Much to report on my 365 Somethings Project this week! It was a very good week for discovering small ways to be creative in an otherwise crazily hectic week.
First, Mom’s scarf is coming along nicely. I think I have enough yarn to finish the color pattern and repeat it one more time.
Mom’s Scarf 3
Second, I am a huge fan of Taproot magazine. This weekend I decided to make a couple of dishes out of the Hearth issue. All I can say is that I hardly had time to get photographs before both dishes were gone.
Taproot’s Mushroom Stroganoff
Taproot’s Raspberry Clafoutis
Yesterday, we had a lovely, sunny day here in Seattle, so we took the boys for a two-and-a-half hour walk in the Lake Washington area, which gave me a great opportunity for some lovely spring photographs.
Cherry Tree with Pond
Branch of Cherry Blossoms
Seattle on a Sunny Day
Finally, I have been establishing a simple routine at night where I write from a prompt in the revised Writer’s Book of Days and draw from a prompt in The Creative License for just five minutes each. It seems to be working well for me, and I think it’s something I can stick with on even crazy, exhausting days.
So, I’m calling this a good week in terms of creativity!
I think this is next on my fiber agenda, if only because I need the bright colors at this time of year. I picked this kit up a few years ago at Knit Purl in Portland, but I’ve been a bit intimidated by the pattern. However, the time for intimidation is over. Besides, what’s the fun of a project without a bit of a learning challenge?
Onami Cowl Kit
2. Beading: I swapped the Color Workshop this week for two beading kits that I had tucked away a year ago. They made a nice change of pace, and I have one more to complete, but I think I’m ready to start creating my own bead combinations.
3. WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: This week’s challenge topic is A Face in the Crowd. Truth be told, I’m not thrilled with my entry. Then again, I can say that people never figure in my art or photography. So, I think mediocrity was probably my fate on this one. 🙂
And so, I have made it to week 5. Each week, I keep a short list in my notebook of what I want to accomplish creatively. This week, the list didn’t happen, primarily because I have a book to review and reading takes up my precious bits of creative time. Still, I did find ways to be creative.
1. Rachel Reinert’s Color Workshop: I managed to complete Rachel’s highlighting and shadowing project. I like how this turned out. Furthermore, I genuinely enjoyed the time I took to work through this project. I was very happily absorbed, and that feeling counts for a lot with me.
The highlighting and shadowing project in Color Workshop
2. William Sonoma’s The New Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken with Lemon Vinaigrette Couscous with Raisins: This one is absolutely delicious. The house smells fantastic with spices I don’t typically use, and hungry teens seem to be lurking in the shadows around the slow cooker. I’m calling that a win.
Moroccan Chicken with Lemon Vinaigrette Couscous with Raisins
3. Photography: I posted an entry in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge for the subject of variations on a theme. I have also been goofing around more with my Nikon D500 and Picasa and posted several pictures that made me smile.
4. Daily Prompt Books: This week I dabbled in some of my daily prompt books. I certainly didn’t do so with any consistency. Still, grabbing a prompt and writing or drawing for a few minutes let me exercise my creative muscle without feeling too invested in an outcome. The books I’m working through at the moment are Draw Every Day Draw Every Way and A Writer’s Book of Days, and they seem to suit me quite well. That said, I will not post any pictures from these exercises because I need a place to simply learn without an audience watching. (Thank you, Pierr, for the good advice.)
With that, I’ve completed my fifth week of the 365 Somethings Project. I think I’ve created enough of a fledgling habit to justify to myself announcing my goals and parameters for my project in my sixth week. So, it’s finally time to reveal my master plan . . . . 😉
2. Hoisin Pork and Vegetables from Prevention’s Ultimate Quick & Healthy Cookbook: I bought this cookbook not long after I married, and it quickly became a favorite before we had children. After that, the recipes seemed a bit labor intensive and the quantities too small for the time I had to cook and number I had to feed. This week, however, I found this recipe. After changing the proportions to twice the meat and noodles, three times the sauce, and at least three times the vegetables, it turned out really well, and I have leftovers for another meal.
Hoisin Pork and Vegetables
3. Ashley Cowl: Okay, we aren’t going to discuss this one, let alone photograph my progress this week. Let’s just say I learned that, as much as I’m determined to make progress, it’s better to stop when I’m tired or distracted. :/
4. WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: This week, the topic was silence. I’m still a bit on the fence about my photo, but I suppose it sometimes counts just to show up.
I’m toying with adding a daily or weekly writing prompt from one of my writing books and/or carrying a small sketchbook with me so I can doodle or make a fast sketch when I get a moment away from home. I think there is a balance to be found between being spread to thin among various endeavors and having different avenues of creativity for whatever circumstances I am in.
As I’m continuing to progress with this challenge while the rest of my life as a homeschooling mom of three on a hobby farm returns to our typical, chaotic pace, I’m slowly convincing myself that I can in fact complete this challenge. I am definitely enjoying the process at the very least. If I can just complete two more weeks, I will feel more than ready to commit my project goals and parameters to blog post and not look back.
This week, it feels as though I am getting in just under the wire. However, that’s still getting in, and I’m going to take that as success. My progress this week is as follows:
1. Rachel Reinert’s Color Workshop: Last week’s start on the burnishing project went from:
Rachel Reinert’s Color Workshop Burnishing Project in progress
Finished burnishing project
This project taught me about layering color with wax-based pencils and, less directly, about creating a color palette. Overall, I’m pretty pleased.
2. Ashley Cowl: I have to say this one was more of an exercise in patience this week. I was so delighted with my progress, only to look down and notice a glaring error which required laboriously removing about an inch of rows. As of tonight, I’m left with this, which I suspect is a zero net gain, but the error’s been corrected and shouldn’t recur. Truth be told, I learn so much more from my mistakes in knitting and crochet than I do from the parts that go seamlessly, so I guess that’s some consolation.
Ashley cowl – week 3
3. WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: The challenge word this week was “weathered.” I struggled with this one, but a quick walk out to the pastures on Friday to see if a predator was making our animals restless revealed ample subject matter. 🙂
4. Writers Happiness Challenge: A friend and I have agreed to support each other in this 30-day challenge, which takes just five minutes a day. The attraction for me is that this will allow me to create my perfect balance. I’m testing out a theory that I am happiest and most creative when I multitask between art, fiber art, and writing, rather than focusing exclusively on one. I am toying with the idea that multiple outlets helps to spur creativity in each.
Tonight, as I’m reviewing this week, I’m feeling a sense of frustration. I don’t feel like I’m creating anything of my own. That said, I am learning techniques and creating important habits, which should eventually lead to my own original work. I suppose a bit of patience is required.
(And another hat tip to my friend, Pierr, whose comment made me laugh out loud when I really needed it this week. Be thankful creativity finally struck, and you aren’t looking at a pictures of my toes. 🙂 )
Knowie, feelng less than impressed with her modeling experience