This past week marks the 52nd week of The Weekly Make. That's right. A full year of intentional creativity. An entire 365 days when I have thought about putting my creative resources to good use and actually followed through to the completion of much creative goodness.
At the risk of sounding a little over-inflated (although this is my blog, so I guess I'm allowed a little pride now and then), let me just say that I am very impressed with myself. This is the first time in my life that I have ever set a self-imposed goal with no external drive, deadline, or authority, and have actually followed through. This is the very first time I have ever been truly self-disciplined and self-motivated with any sort of regularity. This is my first experience setting a long term goal for myself and then actually achieving it. Maybe that tells you a little something about what the rest of my life has looked like. Maybe not. It's not that I'm lazy. It's not that I haven't accomplished anything. I wouldn't say that The Weekly Make is the greatest achievement of my lifetime. But everything else that I've ever done for more than a week at a time has been the product of some external motivator. So to have completed a full year of weekly makes where I was only accountable to myself (and a handful of faithful readers)...it is no small thing. And I must say that I'm proud of myself. Way to go, Robin.
So I'm going to celebrate. And this celebration will have 3 parts:
1) What I Have Learned
2) What I Have Made, and
3) Another Giveaway (which I have put into a separate post because this one was too long for people to see it.)
What I Have Learned
This comes in three little parts of its own:
A) I do what I desire. Honestly, I think that's why I was able to get through this year without ever completely slacking off. Because I really want to make things and get better at making them. I have a deep, strong, ever-present desire to be creative.
B) When I don't have the energy to support my desire, I need a muse. I used to think that in my own power and personality, I had everything I needed to be a creative person. In small bursts, that's true. But over a long period of time, I need to go looking elsewhere for that spark. When I can't summon my imagination at will or conjure the necessary energy to create, I have a choice to make. I can either sink into myself in an endless downward spiral of despair, or I can look for help where it can be found. Inspiration is not something I have to conjure, and it is not something I have to wait for. I can go looking for it. And it really is all around me if I will just turn my eyes right side out and choose to be inspired by what is available to me.
C) Discipline is a necessary factor. Sometimes I just don't feel like doing anything. And on those days, I need to exercise discipline. It's a necessary fact. I've known this about writing--and I guess about all sorts of artistic expression--for a long time. But The Weekly Make is the first time I've really put it into practice. I made things when I didn't feel like making things because I knew that if I was disciplined, creativity would become a lifestyle rather than something I did now and then. Creativity is no longer just an abstract part of who I am. It has become a practical part of my life. And it's not governed solely by my whims or the chance of inspiration finding me. It's something that I make space for...something I expect from myself with regularity. I used to approach projects with big ideas, knowing that there was a good chance that even if I started, I probably wouldn't finish because I didn't have the skills to meet my vision. But now I have confidence that if I put the materials in my hands, I will be able to finish something that wasn't there before. Discipline is what gives me that power week after week.
So left-brained Robin has decided that my equation is as follows:
A Creativity Lifestyle = desire + inspiration + discipline
And with those things in place, I can do this. I can be the person I want to be. I can become more of who I am. And that is something to celebrate.
What I Have Made
Since the beginning of last year, I have kept a running list of the things I have made. Rather than making you scroll through my archives, it's all right here:
Week 1: Disney World Purse
Week 2: Greek/Twilight/Stump Picture, Little Red Riding Hood Picture
Week 3: A New York Cheesecake, Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes, Raspberry Vinaigrette
Week 4: Rooster apron
Week 5: Wool felted balls, Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake
Week 6: Triptych
Week 7: Munchkin Cards
Week 8: Gryffindor Scarf and Hogwarts Pitcher
Week 9: Roots and Wings Drawing
Week 10: Pigwidgeon
Week 11: Menorahs
Week 12: Jason's birthday cake
Week 13: Mothers' Day Aprons (gardening, kitchen), Recipe Book
Week 14: Skip
Week 15: Spinning
Week 16: Tree Wall-hanging
Week 17: Sonnet for my Tree
Week 18: Chicken/Angel Hair/Parmesan Dinner, ChocRasp Bundt Cake, Upcycle Skirt
Week 19: Strawberry Jam and Strawberry Lemon Marmalade
Week 20: Amadeus
Week 21: Banana bread
Week 22: Wand
Week 23: Wand bag and Gnargle necklace for HPatHBP
Week 24: Banana bread, spaghetti sauce, clean dresser, switch rooms, pear plate
Week 25: Blanket and bumper for Molly
Week 26: Dying Wool
Week 27: Bacon Pasta Meal
Week 28: Crazy Quilt Project
Week 29: [Fabric Collage]
Week 30: [Pin Cushions]
Week 31: Parmesan Striper
Week 32: Angora Goats Contest Essay
Week 33: Apple Butter and Mango Salsa
Week 34: 2 Aprons for my mom
Week 35: More aprons, spinning
Week 36: Apple Butter
Week 37: Felted Pumpkin and Flower (<-- I didn't blog about that) Week 38: Felted Acorns, Horacio
Week 39: Felted Pumpkins, Acorns, Bernie and Henry, Designed Display, Made Sign
Week 40: Learned to crochet and felted another pumpkin
Week 41: 2 granny squares
Week 42: [started Megan's gnome and Amy's bag]
Week 43: sheep ornaments
Week 44: cathedral window light wall-hanging for Kalos
Week 45: headband special order, felted teddy bears, acorn ornament, josiah's hat, molly's bird, mom's camel, my headband
Week 46: dad's wall-hanging, jason's ornament, amy and megan's headbands [mom's apron]
Week 47: 5 slippers (megan and amy's plus one), finished cabinet
Week 48: square crochet motif
Week 49: "hope" abstract/symbolic crayon drawing
Week 50: hexagon crochet motif
Week 51: Puff Oven Pancake
Week 52: [Granny Square Blanket]
Note: When things are in [ ]'s, it means that project was either done as a make-up for that week or is still not finished.
Wow. That took a long time to link. Looking back, I only had 2 weeks that I made up for during another week, 4 unfinished projects, and only one week that I skipped entirely. I'd say that's a pretty good record, don't you think?
It's kind of crazy to think that a year ago, I made my first solo-sewing project. I have so many more skills and resources now and so much more confidence. Looking at this list, I feel like I can do anything!!