While it most definitely was not a conscience decision, I took a few weeks away from Etsy this holiday season. I spent a lot of the early fall stocking up my store with lots of neat finds and I was becoming overwhelmed and at times, completely frazzled with the work load I put on myself. With a 4.5 year old and a 16 month old at home, running a business is always interesting and I think it just caught up with me. So while I have been consistently shipping orders throughout November and December, I just haven't spent much time listing or photographing, in part due to the fact that my regular photography area is now occupied by our beautiful Christmas tree. I thought all this "time off" would make me anxious.
In fact, I realized something important about my life and how finding a balance between my family and my business needs to be my focus. Last Friday (as I'm sure a lot of people did) I spent most of the day in tears. The thought of losing my own child just does not process in my mind and my heart felt as though it broke a hundred times for those families. And it didn't happen to me. I cannot begin to imagine living each day in that nightmare.
So it seems for me, this just added to my growing feeling that I need to hug my children more and worry just a bit less about my shop. And so I have, I've hugged my children even more than I already do. For me it's important to be grateful on a daily basis, but that sense of gratitude has been magnified over and over in the last several months. I think we've all had a taste of that. My business is incredibly important to me, but I'm learning that I don't need to sacrifice my life for the quality of my work. My work will still be the best that I can give, just in slightly smaller doses that are more easily managed.
On a brighter note, I've also spent the last several weeks getting in touch with my long dormant crafty side. I used to really enjoy the regular DIY project but having kids seemed to eliminate any interest I had in using up any free time I had. But as my children are growing and bit more independent in their play time, I had some moments to work on a few Christmas gifts for friends and family this year. It was nice.
My first inspiration came from Pinterest- a concept from Design Sponge for a faux terrarium Christmas ornament. Here's how mine turned out:
I spent loads of hours surfing around Etsy (as I'm sure a lot of you do) and found that the water-less snow globe/winter scenes in a jar really spoke to me. I'm still working on these and hope to put a few in my shop at some point, even if they are a bit late for the season.
I gave this one to my next door neighbor
Not the best photograph as pictures involving glass/reflection are not usually my friend.
Big J gave her preschool teachers some butterfly ornaments for Christmas and she was so excited to give them something she made herself. I was a pretty proud mamma.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! I'm looking forward to all the possibilities of 2013.