Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting Ready for a Crafty Weekend!

Because it's one of those "you had to be there" kind of things, I won't explain why, but I'm going to be making something for my daughter and me featuring these:



Whatever gets made won't be identical because, while I found two packs of charms with the lobsters, I wasn't able to find more than one pack that had the starfish and scallop - so other charms will have to go on the second creation. I was thinking bracelet for me, but daughter doesn't wear them, so she'll get either earrings or a pendant. Or some kind of dangly thing she can use on a purse or hook to her keychain or a zipper...still working all this out in my head.

Tidied up my workspace a bit and did some minimal sorting, in order to be more focused about what I'm going to work on tonight and this weekend. I had a vague idea of the things I wanted to work on, while I was doing this, but I've decided to do something new to help increase my odds of actually ending up on Sunday with a sense of accomplishment.

As in real progress rather than sitting surrounded by piles of beads and findings, more piles of partly finished things, and the occasional running-out-to-the-store-for-something-new-because-I-got-a-wild-idea progress. Not that there's anything wrong with that sometimes.

Anyway, I got to thinking about how haphazardly I go about this whole jewelry obsession I have. I'm moving from "hobby" to "part time business" and maybe, in the not too distant future, full time business. At the conclusion of this ponderment, I decided that in order to be successful, I have to apply some of the project management skills (btw, that's a big part of what I do in my day job in the techie world) I've picked up along the way. Especially right now, if only to put some structured goals around what I need to do to prepare for Bay Con at the end of May.

For example, I will have a pretty small space so that sets one parameter - how much room I'll have to display, which limits what I can bring for sale pre-made. I am going to be sitting out in Artist's Alley again, so I need to be working on something all the time. That sets another parameter - what supplies to bring. The type of con, theme of con, typical con-goers, etc., help set the parameters for what kind of things might sell best. The easy parameter is "days left until show".

From all those parameters, I'll create a task list, maybe using Google Spreadsheets - if this is a successful trial-run, maybe someone will want me to share what I did, and it's very easy to share with Google. The task spreadsheet will include how many, and what kinds, of prepared bags of things to make at the table and put due dates for completion of those. Other tasks would be things like "what new items do I want to display" "complete pricing and tagging" "create inventory list".

Once the task list is created, dates assigned and priorities established, I can focus on getting the things I need to do for Bay Con done. If I get the tasks done before their due dates, then I can do whatever I want for the rest of the time, or move on to other tasks and move ahead of schedule. I'm actually liking this idea a lot, the more I write about it.

I first started using some of these techniques back in college, when I over-scheduled myself one quarter in my 2nd year. I found a book (title long forgotten) that saved me from dropping out in abject failure - and I'm not kidding, it was a really grim time. The key was breaking my days into 15 minute increments, setting achievable goals for those increments and rewarding myself periodically for success. Also dropping one class.

The organizational tips it gave were very much like a project management how-to, but written for students. Also like the time management stuff Franklin-Covey, Day-Timer, etc., have made their fortunes by providing seminars and supplies for. Me, I used Mead 4-subject 5x8 sized notebooks with graph paper pages and colored pens.

By organizing, setting goals and managing my time better, using the techniques in the book, I got thru that quarter, and subsequent quarters, graduated in 3 years and did it cum laude as well. I apply many of those same tools to my day-job. So why not my jewelry work, too? As I begin to approach this more as a part-time business than a hobby, it's essential!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

Hi there! Great info as usual! I wanted to let you know I mentioned your work on abeadaday last night. Thanks again for allowing me to do that! Have a great weekend! Lisa c.

April 18, 2009 at 3:15 AM  
Blogger Dawno said...

Thank you! And I hope your weekend is wonderful.

April 18, 2009 at 10:01 AM  

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