Focus, focus, focus

focus by Candy Spiegel

That’s what I keep saying to myself. It is my word of the year. The word that will keep me on track, reduce my stress and allow me to make my business a success.

It is also a word I have trouble “focusing” on. I sit down to make a card. I glue on a flower, cut a piece of paper, then decide I need to look something up online, check my e-mail, play a few games, answer a question for a customer, get up to get a drink, do the dishes, collect eggs from the chickens, take a picture of the cats to post on Facebook, throw on a load of laundry and soon the whole day is gone and I have yet to finish one simple card. Then I forget about the card until I remember I have a deadline and then I stress about finishing it!

This may be my typical day, but I am sick of it. It is time to get my act together and FOCUS on getting things finished.

That is what I decided in December and again on January 1. It is now half-way through February and I am still working on staying focused. There are just so many distractions!

I thought if I kept the word in front of my face, it would help. So, I created this little 5×7 canvas in my favorite colors (they match my kitchen perfectly) to help remind me to focus.

focus 2 by candy spiegelI started by spritzing a 5×7 canvas and a Linnie Blooms pocket with Glimmer Mists.

focus 1 by candy spiegelI put them in a box on the way to the recycle bin to contain the mess.

focus 3 by candy spiegelWhile those dried, I coated some Linnie Blooms hearts with Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive. (I used my finger to spread it around so I got the entire heart).

focus 4 by candy spiegelThen I covered each heart in Art Glitter glitter. I use a coffee filter to collect my extra glitter. It doesn’t stick to the filter and then I can pour it right back in the jar.

focus 5 by candy spiegel


I set those aside to dry and turned my attention back to the pocket. I wanted the pocket to look puffy, so I folded up a paper towel and tucked it inside.

focus 6 by candy spiegelThen I followed along the front flap of the pocket with a bit of Designer Dries Clear Adhesive and coated it with clear glass glitter.

focus 7by candy spiegelI used the same glue to attach feathers and the pocket to the canvas. I used the Tiny Attacher to attach the ribbon and burlap.

focus 8 by candy spiegelThen, I glued the hearts on the front.



I cut tags out of kraft paper using a Tim Holtz die. I then inked the edges with Distress Ink in Vintage Photo and then in Black Soot.

I added flowers, a metal clock (because this is all about time), a metal button, some twine and the word FOCUS in big black letters that I cut out with a Tim Holtz die. I also used some little sticker letters (also from Tim Holtz) to put the words To Do and Today on the tags. And that was it! Can you see how puffy the pocket is?

focus by Candy Spiegel


Here’s a close up of the corner of the pocket …

focus detail by candy spiegel


You can see how the adhesive dried clear and now you just see the chunks of glass for a pretty, soft sparkle.

Now if I can just stay focused …








10 thoughts on “Focus, focus, focus

  1. I just thought of one more thing – you are focused, you just focus on one thing then another until you move on to the next.

  2. Don’t beat yourself up. Looks like you are doing just fine. Just make a list then it doesn’t matter in what order you do things (even if you do some of one thing and then another) just mark them off when they are done.  That way you can see how much you get done. After all, you are an artist.  We love to have messes and go from one idea to the next.

  3. You’ve described one of MY typical days! It’s maddening. Add to it forgetting things and constantly losing/looking for things. I was diagnosed with ADHD and take meds for it, but I think it’s time for change of meds. Arrrgh. I love your project – especially the pocket. My sign says “Finish what you start”! Ha ha ha I have it right on my craft table, It does actually work, too! Too funny that we both made signs for ourselves! Great minds think alike!

  4. I really,really like this! Now, how to stay FOCUSED (this is what I do): Just like I plan walks with my dog into my weekly schedule (and exercise time for me at the same time), I have to PLAN crafting time. I use crafting time as my “treat” for getting the rest of my work done. I plan on cleaning, getting things ready to go for dinner, laundry, errands, grocery shopping, etc. into several mornings during the week. Some things I do everyday (cooking), walking (every other day), and some things I only do once a week, however; each activity is planned for the morning (sometimes laundry spills over to the afternoon). Each afternoon around 1:00-1:30 I go to my craft room to “plan” what I’m going to do that day. I take a break from 2:00-3:00 to watch my Soap (GH), and then, the rest of the day and evening is MINE. I do whatever I want to do in there. I quit around 8:30-9:00 pm. (5-6 hrs a day is enough for me), and then the rest of the evening, until sometimes the wee hours of the morning, I’m in email, FB, or crafting sites learning and studying as much as I can. Sometimes I quit though, and read a bit. Does this sound exhausting? It IS, BUT: It’s fun exhausting, because I make time for everything I need and want to do. Well, what do you think? Am I nuts? It works for me. Try it your way and see what works for you.

    p.s. This winter I have had to throw in funeral dinners because I’ve been cooking a lot for them lately. And I still always make time for playing and loving my little Mia. She’s with me no matter where I’m at!

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