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.
LC: 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?
LC: 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?
LC: 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?
LC: 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?
LC: 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?
LC: 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?
LC: 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?
LC: Chocolate. Definitely. Nuff said.
CC: What are you reading right now?
LC: 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?
LC: 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.