Please join me in welcoming Elise Blaha Cripe to the blog! She's a mama, entrepreneur, and military spouse who knows how to get things done.
Please give us a little background on your path as a maker of crafty things and creative entrepreneur.
I have been making things all my life and started my first creative business (handmade frames!) my senior year of high school! started my blog when I was in college and over the past nine and half years it has become a creative record for my projects and helped me launch my business which has been many things over the years. Currently, my focus is on GET TO WORK BOOK, a day planner + goal setting journal.
You’ve experimented with a lot of different styles of crafts over the years; how do you decide what’s worth sticking with and what’s OK to abandon? Do you experience unfinished project guilt?
I think I assume nothing will stick forever. I have many crafting styles that I rotate through. One season I'll be super into knitting and then I'm over it for a year. Or one year I'll LOVE sewing - cannot get enough! - and then I'll drop it for months. In my mind, it's all worth trying but there is no guilt or sadness in abandoning a craft for awhile. I have done this long enough to know it all comes back around and the next time, your style will have evolved and the craft will feel totally new and inspiring again.
Long-time readers of your blog will be familiar with your “just start” mindset. What keeps you motivated to see a project through during the long middle stretch?
The middle is ALWAYS the hard part. I think I tend to stay most committed when I work fast and power through a project. Quick work helps me stay on track and it keeps me from looking around and getting bored or worried that something isn't turning out how I planned. I also think sharing progress updates, on my blog or on Instagram can be fun and motivating. Sometimes that helps me push through when a process is starting to drag.
You approach goal-setting in a very practical way. Do you have tips to share about your process that could help creative types reframe their to-do lists and tackle unfinished projects?
Absolutely! I think the key with goal setting is to first pick things to work on that feel fun and inspiring. It's okay if they are challenging, but it helps if you actually WANT to do the work and make the change. Next, I recommend setting a deadline for your goal. Finally, I think it's hugely important to break down your goal, whatever it might be, into small, manageable tasks. I like to say that "big things happen one day at a time." It's not a zero to sixty process. It's about taking that first step and letting that small success fuel the second step and then the third, and suddenly, you're crossing things off.
Tell us a little about your biggest (nearly) finished project to date: Get To Work Book!
Hooray! I am so excited about GET TO WORK BOOK. For this HUGE project I took everything that I know and love about goal setting and packed it into a day planner. It's designed to help you do the work but it's also created to get out of your way. I think it's easy to spend time dreaming about your goals or organizing your to-do lists. The goal of GTWB is to help you turn those goals into something real and turn your organization into completion. You can read so much more about this book and the planning behind it on my blog. :)
Do you have any lingering business or personal unfinished projects you’d like to tackle in 2015?
Nothing "unfinished" but a lot in progress! I plan to launch the 2016 version of GTWB in early September. I would also like to open a GTWB shop with prints and posters this fall. I've got a podcast that is always recording and a blog that always needs posts. AND, I'm having my second kiddo in November. So it's a busy second half of the year but I'm thrilled about it. All good things.
Elise Blaha Cripe is a blogger, crafter and goal setter in San Diego, California. She has been sharing thoughts and DIY projects since 2005, running an online shop of handmade goods since 2008 and this spring launched GET TO WORK BOOK, a day planner + goal setting journal. Elise also hosts a weekly podcast, elise gets crafty, that focuses on handmade business, blogging, creativity and inspiration.
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