LONG WORDY POST AHEAD, read on for some stamping reflection….
When deciding on a blog name all those years ago, I had no idea how apt calling this little hobby a ‘journey’ would be. From the instant love of stamping at that very first class to the elation of having customers and sharing at workshops, to starting classes with fabulous regulars, to building a following on my blog, to being asked to join design teams, to being selected to share at Stampin’ Up! events, to building a team of wonderful ladies that are some of my closest friends….
So much wonderful! I’ve achieved things I worked hard for, had success in areas start as pure ambition and notched up some things that I didn’t even know were going to be goals on mine. And although I don’t think it’s time to climb to the other side of the mountain, it’s definitely time to travel different path for a while. Some parts of stamping that had previously motivated me, just don’t hold the same power anymore.
Last year we added baby #3 to our little family, and for the most part, this has been the catalyst for some reflection on where stamping fits into my life and what parts of this hobby are the most meaningful to me. One of the most frequent comments I’ve had from people is ‘I don’t know how you do it all’. And the truth is, looking back, I’m not entirely sure. I managed well by stamping once the kids were in bed and at the peak of the adventure over the past couple of years, the kids were at an age where they needed more supervision than hands on parenting, so I could sneak some crafting here and there. But that pace hasn’t been sustainable since Little Master Papercraft joined us. I’ve become even more time poor than I was previously and I found myself questioning if the energy I was putting into Stampin’ Up! was giving me what I needed from this glorious hobby.
The signs all seemed to be pointing towards simplifying what I was doing – or risk getting to a point of burnout where stamping didn’t bring me joy anymore. So, I once again put my blog on sleep mode and took some time away from the pressures, demands and deadlines of running an active blog. I thought I’d use this time to ‘stamp for fun’ but the reality was that I just needed that time away and I barely did any stamping.
The next part of the reflection was hard – I needed to work out what elements of stamping activities could be downgraded, simplified or simply let go. As always with these types of decisions, it took me a long time to work that out, but once I did, it felt right (even if parting ways with some of my commitments is also incredibly sad). I’ve resigned from two of the design teams I was part of – CASEing the Catty and Colour INKspiration. My plan is to focus my attentions as a design team member for Just Add Ink, join in with Stamp Review Crew when I have the stamp set and blog with my Paper Adventures team each month. Everything else will be a bonus and inspired by the love of stamping, not the next hop on a list.
With less design team commitments, my blog won’t be nearly as active as in previous years – and I’m ok with that. I still want to share what inspires me (and challenge blogging seems to bring out the best in my creativity), but I don’t want it to be a race or a pressure within my week. Less blogging also means the need for less variety within my craft stash, which will cause me to look at the catalogue in a completely different way. I’m excited by a fresh approach to deciding what’s in my collection!
I’ve always really enjoyed hosting stamping classes – and I want them to stay in a format that suits me. It’s a great social experience and a wonderful feeling to share the design & creation part of stamping with others. I stopped running classes during 2018, but have picked them back up this year – carrying on from what I used to do. One of the main challenges for me is time & scheduling. The every changing demands of a young and active family, mean I can’t commit to anything regular or predictable without feeling the weight of expectation. So, I’m taking the pressure off setting boundaries around how my classes look or setting a frequency and I’m now offering “Social Stamping”. This will be a pop up class at a point that I am able to fit it into my family commitments. I will advertise them on my blog and on my Facebook page and they will continue to be held from my home in Dalyellup (Bunbury). The emphasis on these classes will be to ‘get together’ – share a drink, have a laugh and do a little stamping on the side. If this sounds like your ‘cup of tea’, make sure to follow me on the blog or Facebook so you don’t miss the details.
One of my favourite quotes is ‘the only constant is change’ and although some of these decisions were hard, doing something because that’s the way it’s always been done is a bad idea!!!
I’m going to try this direction for a while, but I know that more change is inevitable and I’m excited for what the journey ahead holds!
I’ll leave you with a photo that shares the catalyst for change – Team Kent seeking more time & space for these precious family moments.