Friday, November 14, 2014

how do you choose?

choosing what to work on, what to create, what to teach...

some days with so much choice in front of me i would be mrs. dithers herself, tapping my fingers, looking at this fabric, that lace, thinking on it, over and over again

at times i would walk out of my sewing room and pick up a book instead

lately i read about warren buffet's method for creating focus and thought it might just work for me, for what i do

simply put, you list twenty-five things
things to make
things to do
whatever things you like...

when the list is complete, you choose five,
and those five are all you do until all five are done

thinking this would not only sharpen my focus, but also prevent me from adding more to my pile of things not finished, i decided to give it the old college try

my list ranged from projects years old to those yet to be
some for gifts, some large, some small, quilting, needlework, lace-making, painting, sketching - no limits

choosing five from that list wasn't quite as easy as i thought
wanting to have variety, with nothing terribly complicated or daunting for the first go-round, i chose those that had been haunting me for while but were near and dear to my heart

it took me almost three weeks to get them all done, and by the end of the last one my thoughts were turning to the next list of twenty-five
paring that second list down took even more thought than the first time 'round - i knew the limitations of it now, but also the benefits, and my choices became more conscious

"if i can only work on five, what matters most?"

the simplicity of this method is that i am always choosing from a smaller pool, and with that narrowed field of possibility has come a greater focus

in the narrowing, comes an expansion

i like that

and i like that these wool and flannel pillows for store samples are now finally done!

love the combination of wool and flannel

charming rural scenes

embroidered details



 there was a great satisfaction in writing the date completed by each item on list of five

and great excitement at beginning the process all over again


deanna7trees said...

always love working with wool and flannel. the needle flows so smoothly through that cloth. love the stitcheries you have done here. i've tried different types of lists through the years and the thing that works best for me is 'no restrictions at all'. i just pick up what appeals at the moment, work on it until i'm bored or until i happen upon another project that i can't resist picking up. seems to be working for me at this time. cannot envision ever having the discipline to finish 5 things before starting another. i admire your ability to do that.

Marj Talbot said...

Having done much sewing in my time, mainly clothes years ago, I had to finish one thing before starting another - just had to. It's hard to get away from and sometimes you have to wander a bit. I love these projects you have shared - wool and flannel work so well together and you have done a fabulous job of hand embroidery as usual. It makes me want to check out my small bits of wool and make another flower arrangement. I love the flower hearts and the lazy daisies. Hugs and thanks for sharing.

Createology said...

Well there is a reason Warren Buffet is so very successful. I wouldn't even know how to begin making a list. Every time I try I just do not fill out the page. 25 to 5 to finished is brilliant. Precious Pillows you have completed. I always learn so much when I read your posts. Thank you for sharing your wisdom Dear...

suziqu's thread works said...

Hi Jillayne,
What an amazing approach to take in being so organized.
I doubt whether I could even list 25 projects and narrow them down to 5.
I think I would work within 5 projects most of the time.
25 would make me feel overwhelmed. I think I am a very spontaneous creator
but coming here I see lots of order and beautiful stitching which takes so much patience and I admire you for that. Your stitching is beautiful!
x Suzy

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Jillayne, I love this process and so glad it worked well for you. I too have to make lists and organize and plan my ideas. I don't always narrow it down to 5 but it sounds like a good idea. It would be less overwhelming.
Your works are lovely and the details stunning. I am always inspired and learn something new from everything you share.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
Hugs and Blessings.

karen said...

I love these store samples but am I right in thinking these are for ''work''? I admire you for doing this alongside the other million things you must have to do.

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

That is always the problem isn't it Jillayne? What to do next. The deciding can be paralyzing so I think I may try Mr. Buffet's technique as well, it seems to have worked well for him over the years! LOVE your new wool and flannel pillows, they are adorable!

Suztats said...

Delightful creations, Jillayne. It must feel good to find a process that works, allows you greater focus, and creativity. Happy creating!

Dorthe said...

Oh Jillayne,
I think you are so organiced, when able to count to five, -choosing only them to work with and nothing more.
It is not that I work with more than that myself, but that you are able to control yourself, and not start another little project!! That is what I could not do....
Your art ,whatever you create, is alwayes so beautiful, so wonderful stiched and with so many gorgeous new ideas - I love this sweet ,lovely piece, dear.

Monica said...

So glad to hear you're finding relief in finishing something and finding a method for it. You know well we could go on and on and on over tea and cake about this. Will we?:) New ideas have come to me since last time we spoke while strolling around gardens and charity shops and eating cake!
My process is all about the process, hence I go freely. The more I let my heart wander, the more I finish :) (and the more mess I have around, no doubt about that of course... but who cares??).

Wendy said...

your wool embroidery is lovely! I have a similar problem when deciding what to work on, too much choice and not enough focus. It's a good idea to make the list of 5, I might have to try it

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

I'm really liking that method. I think I need to try it for sure! Love the wool projects. That designer makes the cutest things.