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I am entirely too satisfied with myself.
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Screening of Handmade Nation
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When you have limited opportunity to craft, it can be terribly annoying to have time but no ideas. The desire to be creative is present, but sometimes it’s hard not to get bogged down in all the ordinary stuff, or else to be overwhelmed with prospects. I made this list of a year’s worth of weekly projects. I’m going to try and make something each week. Hopefully this will encourage me to blog weekly as well, ha ha ha.
The purpose of these is not really to make something you love. It’s more to give you new ways to look at the world and new places to find inspiration, or just give you some vague guidelines in which to work. You can do these in any order and take as long as you want with each one. The result can be as intricate or as simple as you like. Just try to think outside the box and bring your style to everything you make.
1. Go through your craft supplies and find something that you forgot that you had. Create a project centered on this item.
2. Do a craft that you enjoyed as a child. What did you like about it then? What do you like about it now? Can you update or change the technique so it suits how you craft today?
3. Think of your favorite place to be. Make a list of all the things you enjoy about this place, describe how it makes you feel. Make something to remind you of this place.
4. Go somewhere different for supplies. It could be the thrift store, the hardware store, even the grocery store. Find something exciting to use.
5. Go somewhere public and people watch for 30 minutes. Find something inspiring in the people around you. Perhaps it’s the pattern on a woman’s dress or a snippet of conversation, be as abstract as you like.
6. Go for a walk and find something on the ground that inspires you. Embellish it, reconstruct it, or incorporate it into your work.
7. Find a craft buddy to be your partner. Each of you make a list of random words that you like. Exchange lists and create a craft based on one of your partner’s words.
8. Use something you would usually throw away.
9. Write down some of your secrets and find a creative way to share them with the world.
10. Go to a library or bookstore and find the craft and hobby section. Close your eyes and grab a random book and then turn to a random page. Make the craft on that page or use it as a starting point.
11. Go outside and cloud watch. Make a craft incorporating what you see, whether it be bunnies or boats or severed heads.
12. Grab something you own but don’t really like. Fix it so you love it.
13. Get a blank piece of material (paper, fabric, whatever). Decorate it however you like and then make something with it.
14. Go to a dollar store and make something using only things that you purchase there. Spend less than $10.
15. Grab 15 to 20 random supplies. Jumble them up, close your eyes, and select 4. You can add other things if you like, but these 4 things must be in the project.
16. Make a monster or mythological beast.
17. You’re ruler for the week. Make yourself a crown.
18. If money and time where no object, where would you like to visit? Research this place and discover its crafty roots. Is it known for a local craft? Is there a famous craftsperson from there? Make something based on what you find.
19.Take an item and make it into something else. Maybe a tea towel into an apron or some hardware into a necklace.
20.Fix something broken.
21. What scares you and why? Craft it into something that isn’t scary anymore.
22. Write down ten words that you feel describe you. Go to Google Images or Flickr and search each one. Make a craft based on an image you find.
23. What is your favorite holiday? Research its origins and make something in the true spirit of the holiday.
24. Make a gift for someone you love.
25. Are you having a bad week? Make something to cheer yourself up!
26. Embellish something you’ve bought that’s too boring.
27. You’re in a band. Make some swag for your loyal fans.
28. Learn a new craft or technique.
29. Spend 15 minutes writing stream of consciousness. Find something inspiring that’s already hiding in your brain.
30. Start an idea board or journal. Collect things that inspire you.
31. Make a list of things you couldn’t live without. Interpret one of them into craft, try and explain why it’s so important to you.
32. Use your powers for good. Make something for someone in need.
33. Make a collage. It can be out of any materials you want and in any shape you like, go crazy.
34. Create your own craft exhibition. Make small works of art and leave them around town for people to find.
35. Do you have something to celebrate? Make a cake in any way you like. Paper, fabric, metal, flour? It’s up to you. Just make sure it reflects your personal style!
36. Try something you’ve been wanting to do but lacked the confidence to try.
37. Don’t get discouraged! Finish a project you gave up on or give a project you had trouble with a second chance.
38. Break some crafting stereotypes! Do something unexpected in your project.
39. Guerilla craft time! Make something to beautify a public place (preferably something removable so you don’t get in trouble).
40. Make something very big or something very small.
41. Spend thirty minutes at the bookstore or library or checking out blogs. Find a new project to try.
42. Urban life getting you down? Make something decidedly natural. (Do the reverse if you’re in a more rural setting.)
43. Make something boring and utilitarian prettier.
44. Make a project based on a song or poem that you love.
45. Craft so that the finished project contains nothing purchased. You can use purchased things in the process, like glue or a blender, but the finished project must be only found and free objects.
46. Get nostalgic. Look at the library, used book store, or online for a distinctly vintage craft.
47. Make something to hold one of your favorite treasures.
48. Feeling a bit naughty? Make something sexy.
49. Chronicle something average or commonplace in you day in craft.
50. Help spread the craftiness. Teach a craft to someone else.
51. Go to a craft show or art exhibit and find something that you love. Talk to the artist. Make something that represents why you craft.
52. Make some very creative snail mail and send it to someone who inspires you.
I’ll (hopefully) be posting my weekly projects. I’d love to see how other people interpret these too. If you want your project to be featured, just e-mail me a link at email@example.com and I’ll include it in my weekly post. (Please make the subject “Once Weekly #____” so I can keep them straight.)
I know there are lots of people who dislike thrift stores. They’re often smelly, full of weird and dirty things, and who wants to think about where some of these items have been? Personally though, I LOVE them. Saturday morning was thrift shopping time for as far back as I can remember. I think it’s the possibilities that are so exciting. The hidden corners of old stores, what treasure might be hiding in the bins and racks. Things that you can’t find anywhere else. I think I’ve mentioned before I have an odd love of truly ugly 70′s things, thrift stores are the only place to find this stuff.
Even if you don’t find something you like, isn’t it fun to go with someone and show each other the crazy things that can be found there? I know my mom and I were constantly calling each other over the aisle only to hold up some ghastly thing and giggle.
So if you couldn’t tell what this was leading to, I had a very successful thrift store excursion.
This little guy was about $2. I have such an owl thing lately. I’m trying to decide how I want to paint him. He might look neat painted all one bright color, like turquoise or green or red?
I have had excellent luck with sheets at this store. Every time I go I’ve found at least one I like. It’s awesome being able to get close to six yards of fabric for just a few dollars. This one has that blue and red combo I love.
I also grabbed these cute plates. I found two of the second one and it was only 40 cents for all three of them. I like having plates and jars to hold things, and I think the the ones with the yellow borders would be sweet under small potted plants.
Big news guys! The first batch of meme patterns in for sale through the awesome Mr X Stitch. Please buy some!
It got me all inspired again, so I decided I wanted to extend the meme quilt. There are just too many awesome memes I wanted to include. Here are some of the new ones!
I’ve been making these little patchwork quilts, and they are too much fun. (If you couldn’t tell, since I made seven of them!) They are lap or baby quilt sized, 36″ by 45″. You just need 20 10″ squares (I used a 1/2″ seam allowance) and then enough for the backing. It’s a goo way to use up some smaller pieces and really cute.
That yellow floral again, I wish I had more!
I have enough batting for one more quilt, but I can’t decide what fabric to use. What do you think?
Here was the other item I got on my trip to Hobby Lobby.