Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I have been working my fingers to the bone on three very involved (and large) projects for Crochet Today and Knitscene. Did I mention that each one of these designs is big? Yeah, I'm a bit stressed at the moment. Adding to this state of neurotica is the fact that the cube farm is nutso right now, I leave for two consecutive weeks of travel on Monday (one week for meself, one week for the farm) and I have several "homework" assignments to complete before the week for meself travel commences (Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, NH), not to mention the fact that I will be attending to my cube farm calls and crackberry while traveling for meself. "Vacation" is a relative term when one's cube farm position is managerial.

Yes, I know. Big surprise. I've once again COMPLETELY OVEREXTENDED MYSELF. Really, I do not clean my home anymore. I do not prepare meals for anyone anymore (including myself). I do not leave the house on evenings or weekends. All I do is crochet and plow the wall to wall carpet at the cube farm. Hel-lo? Can we all agree that this is not good?

If you were me what would you do?
  1. Give up designing for publishers and design just for website/blog at a pace that is more "sane"?
  2. Give up designing completely and just show the crazy junk I dream up on my blog?
  3. Give the cube farm my notice, sell my house, sell my car and move my family and crafty crap into an apartment with access to the bus routes?
You see my dilemma?

I love my husband, but I'd toss him aside for a sugar daddy right about now.

Oooops, did I actually put that in print? I'm losing my yarn-encrusted mind!

Okay, let's put the notion of divorce aside for a moment shall we?

Really, I love designing, but my husband is an actor (read: unemployed...a lot), which means I am head of household, much of the time. Quitting my job is not an option, unless of course I can convince the hubs and daughter that living in a refrigerator carton adjacent to the surf in Santa Monica is a brilliant alternative to our current lifestyle.

Yeah, I don't think they'll go for it either.

So, do I give it up? Throw in the knitted/crocheted dishtowel? Cube farm in perpetuity?

I'm definitely at a crossroads. That's fer sure.


Anonymous said...

Take a break! Can't you just take a break from designing for magazines for a few months and then come back to everything refreshed?

naomi said...

Take a deeeep breath, then crank up the old coffee pot non-stop for the remainder of the week. Ya don't want to give up on your dream of designing, especially when you are sooo great at it ! Hmm, and maybe living in a refrigerator box isn't such a bad idea after all :)

Deneen said...

Only you can answer that questions Regina-I don't think the third one is really an option. Wendy is right, give yourself a break from the publications right now-if your not loving it, why are you torturing yourself?

You can still design, post some stuff on your blog, hold some aside to put in for publication at a later date-when the mags come calling, JUST SAY NO for a little bit.

Your designs and talent are definitely one of a kind, no one can replace your ideas (you know that too)

Trifarina said...

Teach the man to crochet so he can work up the prototypes while you nap...

Yeah So said...

How about asking for help? Surely there are others who can crochet up some big pieces for you with some instruction. Heck, some of us might even help you for free...

Sus said...

Is designing for publishers an all-or-nothing proposition? "Doing something you love" is only a good thing as long as you love it. Or it pays exorbitant amounts of money. And aren't you having wrist issues? And aren't you having some other health issues you blogged about earlier? I'll bet you, hubby, and Lena all prefer a happy, healthy mama. And they'd probably live in a van down by the river for you -- but what would you do for them??

If you can cut back, then I think it's probably easy -- cut back. If you can't (if it's all-or-nothing), then I think it's probably time for a big ol' family meeting...

Man, I feel all counselor advice-y. But you asked! That's the only reason! :)

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

Can you limit the amount of designing you do for publishers? For example, could you limit yourself to one design project per month? I like the other commenters' idea to ask someone to help you. Are you a member of a knitting/crocheting group? Maybe you could hire someone to help you for a relatively small amount of money?

Sara said...

Please don't give up designing. I love your designs. My sister is begging for the flaming bowling bag, and I must create it for her. Ok, a card board box, is that really all that bad? Take a hot bath, read a super short, super trashy novel and pretend for a while no one but you exists. Then get back to designing, so we who love your designs and have no design talent can still create fabulous crochet.

Anonymous said...

Get an iPhone.. I'm pretty sure it cooks and cleans too.

shula said...

Now, now, LL,

You know perfectly well you go through this Every Time...

Kimberly said...

While I don't think you can give up designing.....the designs will still be there in that talented head of yours, I would suggest perhaps cutting back on the committments to the publishers for a while.

I know oh to well the demands of the cube farm and how life gets at times. I'm not sure if your farm is on the same schedule as mine, but its getting towards our busy budget season and well, personal life and time will be a minimum for me.

In the end, only you can make the decision on what to do, and I would think about your health and mental sanity as well as the happiness of your home life first.

Bonne chance on making some decisions and changes if that is what you feel you need to do!

Anonymous said...

I'm skipping through the first 11 comments, so forgive me if I'm repeating something. I also have a full-time job, husband, and friends in addition to my crochet addiction. When I first decided I wanted to start designing, I thought about submitting stuff to magazines on top of what I was putting on my website. But then I realized I would be devoting ALL of my spare time (what little of it there is) too crocheting. No more time for my friends and family, since I can no more afford to quit my "real" job than you can. That's when I decided to design only what I want, when I want.

It's up to you to pick and choose what's most important to you in life. If that means telling the big yarn companies no, you will not be designing for them anymore despite the prestige, than so be it. Or maybe the joy of seeing your patterns in craft stores is more exciting than putting them on MonsterCrochet.com--in that case, I would say keep submitting your patterns to publishers. Or perhaps a compromise could be reached in which you have all your patterns published in your own Monster Crochet pattern book. My point is that only you can decide what will make you happy.

In the meantime, I think it would be good for you to take your "me" vacation without the crackberry. I know the entire notion of that must sound preposterous, but if you're as good a manager as I suspect, then you must have an excellent staff under you that will surely survive the week you are away. Good luck, Lady!

Nina Casey said...

What a discouraging situation!

I think that the magazine work you've done so far has given you a great deal of name recognition. You don't have to look at the by-line to know when you've seen one of your creations.

I think you are in the perfect position to bend your business to suit your needs. You've got the blog following, there are plenty of online mags now that prefer already made-up projects for submission. I think Ravelry is going to be great for independent designers. I am confident you will be able to figure out a way that works in the long run. Just don't think you've got to run your business like everyone else, run your business like you!

noricum said...

Could you still design for magazines, but just submit things when they're ready, and not worry about getting something in for every issue?

Mini said...

Honey, deep down inside you know your limits. Let hubby and others help with the housework and cooking. Bottom line - what are your goals? If your goal is to change careers, become a published designer and get out of the cube farm, I say Go For It! But I think the bigger question is, while you are pursuing those goals are you turning something you love into something you will eventually hate? If that is the case, then you'll be no better off than hanging out in the cube farm.

Tough decision and only you can make it. But I'd sure hate to see your creative talents go to waste in the cube farm ;)

Anonymous said...

No real suggestions to make. I've been wrestling with the same questions myself. I took most of 2006 off from design work, which I didn't have much of a choice about, as the rest of my life at the time just didn't allow for it. I've tried hiring test knitters/crocheters, and my personal experience is that it can be hard to find and keep reliable people, and for me, it's not so much working up the sample that takes up the most time, it's writing everything out and getting it formatted...and hiring a pro to do that is out of my price range (and again, finding and keeping a reliable amateur is hard).

You'll figure out what works best for you and your family. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

What to do?

Drink more coffee.

Ok, seriously, call your editors and tell them that you're a little overextended, and could they offer a week's grace? Then make yourself a schedule to finish it all up, and stick by it.

And tell your hubby to get himself a job waiting tables with the other actors to help take the pressure off you. ;)

Spike said...

Yeah, you're at the suck point. Your "fun" job doesn't pay enough regularly enough to take care of the bills, and your "money" job is putting demands on you as well.

Dittos to the "only you can really decide what's important in your life." Can't say that enough.

Do you really really really wanna be the hot new rock star a la Diva Chin? Then talk to the hub-unit about him getting some steady work while he works for his dream. Enlist the kids in housework appropriate to their ages. Maybe even train your team to do with less of you; or find a way to do dribs and drabs on the big projects. Get up an hour earlier, make lunch more effective, and use the additional time to work on the projects.

Or rethink the dream. Maybe you don't want to be filling arenas. Maybe your bliss lies in "playing out" at the coffeehouse on weekends. That's okay too. It's no less valid to publish with the big boys on your schedule, and to sell patterns via the blog.

Best of luck, whatever path you follow.


Anonymous said...

Just think, after you end up in the nuthouse you can write a terrific book and make oodles of money and none of it will be an issue anymore! (personal experience without the oodles of money bit, yet) Seriously. Prioritize, that's all. Sounds like the professional designing is pushing you over the edge for now, but if you take the break but still work the stuff up on your own time you'll still get the good buzz, not the bad one. We all love you and your work and want to see as much of you as we can, but not in a bad way. Rock on sista gurl.

Anonymous said...

As many have said, your designs are irreplaceable. No one comes up with what you do, and where would I be without your skull design for my niece? But not at the risk of your sanity!

Pacing is good - and getting help is probably great. Cleaning, cooking definitely (my husband-the-contractor, when not employed, takes these over entirely as I work FT) but it seems like you have a lot of offers of help out here in the blogosphere with the crocheting aspects as well. My offer included, although there are faster crocheters!

I keep trying to send my dog to the cube farm for me to work when I'm tired or busy, but she just won't cooperate.

Madge said...

Don't give up on your dreams, Regina! Instead, get that husband of yours an apron and a mop. And the numbers of some temp agencies. *cackle*

But...if your 9 to 5 is insane right now, maybe designing needs to take a back seat for the moment. Don't wear yourself out too much, grrl.

Hope it all settles down for you soon!

WineGrrl said...

Maybe you could get some sort of leave (paid, hopefully) from the Cubeland....?

Marnie said...

Uhhh, that sucks. I usually have a point, each year, when I've completely overextended myself. Then, when it's all over, I feel empty and like I don't have anything to do and then take on too much again. Vicious cycle.
I think it just takes learning when to say "no more." It's like drinking; a little can be fun a lot can hurt, and too much can screw you up.

Is there anyone you can pawn off some of the crochetting to? Do you have anyone who would do sample work for you in exchange for a service or item at some later point when life is easier?

Anonymous said...

How come your husband gets off the hook while pursuing his dream but you have to hold down a day job?

Wake up! He's using you! My husband did the same thing...he was a lazy musician. Hubby needs to grow up...learn to work a crappy job while the acting gig is slow...it's only fair when you make such wonderful things to share with everyone....don't quit!


Crafty Andy said...

You have to be able to take care of yourself. It is all about profit and some fun on the side. If the profit is good and you are entertained and well fed then keep it up.

I always look at my bidget and at the minimun I want to make to be comfortable. I add my monthly debts, food, daily allowance, some money for savings, some money for fun. You have to have fun at least once a month, then you figure your salary. Life is a real illusion, but taxes are not!

I think you are in need of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition book. I would say choose your magazines dutyfully and politely decline the others, remember Ruke of acquisition #44 "Never confuse Wisdom with luck" and #89 "Ask not what your profits can do for you, but what you can do for your profits."

Definitely finish your deadlines, have some tinto, then choose carefully your next commitments. Lots of love from San Francisco to you with besistos.

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Um, DEFINITELY put the offspring and the actor to work. Baby Linoleum is pretty talented, she can help you on the crafting front. As for the Farm, have you ever considered coming down a notch? Becoming non-exempt has it's perqs - I always leave on time and never get calls at home.