Regrouping For The New Year

“Make hay while the sun shines.” We actually did make hay when I was a kid, and I still live pretty well tuned to the season.  So back in mid-November, I was taking advantage of the lack of snow to gather material and do natural dyeing with fresh materials before winter set in. I thought the sun would shine, metaphorically, long enough for me to dye and get a bunch of new scarves photographed and listed in my Etsy shop for holiday sales before a short trip to visit my parents. Of course, you know what happens to a plan like that.

Wool yarn plant-dyed with mullein leaves.

Good thing I blogged about it so I knew what that yarn was dyed with when I found it again six weeks later.

Natural dye ecoprint scarf from donnakallnerfiberart on etsy.Only a few of those scarves got photographed before my trip got moved up and extended while my sister and I helped get our parents settled in assisted living and their home ready to sell.

Ironing natural dye scarves.

And it was probably a good thing I didn’t get those listings posted, since I didn’t get home again until just about too late to ship products in time for Christmas delivery.

Etsy listings photographed, packaged, ready to ship.

I was pretty sure that would happen. So before I left, I reset my Etsy ship-by dates to 30 days out and revised my shop announcement and order confirmation emails to let people know I could not guarantee holiday delivery. Customers thanked me for being honest about the situation and not leaving them stressed about delayed shipments.

And customers who could be flexible about delivery dates were so sweet. I was a little weepy anyway, but it brought tears to my eyes to read messages that said, “Take care of your family, and ship when you can.”

When I got home I was just exhausted, and still chipping away at things that are doable from a distance and helpful to my parents. So after shipping the orders that had come in while I was gone, I gave myself permission to coast for a little while.

Ice along the banks of the Wolf River in December 2015.

Sometimes you just have to call a time out and regroup. That’s what I’ve been doing the past couple of weeks, so I can greet the new year with energy and enthusiasm. Or at least, make a good show of it until I actually do regain my usual energy and enthusiasm.

Missing out on online holiday sales this year hurt financially. But looking back doesn’t help. The calendar will turn in a few days, and it’s time to move forward.

So I’ve added the listings I shot before leaving. Now I’m waiting for the sun to stay out long enough for me to get the rest of the scarves photographed. And definitely hoping for brighter days ahead.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy new year!

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin