Monday, December 31, 2007

In 2008, Let's Reach For More!

(edited from a post at BlogHer)
This week everybody is writing about New Year's Resolutions this week; the crafty blogger is no exception. Like everyone else, the evaluations of last year's resolutions find us all lacking; and the list of resolutions for 2008 sound remarkably similar:

Finish projects that have been started and are idling;
Work more from our stash. (use what is on hand);
Limit our acquisitions in the new year;
Learn some new technique.

Yawn. No wonder people who make these resolutions fail.

What inspires about these points? What makes one anticipate New Year's Day because... Thank Goodness, I Get To Work On These Resolutions! How do these fire creativity? How do these inspire?

When I've found myself limited to writing crafty resolutions like these in the past, it's been because in reality I was so over that craft that I had to punish myself to keep working in the medium. To justify the time and money already invested in an activity that I just didn't have the heart for anymore. Or my taste and interests had outgrown the stash and projects from previous months or years, but my frugal nature wouldn't let me let these things go.

Because, really, is there anything about "finishing a project that I've given up on" that sounds positive?

BlogHer's word of the year is REACH. I am praying that each and every one of us can find some way to word our plans for 2008 to incorporate that spirit into our resolutions. Write hope and adventure; creativity and inspiration; learning and sharing.

Yes, if you must finish projects that keep your spirit tied to the earth, then finish them, by all means. But give yourself a time limit (say, finish projects by 3/30... or begin each month by working for one week on finishing a project). When you've hit your time limit, give yourself permission to enjoy!

Plan a play date with yourself. It needn't be long. Bring colored pencils and a sketch pad to work and spend one lunch hour playing with form and color. String a simple bead necklace to wear that afternoon. Grab a glue stick and make a collage from the oldest magazines in the office waiting room. Meet a friend for lunch and trip to a gallery, show or museum. Artists call it "filling the well" and it's the one sure way to insure that you'll be more happily working at the end of 2008 than you are now.

How I Hope to Reach Further in 2008:

1. I have been knitting the same pair of socks for over one year. I've had to tear them out and start over 3 times. And I'm doing no other knitting. I know it's because I only give myself permission to knit at night while watching TV and the light is not sufficient for me to comfortably work long with the fine sock yarn. In 2008, I promise that I push the laptop away for one hour at mid day, and spend my lunchtime knitting in the good light of day. I know I can knit a pair of socks in about 30 hours (I'm a very slow knitter); I have 1 pair to finish; and 2 pairs to start. Plus my first knit top. Should be starting that top about April 1st. You have permission to ask me about it then.

2. Not crafty, but crafty-like. Just built myself a sweet little photography rig (which I used for the painted shoes demo),and I'm working on doing video recording. I aim to publish one craft demonstration video, and one craft interview/tour/other video a month on my blog. Guess I better start learning how to do so.

3. I love my work in surface design. Just haven't wanted to then put it all into quilts (my background). In 2008, I will reach into new area. I will learn how to apply techniques to wearables and home design items. Then decide if I should teach these techniques, sell the products (on Etsy?) or some combination of the two.

4. Reach out to more of the great crafting bloggers. I still dream about a CraftCamp 2.0; I still imagine ways to meet, share, promote and enjoy all your exceptional work. Spend time face to face to face with you. Time to stop dreaming and start acting! Maybe find a way to tag along on the BlogHer Reach Out Tour?

5. Write. Sometimes I write these articles like my soul is on fire; sometimes like I'm sleep walking. Reaching for the fire isn't always easy... but the results always make me happier. I wonder if you can sense it, too? In 2008, I want to reach my soul's fire.

Now, don't these resolutions sound more inspiring than cleaning my studio and sewing off my stash??

Hah! Did you notice that I did not have the courage to place #2 in bold type. BlogHer astrologer, KT, says that Cancers like me must remember that not all change is painful! I'm not sure that learning to edit video and make good vlogs can really fall into that list.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

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