Thursday, January 17, 2019

Going Deeper 2019 Challenge

Recently, a friend sent me this little missive. For whatever reason, this resonated with me. Possibly because I had just had two or three people ask what "new craft" my daughter had gifted me for Christmas, and I had explained that she suggested I get more involved in the crafts I already had. Separately of course, these two things have nothing in common. But as I looked at the new retirement year, and how I wanted to live such year, I did realize that instead of reaching out for new opportunities, maybe I should dive deeper into the ones I had.

Somehow I expect that's a terrible metaphor.

But for the past few years, every year I have added a new, craft or skill or interest. And it's come to me that there are still layers or layers of ways to explore, learn and develop in that studio of mine already. Just in the quilting area alone, there are tons of things I can (and do want) to learn to do. I want to learn to use the embroidery stitches on my sewing machine, to learn how to free motion quilt. I want to make an art quilt, and practice making a landscape quilt. 

My machine has all these things and more and oh, the things I could do with them!

Never mind just regular sewing, the fact that I have pastels never used, two kinds of watercolors, oils, acrylics, watercolor pencils, and assorted papers and brushes. And that's just the art supplies. I have knitting supplies and skills never practiced a mini loom never used-heck the list goes on. I have a whole set of essential oils and other supplies given to me. I've made two natural products as Christmas gifts. I've never even researched their properties, what each is best for, or any of the other things I have wanted to do. 

Yes, both pan and tube watercolors, most unused!

See how pristine most of those brushes look>
Unlike the article suggestion, I'm not promising to not start anything new, or never buy things I don't need. Mainly because my creativity style is such that I buy the yarn, fabric, groceries even and then decide what to make with those things. And since I've downsized my library, no new books is not an option (albeit I am mainly a library type of gal). While I save money in the process (will save), this is more of a mental challenge to myself than it is a frugal one. And it meshes nicely with my goal to re-use and re-purpose as I, for example, learn how to knit or weave with T-shirt yarn and other fabrics.

I am a dabbler, a flit here and flit there kind of person, and someone who never met a new thing she didn't want to try. While I'm not going to ignore that as such, I am going to try and move that natural habit more in the direction of deeper exploration of the things I already have and do. I have downloaded Great Courses unfinished. I also have boxes of really old family memorabilia and photos to search through and document-while this may not exactly meet the challenge, it meets the spirit and I'm going to learn a great deal along the way!  

 My goals for the year included learning three new skills. I'm going to do that, but by going deeper with the skills, general stuff and supplies on hand. Instead of learning a new language , I'm going to take the language I have, and try and bring it to fluency (which I never truly had) by reading German papers and news online, and practicing speaking.

Yep, they have quilting magazines in German as well! 

 I'm a very basic knitter, for whom there are so many skills and tools and methods to be learned. I'm going to research those various cast on stitches, learn to make cables and yes, maybe learn to crochet as well. I'm gonna learn everything I can about those essential oils and their healing properties. Instead of learning to can, I'm going to learn more freezer recipes and try new and frugal slow cooker recipes. And read all those free low cost books I've downloaded from various websites that are sitting on my kindle, be they books of fiction or cookbooks. 

My first two challenges? To completely sew together a quilt I walked away from last summer, and to use some online tutorials to learn how my watercolor pencils (never used) work and make some messes I am sure along the way.

I'll let ya know how it goes.


  1. I love your idea of going deeper into crafts and hobbies you already have. There are lots of things with knitting, for example, that I'd like to try...four needle socks for one. Cable stitches are fun once you get the hang of it and I'm looking forward to your adventures in going deep.

    1. So they say. Heck, I'm not even into set in sleeves yet, lol

    2. If you can do an increase and decrease stitches you can do set in sleeves.

  2. Going deeper into crafts you already do or have the equipment for is a wonderful idea. You are going to be very busy.

    God bless.

  3. That's so great that you are not afraid to try new things. I have a long list of projects to work on but what I don't have is a lot of free time, so it all has to wait until summer, when I'm off from work. Do you follow Sue Spence, the textile artist? She embroiders beautiful little trees.

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