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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Serial vs. Parallel Work

Today I am excited to bring you a guest post by one of my newer blogging buddies.   
Paula - Buenos Aires
Paula writes at Happysnappy, a storyteller with a camera.  Be sure to pop over there so you can follow her and read more of her notable work.  Thank you Paula for this great post!  

Serial vs. Parallel Work

The Big Day is coming.

There is an event that you want to celebrate and you have joyfully spent delightful hours surfing the net, pinning ideas, pondering on colour combinations and font styles, searching the local stores looking for materials, comparing prices and making lists. Now all the shopping is done and it is time to actually start working on all of your party decorations and you don´t know where to start. 

When working on repetitive tasks there are two possible approaches. The first is the serial method: start a piece, work on it, finish the whole piece, work on the next one, keep going until all the pieces are done.  The second method is the parallel work: do one type of work for every piece, do the next bit for every piece and so forth until all the pieces are finished.

As counterintuitive as it sounds there is power in small batches and the first style is more efficient.

Let´s say you have a hundred invites to make. Or maybe only twenty. Perhaps just five for a small gathering. You decide going the DIY route because it is fun, meaningful and you have a crafty heart.

As you still have the food catering, the decorations for the venue and the slideshow you want to share in the middle of the reception to think about you want to make these invitations in a quick way. The process would go something like this:

  • Gather cardstock in appropriate size, envelopes, ruler, pencil, hole puncher, cutter, pen, and ribbon.
  • Fold the card
  • Write on the inside of the card all the details for the party
  • Insert RSVP card
  • Punch holes in main card
  •  Cut a length of ribbon
  • Thread ribbon through the holes
  • Tie bow
  • Put card into envelope
  • Address envelope
  • One down, ninety-nine to go

What do you get with the method instead of folding all the cards first, writing them all, punching two hundred holes, cutting a hundred pieces of ribbon, making a hundred bows and putting the cards into their envelopes?

You save time and effort plus gain a sense of accomplishment each time a piece is ready. I bet you hadn´t considered the time it takes to move huge amounts of unfinished materials to a safe place and back to the working table for each step of the process. Or the possibility of finding an error in the design like the card being too big for the envelopes after cutting a hundred pieces of cardstock. Not to mention the chance of sending someone to give out a few invites as soon as they are ready!  

Want to see the process in action on my working table? Here it goes:

      1)      Gathering materials. Yes, I put my tools in line to know where they are at all times. At least at the beginning of the work. After that, going back to the same general area is good enough. I learnt to do this after too many brushes in tea mugs instead of water cups. :D

Assorted crafting materials spread on a green table top.  Gathering materials for "Serial Method" of crafting @ATIPicalDay #crafting #serialmethod #organizingmaterials

2)      Choosing coordinating patterns and embellishments for the card. Putting the cards together by cutting the papers, glueing the papers, flowers and buttons and stamping. Writing the message inside the card.
Stamping and craft supplies on a table.  Making cards with the "Serial Method" of crafting @ATIPicalDay #crafting #cardmaking #teacherappreciation #stamping

3)      The five teacher appreciation day cards ready.
Five teacher appreciation day cards made using the "Serial Method" of crafting @ATIPicalDay #teacherappreciationday #cards #crafts #stamping #creativecards

You can find me crafting and organizing my spaces weekly at my blog Happysnappy, a storyteller with a camera and sharing daily photography prompts to record your daily life at my Facebook page Paula – Buenos Aires.

Thank you Meredith for the invitation to your cyberhome! It is an honour and a pleasure. We´ll keep in touch. 

If you would like an opportunity to do a guest post here at A TIPical Day, please leave me a comment or email me.  

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  1. Replies
    1. I think so too Sherri Jo! Paula did a great job on these cards and I like her thoughts and which method is more efficient. :)

  2. Such a joy to see my article on screen. :D Thanks again for the invitation!

    1. It's an honor to have you here Paula! Thanks for doing this! :)

  3. The assembly line method always works for me is also a good way to get kids engaged. Great post!

    1. For me it totally depends on the project. But generally speaking, I agree Christine, the assembly or parallel method works pretty well.

    2. Giving little tasks to kids make them feel part of the project. Great bonding point.

  4. It's even better to do it with a friend!

  5. Those are awesome! I love your creativity and ability to pair designs and embellishments. I've always struggled with that...

    1. Thank you Pebbles! :) Working with pre coordinated kits helps a lot.

  6. Beautiful cards, Meredith! Such creativity - I've always struggled with coordinating and embellishing. I love how easy you make it look. :)


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