Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crafting By The Numbers

The vast majority of you have resolutions for the new year. I don't make resolutions but I certainly do make lists of things I want/need to accomplish both in my crafting and in my real life (my sisters all call me the List Queen). For me in my creative life I most definitely want to do MORE. Loads more than I was able to accomplish last year.

I also understand, by reading around in quilting blog land, that some of you went overboard in 2011, whether by design or not, and want to do LESS this year so that you can do other things like reading books, spend time with loved ones, whatever. I get that. I truly do.

So as is typical with me, my brain started churning yesterday while I was reorganizing my craft studio (and hoping that I get to spend a lot more time there this year) and I wondered if I should keep track of my progress to see how I am doing. Not long after that I had a light bulb moment! What if I put this on my blog and see who else wants to play along this year, to track just how much they actually DO (or not do as you wish) creative type things. I figured Why Not? Blog land is loaded with great swaps, quilt-alongs, giveaways and tutorials but I don't know of anyone organizing a "keep track of your crafting" endeavor. So I will.

This is how it will work. Each month you will track on a calendar page any day that you do something crafty whether it be quilting, sewing of another type, cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, painting, bead work, jewelry making, cake decorating, pattern making, scrapbooking or anything else that would qualify as actually creating something. That is the only rule....you must be creating. Not planning to create but truly creating something tangible.

What doesn't count? Thinking about or planning a project, shopping for supplies, blogging about whatever it is you are doing or planning on doing, attending a class unless you actually make something in the class, any form of cooking or baking though I am including cake decorating since you need to eat to survive but cake decorating is a creative endeavor. Hosting any blogisphere contest, QAL, hop or swap also doesn't count either (party pooper that I am). If you can't hold or touch it, it doesn't count.

How much time during a specific day you spending doing immersed in the creative process doesn't matter but I think it should be at least 15 minutes to be truly a crafty moment.  If you DO something during that day, give yourself a mark on your calendar (or if you are trying to do less this year, give yourself a mark if you don't do something crafty). At the end of the month, I'll do a linky post where you can post your progress towards your goal.
This isn't a contest. It isn't even a challenge. It is an initiative. As a friend recently mentioned it is important when you're trying to achieve a goal to check in on yourself regularly. And that is what this initiative is all about. Working towards you goal of creating MORE (or LESS).

So if you want to join in on the action, sign up in a comment below. Sign ups will actually stay open as you can join any time during the year, though if you truly want to track your progress you probably should "Start at the very beginning, a very good place to start" (as July Andrews sang in the Sound of Music). If you want to add my graphic for this crafting inititative to your blog, feel free. The more the merrier.

I really hope this idea catches on and keeps growing. For me, being an accountant in my non-crafty life, it is always all about the numbers and that typically leads me to keeping track of things. If we all can encourage and spur each other on over the coming year to DO MORE (or DO LESS if that is what you so choose), than maybe by the next New Year's Eve every one of us will be thrilled by all the wonderful things we've been able to do (or not do at all).

Ok, so I've spent enough time getting this up and running. Now it is time to get busy!

2 of you added your own colorful comments:

Kristen said...

Although I generally tend to overwhelm myself with resolutions this time of year, I think this one is wonderfully simple and effective. I might go out and buy a pretty quilty calendar (on sale since it's January) to hang up in my sewing room and mark on it each day I get in there to work on something.

Quiltsmiles said...

Hi Michele, I think this idea is the cat's meow!
I went out and purchased a white board calendar near the end of September and started it right off. What a difference it makes.
I try to find 15 minutes a day to create. That time extends to longer bits of time and I really am getting may things done. I'll be sharing a snap of my board at the end of September for all my blgging friends to see.

Thank you! Jane