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Rules for Sewing -- And Life!

Hey, everyone! Merry Christmas! Things are coming together pretty fast these days -- a good time to take a breath and have a cup of coffee. While you're relaxing, here are a few helpful ideas for better sewing!

Learn to say "no" and "slow."  Determine what's really important and choose carefully. What can I eliminate for a season? What can wait? What really conflicts with my longer-term goals? It's okay to slow down. Most mistakes occur when we're rushing to cram too much work into a tight schedule.  Hint: It's actually faster to just slow down and take things at a more relaxed and proper pace.

Sweet spot, sweet space, sweet scale. Find a standard place and time together to work on sewing and blogging. Set times when you're at your peak, not leftovers. And remember that you can't get everything done. Nor can you do it all in a day. Write it down, scale it back, and make sure it's achievable -- with the necessary quotient of happiness.

Organize a season ahead. Look ahead to what you'll need for the next season, next trend, and next type of product to carry. Get all the material, notions, and thread together well in advance. Don't let things sneak up on you or get out of hand -- or wait to clean up; inevitably, you'll get confused. It's worth the effort to keep it clean and well organized as you go. And those nagging, unfinished objects you know you're not revisiting? Separate them back into your stock!

Make a muslin, then take a break. It's very easy to get confused when making complex pieces.Take the time to mock it up and work out the kinks. And practice some complementary hobbies that can supplement your blog, your skills, and your emotional fitness. If you tailor with fabrics, add quilting. If you blog, add high-quality photography to your repertoire. Put some creative space between your prototype and your product; your sewing results will start to be better than ever!

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At this particular moment, 90% of my projects are waiting on somebody else. Maybe it's a decision, or some data, or something I just can't do, but the work is idled just the same.  It would be easy to feel frustrated, but it's really an opportunity for gratitude.

First, I'm grateful that I can actually know where my work stands. The whiteboard in my workroom has a brief list of priorities, down the right side. All I have to do is look, and I remember the current status of that project.

Second, I'm working my priorities. Every day starts with me trying to move #1 forward. Every phone call or e-mail has me checking the list to see if I should switch to a higher level project.

Third, my willpower reserves are "pressed down and overflowing." Since my brain isn't in spin mode, trying to figure out what's next, my head is clear, and I don't have that feeling of an unknown task in an unknown state looking ove…