I feel like I start each new year by stating "I'm not really that sold on resolutions" and then wondering if I should be more committed to the idea. I prefer to shift things in new directions when I feel an urge to change regardless of the time of year. However, I came out of 2015 feeling like I'd run a marathon and decided that what I needed was some sort of challenge to give me back a feeling of time well spent. When I wrote down my plan in the form of The Maker's Year, I wondered how many others would want to participate. So the challenge became an open invitation for anyone who wished to join me and I don't think I was quite prepared for the reaction.
The Maker's Year is a creativity and sustainable living challenge with a seasonal focus. The seasonal part is where I want to really focus my efforts by looking to my local surroundings and existing resources and habits to help me create in an achievable way. I want this to work like a creative habit that builds momentum across a year as I reflect on my process, everyday making and look to nurture my craft skills. The aim is to encourage every person to think about little differences in their lives that can have a massive impact in our day to day and documenting that in a way that is useful and inspiring for others.
I thought it might be helpful to collect together some really inspiring initiatives and ideas out there that appeal to me as a Creative. The Maker's Year falls companionably with most of these and I wanted to share them for you to discover too.
#MakeDoandMend Hour- Hosted by Jen Gale @makeandmendyear, this happens every Thursday 8-9pm GMT on Twitter. Mending and reusing is one of my learning goals for 2016 and I know I could do with some ideas. Sometimes it's the little suggestions that set off a light bulb moment and have you reaching for your sewing scissors with relish.
Embracing the Seasons- This has been a constant drip feed of seasonal goodness since I discovered it about 8 months ago. Embracing the Seasons forms one part of Seeds and Stitches blog which is co hosted by two women whose work I very much admire. Davina and Hannah share little glimpses into a family life that works very much in tune with the seasonal calendar. I always remember to slow down and make room for my making whenever I linger on this blog or hashtag (#embracingtheseasons). You will find plentiful ideas and recipes here.
#makingwinter Twitter Chat - Hosted by Emma Mitchell (@silverpebble) every Tuesday at 8pm (GMT), this is an hour rich with so much creative diversity it's mind boggling. I have sworn several times that I will immediately bubble up chutney or take up tatting thanks to this sharing session. Turn up at 8pm GMT, share whatever wintry wonder you've been making and drink in all the creativity people contribute.
A Year of Creative Habits- A blogger and artist, Crystal moody challenged herself to do one little, creative thing every day in 2014 and then again in 2015. A daily photo of her artwork is a soothing reminder of what just 15 minutes can grant you. Food for thought when I feel as if there's just enough time in my day to be creative.
The Year in Books- Hosted by Laura who blogs and shares under the name Circle of Pines, this is a monthly reminder to read more. Reading both fiction and non fiction in a published format always gets my creative juices flowing and my heart rate lowered enough to playfully explore but I rarely find time. I've been enjoying the Twitter chat immensely for new book ideas (@circleofpines)
A Year of Making- Originally created by Miriam Felton, this hashtag (#yearofmaking) was her way of sharing something she had made each day for a year. Kim Werker was so inspired by the idea she has given the hashtag further momentum and developed lots of ideas for how to inject creativity into your daily rituals. A lovely place to browse for new and creative inspiration.
#makenewlight- This month's instagram challenge from Emily Quinton of Makelight that aks us to think about new beginnings or hopes for the New Year ahead. What I like about Emily's monthly prompts is that she offers a way to create a collaborative gallery on her website which is such a lovely act of sharing by Emily. There are some beautiful projects on there already.
#myhandsmaking- A new join up that really hones in on the process of making on Instagram. Hosted by Fran of FallforDIY, the idea is show the production and the physical act of your hands shaping, moulding, building, threading, stitching, cutting, drawing and anything else they could possibly do to be creative.
There's just a few that caught my eye recently but I would love to know some of yours. What's been catching your eye lately?