I’ve been working lately to redistribute my time to better fit my goals. This includes accounting for time for swimming and physical therapy (good for my joints), time for cooking (I feel much better having started a new restrictive diet), time for funning with my husband and hounds (good for my mental health and love life), time for good sleep, time for keeping up with the library instruction and pedagogical perspectives world now that I’m teaching again, and time for hobbies, which were the first things I dropped when time became scarce. This commitment to balance has had an interesting (but probably not surprising) effect: I engage in fewer activities, but I believe I do them to a better quality. (Transitioning to fewer but higher-quality activities is something my colleagues and friends have advocated for a few years now, I’m just a stubborn ass who refused to think I couldn’t do-and-have everything I wanted. So, hat tip to those who are wiser, and a double-tip to everyone for having patience with me while I worked it out in my own head.)
One of my former hobbies – crafting, and specifically crochet – has become a staple of health, both physical and mental. Physically, crocheting keeps my fingers from freezing up, which happens a lot in the colder months; mentally, I feel like I am doing something productive in otherwise wasted-time spaces (traffic, waiting rooms, tv-time, lunch). I have decided to grow my skills by learning how to knit and quilt as well, and gamble and see if it can survive as a small business. I do the crafting anyway, might as well give it a nice outlet, right?
And thus, Colleen’s Craftworks, Inc. is born. Not only will I have a small online storefront, I’m going to use funds from sales to begin teaching free crafting classes for the community, with materials provided by the wee business. I am very excited about this, since it will allow me to combine my love for lasting handicraft (another hat-tip to the blankets made by my mother and grandmother) with my love for teaching people useful skills.
How does this cross over into librarianship? Surprised the heck out of me, since I might have said “Nothing,” before this, but there are a few ways. I now better understand the burden placed on our business and entrepreneurship students and patrons to understand all of the necessary steps for choosing a type of business, making a number of decisions, and getting the paperwork together for it. I am building libraries for the business, a reference library of books and online videos focusing on crocheting, quilting, and knitting techniques and patterns, a materials library of yarn and quilting fabric, and a tools/notions library (sewing machine, rotary cutter, crochet hooks, knitting needles, etc.), which is a fascinating change from the traditional collection development I am familiar with. I’ve bought a domain and hosting, and I will be working on my first-ever WordPress installation. I’m going to dust off my hands and dip into webwork to develop the site and create an area for craft blogging (in the hopes of having guest bloggers, as well as sharing my own tips, techniques, and projects), setting up an online storefront (I’ll probably cheat an use Etsy to start with), a section for craft tutorials, and a rotating gallery section where crafters I know and love can display and/or sell some of their work. There will be an instruction side, as I’m hoping to encourage the creativity of others through free workshops targeted to different age groups via the public library and community centers. So, a lot of new skill-building for me that is relevant to my work *and* my play, and some using of old-skills in new ways.
I am not planning to blog about the business stuff here in my librarianship space unless something relevant to librarianship pops up. (Something else I’ve discovered is that separating my work/life spaces from each other makes me much happier.) If you would like to follow the progress of my crafty and business side, you can:
- Follow the Colleen’s Craftworks blog. (The WordPress install isnt live yet, but when it is I’ll announce it in the blogspace)
- Follow Colleen’s Craftworks on Facebook, and get to see projects-in-progress
- Follow Colleen’s Craftworks on Twitter at @collscraftworks
- Take a look at the startup campaign on Indiegogo – there are a number of great incentives if you want to help build the book, material, and tools libraries!