Welcome to our new and improved Creativity Support Pod for 2021! Much like last year, this will be a space to focus on any kind of creative goals, learning, and expression. Whether it’s music, art, writing, crafting, or any other kind of creative outlet, here’s the place to keep track of your goals, ask questions, and celebrate each other’s achievements!
I have so many projects I would love to finish this year (or at least make some headway on).
There’s my Hobbit quilt, my Labyrinth quilt, all the different fabrics I got to try making pjs/pj pants, all of the cross stitching…
Yes. I cast on a pattern that I posted on the yarn/thread work board.
And ripped it out and started over.
I’ll be happy if I get it finished by the end of the year.
I was trying to think of concrete creativity goals for the year and ended up just thinking of projects that I wanted to do or specific techniques I wanted to learn, so I think my main creative goal for the rest of the year is going to be to pick one big project to work on for the month and really try to chunk it down so I can spread out the process. I tend to latch onto ideas, ponder supplies and equipment for AGES, and then attack the project in one go and have nothing to do until the next idea hits…which like, is okay, but it leaves me with a lot of time where I want to be working on something but don’t have anything in-progress to work ON, which is no fun.
I was also thinking of organizing a selection of more “busywork” crafts/projects to keep on hand for when I’m in a making mood but either don’t have enough time to put in real work on the big project or am between projects or waiting for supplies. I have a few things in mind, and I definitely have some supplies (yarn…it’s all yarn) stockpiled that could go towards this endeavor, I just need to put in the time to catalogue what I have and pick out the things I could do with my supplies.
My best friends are having a baby this year, and I’m bound and determined to create a quiet book.
Haven’t started making a dent on my creativity goals yet, but I am getting the crafting space better organized!
Repurposing the cabinet I had dishes in at the old place to keep my fabric/cross stitch things, making more room in the original craft drawers for yarn and other stuff. And the old kitchen table is becoming my craft table so I can actually sit and sew.
Might have some space to lay out those big pattern pieces once things are settled!
This year, I want to work on developing creative skills period. Creativity hasn’t really been an outlet for me since my photography class in my sophomore year of college, and even then, that was usually limited to my work in class. Art classes have always provided a structure for me to explore my creative pursuits, but once they’re over, I kind of let them go by the wayside.
Now, though, I’m an adult, and while I could take virtual art classes, I’m not sure I want to use my free time being on more Zoom calls than I have to be. However, I want to work on two skills this year: wood burning and playing the melodica. It’s still a bit too cold for me to practice wood burning (I’m nervous about practicing inside), but since the New Year, I have found time to practice the melodica. I have run into a couple of problems with this (namely, I haven’t played a musical instrument since 2012 and have forgotten how to quickly read sheet music, but I’ve also never played piano before, so it’s like I’m doing that while having to focus on breath control), but I’m definitely making progress. Right now, I’m cycling through a couple of songs so I can work on each of them, and while I can’t quite play them all the way through without stopping, I am getting close!
I don’t have a good way to model my progress because posting video or audio recording is not forum memory friendly, but maybe if I get better, I’ll start recording and uploading them as unlisted on YouTube. For wood burning, I’ve already got some wood to work with, but that will be easier to do since I can just take photos! In the meantime, I look forward to seeing all the great work you do and cheering you on!
So…I think I’ve sort of stuck to my goal? Not quite as-intended, but along the same idea. I didn’t end up planning ahead very well, so I didn’t get long-term crochet project or anything similar ready. Partly because the urge to make stuff has been slightly outweighed by the desire to be reading books that I don’t have access to the audiobook for immediately…so I’ve been leaning towards the books. However! I’ve been wanting to learn how to use Procreate, so I’ve been working in little chunks of time to acclimate myself to using an apple pencil and trying to different brushes. Soon I’m going to pick out a few Skillshare tutorials to follow, once I’ve found my own way around the basics.
I did pick a longer-term project though - there’s some etsy sellers that have old by-mail, draft-at-home vintage patterns (which is the most size-inclusive of the vintage sewing pattern options)…and I’d really like to do some of those. I figured I’d start easy with a pajama shirt - something easy to make and I have a couple length of flannel in the stash already. I got my pattern over the weekend and tried the draft-at-home part…and quickly found some flaws in my setup that need to be fixed first. But! I did the smart thing and didn’t try to pull an all-nighter to get it done! I stopped at a reasonable spot and made a plan to come back to…which is something!
Some of you may or may not know, but I wrecked my ankle like a month or so before quarantine hit where I live last year. There were some blessings in disguise at the timing of it, but mostly it was super tough. I don’t really think being injured gets any better than difficult though, but anyways.
I was a very active and busy gal prior to the utter betrayal of the carpet underneath my shoes. That sucked a whole lot more during lockdown because physical activity has always been a major stress release for me, and that’s when I needed it most.
After a literal year I’m finally on the last leg of my healing journey, but it was a serious enough injury that my ankle will never be at 100% ability and function of what it was. Part of this last leg is slowly working back to more physical activity than walking or stairs. Which is why I’m posting here.
Y’ALL I MISSED DANCE SO MUCH.
I missed moving. I missed creating. I missed the outlet it provides. Heck I even missed how great it feels to do my full stretching routine.
So one of my goals for 2021 is to dance more days than I don’t.
Sounds wishy-washy but dance is a form of expression. If I put it on a strict schedule I won’t want to create anything ever. So instead, my goal is to dance more days in a week than I don’t. Even if it’s only one song all the way through, or if it’s just me dancing around my house while I do chores. I want to set myself up for enjoyment and creation, not stress and worries about not being productive.
Some days (usually when I don’t work) it feels great to spend an hour working on different skills and techniques that I haven’t thought about in ages. Not going to lie, other days, (usually after a long shift) my ankle hurts, and it’s tough, but instead I’ll work on like isolation or stuff specifically in my upper body or arms (like tutting or whacking or whatever the flavour of the day is.)
So far, overall, it’s been great just to be able to move again without a huge amount of pain. And I’ve kept to it! I’m achieving that goal for now, and as my body can handle it I’d like to push it to longer sessions and more days, but at the end of the day it’s still that same simple goal: more days than I don’t.
A sub goal is to also film myself free styling, because I have like no footage of me dancing outside of practice videos for old performances, since I’m usually the one behind the camera. That one has been … less successful. But I want to see my growth as a dancer, and I want to see what I create, and it also holds me accountable. Maybe I’ll actually upload or post some somewhere, but they’re more for me than other people anyways, so who knows.
The reason I’m posting in here, though, is to keep myself accountable. Putting stuff in writing and posting it publicly makes it more official than a thought in my head.
Also the reason I’m posting is to remind all the creators out there that creating is difficult, and it’s tough to measure progress you can’t always see. So be kind to yourselves, and don’t lose sight of why it is you create in the first place.
I want to try and nail down an outline (at least a rough one) for my novel. I’ve finally figured out that i can plan each of the sub stories and then tie them all together. then plan each scene…then work my way down to actually writing the book.
So my February crafting/creativity looked almost nothing like what I expected it would. I had planned to work on one sewing project that involved drafting a pattern completely myself…and quickly realized that I needed some extra tools. In the meantime, I got onto an etsy page selling vintage “draft at home” sewing patterns - the only vintage patterns I’ve ever come across that are accessible for my size. So I got one of those and was going to work on that…only to find that the fabric in my stash wasn’t quite enough for the pattern. So finally this last weekend I decided to try out another online pattern retailer that provides custom-sized pattern pdfs of the designs in their (hugely extensive) catalogue…so no drafting, but lots of assembling printed pages.
I also picked back up a crochet project that uses a pretty labor/time/yarn-intensive stitch, so I’ve been working on it on-and-off for a couple years…and I’m getting ready to start a new cross-stitch project.
So for March it’s looking like my “big” projects will be finishing the two sewing things I’ve started, and I’ve got some crochet and cross-stitch for when I need a quick craft-y break.
As desperately tempted as I’ve been to go back and edit earlier sections of my working draft, I have resisted!
I’m learning that I can’t possibly plan out every detail, and that it’s ok to just see where the story goes and be surprised by what I find. The only way I’m going to sort out this magic system is to write through it and let the characters show me how it works. My biggest stumbling block has been fretting that I’ve implied something about the magic and the Big Secret that I don’t want to imply, even though I logically know that stuff is for sorting out in revisions. But I’m slowly getting better at ignoring that worry.
Now I just have to work on getting more words down in a session.
So a few years ago (before moving to this house) I had joined a knitting group that met at a Panera ten minutes from my old house. I had to stop going because it was too much of a drive from the new house.
Then lockdown, and sometime last year Meetups started sending out automated messages that the group account would be shut down if no one took up the owner/leadership mantle.
Someone did step up, and initiated virtual meetings on zoom. So now I’ve ‘met’ one person who lives 20 minutes from me, and I don’t know how, but because he made it open to the public, we talk to other knitters from California, Florida, and Washington DC. I know there were other knitters who I haven’t met yet because they showed up on days I wasn’t there, but.
On any other day I’m averaging two/three rows a day. But during these knitting meet-ups I get at least six rows done, so it’s been helping a lot with getting my project done.
I also joined a “get it done” make-along on Ravelry for accountability. Now I’ve got 20 rows left to do on the front piece, then I just need to do the sleeves and seaming!
I’m ever more impatient, the closer I get to finishing. I can’t wait to see what it all looks like and more importantly, how it fits!
That sounds like a lovely group, Connie!