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* * * PUBLISHED * * * My work has been included in Pauline Brown's 'Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques' 2nd Edition, Search Press Classics UK
* * * PUBLISHED * * * Artist Review #3 of a 4 part series in the new issue of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine, Canada
* * * PUBLISHED * * * Stitch (UK) feature article, 'From Sketch to Stitch' Issue #105

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Saturday, 16 June 2012

I Said No.

I have to tell you something.  I said no to something really big.  I spoke with the wonderful people at Craftsy a little while ago, and they were excited to have me on board to do video classes.  Heard of them?  Craftsy is an online instruction site that is growing like mad!  I made a suggestion to them, did an interview via Skype, and immediately the contracts were on their way to me in the mail.  The deal was that they would fly me to Denver for 3 days of taping, cover all my travel, hotel, and meal expenses PLUS pay me big bucks for 3 days of filming.  BIG bucks.  Thousands!  No kidding.  The date was set.  Then I read through the contract.  There was A LOT of preliminary & pre-scheduled homework plus a one year commitment after productions to answering emails from students.  That was way more than I had expected.  I don't feel I have the time to commit to that.  I should have known.  Their classes are so well prepared for that by the time you get to your taping day, there is nothing that hasn't been thought of & scheduled in.  Still, I felt like there was just no way I could mash all that work into my already overflowing schedule, so I declined.  I need to leave my summer open for my children.  After that, I have three major shows scheduled and a lot of local teaching and speaking dates in the fall.


I was careful not to burn any bridges.  I asked if I could come back when I'm ready.  I feel that the door would be open.  Making decisions like this are tough.  I went with my gut.  I thought about doing it and felt sick about the schedule.  Doing it would have been very exciting!  What a feather in my cap - it would be permanently on the web and aggressively advertised worldwide.  Not-doing-it feels calm and relaxed.  I know that absence of pressure will keep the creative juices flowing.  I really want to create.  That's #1.  Teaching is secondary, and I have great options locally.  Do you think I'm crazy?  Would you have declined an opportunity like that?  (Look at me... still looking for someone to tell me what to do.  lol)  I figure I have the rest of my life to teach & do some globetrotting.  Today still needs to be one day at a time with my family and my art.  Right?  Right.


30 comments:

sherry said...

wow what a feather in your cap

Leanne said...

You know that you made the right decision, and your family and your art are worth it.

Nicki said...

You did the right thing Monika. If you felt sick just thinking about the schedule it would have been way worse trying to actually DO the schedule. You will never regret time given to your family. I'm proud of you! Saying "no" is hard- especially to something that big. I think they will still want you when you are ready... after all, there is only ONE Monika Kinner-Whalen!

:)

Textile Tragic said...

Congratulations on the opportunity and on your wisdom and integrity to know what you need to do for you and yours. I'll look forward to the time when it is right for you.

Ellie said...

Wow, what an opportunity for you - having said that I think you made the right decision. The time is just not right for you just now. You WILL know when the time is right.
The opportunity WILL come again and I look forward to it when it does!!!

HollyM said...

When I'm conflicted about a decision, I know I've done the right thing if it feels stressful and especially if I feel calm once the decision is made like you. I agree I think you made the right decision for now.
You are growing as an artist at the same time being there for your kids. What could be better?

Bee said...

I agree with everyone here....you made the right decision. I always think its best to follow your gut. The opportunities will continue to come...but your children are only young once.

Pam said...

Sometimes leaving some mystery about your art makes it more desirable. it's never a wrong choice to choose your children, and getting on a treadmill of deadlines sort of takes the fun out of making art. Congrats on the offer. It's good to be wanted! :)

Tammy Burks said...

Monika, When you follow your gut instinct, you rarely go wrong.

How about this? Enjoy the excitement you got from the opportunity, and the calm from the decision you made.

Sheila said...

I agree it was the right decision at this time , you have a young family and believe me their growing up years just fly by and there will be lots of time for this type of opportunity once they have grown up , you can never go wrong with a gut feeling in my opinion . Congrats on being asked that is a definite feather in your cap :-)

Christine said...

I agree with your decision. Thank you for having the courage to put your family first. And I'm not surprised Craftsy wanted you.

elle said...

Timing is everything, Monika. You will know when it is the right time!

San @ Made in Hem said...

Oh wow, I've followed several courses through Craftsy and love them dearly. It would have been great to find out how to embroider a landscape using machine and hand embroidery.
Still, I have wondered how the teachers are doing it, being so involved and answering so many questions, sometimes over and over again because people don't take the time to read through already asked and answered questions... It's a day-job and then some!
I'm proud of you choosing your family who needs you more at this time. Your time will come, it's something really special that you do and I think I will buy your course when it comes up on Craftsy over 10 years too!
Enjoy your Summer!!! ♥

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

I always tell my kids..."Go with your gut feeling" ! You know inside what the right answer is, and know when it feels right! There will be another time when this will feel like the right time.

arlee said...

You can never go wrong by following your own instincts, Monika. Trust yourself. Money in the bank isn't always happiness in the soul.

Patti Shanks said...

You are always going to be talented and amazing, so the right time will come along when you are ready! Being asked is already a huge achievement--congratulations!

Rhonda's Doings said...

good for you for following your heart and placing your family as a priority!

Mosaic Magpie said...

More often times than not, saying No is the kindest thing we can do for ourselves. Saying yes and being stressed out would not have been good for you or your family. When the time is right you know it.
Deb

Kiwi said...

wow what an opportunity, but good for you to make the best decision for you and your family. Good job Moinka!

Dolores said...

Psst, you done good. You went with your gut instincts and they told you which way to go. Family does come first. There will be more opportunities later...when you're ready. I for one, am proud of you.

Threadpainter said...

May I chime in with a loud 'Congratulations ! & Yes ! you made the right decision !

Kit Lang said...

Supposing I had anything that Craftsy was interested in me doing videos about, I would *never* say no.

That said, I`m 50, my kids are grown and on their own, and it`s just me, my spouse (who is endlessly supportive) and our fur babies. You are in a totally different situation, and so you made the right decision for your children, but more importantly, for you.

You have to look at yourself in the eye in the mirror every day and know that you`re doing what`s right for Monika. So congratulations on choosing you. :)

Anonymous said...

Well I definitely think you should have said yes only because I would love to take that class but you have to do what is right for you and your family as that comes first. I will be ready for any book or class you teach.

Elsa said...

Good for you. I know that say NO is a hard enough thing to do, but when combined with something so exciting as Craftsy, well it would be down right hard. I believe that we have to listen to our 'gut', weigh the options and go with what is right for ourselves and our family.
It's great that you asked to be able to come back when the time is right for you.

Bernie said...

Monika,
Craftsy wouldn't have been near as fun as my attic classes! Glad you are doing local - I'm excited about hosting your class in the fall. I'll even make gluten free snacks!
I know it has been said before but the time with your kids is important. They really do grow up so fast and then (eventually)you have an empty nest and can then proceed to fill that time with creative enterprises. I'm always amazed at what you can get done with 3 children around but I get the feeling that sleep isnt' that necessary for you.

Anonymous said...

Big Sis Says: You did the right thing by turning down fame and fortune ( means staying sane and enjoying your kids ) -- you could always prop a working video camera in front of you on any given sewing/quilting day and VOILA! a cozy, warm, handmade teaching lesson is born!!!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

You definitely made the right decision if you went with your gut and your heart. Some folks are always chasing those feathers to place in their caps and they make themselves sick and crazy doing so. Good for you doing what was right for YOU! :) Blessings, Tammy

greelyrita said...

Right! It is NOT true that opportunity only knocks once, especially now in our much better connected world.

Christie DescribeHappy said...

How exciting and tough. I'm so proud of you and all the attention and love your work is getting! As long as your choice makes sense to you then it's the right one. And finding that balance between family and 'work' is challenging no matter what you do.. but at the end of the day it's you who needs to live with no regrets, right? Right ;)

PrairiePeasant said...

I think you did the right thing. Your kids will only be at this stage for a little while and you don't want to miss it. There will be lots more opportunities for you when you are ready, of that I am very sure!

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