Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Projects and UFOs

It might be said that 2007 is going to be the year of the project, at least for me. Going through the various art and craft supplies I found several unfinished objects (UFOs). I received a few holiday gifts that I haven't started yet, I set a few goals for myself, and then I found a couple of afghans in a yarn catalog that I just have to copy.

UFOs: Jake's hat (currently on the child-sized round loom), the pillow cover I started 10 years ago (cover is crocheted, pillow form is purchased - I just need to whip stitch the thing closed), several cotton dish cloths that need the ends woven in, wool potholder that needs to be finished off the loom, and the hat on the adult-sized round loom.

Projects waiting in the wings: Thomas' hat, the Sierra design for the Harrisville size B lap loom, the Wooly Sheep design for the lap loom, a second wool potholder to match the one on the potholder loom. I ordered a 28" knitting board and a 10" knitting board in December, and when they arrive I will want to do projects on them. I'll do an organic cotton chenille scarf on the smaller board, and a prayer shawl on the larger board, hopefully in time for these to be Mother's Day gifts. (All yarn from my stash). I want to make a little blue wool cap for my friends' best friend's baby-to-be (there's complicated for you!). I found enough leftover varigated cotton yarn in a cheery yellow/orange/white colorway that I will use to make one dishcloth. If I have time I will loom a warm hat for myself; I'm one of those crafters who gives away most everything I make, and I've never made myself a hat.

I need to roll 16 candles for the brass candle holders on the mantel.

I saw 2 afghans that I really want to make. One is just rows of single crochet, and it will be perfect to use up all the odds and ends of cotton yarn I have. I'm really tired of making dish cloths, and have lots of leftover yarn (each skein can make about 1.5 dish cloths, and I have some leftover and some that were sent to me FFS). The other afghan is really simple too; squares within squares, concentric style. I'm going to use my wool yarn stash and make it just for me! I envision it draped over the rocking chair.

On the sewing front I need to make window coverings for the boys' room. I am a novice seamstress, so I will practice with family bathroom wipes and pillowcases, both which we need. My goal is to learn to sew from a pattern and to make my mother a flannel nightgown for Christmas.

I want to make my quilt, but I have to think long and hard about what is happening with the floor in that room. Right now the walls, window coverings, and carpet are all sage green. It's boring. I thought I would make a denim and corduroy quilt that would be blue (denim), brown, and green (various browns and greens from recycled corduroy). Bringing blue and brown into the mix makes a lot of sense if we keep the carpet. Really though, it's ugly and dirty and I want to put in a hardwood, mostly for health but also so it will look nicer. That would bring brown into the floor, which means I could add more color to the quilt, like maybe a russet and/or goldenrod. So I have to talk to Mike about the floor. One thing I learned when we did the kitchen is that natural material floor coverings are not that much more expensive than vinyl or carpet. Most of the house has red oak floors, so that would make the most sense and return a bit of period style to the master bedroom. If we do that and pull up the office carpeting (there is an oak floor under the carpet that looks really good) the entire house will be oak floors except for the bathrooms, which are tiled.

Oh yeah, I was writing about projects.

We have a tie-dye kit and are currently collecting white items to tie-dye. Someone gave us a mosaic stepping stone kit nearly 3 years ago that we are going to get done this summer, no matter what! We have doll making supplies, and everything we need to wet and dry felt wool.

None of this takes into account card making or scrapbooking. Cards are generally made for holidays and birthdays, and scrapbooking will be an ongoing project all year. I found my old doily stash so we are going to have fun making valentines this year! It also doesn't take into account any herbal crafting I do, making medicines and personal care items. I'll also help with the train layout at some point, especially when it comes time to paint backdrops.

So what do we give up to spend so much time crafting? Nothing essential, I hope. We have housecleaners this year, which frees up hours of time for both Papa and I each week. I stopped visiting 2 message boards and curtailed my other message board to one forum only. We're sticking closer to home, doing less running around because we are purchasing far less and we're being mindful of our oil usage. I'm decluttering the house and bringing less in, which simplifies keeping things tidy. Our meals are mostly simple with just a couple each week that require more time to prepare.

I really believe that there is time to do everything that is important to us. The key is to figure out what those really important things are, and to fit them in before we add in the little things. Little things can eat all of your time if you aren't careful. And sometimes things we think are big are really little. How do you weigh completing a lesson versus visiting a friend? In the past I tried to adhere closely to our weekly rhythm and lessons and visiting friends got pushed off the schedule. Now I'd rather visit friends (and I can take my handwork!). I have to say, we are perhaps the most unschooling Enki family there ever was!

I suppose I should make a master list of my projects and prioritize them. That's important in order for me to move from dreaming to doing.

Tonight I will box some things I need to box (after taking pictures), and I will finish a scrapbook page for a friend, and I will see if I can't get at least one herbal tincture started! Maybe I'll start with the echinacea tincture from my Learning Herbs kit....

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