Finishing things feels brilliant. Check it out! That’s one huge jam-packed book full of madness!
I’ve been posting all the individual pages of this book in weekly-ish instalments through September, but now that the book is complete it’s crazy seeing them all together. Really makes me appreciate just how long a month is…
Back in August, I signed up to participate in Thirty Days of Lists because I felt like I needed that daily inspiration to actually sit down and make something, and I wanted to take part in an online community event to kick-start this blog into gear. It was totally the right decision.
This is what I learned during September:
How to be decisive
I’ve always loved making things but have never done anything quite so quickly. And the reason is that I think too much. I plot, I plan, I overprepare. I like to know when I’m starting a project or a painting exactly how it will look at the end. And then since I know how I want it to look, I’m scared to make a mistake that will mess up the plan. Maybe this is why I leave so many projects unfinished?
Having a daily prompt provided not only inspiration, but also a little pressure. I didn’t want to fall behind. I have always been one of those people who was frantically finishing the essay/dissertation/Masters thesis (yes, even the most important things) the night before it was due. And it turns out that when there’s an urgent need to complete something, the doubts and the uncertainties go away – of course I made mistakes, but always ones I could either fix or live with. I hope the new confidence of just boldly doing it, making it or writing it will last a while – I’m planning on keeping up the practice.
It doesn’t have to be so elaborate
Some days my lists were crazy with details, embellishments, and colour. I wanted to jam pack a page full of information. List 14 is a perfect example – so many different things going on, and I love the page, but it took me SO long! That level of activity is just not sustainable over a whole month, and I might even prefer the super simplicity of List 17 or 30. Seeing the creations of some fellow Listers has been really inspiring for how to keep it simple but still personal and meaningful, like Mrs Verdant Green‘s blogged lists or Erin‘s beautifully handwritten lists.
I know what I like
Unintentional cohesiveness seemed to form throughout the book by using repeated shapes, patterns and elements. Scalloped edges, ribbon shapes and curved labels appeared on many a page, while transfer letters, washi tape and coloured stickers proved to be the winning supplies used throughout. Quite simply, I used them because I liked them.
So I learned that I really don’t like my own handwriting. But I also appreciate that this book is a total reflection of me, style-wise and in terms of content. The daily prompts force you to think about yourself and create a snapshot of yourself in those pages. Often that was done literally – I really like the sporadic use of photographs and having seen how other Listers use personal photos throughout, I might do this more next time.
Paper is brilliant
The majority of my work life is digital and so much of my time is spent online. This project took me back to using my hands and creating things on paper. A huge part of my paper love here is for the book itself; this beautiful little 4×6 collection of coloured and patterned paper is an Elise Blaha Cripe creation, bought a few months ago with no specific purpose in mind, but as it turns out, perfect for this project. So many days I would find an idea for a layout or theme springing from the pattern of the paper or the shape of an insert. Spreads 4, 5, 9, 23… all hugely influenced by the book itself. Next time around I may make my own minibook, just for the challenge of learning how to compose something like this myself, but for this month this book was perfect.
So many crafty bloggers
Not only did this challenge inspire me to read more from the challenge hosts Amy of Lemon & Raspberry and Kam of Campfire Chic, it introduced me to a whole new community of super creative regular people bloggers – the people who balance real life and working and being creative all at the same time with flair and pazazz. People like: Alex from The March Owl, Jesse from well it’s okay, Angie of Lariats and Lavendar and Megan from The Nerd Nest. There are many more, but it’s hard to list them all!
ANYWAY, this post ended up being so ludicrously long! My humble apologies. Hopefully if you made it to the end you’re equally inspired to try or continue with Thirty Days of Lists next time around in March 2013. It seems so long away, but I’m betting it’ll be here quicker than the time it would take to count to 12,668,400. Which is the exact amount of seconds between now and March. And yes I did just work that out.
>>> This is post 5 of the 31 I’ll be writing for Blogtoberfest 2012 <<<