TAX SEASON IS OVER. Hurray! Now it is time to begin the grand experiment I've been pondering for the last couple of weeks. For Xmas a couple of years ago, a good friend and fellow crafter gave me a copy of '365: A Daily Creativity Journal' by Noah Scalin. The book was full of interesting ideas and tips on how to create something on every day of the year. I found the idea to be intriguing, but unrealistic for my lifestyle. I work at a desk job that can tire out my hands, and I have some health issues that can make individual days problematic when it comes to creating. Some days I just don't feel like stringing beads when I've been poked with needles by med students for hours on end. I shelved the book as well as the idea, and went about crafting on my own haphazard schedule.
The book sat on my shelf for two years while I occasionally thumbed through it for ideas. Then one day in early April it struck me. I make about seven things on a good week; I just do it in two or three marathon sessions. If I challenged myself to make at least seven things every week then by the end of the year I'd have made 365 things in 365 days. That seemed to be a much more attainable goal than creating something every single day. But in order to play fair, I decided to lay out some ground rules to keep myself from "cheating", as I do love my shortcuts. : )
- Seven complete and different things must be completed in seven days. Creating multiples of the same item only counts as one item. That should keep me from gluing a lot of buttons to earring posts and calling it a week. Several different styles of earrings, however, will count as different items.
- Ideally, items created should be different from, or at least an alteration of, previously crafted items. So no set of button earrings one week, and then the next, and the next, and the next...
- One thing I picked up from the 365 Journal was how many different types of things can be counted as creations. My typical craft media is jewelry, but I'm open to and excited about trying new mediums. The list of "do's" is nigh infinite so I'm going to outline some of my "dont's" below and hope that they will keep me on the straight and narrow.
1. Significant alteration of a preexisting item will count towards an item for that week. But I can't just draw a smiley face on a t-shirt and call it a day, no matter how fun that sounds. OK, I can (and will probably) do that but it doesn't count for the items created in that week.
2. If I cook something, it has to be from scratch and ideally will be something that I have never tried to make before. It should also ideally be something that actually involves cooking. Making myself a bowl of cereal or a salad (no matter how awesome the salad is) doesn't count.
3. Writing something complete does count as one item, but I'm not allowed to count the blog post used to display my weekly creations as an item. I'm keeping the blog for self-accountability, and it seems a little cheap to count a post that I'm using to The one exception to the blog post rule will be if I decide to create a tutorial and post it in a separate blog entry.
4. Things created at work can count if they meet other criteria, but things made FOR work don't. Those were created for an entirely different purpose other than challenging myself. So no matter how awesome that spreadsheet is, I can't count it unless I made it for leisure purposes. Unfortunately, that has happened before. Don't judge.
5. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to get to hang out with other crafters, and we work on projects together. These collaborative projects can count if they are finished during the craft session (not, for example, if we get it halfway done and my friend takes it home to finish). I also have to get permission from my craft partner to count the item. And finally, the craft has to be at least 50% created by me; no counting mere assistance! So helping someone set a hem in something is nice and helpful, but not a creation.
6. Creating a wire wrapped stone, complicated pendant, or other focal piece definitely counts as a creation. However, slapping that bad boy on a simple chain and calling it a necklace doesn't count as a second creation. For a necklace made with a "creation" item to count it should be pretty darn cool, detailed, unique, and should ideally be its own creation apart for the pendant itself.
7. Other things that I can and frequently do make that do
not count to my weekly creation goals: a mess, a fool of myself, a
mistake, a scene, and any other "intangible" type items. The goal of my
project is to have physical results.
8. And finally, I'm allowed to create more rules when I choose to curb "cheap" behavior, but I'm not allowed to create more exceptions to existing rules. Hopefully this will discourage me from effectively eroding my guidelines over the course of the year.
OK. I think that should do it! I've got my ground rules and a huge stash of crafting materials, let's see what I can make in a year!
A lenient twist on the "item a day" craft challenge
The "item a day" craft challenge has always intrigued me. But it's a huge commitment! Lots of crafters have work, families, and other obligations that may prevent them from crafting every single day. So I decided to see if I could make 7 things a week. Let's see how long I can keep this up.