just make

woven wall hanging

i feel overdue for an update about how my year of making is going – mostly to keep myself on track as my brain slides easily from one thing to the next. i’m also getting more ideas for blog posts, but still trying to organize them in my head and on the screen. meanwhile i’ll share what things i’ve been making & working on lately.

this past week it felt much harder to stick to this commitment to making every day (**note to self: that’s why you made this commitment! don’t give up!). some of the days i worked on something just for five minutes, just so i could say i did something that day. one day it was a few tiny short rows of weaving. another day i un-wove some of those rows because i was getting bored with the direction of the piece and needed to change it up. (hmm does unmaking count as making???). other days it was working on some hand lettering for the calendar i’m working on.*

more words next time. for now, here are some pictures:

weaving progress

above: progress on the neon warp weaving. i am not super in love with this one, but sometimes that can change later. so i need to weave on, weave on.

below: some of the calendar pages. i’ve been enjoying practicing and playing with lettering.

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above: one earring. i heart hoops.

below: tracing from an iconic & beloved book, for inspiration & use in a future project. can you guess which book?

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below: a finished weaving, ready to be hung on a piece of driftwood.

woven wall hanging

as you can see, i’m all over the place. i’m thinking a lot about the word ‘focus’ and how one does it.

i’m also still exploring how to be a maker while maintaining a full time job and career that uses a lot of my energy and resources and well, my self.   when i had two weeks off for the winter holidays, i came up with grand plans for myself to systematically learn and grow this second career over the course of the next year.    i am still thinking about that a lot, and finding lots of great resources and listening to some inspiring craft & art business podcasts while i commute to and from my job.    but i’m also giving myself permission and compassion for the days & weeks when i can only do 5 minutes of making, no matter how much my studio is pulling on my heart strings.    sometimes that really gets me down, not having the time that i would like to have to fully explore my creativity and see where it takes me.    so i’m also working on shifting that, instead of getting down about what i’m not doing, to really enjoy and savor what i am doing.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

sara

*every year since i met my sweet man, i've made him a calendar. this one is year #5.

habit forming

blogging has not yet become a habit for me. but my year of making commitment is going really well. there have been days (a handful, maybe half a dozen) when i have not been able to do any making. but overall the idea is becoming engrained in my mind, that each day i have the intention to sit down and do something that i love, something that sparks creative joy in me, whether it is weaving, writing, sketching, making jewelry, or something else. some days i don’t feel inspired, but i try to do something anyway, even if it’s a little bit. i still long to have more time at my work table, aka my happy place. but it is starting to become automatic that i sit down at that table at least once per day, whether it’s for 5 minutes or 5 hours. there have been days when i realized that i sort of forgot about the “year of making” idea…but that i had been doing it anyway.

and there was one glorious week a couple months ago, when i actually thought i could become a morning person. for one week, i got up early each day to spend time in my studio before work. it was the best feeling, and a great way to start my day. it made me look forward to going to bed at night, because i felt excited to get up the next day. but it didn’t last. i would like to make that a habit also, but it’s not in my natural rhythm. maybe someday!

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starting something

This is the beginning of a blog, the year 2015, and two personal endeavors. One is an endeavor to make something, anything, every single day for one year (more on this below). And second is an endeavor to seriously & methodically explore what it means to be a working artist, and to start building a foundation for myself to build a second career as an artist/creative type.

I use the word explore because I still have a ton to learn about how to build this possible second career. When I started selling my handmade jewelry on etsy in 2013, I jumped right in because I just couldn’t wait any longer to get started – but I didn’t exactly have a plan. It was SUPER fun to start selling jewelry, allowing me to make more items and send off sweet little packages around the country. But I’ve slowed down with my etsy shop as I try to figure out more about what I want to do, and to think about making an actual plan as an artist and maker.

It can be overwhelming to realize how much I don’t know, but I’m finding more and more amazing resources, and I want to start learning and doing because I know it is going to take a lot of work. I may never be “successful” as a creative type, which makes it scary to write a blog post about it. But the process could be pretty cool no matter what happens, which makes me want to continue writing about it. I’m an excellent daydreamer. Exposing all my thoughts and ideas makes all of this more real, which is super scary for this daydreamer but also probably good for me.

In the meantime, as mentioned above, I am making a serious & formal commitment to daydream and doodle, every day for a year. I was inspired by Kim Werker‘s “Year of Making,” (which I discovered by following Meighan O’Toole – check out her excellent podcast which is so inspiring for anyone curious about the life of working creative types) and I started my own #YearOfMaking on January 1, 2015.

The idea behind a Year of Making, is pretty much how it sounds – to make something, anything, every day for a year. As Kim explains, it can be anything as long as it’s something you want to do or get better at – it doesn’t have to be finished, and it doesn’t have to be good. In my case my goal for each day is to do a bit of weaving, drawing, writing, painting, jewelry making, making a website, and maybe other things as the year goes on.

(Update: since starting to write this post last Sunday, and going back to work at my other career after the holidays, I’ve realized: a) how hard it is to actually fit some creative time into my life on workdays with my current job; and b) how crucial it is that I do make some time even if it’s small – so sticking to this commitment to a #yearofmaking feels even more important to me.)

Thanks for reading, and sharing this journey with me. Let’s make stuff!

~sara