Saturday, July 04, 2009

When your calendar turned the page to July, I can guess that your first thought was not: Less than 6 months until Christmas! I'd better seriously starting planning and creating my holiday crafts! But it should have been. There are 24 weekends until Christmas.  That's 24 Saturdays and Sunday -when long periods of time can be devoted to creating holiday decorations and gifts.  How can you use that time efficiently?

First.  DO NOT PANIC.  Spend the next week or two doing all the planning that needs to be done.  Look up the patterns you tucked away last year planning to make for gifts or decorations this year.  Decide if you really like the projects, and -if not- search items that might replace them. 

Write down a list of projects you plan to do -the more compulsive might make a spreadsheet.  For each project list the recipient. Search through your stash to find any supplies you already own.  For those items that need to be purchased -fabrics, yarns, papers, beads, notions - start a shopping list making sure to add the name of the project next to each item.
If a gift needs size measurements, make sure to get them NOW. While you do not need to purchase all your supplies right now, having a complete list of what you need makes getting it later easier. 

Order the projects into two groups: Quick Items and Time Consuming Items.  Then order the Time Consuming items from the longest time to the shortest.

I would plan on starting the longest time item as soon as possible.  It might a quilt that needs to be pieced, then sent out for quilting before you can bind it.  It might be a lacy shawl that will take quiet time and attention to complete.  Whatever the item, starting that one thing gets you in the groove.  And increases the chances that it will be completed on time.

Between now and Labor day, set a time frame and plan for working on your gifts.  Be realistic.  Know that summertime is often a slow-sales time; watch for sales at your favorite local shops and take advantage of the timing. (that's why you want the plan and shopping list done soon). 

As the days become shorter, you should be well on your way to tackling your holiday crafty plans.  Imagine being able to relax and enjoy the holiday parties and gatherings this year because you're not stressing over gifts incomplete. 

I'm fortunate, I think, that I only have a couple gifts to work on.  One pair of knit socks, already on the needles, and a second possible pair to work on after these.  A lacy shawl to crochet.  A quilt -slept with for the past 12 years- that needs to be repaired. 

Are you planning to make a number of your holiday gifts and decorations this year?  Have you already started?

(edited from a post at BlogHer).

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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