Saturday, January 28, 2023

The 100 Day Project 2023 starts February 22

Starting February 22, commit to 100 days of creating!

#The100DayProject starts February 22, 2023.

What makes a good 100 Day Project?

Friends that have seen my previous 100 Day Projects say they don't know what they could do for this project. It's not difficult. Consider your answers to the following questions when choosing a 100 Day project:

  • Is there something you've been yearning to learn?
  • what do you want to get better at?
  • is there something you want to spend more time doing?
  • is there a skill you want to develop?

Set yourself up for success!

My tips for creating parameters around a 100 Day Project are:

  • Make your project something you can do in about 5 minutes. If you have more time, or are really "in" to working on your project that day, you can always spend more time on it.
  • Pick something you're excited about... something you'll get more excited about as you see the progress you make as you go through 100 days.
  • Don't make your project too complex. Something small or simple can turn into something fabulous once you're done it (or made it) 100 times.
  • Think about the tools, equipment, supplies, and work space you need to work on the project. Because I travel, I need my supplies and project to be portable. A sketchbook, a zipper pouch with tools, a small baggie of supplies, all tucked into a tote bag works best for me.

My previous 100 Day Projects

This is my third year doing The 100 Day Project. To give you a few ideas that may help you decide what to do, these are the projects I've done in the past. 

Last year, 2022, I did 100 Days of Stitching with Found Objects,

My hand stitched fabric scrolls from 2022.

and 100 Days of Printmaking with hand-carved stamps.

Three sketchbooks filled with prints made with my hand-carved stamps.

In 2021, I did 100 Days of fussy cutting 3/4" hexagons

My collection of English paper pieced 3/4" hexagons, each with a fussy-cut image.

and 100 Days of Mindful Mark-making.

My sketchbook with 100 days of mindful mark making patterns.

It's about Process

The 100 Day Project is all about PROCESS. Show up every day and do that one thing. You can't help but get better at, or more comfortable with, or learn how to ______ (fill in your project) if you do it for 100 days.

The 100 Day Project: a free, global, online art project.

Just do The 100 Day Project. I'll be right there with you.
Follow my 100 Day progress on Instagram: @veronica.fiberantics. 


Sunday, January 22, 2023

Art journaling the month with Junk Journal January

I have a collection of really cool art supplies—acrylic paints, gel mediums, stencils, various papers and collage materials—from several workshops I took at Ephemera Paducah. I love these supplies! And it's fun to get messy and creative with them. But it's been a while...

Junk Journal January 2023.

Happily, serendipity presented itself in December when I discovered the Junk Journal January Challenge, an online challenge hosted by Meg of @megjournals. This would be just the thing to motivate and inspire me to work with my art journaling supplies. 

Making my Junk Journal

A junk journal is the perfect recycling project! Go to the waste basket and pull out all kinds of papers— brown paper bags, old envelopes, mailers, old calendars, cereal boxes, etc.—in essence, "junk." For my journal, I recycled old sales boards and flyers for my 3-signature, hand sewn journal.

Recycle old papers and envelopes to create a junk journal.

Three signatures were sewn into the spine. Each signature is between 16 - 24 pages. The journal cover is 8.5" x 5.75" and the inside pages are slightly smaller at approximately 5.5" x 8.5". I made the cover slightly larger to accommodate any collage elements or embellishments that might extend beyond the inside pages.

Journal spine showing three signatures sewn into it.

Filling the journal pages with art

Bring out all the art-making goodies: paints, brushes, stencils, glue sticks, my hand-carved rubber stamps, decorative tapes, and collected ephemera! A box of yarn crumbs, paper bits and cut-offs from other stitching and art projects were also gathered to play along in this art festival. 

Work area with junk journal supplies and tools.

The Day 1 prompt was "Resolutions," which turned into my prescription for what to use in my journal. Lots of the other participants interpreted this prompt in a similar way. (Who makes New Year's resolutions any more, anyway??)

Day 1 prompt: Resolutions.

Responses to the daily prompts can be single pages or 2-page spreads. Here are other pages and spreads that have been created in my junk journal so far.

Day 2: Starry (left) and Day 3: Stained (right).

A junk journal is also a great space to try out new art supplies... like Posca paint pens. The page for the "Decorated Tag" prompt was fittingly embellished with these pens. 

Day 4: Decorated Tag (left) and Day 5: Routine (right).

The "Stitched" prompt deserved a 2-page spread. Strands of embroidery floss, knit swatches and other bits from the yarn box came into play for this prompt.

Day 6: Stitched

Sometimes I find a quote that incorporates the prompt.

Day 9: Shimmer

I want to find more opportunities to incorporate stitch and fibers into the pages. Stitching and threads provide an exciting tactile aspect to the pages.

Day 13: Hobbies (left) and Day 14: From the Day (right).

Rounding the halfway point

Today is Day 22 and Junk Journal January is more than half way through! It's been a good exercise to flex the art muscles, get reacquainted with my art supplies, do a little up-cycling, and be messy and creative for [at least] a few minutes a day. 


Sunday, January 15, 2023

The Inclinations Shawl: a great start to Make Nine 2023

A "yarn stash" project looks to be my Make Nine stash-buster project this year. Last week, I started knitting the Inclinations Shawl.

Starting the Inclinations Shawl for Make Nine 2023. 

Why I like the Inclinations Shawl for a stash buster knit

I was researching a portable project that was mindful and relaxing. It needed to be something interesting, but not involving a lot of complex brain power—like having to follow a pattern line by line and row by row. The Inclinations Shawl by Andrea Mowry, Drea Renee Knits, was the solution.

The Inclinations Shawl from the Drea Renee Knits web page.

This knit is "perfect in every way" for a portable project that uses leftovers—a stash buster. It's a project that's easy to pick up or put down and work when you have a few minutes here or there. (I actually knit a few rows while waiting in the parking lot for my carry-out this week.) 

This shawl's attributes include:

  • colorwork,
  • I-cord edges,
  • a half Fisherman's rib stitch that elevates the knitting beyond garter stitch,
  • an asymmetrical triangular shape,
  • a non-critical gauge,
  • colorwork that can be customized,
  • flexible sizing—make it smaller or larger, as desired (or bind off when you're out of yarn),
  • an easy-to-remember pattern in which you can "read the knitting."

With luck, I had several single and partial balls of variegated yarn in my stash that were the same weight and compatible fiber content that could be used—and used up!

This project ticks all the boxes for a Make Nine stash-buster!

Using leftover yarns from the stash

I'm using leftover and partial skeins of worsted weight Poems [100% wool] and Classic Shades [70% / 30% dralon/wool] from Universal Yarn. I've made projects with these variegated yarns in the past and the yarns are easy to work with and feel good in your hands. 

With several lonesome skeins of different colorways, it will be interesting to watch the interchange between the colors as the knitting progresses. I'm anxious to finish off the first skein and join another colorway.

Day 8 progress on the Inclinations Shawl stash buster project.

A plan for a quick finish

As January and February still have colder temps in store for us, I'm planning a fast finish for this shawl—so I can wrap up in this soft, wooly, squishy accessory. 

You know it's cold when there is a 2 or 3 kitty pile-up in the kitty beds.
Stan Leigh and Sox are snuggling together.

An added perk to using these yarns is there will be no tails to weave in. Because of the wool fiber content, the yarn tails can be felted together (or "spit spliced," as knitters affectionately call it) when joining a new skein. Splice... spit... felt... keep on knitting.

What could be faster... and easier??


Saturday, January 7, 2023

Make Nine 2023? Of course, I'm doing it again!

Make Nine. It’s a wonderful, gentle, year-long, maker’s Challenge. 2023 is my 5th year participating. 

Make Nine 2023 worksheet.

Over the years, I've learned from my Make Nine experiences how to set up goals and working through  this Challenge—the types of projects I like, wardrobe needs, setting challenge parameters to be successful, being flexible in my processes and goals, and documenting the processes and finishes. Here is what 2023 entails...

My 2023 Make Nine prompts

I have converted my Make Nine "projects" into "prompts" to allow for more flexibility, serendipity, and success. I started doing this in 2021 and it has worked well. As in the past, I've kept a few favorite prompts from previous years, modified some prompts, and added new ones. Here are my prompts for 2023:

  • New to Me in '23: I've used a New-to-Me prompt for the past two years. Trying a new pattern, technique, tool, substrate etc. keeps my creative process challenged and interesting.
  • Make it Again: I used this prompt last year and it was fulfilled early in the year... so it was a good one. I'll likely be using a tried-and-true pattern that has been a successful make in the past.
  • Fast and Fun: another repeat prompt. It's good to achieve instant gratification and a sense of accomplishment by making something that is fun to make or to use.
  • Mend/Repurpose: another carry-over from last year. I have several potential projects in mind for this prompt. This prompt also checks the "sustainability" box.
  • Online Challenge: this is a new prompt for 2023. I've participated in online Challenges over the years and will incorporate one as a Make Nine project.
  • UFO: this one needs no explanation (wink, wink).
  • Stash Buster: I'm not sure if this will be a fabric or yarn stash buster. I like working with and using up scraps, crumbs, thrumbs, and leftovers... and I have plenty of all of them. Time will tell as the year unfolds.
  • Wild Card x 2: this prompt allows for the unexpected and I've opened the door for two possibilities this year.

It's a good blend of project potential.

Documenting the process with the Make Nine worksheet

I think the Make Nine worksheet is helpful, and mine keeps me accountable. You can find a blank Make Nine worksheet here at Home Row Handcraft or make your own (it doesn't need to be fancy, just functional). Ro at Home Row also offers suggestions for choosing projects for Make Nine. 

On my worksheet (see photo above), I write/draw each prompt in a box. I use a black, waterproof marker (like a Micron pen) to write the prompt, leaving space in each box for a drawing of the finished project, the project/pattern name, a completion date, and any other bit of info I think is important. 

Worksheets over the years

Here are examples of how my Make Nine worksheet has evolved over the years. This worksheet is from 2019. It was more specific, with several projects identified.

Make Nine worksheet 2019

In 2020, My Make Nine worksheet combined specific projects with prompts. It included a Wild Card and a UFO prompt.

Make Nine worksheet 2020

In 2021, I went to all prompts.

Make Nine worksheet 2021

In 2022, I again used prompts.

Make Nine worksheet 2022

As a project is completed, I color in the prompt, indicate the completion date, the project name, and draw something that symbolizes the project. 

Completed Make Nine worksheet for 2022.

Why Make Nine?

One of the many great things about Make Nine, is that you can join in at any time. It runs all year and there are really no deadlines for any of the projects (although the Challenge does start anew each calendar year). I’ve added some nice garments and accessories to my wardrobe that I wear or use frequently. I’m  pleased with all my Make Nine makes and accomplishments over the years. I remember each one fondly—although maybe not in which year they were completed—and also enjoy looking back at all the worksheets that I keep in a sketchbook.

Take the Make Nine journey this year and find joy, serenity, and fulfillment through making. 


Sunday, January 1, 2023

Starting a new 2023 Create Daily tracker

Hello 2023!
On this first day of the week, of a new month, of the new year... it's time to recap the successes of the 2022 Create Daily tacker and start a new tracker for 2023. 

The 2022 Create Daily tracker is filled and completed.

As indicated by all the colorful squares on this calendar, 2022 was a year full of making. In addition to a successful Make Nine Challenge, I wanted to document the other creative projects that were part of the past 12 months:

  • 100 Day projects
  • Slow Fashion Challenge
  • September Textile Love
  • Print*Inktober
  • Carve December
  • quilt blocks for an animal shelter
  • teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School


Three 100 Day Projects

I participated in "The 100 Day Project" in two different disciplines:

  1. Daily stitching with found objects, and 
  2. Creating textures and patterns with hand-carved stamps

The 100 Day Project—Daily stitching with found objects.

Occasionally, slow drawing and watercolor were incorporated into the printed patterns from my hand-carved stamps.

The 100 Day Project—Textures and patterns with hand-carved stamps.

Another 100 day Challenge was the "100 Days 100 Blocks" Kinship SamplerThis is the third set of Kinship blocks I've pieced. Now I'm curious to see what the 2023 pattern will be.

100 Days 100 Blocks Kinship Sampler with Whimsy and Onyx fabrics from P&B Textiles.

Online Challenges

I participated in two online Challenges last year: the Slow Fashion Challenge, sponsored by Fashion Revolution. I learned a lot from this Challenge.

Slow Fashion Challenge 2022.

And, for the fifth year, I participated in September Textile Love, sponsored by Seam Collective. This Challenge is always inspiring!

Hand-carved stamps

After The 100 Days of Texture and Patterns with hand-carved stamps, I joined Print*Inktober and Carve December, sponsored by Balzer Designs. These are images from these online Challenges.

Stamps and printed images from Print*Inktober and Carve December. 

Slow stitching and patchwork by machine

It's nice to have portable hand stitching projects to take along when traveling! I worked on several embroidery and slow stitching pieces throughout the year. A few of these were stitch practices and a few are work that I plan to continue working on.

Hand stitching projects.

It was fun to machine piece a few quilt blocks for a charity fundraiser. Ten blocks were sent to the auction.

Patchwork blocks for a fundraiser.

One more kitty quilt was finished before "the ball dropped." It just had the binding that needed to be stitched down. 

Patchwork kitty quilt. Completed December 31, 2022.

One of our outside kitties gave the new quilt the "kitty approval."

Stan Leigh on the new kitty quilt.

Back in the classroom with Intro to Free-motion Quilting

Definitely, one of the highlights of 2022 was teaching a workshop at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. What a fabulous experience!

Teaching free-motion quilting at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

A new 2023 Create Daily tracker

I'm ready to hit it again in 2023! I'm using the same Create Daily tracker that I used in 2022. 

Create Daily tracker for 2023.

Let the year new begin!


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