Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My dear diary I can't believe 
it has been a year  since I last posted. 
 It seems as I grow older, 
weeks become days and I am going through life like
 the 'little old lady from Pasadena
 at break neck speed. 
 'Go Grannie, Go Grannie, Go Grannie Go'

It seems my dear diary I have gotten myself 
in a 'right ole mess' the last year and
 I am fine with making mistakes 'if' 
I learn from them but if not, then 
I lay the blame on me and deservingly so.



 I should have known better,
 I should have recognized the signs and 
as I will refer to them..'the trap'.
I truly believe to some of us, wool is an addiction.
 From the time we start our first wool project,
 we are 'hooked'.  
It then becomes a sequence of events very similar to us all. 
 The difference becomes how far we take the addiction. 

Many stay in a 'slightly addicted' state and
 feed on just doing rug after rug, project after project, 
with a few other types of 'needle pleasures' 
to quietly replace the hours of relaxation 
from work and family and of course retirement.
 Others, like myself and many of you,
 have the 'need' to go further and before long 
it progresses to a 'full blown addiction',  

We are not satisfied with just buying and stitching,
 we crave more, we never have enough and
 we then fall into 'the hoarding trap'. 
We need wool.. lots and lots of wool and
 as much as we find, it is never enough. 

We shop the thrift stores as we shop for groceries,
 every week, every day as you never know 
when that perfect piece of wool is going to arrive. 
We now buy wool by the bolt instead of the yard
 and then we dye. 
We learn and perfect the methods, 
buy the equipment and 
of course books upon books and 
class upon class to feed our need.




 We are not satisfied with the designs of others and we begin the creative design journey (my favourite of 'the traps'). And we hook and hook and stitch and stitch until we have more rugs than we can use or give away and so it now starts.

 The major addiction trap of ...we sell our wares to feed our need for more wool, more dyes, more classes and camps..more, more, more...


 For many of us it stays at that harmless level of selling a few finished pieces but for some of us even that is not enough.  It happens so innocently,
 just a few friends 'gushing' over your designs
 and then comes the question..'

Do you sell patterns?'
 'I would love to buy a kit'.  



We ask ourselves..why not? 

 Yes I can sell patterns and kits, after all I have all of that wool hoarded just waiting for the dye pot and away we go...not many just a few patterns and kits for those friends...and then you discover it is much easier to sell the patterns and kits than the finished rugs...and you dye more wool and create more designs because....it feeds 'the need' for more wool, more supplies, that fancy frame and the special iron not to mention the absolute must of the special light well everyone has those and you now have the funds to buy all of those 'must have' gadgets and so now we are faced with yet another 'trap'.  





 Our buying friends become 'not enough'. 
We now venture in to the show circuits and the internet.
More orders and more buyers 'gushing' over our designs and we now have perfected the art of dyeing and they absolutely love our wool and buy it.



 Somewhere between making those few patterns and kits for our friends and now exhibiting at shows and well everyone needs a website these days, life changes and it happens so slowly because we are doing what we love, aren't we?  

We don't realize or even notice the small day to day changes that become month after month and we fall head first into the worst of all the 'traps'.  



Gradually our life changes and it happens so slowly. 

The times in our days of relaxing with our wool, the pleasure and meditative state of the repetition of the stitch or the hook gets less and less because we now make patterns and dye wool in such large quantities 
to make our kits, and then it is the packing and shipping,
 and of course the internet with 
the 'dings' throughout the day, posting on groups and 
between the cutting, packing, dyeing, shipping 
well we need to work on that new design.  


More orders, more sales, more wool hoarding
 but it is no more a daily event to scrounge those stores, unless 
we can spare a few minutes after
 going to the post with your packages. 

 


We now find that the coffee chat with friends and
 don't even think about making a new recipe 
for supper and mixing up a few biscuits from scratch.


Our day to day life has become repetitive tasks, 
deadlines and if we do find time for the coffee chat or
 spending time with family, 
those tasks and deadlines are always 
looming in the back of our mind. 

 Even the creative process is dampened by
 'must do'..no longer do we feel that 
wonderful satisfaction of creating because it is now forced.



New designs for new patterns and kits and new rugs
 for shows we are never ready for and 
so it has begun.



We have taken our love of wool, our joy of
 creating and designing, the fun part of wool
 coming out of the dye pot in the most 
wonderful shades and colour patterns to
 'The Business Trap'.  

Between those first few patterns and kits for friends 
and we really had only wanted the money to
 feed our addiction, you now have a full time business. 

We have shows booked, inventory and more work 
in a 24 hour day than an employee of 'one' can accomplish. 

Stress becomes a daily enemy and it isn't that we are 
making money now to buy those frivolous needs,

it all goes back to keeping a business going that
 we really didn't want.  



There are many wool addicts that love the challenge and 
where would we be without those wonderful designers. 
They enjoy the business part as well as the wool addiction 

BUT...they realize when it becomes a business 
not of 'one' but it's time to hire help, be it family, friends or 
as in a regular business 'the help wanted ads'.  



I don't want a business,
I want to share my hobby, 
my love of wool and design. 

 I don't want days and weeks of production work 
consisting of dyeing, cutting, counting and
 whatever else is needed to make my kits. 

 
I want to design, I want to stitch. 
 I don't want to feed my addiction,
 I want to feed my soul. 
I want the thrill and challenge 
of looking at an antique rug and 
reproducing it as close as possible to the original.

 I want to create designs from my own thoughts and stories.  
I want to stop hoarding and 
know what it feels like to be 
organized in my own little space.



I so easily slipped into 'the trap'.
 I should have known better.
It happened a year ago with the 
teaching class and rug on our Facebook group 

The Ladies and Gents of the Wool Circle Club'. 

 It was my fourth online class and the others gave me 
no problems and honestly a lot of fun and good times.  
The kit became the trap for me.  
I stopped counting at 125 kits sold last summer and 
since have brought back and sold many more. 
 My absolute last 7 kits are shipped this week and no more.  



I also fell into the trap of not being able to say a firm 'NO'.  

We now have over 2000 members and for most, 
my old designs are new and 
requests came in to bring back kits. 

 I should have said NO.. 
but I brought many back in quantity.
When I am finished with a design, 
they hold no thrill or satisfaction, 
just what seems to be a continuous production line of
 dyeing, cutting, counting and packing.



It takes only a few mistakes, 
a few unforeseen health issues 
and the orders are late shipping. 
It isn't late by a dozen anymore as in the past, 
my limit for one design was at the most 12 kits at a time..
it has now become something beyond my control and 
at that point it was time to have hired help. 

 Still I struggled on and more times 
I did not say NO.. more back orders.


My last design was The David's Star Kit and 
the trim for those are being shipped this week.
  
Stress and guilt became my daily enemies because as long as
 I would work, and many 12 hour days, it seemed
 I could not get orders out in a reasonable length of time. 

 The David's Star was the last time I stitched a rug.. 
I have not stitched nor designed since last September.
 Guilt sent most  customers free wool 
and kits along with orders,
 I have 42 of the Maw and Paw kits to send 
free to my very patient customers 
who have stuck with me through this ordeal. 

 It seems a never ending cycle as those 42 kits 
take my time, the freebies take my time
 as do the late purchased orders they go in. 
Not only do the freebies take my time, 
it makes other orders late and so the cycle continues.



I'd rather be stitching. 

 I am doing more than 'one'.
It is time to make changes,
 it is time to find the help 
to have no orders on the books. 

 It is time to let go of the 
vintage linens, quilts and much of the wool
 I have hoarded for over 20 years. 

It is time to understand I have so many beautiful things 
I will never use and it is time to 
'take time for me' 
and be pro-active with my health issues. 

 It is time to stitch and design.



I absolutely blame myself for this mess as it  
happened with my first love.. quilting. 

 I so innocently started with the intention of just
 selling and stitching to finish our first home. 
 Lucas was only 2 years of age, 
I chose to have a business and when 
Lucas was 4 years of age, 
mommy and daddy had
 6 full time employees, 
3 retail shops 
and over 50 home-sewers plus 
the retail and wholesale show circuits. 

  It was then I developed environmental allergies 
that took me on a 10 year journey of healing. 

 I can't help but see the similarity to my life 
stressed with wool and my heath issues I have today.




I believe there comes a time when if 
you don't do what is needed, 
your body will make that happen.

I continue to struggle with the computer, 
with emails and messages. 

 As Avery says 'Nannie you are so Old School!'  

I will not use those phones and tablets 
that ding every five minutes 
nor will I ever type with my thumbs.  
I am not afraid to be different and take my own path...

I am just 'me' please take me as I am
I'm not going to change but how I live my life 
must change.

I will find a way to design and stitch my rugs, 
to share in a way that works for my life, 
be it connecting with social media and friend
or sharing a few kits (only  a few).

I will give in for the summer and
hire the help when needed to
have no orders outstanding and
to sell most of my 20 year stash of
wool and linens.
I want to go in to a room and see my
treasures I choose to keep rather than
sort through boxes and wonder where 
I put that army blanket.



The photos I have shown in this post
are my rugs from the past and except
for the orders now shipping, they are no more.
Retired and never to again kit up.

Until my health improves I may
be off and on the computer and our group.
It is just how it has to be until answers are found.

It's time to wake up in the morning and look
forward to the day, spending time with my Avery,
Stitching every day is something I so miss.

Avery has designed a little mat for his teacher.
It will be my first rug stitched since September.

I am so very close to all orders shipped but 
I've said that before and due to one problem 
or another they are still here.
I know help is needed and so it shall happen.

Thank you everyone and although these orders 
are taking so long they are the last
of any retired kit or pattern wool pack and
the last of orders shipped late.
Anything I sell will not be listed until
it is ready to go in the mailer and print postage.

Never say never but truly this is it...
the stress is ruining my life and my family.
Please bear with me, my customers for another 
couple weeks, I have a lady coming to help
with these back orders and then we will
tackle the 'wool hoarders paradise'.

It is to new and better designs and
oh I am so going to love being 
just a bit organized and happy once again
with my wool addiction.

Happy Stitching!
cee


5 comments:

Donna said...

Dear Cee,
The one thing you said that hit me the most was about feeding your soul. Feeding our souls is what brings joy to our lives and this joy always spills over to others!
Remember...a tree has to first take nourishment for itself before it can bear healthy fruit to be shared with others. I don't believe trees ever feel guilty about that do you ☺

Jean Bee said...

This post was hard to read... because of your situation and because it really hit home. I totally get what you are going through. My situation is so similar. My condo was totally remodeled a year ago and I’m so busy getting ready for shows I haven’t even unpacked and can’t enjoy all the beautiful things I’ve collected. I need to purge my 40 years of collecting...you are giving me some motivation!
Hang in there!
Jean Elliott
Glendale Wisconsin

Three Sheep Studio said...

I so appreciate your transparency Cee. The fact that you can recognize were you are at, right at this moment, tells me you are strong enough to make the changes necessary for a simpler and quieter life. I wish you the very best as you make big changes that will bring peace and joy back into your every day life.
Rose

Debra Nees said...

Cee, thank you for doing what you need to do for your health and your family. I identify with the journey you have taken into addiction! I see your message as a beautiful cautionary tale and I am taking it to heart. I look forward to reading about your new joyful stitching and designing adventures once you get better. I hope that is soon for you!

Barbara Shores ~ Village Folk Art said...

Cee, this is a really long post. I actually felt your sense of anxiety. As I age, I wonder what will become of my collecting. Do not want to leave it up to my family, but prefer to have it all in place when the time comes. However, I still find myself buying and actually hoarding more for my hopeful dreams. I have too many bucket lists and I need to stop... if that is possible. You sound like you have a promising plan in place ... God love you and 'Trust in Him'. Sometimes better said than done. I have enjoyed visiting you and seeing your many inspiring designs. Thank you so very much for sharing your addiction, It is a great gift.
Peace to you, Barb