Only So Much Time

One of the things that comes with having a full-time job again is that I only have so much free time outside of work. Since that time is so limited, I’ve had to be a lot more careful about how I spend it, including including what sort of events you choose to attend and what projects I can commit to and actually complete. Having spent a year and a half taking time off between jobs, I’m definitely having to re-learn this, especially since I’ve picked up a number of hobbies and interests in that time.

When I wasn’t working, going to crafty events was something I felt I almost had to do, whether it was a craft group meeting or a craft fair. I needed some good social things to do, and so whenever I found an event, I went. Now though, I’m having to set limits for myself, based on the time and energy involved in attending anything. I’ve had to pass on a few recent crafting events, even though there were some I initially wanted to attend.

Similarly, I’ve had to limit myself when it comes to craft projects, despite finding plenty of new things I’d love to try. I haven’t really worked on much since my last post, beyond a silly Halloween costume and a few swaps I got involved in despite telling myself I wouldn’t.

I just finished up my items for a Japanese-themed swap on Craftster, and here are a few photos:

Japanese Swap - Quilted Kimono ArtJapanese Swap - Painted Wooden Box
Japanese Swap - Handmade Envelope & Card Set

The first is a padded or “quilted” kimono art piece, made using chipboard, thin layers of foam, and various papers, plus plenty of glue. I got the supplies as part of a kit from Hanko Designs, and it was actually a lot easier to do than I thought. Some of my measurements were a bit off, but I thing it turned out all right.

The box was originally going to be decoupaged, but then I didn’t feel like doing that after all, so I just painted it. I tried to replicate a very delicate design I found on a piece of origami paper, but it was a lot harder to do than I thought. It takes a lot of patience and a steady hand, and I wasn’t doing too well on either of those. I think it still looks all right though.

And, of course, the final item was one of my standard envelope and card sets, made using origami paper in various colors. A nice tiny item to include, and there’ll be a few store-bought items included as well.

I actually received my swap items from my partner already, and unfortunately, there seemed to be some misunderstanding about what is Japanese and what is Chinese. My partner sent some interesting items, but they were mainly Chinese in pattern and design. That’s ok, but not really my thing.

There were also some issues with the organization of the swap overall, so my disappointment in Craftster swaps continues. As much as I like that the site exists, the swaps are hard to organize and follow and I almost never am satisfied with how they turn out. As a result, I think I’m going to give up on the site, especially swaps there, for the time being. I never post there anyway, so it’s not a big deal, but still disappointing that it has come to this.

I have one more swap to finish up by next week, but this one is a one-on-one swap with another crafter who participated in some of the Coloriffic Swap-O-Rama swaps. I love the color themed swaps there, and the organizers are great, but I keep missing the sign-up deadlines lately. Fortunately, I received a message from Helena, who had also missed the deadline, asking if I’d be interested in a direct swap. We’re following the same color themes as everyone else, but with a little more knowledge of who we’re swapping with.

After this swap though, I think I’m through for awhile. Lately, whenever I sign up for a swap, I go through this minor freak-out about whether or not I’ll be able to make the deadline. It’s mostly due to not having any good ideas about what to make, though usually I figure something out and manage to finish in time. For now though, I’d rather do without the pressure and just take it easy. I don’t know how much I’ll post here as a result, but I will try to keep it up as much as I can. :)