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Breakfast with Lindsey

This week we have Breakfast with Lindsey Cheney, crafter and homeschooling mother of three. Lindsey is a pro at doing 83 things at once — all with a little extra creative flair. Enjoy!

CC: Please give us an intro to who you are, what you do, and your family headcount.
My name is Lindsey Cheney. I’ve been a wife to Sean for 8 years now and a mom to Gracie (5), Lily (almost 3), and Silas (14 months). I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the past five years, and just began homeschooling my kindergartener this year. The same week I began homeschooling I also launched my new business blog, the pleated poppy, where I offer a number of handmade items. I cannot say I was smart in my timing! But staying at home with my kids allows for a lot of flexibility in our schedules and having two kids that nap allows for a little extra creative time.

CC: Tell us about your creative endeavors-and what’s on the offing in your shop. What does “creativity” mean to you?
LC: Creativity has always been a way of life for me, for as long as I can remember. My mom encouraged me to be crafty from a young age, from sewing to painting to decorating to decoupage. It is a way of life for her that has always seemed natural, so I think I just picked up on it by osmosis! To me, being creative means looking at things from a fresh perspective, putting your own twist on something, looking at something and saying, “I can do that.”

Since I am a mom of three little ones, I generally only put up a small amount of items for sale at a time, so I can keep up with the demand. I’ve offered zippered pouches, notebook covers, headbands, hair clips, pushpins, and magnets. My most popular items are my posy pins. I just can’t seem to make enough of those!

CC: What prompted you to start a blog? What keeps you going?
My sweet friend Lisa Leonard [former Breakfast guest] started a blog a couple years ago, and I got sucked into the blogging world. I first started my personal blog, imperfect, as a way to connect with family and friends, but also to show some crafty endeavors that would hopefully inspire others as I had been inspired by the mass amounts of creative blogs out there. I definitely have an ebb and flow with blogging — sometimes it’s a week between posts, and other times I get to it daily. I’d love to have more consistency. What keeps me going is when I find another blog where someone has used an idea or tutorial of mine and made it their own. I love sharing and borrowing creative ideas!

CC: How has motherhood changed you creatively?
So many ways! I have to be creative with my time first of all. Instead of working when I get some inspiration, I work when I have someone napping or playing happily. My projects tend to be smaller and quicker. I can’t leave too many projects sitting out, otherwise I may have some extra help from little hands.

CC: Where do you do your creative work?
LC: Part of my husband’s business involves creating storage. Last Christmas he gave me an incredible work station in the kids’ playroom. Before he had even finished building it, I had it filled up and still needed more space! I love having a work space where the kids are. I’m sure I’d love a studio of my own, but that’s really not an option for me to hide away for hours on end in a space away from my kids. Maybe in 10 years! For now, I love that I can sneak in a little time here and there when the kids are busy coloring or building block towers or “nursing” their babies. On bigger projects I tend to migrate toward the dining room table where I can really spread things out, but in general, I love my space where everything I need is within reach.

CC: Do you have a schedule for your creative work? How do you manage to fit everything into your busy life?
I try to get right to work as soon as the kids are napping, but I so often get pulled in other directions, like e-mail or laundry. As fun as creative work is, it’s still a discipline to set a specific time for working. One thing I love about what I do combined with homeschooling is that I can do them both at the same time. While my daughter is working on a project, I can guide her verbally and do my own busy work with my hands. I also stay up waaaay too late most nights, so I can get a couple hours of uninterrupted work in.

CC: What do you most hope to accomplish with your artwork?
I hope that my work can bless others, that it can bring them a smile and maybe a compliment! But what I really hope is that from my children constantly being a part of my work, that they learn to be creative in their own ways, too.

CC: What do you struggle with most?
I definitely struggle most with balance. Balancing my time, attention, and thoughts. I hope that someday being a wife, mother, friend, teacher, and crafter all fit in together and feel natural and not forced. And I hope that I can get to the point where I stop forgetting so much — I don’t know if that’s a result of having too much on my plate, or having three kids!

CC: Where do you find inspiration?
Magazines (good ol’ Martha), catalogs (have you looked at PB Kids lately!?), and a ridiculous amount of incredible blogs.

CC: What are your top 5 favorite blogs?

CC: What is your greatest indulgence?
Chocolate. Definitely. Nuff said.

CC: What are you reading right now?
Hmmm…reading? Do magazines count? Actually, I’m pretty notorious for starting books and not finishing them. So the books that are currently gathering dust on my bedside table are mostly homeschooling books: Homeschooling: The Early Years, When Children Love to Learn, A Thomas Jefferson Education, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, and The Creative Family.

CC: What advice would you offer to other mothers struggling to find the time and means to be more creative?
Give yourself some grace. Perfection is not going to happen, but life will. Squeeze in a little something here and there. Be creative with decorating, entertaining, photography, in places you already spend your time, just do it differently.

CC: Many thanks, Lindsey!

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Cathy #

    nice to meet you, lindsey!

    can’t wait for baby c to have enough hair for those adorable barrettes. after 13 yrs of 2 boys, now i have a girl, i find myself getting girlier by the day.

    October 3, 2008
  2. I love this: “But what I really hope is that from my children constantly being a part of my work, that they learn to be creative in their own ways, too.” That is one of my biggest drives as well!

    And this: “Perfection is not going to happen, but life will.” Borrowing that a crediting you!

    Very nice to meet you Lindsey!

    October 3, 2008
  3. Jen #

    It’s nice to get to know you better Lindsey! I just *love* your site and I can’t wait for my order to arrive!!!

    October 3, 2008
  4. When I saw the picture of your work space, I immediately thought, “How on earth does she stay so organized?” And then I read that your husband creates storage spaces. Sounds like a great match!

    I love the hair accessories!

    October 4, 2008
  5. lisa leonard #

    yay linds! love your stuff (and you!).

    October 12, 2008

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