Monday, February 4, 2013

A New Mission

Hello. I’m back again. I had to take a break from craft books.

I haven’t been idle. During January alone I planned new curtains for my kitchen, scanned my grandmother’s recipe cards, took Photoshop lessons, bought a Craftsy class on making knits that fit, snipped all the beads off a heavily encrusted dress for my daughter’s film class (payment: beads), made a polymer clay key with matching lock for said film class along with a motorized backpack key in a papier mache box faux painted to look like brass, bought and promptly unraveled a linen/cotton sweater, began knitting a linen/cotton hand towel in a lace pattern, knit a scarf for one friend, started another scarf for another friend, practiced knitting with double–pointed needles, watched hours of sock–making on YouTube to get up my courage to use the double–points, tea–dyed some wool, and bought way too much yarn.

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It may look like a lot, but it doesn’t seem like much got done. Too many UFOs. Unfinished objects.

When I finished my craft book challenge year, I wondered why I should continue Suzy Cucumber. December was torture for finding projects. I spent each week procrastinating until Friday rolled around and I had to pick some project, ANY project, from my craft books. Seeing the finish line kept me from dumping the whole challenge.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish with Suzy Cucumber. I started wondering if I blog just to validate myself to others.

Years ago, I was at a dinner party with my in–laws. Most of the guests were their work colleagues with a few spare family members. We took turns introducing ourselves and our career positions. I was between paying jobs at the time; my main job is being a wife and mother. When it was my turn, I could only get my name out before a helpful family member announced, “She doesn’t do nothing.”

Awkward silence. (And horrible grammar, by the way.)

Now let’s hear from the next highly accomplished woman to your right…

Wow. Yeah. That comment still ticks me off a decade later. So I started thinking, do I have to prove to others that I DO SOMETHING? You know, “worthwhile” and paying… not like cleaning, cooking, childrearing, homeschooling, gardening, planning, paying the bills, etc., is worth anything.

2012 was a year to try new things, to make a dent in my crafty bucket list, to push myself within the constraints of a challenge. I dared myself to use 52 craft books. I did use more than 52 craft books, and I learned so much.

So why should I continue Suzy Cucumber? Because I want to learn and accomplish so much more. I still have a crafty bucket list. I want to experiment and try new things. I need a little accountability to get my UFOs flying. I don’t need Suzy Cucumber to prove to others that I am doing something. I need Suzy Cucumber to give me permission to get a little crazy with the paint, tangle up some yarn, and fling the paper and glue like confetti. I need to make time for making.

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I’m not going to constrain myself with a new craft book each week. I think I may do that challenge monthly. Suzy Cucumber is now about me trying out what I want to try, solving decorating/gardening problems, and just making stuff. Because I want to. You’re welcome to come along for the ride.