A Crafter's Life, Bags Bags Bags

That darn grief, the Etsy shop saga, and a little grace

Over the past couple of months on Instagram, I’ve been posting images of the project bags/drawstring bags I’ve been making in preparation for holiday season sales on my Textiles & Smiles (textilesandsmiles) Etsy shop.

Here are some of the cuties I’ve made:

And I had a lot more planned…

The bags are super cute in person and they have interfacing throughout the bag so they have a good heft and stand up on their own, I love them so much and I was excited to offer them on my shop (I sold out of the batch I made last year for the shop).

But, alas, that darn grief has taken ahold of me this holiday season/pending Winter again and as I approach the 4th anniversary of the passing of my life partner for 30+ years, Terry the Quilting Husband.

And I am not up to fulfilling orders this holiday season so I am putting my Etsy shop on hold for now.

This widow thing is a curious journey, you never know when you will suddenly be gutted with grief…

Thanks to everyone who has supported my Textiles & Smiles Etsy shop since I reopened it last November. Also thanks to those who were enthusiastic about the Project Bags (the photo below = a bedroom closet with some of the completed bags I was going to sell) I’ve been posting on IG that I was getting ready to offer on my Etsy shop this holiday season.

I was taking forever, and it did not make sense, to get the photos of the items and the listings up on Etsy. I finally figured out was was paralyzed with grief and could not bear fulfilling orders, etc. I had a recent sale on Etsy of the spools that John had made (see post Handmade Spools) and it was pretty excruciating to get that order completed.

Who knows why last year during the holiday season I could offer stuff on my shop and fulfill orders but this year I cannot. Grief is a mysterious weird thing.

I think of a wonderful card my friend Wendy sent me awhile back with with a reminder to “give yourself grace”:

I keep this card along with a matching candle I found while thrifting right before the card arrived (!) on my bookshelf to always remind me that sometimes I need to just take a breather…

So giving myself some grace, I’ve put my Etsy shop on hold for now and I am going to work on what is calling my heart – working with recycled materials and creating a new body of work of my art quilts.

And what will become of the existing project bags? I will put the completed ones away for now and then decide whether to just finish up the ones in progress or put them away also…

34 thoughts on “That darn grief, the Etsy shop saga, and a little grace”

  1. Something many of us need to do now, for a variety of reasons. Give ourselves grace. We offer it to family, neighbors even strangers. Thanks for a beautiful reminder to us all. Hugs.

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  2. Maybe the time will come when it feels right to pick up the bag project again. Or maybe not. The answer will come. It doesn’t matter what that answer is. Just that you take care of yourself. The road sure is full of twists and turns all right. I’m thinking of you.

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  3. Those bags are really cute and when you’re ready, they’re going to sell like hotcakes but for now, you take as much time as you need. Grief has a mind of its own.

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  4. virtual hugs from afar

    I’ve got into the doldrums as well, not for the same reason as you… I’d planned to start selling my art, I’d said after I got back from Wellington. I was in Wellington at the beginning of October… Somehow I’ve not got my act together at all, maybe because I don’t truly know where to start – as well as looking at shipping costs to anywhere, and it seems all too hard…

    I just don’t have the real time connections to work through all the needs…either, which makes it harder. I did reach out to someone but their comments in return made me think that what I planned to do not feasible… In the Mean Time I Will just keep working on – sorting up and completely getting some of the more recently objects completed.

    Yep, put your “bags” away for now, along with the materials you were going to use…time will return when the time is right.

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  5. Grief, bites you on the behind when you least expect it. You do right to take the break, otherwise it might be you breaking. You know how much you have helped and inspired me these last 14 months don’t you. Take care, and a little of what you fancy does you good. Hugs, xx

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  6. Hugs to you, Tierney! Very true that we need to give ourselves grace just as we would for friends. You will know when the time is right for you to move forward with your bags again. Looking forward to seeing the beautiful art you will create!

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  7. My heart goes out to you, the best thing you can do is give yourself a break and let the grief subside (if it ever does) All good wishes to you x


  8. Hi Tierney: Your bags are delightfully whimsical, and I love your style. As all of us who are grieving know, grief is a journey, and we all take it at our own pace. There are boxes of my husbandโ€™s belongings I still can’t open and letters I can’t bring myself to read even after three years. You’re right to give yourself a break.

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