A good friend of mine (Tressa) asked me to make her some stockings for her young family, since this is (I think) their first Christmas with their little boy and they don't have any yet. We found a pattern that we liked the shape of, but it was pretty plain and when I really got down to reading the pattern I thought it seemed far more complicated than it needed to be. So I simplified some of the pattern and added the design elements and tweaked a whole bunch of stuff so it made more sense to me, and voila! Green for the boys and red for the girl. I really liked how they turned out and Tressa was thrilled, which made me happy. I did keep track of my now original pattern (I seriously made enough changes that no copyright lawyer in the world would deny it's originality, I think the only thing that's the same is the heel, and even that changed in size) and I think there's probably some small tweaking I'd still like to do, but I'm going to try to sell them for next year. Nice, huh? We were going to add names, but I didn't have time. I worked pretty much straight through for the last 3 days because I'm leaving tomorrow for the next week or so, so my fingers were cramping up anyway. We'll probably add them after the holiday.
Tressa was feeling bad about taking me away from other stuff I need to get done -- especially after I told her how much time they took (I had estimated low -- I always seem to do that). I wish she wouldn't because with having no job, and being pretty down about the future and what I have -- mostly haven't -- done with my life, having a project like this to focus on was seriously a blessing for me. And she did insist on paying me -- too much, especially since I would have just done it for her, but after doing some research I found she would have paid a lot more for handmade items like this elsewhere, so I guess it's still a win-win -- so it was a much better use of my time than what I would have been doing all week, plus I got some late Christmas spending money that I wouldn't have had. Most importantly, though, it taught me quite demonstratively how much better I feel about myself when I have a goal and am able to keep myself busy. I need, now, to learn how to get motivated the way a new project for a good old friend got me going so quickly. I think part of it was the deadline, too. I need to learn how to use self-imposed deadlines effectively. All that stuff I need to get done that I put aside for this, would probably have been put aside for stupid stuff like movies and TV anyway. This way, I feel productive, and I'll still get the other stuff done.