PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

under pressure

It’s time for me to take a step back for a while. I’ve been suffering recently with killer tension headaches and I need to take better care of myself.

I’ll let you into a secret: my patterns and tutorials are only any good as a result of endless hours of research, planning, and refinement, but my finished products look so simple and effortless that, looking back, I never really remember how long it took me to make them (especially as I’m always working on several things at once, so it’s hard to log the time spent on each one).

I have so many ideas: there are masses of designs I want to make, and all kinds of tutorials and crochet experiments I want to work on. Realistically, I probably have enough design and tutorial ideas on my to-do list to keep me working full-time for the next 2-3 years – and that doesn’t include the new ideas and suggestions that I add every week or so…

I can’t keep up with myself – I’m so excited about what I’m creating that I want to do everything!

Unfortunately, that’s not practical… Not unless I pace myself. So, here’s the slow-down plan:

  • Assigning a timeframe to my creative work puts needless pressure on me. I’ve hinted at a series of cat designs I’m working on, but something still isn’t quite right with them. Sometimes the only solution is to set it aside for a while, so I’m shelving the cats until new inspiration hits. Apart from commissions, my designs should take however long they need to be the best I can make them.
  • Another arbitrary deadline (monthly video tutorials) needs some wiggle room, so my next video tutorial will be a little later than planned. I’ve developed brand new techniques to demo in my Perfect Stripes for Amigurumi tutorial, so it’ll be worth the wait.
  • As of right now, I’m on a 3-day rejuvenating work-free weekend – I’ll be doing some knitting (2nd project ever!) and maybe designing a new cross stitch pattern as a stress-relieving craft for the coming months.
  • I’ll keep trying to figure out a balance. You may not see me online as much as usual throughout July – I’ll be visiting my parents for a while, and just trying to do less of everything.

Yes. Reading back over this list, it sounds good – I feel like my pressure release valve has just been activated…


  1. Caroline said

    I hate tension headaches, sneaky things that linger.

    My doctor told me that paracetamol has a cumulative effect – so take a dose (max 1000mg) and then another 4 hours later. The second one will have more effect than the first. I used to think that paracetamol didn’t work for me, tried this with my latest batch of tension headaches and it seems to work. Of course, taking the maximum dose 4 times a day for several days isn’t particularly desirable so the slow-down plan is a brilliant strategy.

    I take the paracetamol/caffeine tablets in the morning, but not the last thing at night. There is also a version that combines aspirin with the paracetamol and caffeine, but I can’t take much aspirin whereas I’m ok on paracetamol for days at a time.

    Your slow-down plan looks like something I need to put into practice. Good luck and good health to you.

  2. yvonne said

    Hi June,
    Please take care of yourself. You’ve done so much with your blog lately and a rejuvenation and relaxation time is in order 🙂 I love your work and your blog and your patterns! So, take some time and relax! Our minds certainly need a break every once in a while!

  3. kp said

    Hard luck June, tension headaches are the worst – I hate the way they remind you that you’re really stressed out. You may already know this but caffeine is the answer. The only thing that works on mine is Panadol Extra (paracetamol + caffeine). Also a pain specialist in hospital recently confirmed this for me. Obviously you have to be clever about when you take it so you’re not up all night. That, removing yourself from the stressful situation, and exercise! Have a lovely holiday with your family and a good relax.

    • June said

      Thanks for this, kp – I do drink caffeinated beverages as part of my pain management for the headaches, but hadn’t thought of taking caffeine tablets (paracetomol does nothing for me, so I never buy it). I’ll look out for something with caffeine next time I’m in a pharmacy.

  4. Chrisie Merriman said

    Just wanted to voice my support as well. 🙂 I’m really glad you are trying to find a balance that works for you… I wish you equal amounts of business and personal success.

  5. Yasmin said

    I completely understand how you feel, i got so many orders to complete, a 4yr old to run after and pregnant so no concentration or energy at the mo!!!!
    Hope you enjoy your time here in the good old sunny UK, hahahaha!! also fingers crossed you aren’t too exhausted by the time you get back!!

  6. Take care of yourself, June. Don’t burn out! Things take as long as they take.

  7. Sara T said

    I only hope that someday I am able to make money at something I am so passionate about. 🙂 But everything in moderation, and I truly support you in following your creative spark in a way that that is physically and emotionally healthy for you. *hugs*

  8. Kara said

    Take care of yourself first and listen to your body 🙂

  9. Jana said

    Enjoy your family visit and relax!! 24 hours travel time!? From SA to GB? I didn’t think it was that far! My trip from here was only 8 hours, and her to UK is about 5.5. Do you have a long layover?

    • June said

      Believe it or not, the best and cheapest route is to fly Cape Town – Dubai(!) – Gatwick – Jersey… It means 2 long haul flights, but I hear the Emirates flights are pretty swanky – and certainly nicer than crossing London (Heathrow to Gatwick) by bus…

  10. Simone said

    Please do take some time off – we’d rather have not so many new patterns, but you in a relaxed state, than a burn out.

    Take care, and many good wishes!

    • June said

      Thanks for the support, Simone. I remember relaxing… at Christmas… so rediscovering a relaxed state sounds like a good goal!

  11. You definitely need to look after yourself, but I appreciate how difficult it can be to find balance – especially when you love what you do it can be so hard to switch that creative brain off! I hope you have a great time with your family, I too have most of my family on a different continent & know how precious the time we manage to spend together is. May all your journeys go smoothly & you return home refreshed 🙂 Helen

    • June said

      Thanks, Helen. I’m sure I’ll return home exhausted (from all the travelling), but hopefully mentally refreshed, at least 🙂

  12. I’m glad to hear that you are slowing down! You seemed really busy with all the designs you have put out since April! Thanks for sharing your plans, I’m sure we all understand, I do, that you need time. So take care of yourself. You are an amazing person!

    • June said

      Thanks, Monica – yes, I think I have been a bit over-ambitious 🙂 The ‘complete 6 cat designs in 3 weeks’ plan was the final straw though; what was I thinking?!

  13. Carmen said

    Hi June,

    I can perfectly understand your reactions and I think that it is very honest and brave of you to share your future plans and underlying reasons with the readers of your blog.

    I guess that we are all aware that working as a self-publishing designer is no 9 to 5 job from which you can easily disconnect after the working day is finished, because you definitely always feel that there may be a request from a (potential) customer to be answered or any kind of idea to be tested, modified and finally published.

    I can understand if you are going to slow-down now, because it is really amazing at which frequency you are designing high quality patterns and publishing tutorials, besides the administrative work and non-crochet related posts you write.

    All the best for your stay in GB, I guess it is a very long time since you haven’t been in your birth town.


    • June said

      Carmen, thank you. Yes, it’s very hard to switch off – not only because I’m busy but also because when I have something exciting in progress, I don’t want to stop!

      And yes, I haven’t seen my family in 2 years. It’s hard when you live on a different continent. But 24 hours of travel (each way) will give me some lovely guilt-free crochet time to work on the sample for my next shawl design 😉

  14. Meg P said

    We really value your creativity and spirit — please take care of them and the rest of your self! Remember, if you are running out of time, slow down.

    • June said

      Thank you, Meg – I’ll try! I might need a reminder in another couple of months though – overworking habits are hard to break…

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