Life in a graph – a shocking image!

I had scheduled this blog post for last weekend. Well, that didn’t happen. It didn’t happen this weekend either. It happens today and I am very pleased since it’s Monday and Mondays are hard…It seems like an impossible task to go to bed on Sundays, no matter how much I need the hours. So I figured, why not talk a little about time today. My previous post was all about making plans, schedule to-dos and how to get a grip of what to do and when. Since then I have continued reading and using Lisa Jacobs fabolous book Your best year 2018. It has proven to be a real game changer and I’d like to share a thing from it, a short task that aim to show how I spend the 24 hours on a regular day. At first I was to list the main priorities in life, in order of importance. My list looks like this:

  1. My family
  2. Personal development – learning new things
  3. Creativity – design, art, music
  4. Friends and social life
  5. Health and self-care
  6. Stillness and reflection

Then I was to use a graph to illustrate how I invest time during the 24 hours, and it looked like this:


As you can see (although written in Swedish) the large field on the top right is sleep. The large field on the bottom is work (day job in large company). The small field on the right, between sleep and work is breakfast (categorized as family time). At 6 pm there is dinner time with the family. And now – in the field beween 7 and 10 pm – here are the things from my list, all six of them…

Please take a paus to reflect on that, because I went into shock when I realized how it looks and what it means. Somewhere between 7 and 10 in the evening I spend time with my family, I learn new things, I create design, art and music, I socialize with friends, I perform physical activity and practice self-care and to wrap things up I am in stillness and reflection before I go to sleep.

I think not.

I am still in shock but also very clear about how I want this chart to look like. I am 48 years old and I will now change things around. It might be the hardest thing I have ever done – I don’t have the energy of a 20 year old anymore –  and it might take longer than I want, but I will never forgive myself if I don’t go for it. I will make this chart look different.

I had this idea when I started this blog that I was going to share the building of my website. I will get back to that: I came as far as having built the fundament in Adobe Muse and now I am focusing on building my portfolio. Without a great portfolio there really isn’t much to put up on the site, so that makes sense. I also may be trying out Squarespace instead, since there is a built in solution for web shops. A looooot of time has also been dedicated to research about webb platforms, web shop solutions, payment solutions, manufacturing, print shops etc etc. So many decisions and so little time. Obviously.

See you soon and if you would like to see more of my creative stuff, please check my instagram account @madeleinewidelanddesign.

Saturday night amusement

On Saturday nights some people do things like spending time with family and friends, having a nice dinner or watching tv. I spend my Saturday night in front of the iMac and some tidying up in what we in Swedish call ”filträsket”. Freely translated into ”the file swamp”, a place that I know all of you are familiar with. The creative work demands a certain structure and organization, which can appear to be obvious but oh so hard to achieve for some of us. For me at least. The pattern making is a process with many steps and sometimes there has to be several kinds of files in different formats: a work file (original file) in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, made in layers and with all the motifs, correct settings, colours, swatches, and so on. Then you might need a .jpg or .png for web. If you are to send a file to a manufacturer you need to adjust the settings to their requirements and save for that purpose. This is a very time consuming work, since these programs seem to have a life of there own and even might have been designed to destroy the lives of creatives. I tend to be very organized in the beginning of working with a new pattern, but as the creative juices start to flow a forget to think ahead and stay organized. So when the pattern is finished and I am satisfied with the outcome, I often end up with a document that is a disaster. Luckily for me I haven’t done this for a very long time and I don’t have hundreds or thousands of patterns in disastrous documents, so I decided that before I start presenting my patterns in a portfolio or launching my website, I must organize my patterns carefully. I decided to use Adobe Bridge CC since I am used to that from work and I find it to be powerful and give a good overview.

I started with a folder named Collections and numbered each collection folder 01, 02 etc to make sure they appear in chronologica order.

Each collection folder contains the patterns named with the number and name of the collection, the name of the pattern and size of the file. I also mark the file with ‘repeat’ if that is the case.

There is a seperate preview window and a very extensive meta data list underneath. I like the keyword feature where you can add as many keywords you like which makes it easier to search for a specific pattern later on.

This is a very technical blog post, I am sure, so those of you who are not into pattern making, or at least the technical side of it, I am sorry if I bored you to death…

Have a nice weekend – what’s rest of it anyway!