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my creative month

I'm spending the rest of February 2018 devoted to creative vibes only.

How did this all come about? Some deep conversations about what I want from my business, what brings me joy & how I got started doing this in the first place. It was an experiment & exercise to revive the pure joy that comes with creating which just to happens to get hindered all too often due to the whole running a business mumbo jumbo.

What would happen if for a month I just focused on the creative? A few loose guidelines were set and off we go.

The business can still run, but no existential business goals may be worked on for the rest of the month (i.e. daily to do lists, contacting new retailers, or fancy photo shoots) only creating things without profit margins in mind.

I started documenting the journey for my own sake & then realized that it might be nice to share. However, in order to do that another stipulation had to hold true- no fancy photo shoots/spending copious amounts of time editing pictures. This is the view from my eyes (or iPhone, rather).

Here we goooooo!

2/5/18 DAY 1:

The challenge is officially under way late into the day. I’ve spent the rest of the evening scouring Pinterest gathering new/old ideas & inspiration of what to create. Using it as wallpaper on this blank space is just an added bonus.

virtual pinterest wall

2/6/18 DAY 2:

It’s basically day one, but actually day two & I’m already frustrated. Something about endless possibilities, maybe? Not knowing where to start? I began by using my time today to map out my mom’s birthday gift- a new handbag (shhhh- don't tell Dawn). The sky’s the limit. So long as the color palette includes blue, green & turquoise (the only colors my mother owns). I gathered a few materials, leather & fabric choices and doodled a few quick sketches.

Ok- so that counts, right?

But this seems too daunting. Isn’t the point of this experiment to shy away from deadlines & to do lists? They why on earth am I starting out on day two (but actually kind of day one) with the largest task that I know I have to finish within the next 19 days?

Onto to the next thing & the thing that I’m actually counting for today: leather cabinet handles. They’ve been on my radar for quite some time & could quite possibly be the finishing touch that our kitchen cabinets need.

What was supposed to be quick stop to buy supplies just sparks more frustration and a new business idea: a female focused hardware store. Everything would be re-designed from the layout to the shelving. Will someone please do this???

Fun fact: there is an entire aisle devoted to screws at Menards complete with slide-able compartments that are hiding more rows of slide-able compartments behind them which all house different styles and sizes of screws. Needless to say, I walked out of there with the wrong thing.

On top of it, I can’t find the right color leather in the appropriate thickness for the project. Also, I think the man of the house hates them.

I could call today a waste. And right now it feels like it. But it’s another experiment under my belt. Another thing that I know doesn’t work, and another idea sparked of what I can try next time. Once the sting of today wears off and I’m ready to tackle kitchen hardware again.

leather cabinet handles

2/7/18 DAY 3:

I’m back at the handbag. With a new attitude & coffee in hand, I nailed down a design first thing in the morning. Once that’s figured out, I tend to jump right into making. No double checking that I’ve got large enough pieces of leather or enough fabric lining. If a road block comes up, it’s just another opportunity to get creative with a solution.

purse sketches

2/8/18 DAY 4:

Turns out I crave this tedious stuff- it’s like a puzzle. Also turns out that I tend to make lots of little mistakes along the way. I’m starting to think it’s on purpose on some subconscious level. Not thinking the design through down to every little detail leaves little puzzles to be solved along the way. It can be frustrating at times, but deep down it’s a challenge and any project without its challenges is pretty boring.

2/9/18 DAY 5:

Speaking of challenges... there were plenty today. Turns out I'm getting really great at turning mistakes into design details.

On an unrelated note, I love writing secret notes on the inside.

2/10/18 DAY 6:

Today I learned not to take a heated workspace for granted (& also how to check the propane level of our tank... #lifeinthewoods). So until my workshop thaws, I'll be working on mobile projects in the comfort of my cozy home or wherever else it's warm.

embroidered button up

2/11/18 DAY 7:

I’m appreciating things happening the way they do as I've been forced not to spend every waking moment working on some sort of project. A frozen workshop pushed me towards other activities + a productive trip to the fabric store where I raided a section that I usually brush over: TRIMS.

This month as I’m giving myself permission not to focus on creating wares for the sake of selling, I’m devoting some time to making a few updates to my wardrobe. As business-y things always take precedence, I rarely take time to up-cycle my own clothes into something cool. I’m trying to challenge myself to go shopping in my own closet & rather than donate what I don’t like to wear, use my sewing skills to turn them into stuff I would enjoy.

Fringe-y sleeves & pom pom hems coming soon!

pom pom trim

2/12/18 DAY 8:

It's all about the sleeves. And these are over the top.

I salvaged the gray top from my "donate" pile & the black one from the back of my closet. Now we just need some short sleeves weather to show them off.

pom pom sleeve

2/13/18 DAY 9:

Sometimes mistakes turn into features that you wouldn’t have thought to create otherwise. And sometimes you have to take everything apart, cut off an inch & re-assemble.

This morning felt like a step backwards, but ultimately, it was a step in the right direction. And a step I probably wouldn't have taken had I not given my permission to create freely.

SURPRISE- I goofed up somewhere along the way with my pattern or or cutting & ended up with a longer dimension than expected. I didn't really notice it until half the bag was put together, but figured that a few extra minutes to fix it would be worth it. SURPRISE (again)- it was.

2/14/18 DAY 10:

Puzzles keep appearing & I keep knocking them out of the park. From the zipper to the lining to the shoulder strap, each unplanned portion eventually makes sense and pieces itself together.

Today included lots of math, measuring & re-doing stuff. IT'S ALMOST DONE.

Also, these clips are the best.

2/15/18 DAY 11:

My rule of thumb is keep working until it looks like the picture. Then add a tassel.

SHE’S FINISHED. And I can’t wait to see what my momma thinks.

2/16/18 DAY 12:

We've decided to get a dog & after a trip to the pet store, my frugality is kicking in strong. $20 for a plain black leash? I can make it myself. With leather. Sure, it may take half a day, but I've gotta make something anyway!

2/17/18 DAY 13:

I swore I wasn’t going to become a crazy dog mom. Turns out it might be too late.

2/18/18 DAY 14:

I have nothing to show you except a messy workspace & a ton of stuff that didn’t work. Today was fun. I allowed myself to experiment and play. I also allowed myself to walk away without a concrete idea or concept. And on top of that, be ok with it.

I allowed weird ideas to flow & to let myself to get resourceful when I didn’t have the right pieces I needed. I raided the man cave for tools & rewarded myself for a successfully unsuccessful day with a Sunday snowmobile ride.

Today I allowed myself to enjoy the journey. And it feels so good.

2/19/18 DAY 15:

So. Much. Snow. An outdoor activity only seemed appropriate.

Sure, a snow angel may sort of be cheating on SOME level. But I’m justifying it with an Instagram poll where approximately 97% of voters said it was acceptable. However, I will also appease the other 3% by stating that I scribbled a possible solution to yesterday’s conundrum in the wee hours of Day 14... SO CLOSE to today that it should also count for something.

2/20/18 DAY 16:

Today was hard. And as I was about to sit down & start writing about hitting my breaking point I powered through instead. Well, I cracked open a beer first, then I powered through. Actually, if I’m being COMPLETELY honest… I took a break, got stuck in my own driveway, cracked open a beer, followed by the powering through stuff.

I almost moved onto another project, but couldn't quite let go of this one. It's diverted from it's original inspiration, but it's way closer to its fruition that it was earlier this evening.

2/21/18 DAY 17:

Today was full of little victories: ⠀ 1. This yarn {it came from a scarf I thrifted last week} 2. I discovered an ingenius/resourceful way to de-wrinkle said yarn {it includes an iron + a metal waste basket} 3. The vacuum bin is going to be a giant tornado of colorful fuzz {& it’s kind of weird how excited I am about that}⠀

2/22/18 DAY 18:

I’m going to go out on a limb to guess that along with hardware stores, upholstery fabrics are also designed by men. Because if the ugliest shade of tan in a very corduroy-like fabric wasn’t enough, let’s slap a hideous print on the other side of a cushion, throw it in with the couch & pretend like it’s a free gift with purchase. ⠀ The pillows that came with our sofa have been living in storage, but it was finally time for these fugly beasts to get a makeover.

2/23/18 DAY 19:

May playing in the fresh mountain of snow or experimenting with the fresh mountain of leather scraps be my reward after prepping for the Hygge Market. Excited to debut the collab with Art by SJ Nielsen in person where we’ll both be selling our wares at this outdoor market. Rumor has it there will also be fuzzy animals, bonfires & warm treats. So there’s that.⠀ In the meantime, I’ll be bundled up inside, thinking warm thoughts & trying to convince you to drop by on Saturday, March 3 between 10am-5pm to say hello!⠀

2/24/18 DAY 20:

The most exciting/creative-related thing that happened today was that my mom loved her bag. Oh, and I wrapped it. So I guess that counts for something, too?

2/25/18 DAY 21:

Back to square one on a couple different levels. With celebrating birthdays & celebrating a new fuzzy member of the family- I’ve spent a few minutes here and there attempting to perfect my first project. And it’s still proving to be difficult. So I guess some things never change.

2/26/18 DAY 22:

With distractions on the rise {& the urge to keep sewing}, I'm taking on something terribly simple: a tote bag. Today I tackled the straps which could easily be mistaken for another dog leash. But I swear it’s not.

2/27/18 DAY 23:

I made this out of necessity. Because I was carrying around some bag with some random logo for some random company that I don’t feel the need to keep toting around when I can tote my own name around on a tote.

I reverted to an Instagram poll once again for some help on how to customize it a bit more. End result coming soon.

2/28/18 DAY 24:

IT IS DONE. The tote. The challenge. My complaints about taking on the challenge.

I am so happy to be at this point, glad that I partook in nearly a full month of creativity & excited to gather some final thoughts + convince fellow creatives that this is a great idea {blog post coming soon}.

Thanks for keeping me accountable, for joining in & for following along!

Onward to new & exciting things.


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