Sunday, November 13, 2011

Creative Business, Creative Family

   Soon after writing a few goals down for the near future, things around here got busy.  One of my goals was to find or create new packaging for Knees and Paws products.  During my research on packaging, I discovered several wonderful books on box design with templates, while Richard showed me the amazing Container Store website.  In the end, I chose to use our webcam box as a template.  It was just the right size with a window. I used a manilla folder for the prototype, and when it was finished I realized that it could be converted into a finger puppet theater by cutting a round hole in the back. 

  This was a project that Elliot helped with, and I love his suggestion that we make a pet house design around the hole in the back.  Our new packaging now has three uses: one for housing Knees and Paws with a matching finger puppet, one use as a mini theater, and one as a pet house for tiny stuffed pets.  When it's no longer useful, it can be recycled with other cardboard and paper products.  

An unexpected result of starting a handmade business is that my family has become more creative.  We now work out many problems as group projects, which builds a strong sense of togetherness.  I used to be intimidated working on anything with Richard because he likes "exact" details.  I know this is a consequence of working on airplanes all day.  He has to be exact in his job for the safety of people who fly.  Sometimes at home, I've felt intimidated by his skills and expectations for high quality.  When we began to paint the outside of our house, I decided to bake pies instead of work side by side with a brush.  There were just too many instructions and expectations.  After an hour or two, I just gave up trying.

Things are different now.  I did not write this down as a goal, but Richard and I are now able to work on projects the same room, at the same time.  This weekend, we put the finishing touches on our updated dining room, which had been empty for months.  Last winter, our new dog Ozzie and our cat Annie had a territorial pissing contest on the carpet.  Ultimately we had to lose our carpet and subfloor, and Annie had to be relocated to the covered porch in the back.  

   When it was finished, I sat down and felt a complete sense of peace.  I realized that I'm never going to be the kind of person who can sit in an empty room to achieve a meditative state of higher consciousness.  I need a cozy home with candle light and pictures of my family.  

My experience with goal setting was positive in some ways, and I plan to keep moving forward with it. However, I noticed that while I was accomplishing a great deal, inside I felt a little manic.  It was unsettling to have so many ideas for projects going on all at once.  And now that the holidays are approaching at WARP speed, I need to remember that I need plenty of time for rest and activities with no "end result."  

Like taking naps.
And rollerskating.

And reading books.

And sitting in candlelight.    


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