The Art of Productive Procraftination

comments (1) November 24th, 2008     

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Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
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A sketchbook is a great place to capture craft ideas, make lists, clip inspirational magazine or catalog pages, and keep all of your creative musings all in one place.
Organizing your stash is one of lifes great procraftination pleasures.
Polish your silver jewelry with a tumbler or cloth when you need a mindless activity.
A sketchbook is a great place to capture craft ideas, make lists, clip inspirational magazine or catalog pages, and keep all of your creative musings all in one place.

A sketchbook is a great place to capture craft ideas, make lists, clip inspirational magazine or catalog pages, and keep all of your creative musings all in one place.

Photo: Jennifer Worick

With the holidays faasssstttt approaching, I need to procraftinate in every spare minute. I need to tamp down the urge to refold my sweaters, regrout the kitchen sink, and mop the floor. Instead, I need to kick the crafting into high gear. Crafting can be just as productive when procrastinating. In fact, when it comes to crafting, pleasure and productivity go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Here are my favorite ways to procraftinate the day and night away.

My top 10 ways to procraftinate:
1. Organize stash by fiber and color.
I periodically pull out all my giant Ziploc bags of yarn, look for inspiration, and tweak the sorting, making sure novelty yarns are not bagged with my workhorse worsteds. I organize by color, grouping pinks and corraling my neutrals into a few bags or bins. Get more great tips for building and organizing your yarn and fabric stashes from Linda Permann and Mary Ray, respectively.

2. Prewash fabric. I don’t know about you but when inspiration strikes, I do not want to wait for the fabric to be properly prepped. I want to go. Even ironing chaps my hide when all I want to do is cut and sew. To cut down on frustration when I’m champing at the bit, I throw yardage in the wash when I have a smaller load.

3. Roll skeins into balls. While yarn swifts and winders are miraculous, I don’t own either, and again, I’m antsy when I want to start a project. So when I’m watching the telly, I carefully spread out my skein, draping the loop over each knee (classy broad that I am) and Zenning out with the calming repetition.

4. Stockpile gifts.
With my newly rolled balls of yarn, it’s quick to knit up a favorite hat or scarf pattern to add to my gift pile. Sometimes I have someone in mind when I start a project, but often I just have a good idea that I’ll knit up first and figure out the lucky recipient second.

5. Take a tub. I definitely procraftinate in the tub, by perusing craft books and new issues of craft magazines. I also take some Post-it tabs so I can flag any patterns I fancy.

6. Get out the sketchbook. My craft journal includes some really badly drawn sketches, but I’ve also taped inspirational images of jewelry I’ve clipped out from magazines and catalogs. I also include supply lists, inventory for upcoming shows, holiday gift lists, that sort of thing. Slip the handy Dare to Make It spreadsheets in your sketchbook to keep everything in one place.

7. Polish inventory. I do love to clean and organize and a great task that doesn’t require any real effort is to pop your silver jewelry in a tumbler and shine it up so it’s ready to gift or sell.

8. Turn on the telly. I watch way too much television, but it’s usually of the Bravo reality variety or something less admirable. But when I need a shot of inspiration, I turn on the DIY network. Seeing someone else’s creative process is incredibly inspiring, at least to me. I love Vicki Howell and Knitty Gritty (here’s a cool eye pillow pattern I once demonstrated on the show, an episode I have yet to actually see). But I’m strangely drawn to Fresh Coat and always want to paint everything in my entire home after seeing an episode.

9. Take a tour through your craft supplies. For me, this means going through all my bead boxes, even the dusty broken one with the beads I started collecting when I first started beading in my early 20s. “Why hello there, Venetian beads!” “Wow, how come I never used those evil-eye beads?” Instead of stocking up at your favorite bead store, looking through what you have can result in a pair of shoulder-dusting earrings or sparkly necklace. And if after two decades of hanging onto some materials without using them, it just might be time to have a craft swap.

10. Check out favorite craft blogs. The best way I know to procraftinate is to surf the Web, reading my favorite craft blogs. In addition to CraftStylish (duh!), I also love Diane Gilleland’s CraftyPod, Susan Beal’s West Coast Crafty, How About Orange?, Posie Gets Cozy, and Angry Chicken, among others. What are your favorite blogs?

How do you procraftinate? Do you have any clever procraftination ideas for the holidays?

In the future, you can find me at my website or blogs, Things I Want to Punch in the Face and Prairie Tales. My new book, Backcountry Betty: Crafting with Style, is in stores now.

posted in: design, organizing, inspiration, procrastination

Comments (1)

MichaelaMurphy writes: You say procraftinate--I say multitask! How funny, I do all of these things too--but usually when I am doing something else (like watching TV, waiting on hold etc..)
Posted: 2:47 pm on November 24th
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