A Creative Challenge for 2017

My inbox and social media feeds have been inundated with the same old new year, new me crap that appears every January. How about yours? From the sportswear and fitness gear in EVERY shop to the pushing of sugar-free, clean eating diets and the setting of new year resolutions left right and centre, it's hard to get away from the feeling that you need to to do more, be better, get fitter. Refreshingly I've seen a smattering of self-affirmation posts on Instagram and the like. You know the ones "New Year, same fabulous me" and whilst its reassuring to see that not everyone has gone completely mad, its no way near enough to change the status quo. 

Interestingly I think more and more these days what we talk about, try out and set goals to do is influenced most by the commercial nature of our world. We 'get fit' in January because the shops push healthy eating and sportswear in our faces. Come February we'll all be hoarding chocolate like its going out of fashion, stocking up on Easter eggs because they'll be the first thing you see when you walk into Sainsburys (other supermarkets are available!).

I'm not saying we shouldn't set goals or intentions in life, that we shouldn't strive to improve, to learn and to grow, but I think we need to do it a mindful way and work out what we really want and whats really good for us, not be told it by somebody else. I'm not one for setting new years resolutions. I do think the new year is a good time to reflect and lay down some plans, but then so is August or the 3rd Tuesday in May.

There have been many changes in my life in the last year, and when I wrote this blog post this time last year I think I hoped I'd have it all figured out by now. I haven't. But progress is progress, no matter how big or small and all we can do is keep moving in the right direction.

I have definitely learned a lot in this last year though, and it has made me realise that learning new things is something I love to do. If you've followed along here or on Instagram at all you'll already know that I love being creative, making things and trying new crafts.

I was the kid at school who made her own jewellery and sold it at the Christmas fair. I learned to embroider when I was in junior school much to the joy of my equally creative teacher. I tried knitting with my Grandma, although I never really got the hang of it. I begged for a sewing machine for Christmas, much to the despair of my mother. In those days crafting wasn't cool, and when I hit my teenage years I let go of that creative side. I didn't really rediscover it until I was expecting Charlie (my eldest). I went into full on nesting mode (like we all do!) and instead of buying expensive cushion covers and blinds I decided I'd make them. I bought a sewing machine, taught myself to sew roman blinds (with the help of Google) and realised that I loved making stuff again. 

I've tried really hard to keep up those creative habits over the last few years and when you're busy with jobs and kids and life that can be difficult, but it's also worthwhile when you end up with something that you're really proud of and can say 'I made that".

There's a long list of crafts I tried and things I've made. From machine sewing, to embroidery, jewellery making to paper crafting, weaving, knitting, crocheting and not forgetting Christmas wreath making, I guess you could say I'm a Jack of all trades! I'm fine with that but sometimes I feel like I've not really found my thing, the one thing that I'm really, really good at. 

And thats where this years creative challenge comes in. 

I'm setting myself a little challenge to try out some new crafts with the aim of finding that one that really sparks my creativity. Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but I'm pretty sure I'll learn some stuff along the way.

I'm not going to commit to one craft a month or anything like that because my life, like most, is crazy busy, and I'd fail miserably! But I thought one every couple of months or so would be manageable. So I'm going to start off with weaving. I've dabbled with this before but never really given it enough time and I'm lusting after a gorgeous Pinterest-worthy wall hanging, so I'm going to make one for myself!

I've got myself a lovely little loom and some beautiful yarn from the lovely Fran at We Make Collective and I'm going to get started this week. I'll be posting my progress over on Instagram, probably in my stories.

After that, who knows? I quite fancy trying my hand at knitting again and the amazingly talented ladies at So Satsuma are running some classes just down the road from me here in Manchester. Here's hoping the hubs is reading this and takes the hint for my birthday present!

What else is on the wish list? Pottery at Clay Studio Manchester, brush lettering or Calligraphy (I already have a copy of Nib & Ink which I've been dipping in and out of) and Shibori. Not too ambitious then ;-)

What are your goals for the year? Do you have any creative ambitions? I'd love to hear about them.

I'll be tagging my creative adventures over on Instagram using #crafttheseasons if you like to join in, I'd love it if you could.


Clare x