New Year; New Planner; New Plans!

Hope everyone had a terrific holiday season! Hard to believe it has come and gone already. Ours was very low key which is exactly what we needed. It was nice to take a step back from all the crazy hecticness of every day life and dial it back a bit for two weeks. By far my top three times of the holiday season are Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. Christmas Eve is so magical- the lights, the stockings, the kids’ excitement for the arrival of Santa. Boxing Day is the best because we don’t leave the house. We lounge by the tree, reading books and doing activities that we got for Christmas and eat leftovers all day. So relaxing. And we really believe that New Year’s Eve requires a little….sparkle….or pizazz. So we always plan a fun little excursion that sets the day apart from all the others. This year we headed downtown where we spent the night. We went to the hotel pool, ate delicious food, and spent time together. My husband and I saw the fireworks reflected in the windows of a nearby office building which was perfect as it was about -38C that night so we were more than happy to stay nice and cozy inside!

There’s just something inspiring about a New Year, isn’t there? This year I am trying very hard to focus on the notion of creativity. I’m trying to do a better job of breaking down my days into categories and sticking to it: ie. book writing days, hooking days, teaching preparation days etc. What I really noticed from the past year was that I have trouble giving myself permission to take a day a week to explore new techniques or ideas. For some reason, particularly if my schedule is really full, this is the first thing that gets eliminated from my timetable. And I really think that that has to change. So this year I am building in a “Creativity” day a week.

Enter my new planner. I am definitely a planner person and always have one to keep track of our family schedule. But this year I wanted to have a separate one for my art/work. One that I can brainstorm in, sketch in, capture fleeting ideas and break down my work days better. This is the one I chose (see above) and I’m super excited to see how filled it will be by the end of the year!

I was also approached by a fibre art friend to join her in committing to making something new each week of this year. We call it “Work Week” and it is a really great way to stay accountable and to also get feedback from someone else about what you are doing. Over the holidays I jotted down a quick list of all of the projects that I want to tackle this year using this concept. All of those things that have been shuffled to the bottom of the pile because I just haven’t made time for them. Doing it this way, I plan to tackle a small, likely 5″ x 7″ piece each week using a material or technique that I have been wanting to explore for some time. The small size keeps it doable to complete in a week or so, and also has the benefit of keeping me focused on the purpose. The purpose is to experiment- not to necessarily end up with a phenomenal, ready to sell piece. Just keeping that in the back of my mind is already freeing as I have a tendency to think of things as a waste of time if they don’t end up “perfect.” Through this process, “imperfection” may actually be more of a learning process than perfection.

This doesn’t mean that I will not be doing larger projects. I am very close to completing my larger project (I feel like I have been saying that a lot lately but it is true!) and have several other large projects coming up. But I will also be making time for these smaller experiments and who knows, they may lead to larger projects as well!

I found it a struggle over the holidays to get started on my first “Work Week” project because the kids were still off school and I wanted to spend time with them. I wasn’t idle though. It seems every couple of years I get the crochet bug and I binge crochet and then set it aside again. This seemed to be the year and so I ended up crocheting myself a large, cozy blanket that I love.

Then I decided to do a project for each of the kids. I just finished up this blanket for my daughter, and have embarked on a “Volcano Bag” for my son. These were no super creative projects as I was following patterns, but the time I have spent on them allowed me to get into the rhythym of the motion of crocheting which freed my mind to contemplate some of my own work. And, the kids were super happy with their crocheted goodies!

I have my next Work Week project ready to start and will keep you updated each week as I embark on these adventures. I hope that you find your own way of tapping into your creativity in 2018!

Karen

P.S. The Volcano Bag pattern can be found at www.yarnutopia.com/2017/02/02/volcano-bag

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