2015 is the #YearOfMaking + Resources

I started seriously thinking about what my theme/word would be in 2015 last week. I can stick to a theme/word much better than I can to individual resolutions. (Learn more about the word idea here.) A few weeks ago I was pretty sure that 2015 would be the Year of Handspun but I wanted to do more than spin yarn, fun as it is. I also want to write, draw, knit, take photographs, and whatever else comes to mind. I want to become a better photographer. I want to learn and use my hands. 

One word just didn’t seem like enough to cover all of those things. I was wrong though because the perfect word, MAKE, snuck up and smacked me upside the head. Make will let me write, draw, spin, knit, or whatever. It’ll let me do things with my hands. It will help me research and learn. It will prod me get stuff done. It’ll make me happy. Mix all of that together and MAKE is a wonderful thing.

In order to get myself making January 1st and keep on going through December 31st, I’m going to do the #yearofmaking challenge. The only rule is to make something everyday whether it’s cooking a tasty dinner or updating my site or knitting a single row on a scarf. All are perfectly valid. To keep myself accountable, I’ll be posting a photo of the day’s progress to Instagram. Please call me out if I don’t post anything! There will also be the occasional blog post and, #yearofmaking will be the first thing on my to-do list. 

Resources To Start Your Own Year Of Making

#yearofmaking didn’t come from nothing. It’s been something that I’ve been thinking about for months since I came across Year of Creative Habits by Crystal Moody. Everyday she made something and everyday she posted it to her blog. I looked forward to reading about her journey and seeing her art so much that I went back to start from the very beginning. Her thoughts and questions on creativity and daily making are thought provoking and worth reading. 

Another resource that helped me make the final leap was Kim Werker’s new ebook, Year of Making. Werker recounts her own reasons for doing a Year of Making in 2014 and gives tips for starting and maintaining the making habit. Also included are several worksheets to help you figure out what your passions are, what you want to do during the year, and what you want to try. She also details an example spreadsheet to track your progress which I’ll definitely be using.

Shoot for progress, not perfection. - Elise Blaha

I also picked up this wonderful progress tracker from Elise Blaha which will give me get the pleasure of crossing out boxes and seeing a year’s worth of daily progress at a glance.

MAKE in 2015! 

2014: Reboot

I’m usually not one to look back and remise at the dawn of a new year but 2013 was amazing. I got married, moved to the other side of the United States, went exploring, bought a spinning wheel, spun lots of yarn, and generally had a lot of fun. 

There were also things about 2013 that were difficult. Things that didn’t happen and other things that were outright disappointing. Also, I completely forgot about last year’s resolution/theme until it was time to make one for 2014. I had to look it up but, in 2013, I wanted to approach my life and projects with bold enthusiasm. Managed to pull it off about 50% of the time despite forgetting it. As for that other 50%? There was fear and guilt and procrastination because of the fear and guilt. Procrastinating doesn’t lead to enthusiasm of any sort unless your enthusiastic about procrastinating. Can’t say that I was but it was a tough cycle to break.   This is were 2014 comes in.

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REBOOT.

I’m aiming to leave the troublesome trifecta behind and that start fresh. The projects and goals that I kept pushing to the bottom are going straight to the top. I’m not going to feel guilty those things are still undone. Well, I probably will feel guilty but I’m not going to let it stop me anymore. 

Bring it on, 2014. I’m ready for you. I’m going to write, design knitting patterns, edit, swing kettle bells, go exploring, ride my bike, take all of the photos, read books, sketch, spin yarn, and whatever else strikes my fancy. May it be an amazing, kick ass kind of year.  

Wander the Web 16

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Halloween has passed and we’re right at the start of November. How are there only 54 gift knitting days left? Good luck.

Oh, here are some fun things to distract you.

The Caketrope of Burton's Team - Hey, zoetropes are amazing and this one is even better because it’s made of cake.

Horror Story by Grant Snider

Make 4 Simple Goals before 2014 

Whimsical Illustrations from Everyday Objects by Javier Perez 

Duolingo - Never to late to start learning a new language or brush up on an one.

Incremental January

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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After taking a break through December and enjoying the holidays, I’m ready to get back to work. There are things to do, butts to kick, and yarn that won’t knit it itself. 2013 has arrived and I’m going to make it a year to remember. In order to do that, I need to start now and make daily, regular process. None of this waiting to the last minute stuff or running around like a headless chicken. 

The Too Long, Didn’t Read Version: Start now. Finish stuff. Be awesome. 

My theme for 2013 was to approach life with bold enthusiasm and there are a few things I need to clear up first to make that easier. Okay, make that a multitude of things. January's Incremental Project is to de-clutter and clean up my own little space in the world. It’s not really a skill - like spinning yarn or sketching - but it will make those things and daily life easier. If everything has a place, I won’t have to wander the house looking for a pair of scissors or spend 10 minutes trying to find my favorite shirt. That whole “Bold Enthusiasm” thing is much easier when I don’t waste my energy trying to find random object x. 

Yesterday, there was cleaning and scrubbing and vacuuming. This week there will be sorting, bagging, and dropping off/trading in all that stuff I don’t have a place for anymore. I might even tackle a closet but I’ll probably put that off until next week. Wish me luck.

2013

Hello, my fellow time travelers, and welcome to 2013! I’m quite happy to have seen 2012 out the door and I’m looking forward to kicking off the new year right. Last year, I had a few resolutions which, to be completely honest, I’ve completely forgotten about. Haven’t even bothered to look them up but they’re probably a mixed bag of success and failure. Instead of a long, blown out list of resolutions, I’m going with a theme this year all thanks to a lowly fortune cookie. Normally, I don’t put much stock into the prophetic power of fortune cookies. It’s much more fun to go around the table reading their innards aloud and tacking “between the sheets” on the end. More laughs that way. A few weeks ago at lunch, my fortune cookie’s advice was:

Approach all areas of life with a bold enthusiasm this year. 

After the reading and the necessary wink, I slipped the fortune into my pocket where it somehow survived the trip back home to my desk. I found it while cleaning out the drawers on December 30th and decided 2013 could use a bit of bold enthusiasm. 

I still have a few goals in mind - toning up, practicing yoga, designing more knitting patterns, saving up for a spinning wheel, etc - all of which could benefit from a bit of enthusiasm but I’m more interested in changing my mindset for the better rather than solely focusing on a disjointed set of resolutions. If I do it right, my goals will fall in nicely no matter the amount of work.  Time for me to hit the ground running. 

Anyone else running with a theme this year or a few resolutions? Good luck!

2012

It’s now 5 days into 2012 and I’ve managed to successfully write 2012 on everything requiring a date. Except for that last form but it did become a very exuberant ’12 afterward. I’m still easing into the whole idea of 2012 and trying to get myself running at full speed. Maybe it’s all this talk of resolutions or those to-do lists I write every day that are only half done but I feel like I should have already accomplished so much in the past 4.5 days. My goals should be reached. My to-do lists all done. Instead, I feel woefully unprepared. Feh.

Thankfully, my goal for this year doesn’t revolve around 24-hour productivity. It isn’t a manifesto and it isn’t even a list. It’s one sentence: 

Get out there. 

No more hiding. No more worrying. No more wussing out. Just get out there and do stuff. I think this is going to be a great year.

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Besides from that whole ‘I should have 20 million things done by now’ feeling, 2012 was been pretty awesome. I spent New Year’s Day with the Bearded One and a few friends and had a good time doing as little as possible. January 2nd, I decided to kick off my knitting year with a bang and cast on for a brand new scarf/shawl thing: Speedline by Alexandra Tinsley of dull-roar.com.

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That’s 2 rows of about 400 sts each in Tosh DK (Silver Fox and Candlewick for the curious among you). I love how dramatic the two color long tail cast on comes out. I’m also kicking myself for not thinking of it before. Anyway, 400 stitches. One row takes a long time and it hardly seems like I have anything to show for it; however, one row builds on another and I’m making steady, if slow, progress. In the end, I’ll have a great shawl (scarf?) that I’ll enjoy wearing all the more because of how effort I put in to it. This is a lesson I need to work into the rest of endeavors.

Any New Year’s goals on your side? I’d love to hear about them. Manifestos and lists welcome.