Creative routines with Anne Weil

Hi! My name is Anne Weil.I am the creative voice behind the blog and shop, Flax & Twine. I knit, crochet, weave, embroider and generally get my make on just about any way I can.

Clean and simple design thrills me and makes me feel weak in the knees at the same time. I create things for home, for play, for gifts and for fun.

More than that, I love showing others how to make things, too! I find peace and happiness in making, but understand the challenges of finding the time as a busy mother of three.

Wanting happy making in my life inspired me to start writing my blog and then, to leave my career in investment banking behind for full-time work in this creative life.

I love making my heart out in my studio in Denver, Colorado. Online, you can find me at my blog, my shop, my book Knitting Without Needles, and in other places such as Martha Stewart Living, Sweet Paul Magazine, Mollie Makes, Design*Sponge and Koel Magazine. I teach video classes at Creativebug and Craftsy!

I am flaxandtwine on all social media platforms including Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

This is a day in my life.

5.45 am

Wake up.

I usually pop right out of bed, typically without an alarm. My body has a very strong internal clock. I often wake up the exact same minute for days and days in a row. Weird!

5.55 am

Coffee, coffee, coffee.

I am a caffeine addict. I usually go to bed the night before thinking about how good my coffee will taste in the morning! I have the most lovely espresso machine that works very hard for me!

With latte in hand, I jump in the car and head to the gym.

6.15 am

Strength training. I make it to the gym and complete a one hour work out.

I am working hard to put myself and my health first these days, which I haven’t done for many years.

I am training for a half-marathon in November, for which I have a detailed training schedule taped to the fridge.

I try to follow it without fail and also spend time strength-training in the gym on my off-run days.

Flax and Twine -giant-pouf-and-stool-
Flax and Twine -giant-pouf-and-stool-

7.30 am

Carpools.

I run home for a quick breakfast (scrambled eggs) and hop in the car to drive the kiddos to school.

Wednesdays are great because Sandy, my husband, handles the kiddo wake-ups and breakfasts - yay!

I have three kids, ages 11, 12, and 14, in two different schools. I juggle three carpools and loads of activities every week. I get exhausted and brain-tired just thinking about it. I am always deathly afraid of forgetting pick-ups!

8.15 am

Dog walk.

I’m home again. I whip up another latte and take my sweet, mixed-breed dog, Lucy, for a walk.

I love morning walks. It’s almost always sunny in Colorado. I love the fresh air and how the prospect of the day stretches out in front of me with all its promise.

I am breathing deeply and feeling good! I get home and squeeze in a quick shower.

fingerknit-trivet-anne-weil flax and twine
fingerknit-trivet-anne-weil flax and twine

9 am

Emails!

I jump on the computer and answer emails for an hour. I know you’re not supposed to do this first. This procedure often derails a huge chunk of my day.

Still, I usually have a strong desire to try to get a bunch of small things off my plate first thing. I try to keep emails to under an hour.

9.45 am

I start a brainstorming session on my second book.

The book is due in May 2017. I have a ton of work to do on it, but I also have a ton of ideas!

Usually, I start the book process out by collecting ideas and images and textures from my own sketches, magazines and Pinterest.

I lay it all out in Illustrator and on my wall, organizing my thoughts into chapters and color palates.

I have a huge amount of material, which will require lots of editing later.

12 pm

I grab lunch (I’m a cheese, salami, crackers, and apple kind of gal!) and run to the post office to send a few shop orders out.

Sometimes, like today, I make myself a third latte - don’t tell! I love my espresso machine!

12.45 pm

I’m back at my computer and it’s time to write a blog post for Flax & Twine. I already took the photos for this post the other day.

I spend too much time editing the photos and choosing the perfect one (I ALWAYS waste the most time with this process. I am terrible at simply choosing the three best photos and moving on).

After the photo vortex, I write a draft fairly quickly. I use the photos to guide my thoughts.

After that, I edit and edit and edit.

I probably read through and correct blog posts at least 20 times before I hit publish, and this one is no exception. I always feel very satisfied to get a post done. I sigh happily as I cross it off my list.

Flax and Twine crochet blanket
Flax and Twine crochet blanket

2:45 pm

I spend a little time working on a new hand crochet pattern.

I am so excited about this fabulous pillow - you all are going to love it. This is when I’m at my happiest! My hands are busy creating something beautiful.

3.30 pm

Conference call! I am so busy making, I almost forget that I have a call with a bookkeeper to get me set up in Quickbooks. Sheesh! This has not been fun. Trying to import all financial data from the last year and then trying to tick and tie each number has been challenging to say the least!

I highly recommend setting up solid accounting the second you start in any business. Do not wait.

4 pm

Gah! Still trying to categorize every expense I’ve had since the beginning of the year.

I jump out of my chair the second the kids walk in from school! During snack time, we hang out and talk about our days.

4.30 pm

More work.

I try to get the kids to do homework while I spend another half hour going through receipts and the like. There are usually a lot of interruptions and questions at this point.

5 pm

First Dinner. I have to get dinner ready now because our night time schedules are so nutty.  My oldest, age 14, eats a first dinner because he won’t be home until 8:15.

This is my least favorite part of the day.

First, I’m tired and I want to relax. Second, I don’t like making dinner. Third, I’m always bummed that I didn’t get as much done during the day as I had hoped (though writing this list has made me think more about how much I actually do accomplish in any given day). Fourth, the kids are usually fighting, hungry and tired themselves. On top of that, our night is just beginning.

5.40 pm - 7.40 pm

Driving, driving and more driving.

I won’t bore you with the details, but during this time, I drive my kids to and from swimming, fencing, and dance in a mad dash all around Denver in traffic. Ugh.

Flax and Twine basket weave blanket
Flax and Twine basket weave blanket

7.45 pm

Second Dinner.

Sandy returns from his work day and Yoga class (return favor for my morning gym run) and we sit down for dinner, just four of us.

Ahh. I love this part of the day. We laugh, we joke, we argue. It’s family.

8.15 pm

Third Dinner. Sandy gets my oldest from swimming. I clean up the kitchen. The others start homework. We sit down for third dinner with my 8th grader.

8.45 pm

TV time. If my daughter's homework is done, she gets to spend a half hour watching TV. We watch Once together - fun!

I get a little more making in now. I work on an idea I have for my new book. It’s looking good!

9.15 pm

First Bedtime/Second TV time.

My daughter heads up to bed. My husband reads to her. While this is going on, the older boys come down for their TV/electronics half hour. Yes, they multi-task, shocking.

I like TV time because I get a full hour of making in for the night, plus I love relaxed hang out time!

Flax and Twine crochet clutch
Flax and Twine crochet clutch

9.45pm

My boys head to bed and I go read to my daughter.

10 pm

The boys don’t let me read to them anymore, so I satisfy myself with a hug from each. I give a longing look to my espresso machine, with great anticipation for the morning.

Then, I march upstairs, chat with Sandy for a bit and fall into bed myself. I am usually asleep within minutes dreaming of all sorts of craziness!

Advice to other makers

If I had one piece of advice to share, it is to take good care of yourself. This is something that has taken me a long, long time to learn.

Take good care of yourself includes working out, sleeping well, eating well, and taking a little me time when needed.

All these things contribute to a more creative and energetic you and is a wonderful gift to yourself and your family.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my day! Here’s to more making time tomorrow!

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Creative routines with Anne Weil. If you’re a creative entrepreneur, blogger, business owner you’re not going to want to miss this article. Click to read!

Creative routines with Anne Weil. If you’re a creative entrepreneur, blogger, business owner you’re not going to want to miss this article. Click to read!