An Art-Full February

I tripped over Lee Thomson’s Dancing Crow Postcard-A-Day project in 2008, and loved both the postcards and the idea.  I really loved the idea of making daily art, something I’ve let drop from my life (my first degree was in art, my first jobs were as an art teacher, now it’s all about the words), but I didn’t have the discipline, so I just enjoyed Lee’s work.  I still don’t have the discipline to do one project every day for a year, but Lee has a new, easier idea: Make a Thing a Day for February, 2018.  Here’s her comment:

“February is when I buckle down to the dedicated making of things. I wrote a guest post for a friend inviting people to join me making a thing-a-day for Feb –\http://clevermanka.net/2018/01/22/february-daily-project/
Join us! all you need is Instagram and the hashtag #dailyFeb2018″

Lee goes into more detail in this post, but basically, you set the bar very low (very, very, very low), assemble as much of what you’ll need beforehand so it’ll only take minutes to finish your project, and then when Feb. 1 rolls around, you post what you’ve made every day to your Instagram account with the hashtag #dailyFeb2018 .

This hit me at the perfect time.

• I must get my old office cleared out and made into a workroom so I can get most of the craft stuff out of the rest of my house and have a place to make things so that my Making Things Stuff does not clog up my daily living.   If I’m going to make 28 little things in February, they can’t be scattered all over this dumpster of a house, I’ll never find them.  So this gives me until the end of January (FOUR DAYS) to make my studio usable.  GOALS.  I need them.

• I have an instagram account.  I started it because I wanted to do more documenting of my everyday life, and it just hasn’t happened, although I did practice with some older photos (you’ve seen them all, Argh)..  But since I already have the account, posting for 28 days would get me in the habit.  GOALS, I really need them.

• I have projects I want to do that involve little pieces.  Like this flower shawl.  And a weatherghan using this heart pattern (minus wings, although I could do the nightime temps in the wings and just pick a solid color for the backing . . . hmmm).  And this jacket.  And finishing my version of this cardigan.  And making some of these squares from the Vibrant Vintage CAL for the shutters on the TV cabinet in Krissie’s room.  Getting ready for those would be easy: a basket with the yarn, the hook, and color plans and/or charts.  

• I’m feeling the urge to collage Nita in paper (instead of the digital collages I’ve been doing).  That usually involves doing small combined pieces that I move around with pins until the background is done.  Since the smaller pieces are almost always about relationships, it’s good for nailing those down as I do the final push on the first draft and then really important in the rewrite.  I’ve come to believe that a book isn’t real until I start a paper collage (digital is too easy), so this is kind of exciting.  (Thank you, Lee.)

• I need to ask Lee if pumpkin custard with pie crust leaves counts.  I cannot get that to look quite right, which isn’t a tragedy because my mistakes always taste good (except for the time I left out all of the sugar instead of just cutting back, that was bad) and if I can figure out the baking time so that the leaves don’t all look like they’ve been rotting on the custard, it could be quite pretty.  Ephemeral art.  Because it’ll be gone in a day.  

So I like this idea a lot and I’m gonna give it the old Argh try.  You should, too.  

TINY craft project a day for twenty-eight days, hashtag #dailyFeb2018 on Instagram.

Who’s in?  (We will not humiliate if you miss days.  Because, let’s face it, I’m gonna miss days.)

 

 

 

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43 thoughts on “An Art-Full February

  1. Hey, I’m in, I’ve been doing a tiny gouache painting every day since the first of this year. I’m a little surprised the extent to which it’s kicked off an avalanche of creative ideas—good and also terrible because there’s only so many hours blah blah. (I have also been reading a piece of short fiction every day which has resulted in a rainbow of incredibly weird dreams all month.)

    If we’re talking ephemeral baked art, check out thepieous on instagram. Her pies are amazing. I’d say it totally counts. Also rachelrenelorton makes gorgeous smoothie bowls. They make me wish I liked smoothies.

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    1. jojoromancer on Insta makes some gorgeous pies too. One of the things I love about Instagram is seeing all the gorgeous things people make. Nice to see people doing the stuff that makes them happy.

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  2. I’m going to focus on my existing goal of an hour’s creative play every day. I’ve already forgotten it, so I’m going to refocus. I haven’t got a project that’ll fit Lee’s challenge, and don’t want to give myself yet another thing to do. The creative play thing would be really good, if I could just do it.

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    1. Changed my mind: decided to choose a subject each day and spend half an hour photographing it. Then post an image to Instagram. Which means I’ve got to create an account there, and get up to speed on the gremlins of it. But I think this would be more doable than my open-ended ‘creative play’. And it would help me learn the nooks and crannies of my new camera. Plus make me happy, probably (photography usually does).

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      1. I agree. Open-ended sound more free, but it isn’t. Free verse is harder to write than a sonnet. Parameters give you a space to work in that’s more freeing than none.

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      2. Oh, that’s brilliant. I could do that. I’ve started to hike an average of at least 2 miles a day (doing well, I’ve definitely done more than that on average, and I’ve missed only 3 days this month). I usually take photos, but I also usually forget to post them to Instagram. So that’s a very doable project. I may do other things, too, but the I postings are definitely in.

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  3. Ooh. Nice.

    Pie crust is art. Most food made with care is.

    I’m in the midst of the de-hoard that started in July 2017 and was on hold till now, so I’m swamped. BUT this year I was given grade 3 again. Maybe we can do daily art in class, instead of weekly that the syllabus requires?! A related to learning activity. I can do quick-sketch for vocabulary and gardening for science. Thanks for the ideas.

    Delilah S Dawson just posted this on Twitter, “I was just listening to a podcast about figuring out what you’re meant to do, and I had a minor epiphany. We always hear ‘consider what you loved doing when you were a child’. I loved to draw, so I always thought I was meant to be an artist. But I was missing something obvious. It wasn’t so much that I enjoyed the act of drawing. What I was doing was worldbuilding. Creating characters. I didn’t draw clothespins and shoes and replicate the masters; I drew cat princesses in amazing gowns and witches riding dragons. The drawing wasn’t the important bit.”

    She goes on to explain her evolution to writer.

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    1. The exercises in the back of What Color Is Your Parachute? did that for me.
      There was one where you wrote a paragraph about the ten most satisfying things you remember doing, starting when you were a child. That was interesting. But then they gave you a table, and you put a log line in for each of the paragraphs along the side, and across the top were words that described actions–creative, analytical, etc.– and you put check marks in the box for each descriptor that matched your paragraphs. When you were done, you had a pretty clear idea of where your pleasure in action was. It was brilliant. There were other exercises in there that were equally effective. Book changed my life.

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      1. Just placed a hold at the library for it–my husband might benefit. (I’m a lifer at teaching high school English, still enjoying it after 12 years…Although I might check the exercises out anyway, if only to see if my advisory students would benefit… I have juniors this year and they’re starting to feel the stress of choosing a career path without any idea how to do that.) Thanks for the recommendation, Jenny! Is heard the title but thought it was about retirement planning, for some reason…

        My husband has been a self-employed woodworker for abbot a decade now, which is really cool! But also really labor-intensive, and requires a lot of travel to craft shows. With one toddler and a baby due in May, he’s questioning a change moving forward (but probably not for a few years since right now he’s the stay at home Dada!)

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  4. I like this idea, but it’s also during the Ravellenic Games…. and I think I wouldn’t get much done the first two days of the month since I have a show to do.

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  5. I have been in “finish up” mode. A number of (mostly beading) projects half done, or even further along. That is, beaded components all finished, but the twiddle work of putting everything together hasn’t been done (equivalent of a knitting/crocheting project all done except for the sewing together). So far, 4 projects finished, two to go and extra beads and crystals ordered for matching earrings for some necklaces.

    I have the stuff for a beadwoven necklace of Swarovski hearts which would be great for Valentine’s Day. One beveled heart per day would get me to mid-month. Plus finishing WIPs. On the 23rd of Feb hubby and I fly to Sri Lanka for his annual “mid-winter sun” escape trip. Will be planning and packing for the 2.5 weeks there…

    Yup. There are plenty of “each day something” stuff for me.

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  6. This sounds perfect. I need something in my life that isn’t work and grief. When my mother was dying last month I sat by her bed and crocheted an afghan. It was very soothing at a horrible time. I’d love to finish the afghan though I don’t think I can face it yet. But I could buy some luxuriously soft and pretty yarn and make something else. And I’ve been looking for fabrics to make a quilted purse, so I have plenty of projects. I’m in.

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    1. Hugs and sympathies. I hope you find just the right yummy yarn to make something joyful.

      I’ve been beating myself up for not finishing an afghan for my stepdad so he could have it in hospice. Never mind the fact that a) I don’t know where the unfinished bit or yarn for the rest is right now and b) I probably couldn’t finish it anyway before he dies. Behind that is the longing for the comfort of simple creation at a terrible time.

      Do I have to be consistent about what gets created every day? Because if I don’t and it can be a different medium every day, and knowing I’ll miss days anyway, I am definitely in.

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  7. I’m going to enjoy everyone else’s stuff.

    I’m teaching full time and have 3 grad classes to finish by the end of March. Though I have been writing a bit during my down time, I can’t start another project. Until April, anyway.

    Unless writing counts? I could do like 20 minutes every day instead of sporadically, maybe? That’ll help me stay sane even, I think.

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  8. I’ve been doing a pattern a day painting class on Creativebug this month which has been fun. Lost my dad in December and have given myself a bit of time off from writing and decided to just do whatever I felt like creatively that wasn’t writing until Feb. Which has been crochet and painting. It’s been lots of fun and what I’ve needed to keep the brain distracted with some pretty things. Keeping the discipline of do something every day going once I try and add the writing back into the mix would be good. Been playing with some loose watercolor florals so maybe I’ll try one of those a day. Which means I should pick out 28 pics for inspiration in the next four days.

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    1. Also, I want to learn to crochet. My aunt taught me the very basics that I’ve already forgotten long ago. I have no idea what I’d make, as I don’t really need anything, so there’s a real possibility that I won’t do it once I learn it, but I think it would be nice to have something to do with my hands.

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      1. Crochet is much easier than knitting. There are a ton of books and YouTube videos on it.
        Granny squares are easy and classic, just chain stitches and double crochets. It’s a wonderful soothing craft, very rhythmic.

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    2. I was wondering about food too. I’ve been trying to set up crockpot meals more and actually cook instead of tossing frozen stuff in the oven and calling it good. You know you need to do better when your kids are ASKING for veggies…

      So I’m going to make the effort to do better with meals. Alternately, I can do a load of laundry a day AND get it put away promptly. Instead of living out of the laundry baskets.

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    3. Dinner always counts! Try a new recipe every week or go to the library and browse though cookbooks you don’t own. I am the least visual person I’ve ever met, but my friend Ted the art fiend assures me that the different ways I combine tastes in a menu counts as creativity, too.

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  9. I haven’t been able to figure out Instagram (in part, I am probably just resistant to adding One More Internet Thing). And I have revisions to do, although maybe that counts. But I will admire everything else others do.

    And I love the cardigan. Can you make me one?

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  10. Although I might not be able to figure out how to add a hashtag to my instagram photos. I can take the photo, post it, but fail to see how to add text of any kind. I swear I’ve done it before…

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    1. I got a program so I could upload photos from my computer; the text box is always right there on the laptop.

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    2. On the phone app (at least on the apple one but I assume the android app must work the same or similar way), after you’ve chosen the photo and done any filters/edits, you hit next to go to the share screen. There’s a text box at the top of that screen that says write a caption (and has a thumbnail of the image to the left). That’s where you write your text to go with the image and can add any hashtags (tap on the text box to get the keyboard to come up). You can also comment on your own post with a hashtag (some people do this when they want to add lots of hastags).

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  11. I’m in. I had to learn the basics of Instagram for some volunteer work, so I’ve got an account that I haven’t done much with. Plus, I just got the background fabric for a scrappy quilt I want to have done by October, and it was all washed, but I hadn’t been inspired to iron it yet. So today I ironed it and cut some pieces to make a test block to make sure I’ve got the math right. Then I’ll be ready to start making pieces on February 1. I won’t have completed blocks every day (I make a bunch of the sub-units that go into the block first and then combine them into blocks, sort of factory-line-style.) But I’ll have some units done every day of February, and maybe a few blocks toward the end of the month.

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  12. OMG!! So many people joining! I am delighted!!

    Anything counts if you say it does – pie crust, quilty things, daily photography – it is meant to be your project.

    Instagram is not hard – you get a chance to add text just before you post a photo from your phone, and that’s where #dailyFeb2018 goes, along with any comments you have. But really, if all you do is put stickers on a calendar for participation and tell me about it, I’ll send you a postcard!

    This is so cool!!

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  13. I’ve launched a UK craftivism project with a group of friends and colleagues http://www.knittingNCTtogether.wordpress.com

    Feeling quite pleased with myself at this point. Senior management and comms people at the charity I work for love the idea and all want to learn to crochet. We are tweeting and instagramming using #NCTyarns. I’m not on the comms team, it’s an ‘in my own time’ project. It’s been included in a national mail out to members, now all I have to do is keep up the impetus – which is where it starts to get scary.

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  14. I’ll have to get back on The ‘gram. But I had a goal of sort8ng through and doing or ditching my art supplies/projects this semester so this could b3 good motivation. I’m in.

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  15. Hmm. I have Twitter, so I think I’ll tweet a thing a day. Probably mostly haiku and maybe a few photos on the weekends. Although it would be lovely to do some crochet again. But I’ll stick to haiku as my main thing, just to keep the bar very very low.

    (-: And I definitely know how to look up stuff on instagram, so I’ll be following what people do! What a grand idea for a miserable, short month.

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  16. In! Doing an index card a day, probably mixed media, probably flowers.

    It’ll be fun, and it’ll meet work-related needs to get conversant with Instagram…thereby satisfying my superego’s demand that everything I do Must Be Useful.

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  17. Ooh, this would be great to get me back onto my instagram, I kinda drifted away from it over the break, and I keep thinking, “Ooh, I could post this pic,” and then….. not. :\ I have at least three people having babies this year, so this could be a good way to work on those. Or maybe some kind of daily poem… *ponders*

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  18. I can’t start until I get home from my Mom’s house, but I resolve to send a postcard every day. I have a huge bag of pretty and/or funny postcards in my apartment that I have gotten out of the habit of sending people lately. I even bought a new card of stamps for them last week. too. So I will join in by decorating the inside of my friends’ mailboxes in February.

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