would it be like to finish something before I need to, before that very last second?
So, first task of the day...  Get my sewing room in a work-able condition...  Check!
Be back later if I need a reason to procrastinate!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hoarder

This is what my husband called me one day during a garage sale.  Sure, the garage sale was for my mother, but I only wanted to take home a few things!!!
In all honesty, I can justify keeping the daybed, the amoire and the bookshelf.  These items are still in great condition, and they are furniture!  You can't go wrong with thatBut, what about the baking goods my mom "inherited" when my Nana passed away?  How about the box full of Pampered Chef paperwork that has long since expired, not to mention the fact that I no longer sell Pampered Chef?  Ended up throwing out all of the baking goods.  Believe-it-or-not, vegetable oil has an expiration date!  So does vanilla...  The Pampered Chef stuff, well...  Thankfully my darling brother just signed up to be a consultant.  I will gratefully pass this along to him and he can throw as much of it away as he wants!  The question really is "Why did I feel I needed it to begin with?"
Onto looking at the things I still have.  Over the years I have acquired quite the collection of folders and binders and bags and boxes of papers.  Notes that may never make any sense, but I just can't seem to part from.  Scraps of fabrics, interfacing, ribbons, bindings, batting.  Some of these might be useful pieces that I may need later, but the 1"x1" square of some randomness?  What am I afraid of?  I don't live in a world where I can't get rid of anything.  I have no problem throwing away actual trash, wrappers, dirty diapers.  I am finally OK with throwing away an expired baking good.  Spices that have gone bad, really aren't worth using, even if they still smell OK.
But the papers?  The fabrics?  What's the real deal here?  I guess it's not too hard for dear, sweet hubby to understand...  After all, he has a plastic bin of old T-shirts that are ripped or stained.  He tells me that they are his "outdoor work" shirts.  When they started to overflow the bin, I made him get rid of some.  Of course, I kept them thinking I would cut them up and make a quilt for him.  Who I am kidding?  I don't quilt!
On my computer, I have duplicates of most of my picture files.  Not for any other reason than because I save them in multiple places.  I have computer games that I won't delete on the off-chance that someday I might want to play them.  I didn't pay for them, I haven't played them in years.  Plus, the few I did pay for, I have disks for.  These games are even taking up so much memory on my laptop that the computer runs slower!  At least that's what I've been told.
So, am I a "hoarder?"  Possibly?  Borderline?  What makes us think we won't be able to live without these things that we live without for so long already?  It's really time for some housecleaning, both physically and mentally.  What a crazy monkey to have on your back!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Custom Bags I made for the Holidays

We take an annual trip to Disneyland every October.  Last year I sported this bag, and got lots of comments, especially from Cast Members...




Then, for our Little's first Christmas we went back...