Earlier this month, I wrote about the bag-making challenge in which I am participating for the first six months of the year. In reality, I suspect it will take me longer than a half-year to make the bags, given the many other projects I have on my plate. It will take the time it will take, basically, but that’s okay. For me it truly is all about the process, since my goal is to learn about bag construction.

In that same post,  I asked readers to describe their own challenges as they begin this new year. That’s what this post is about: you! I was fascinated to hear about the different projects people are tackling, and how they are using these projects to stay motivated creatively.

Rose Kauhane from Texas, who blogs at The Rose Journal, describes her Finish It Friday challenge as a way to complete the UFOs (UnFinished Objects) we all seem to collect. “Years ago my dad told me that his mother always said, ‘Don’t start anything new on Friday because you will never finish it.'” Rose has decided, however, that on Fridays she will choose something that is almost done and can be finished easily in one day. After the UFO is finished, she blogs about it. Her first Finish It Friday project was actually a collection of unfinished items: a scarf, two pairs of fingerless gloves, and three knitted cowls. What a great way to make progress!

The Rose Journal

Felicia Borges, a California mixed media artist who blogs at The Journal Junkie, describes several challenges she is taking on. “Journal52 is a free art journaling prompt/technique each week. As is Wildly Inspired. I am also taking a couple of art/mixed media classes. Who knew that I would enjoy a little structure?!?! :)” In one of her posts, Felicia interviews Chelle Stein, the creator of the free Journal52 challenge. Chelle describes Journal52 as “a free art journal workshop with weekly prompts to keep everyone participating motivated, inspired, and creating all year long.” If you click on the image below, you can read the entire interview.


When talented jewelry designer Olivia Herbert from Massachusetts, whose work you can follow at The Filigree Garden on Facebook, read about the Bag of the Month Club in which I am involved, she said, “I should do this because I have SO much fabric to use.” I met Olivia through the BBEST team on Etsy, and learned from her blog that she loves the process of learning, as well as collecting the tools and materials that go along with whatever craft she is exploring. This last November, her Sterling and Freshwater Pearl Jewelry Set was auctioned off to raise funds for the Hopkinton Center for the Arts.

The Filigree Garden

LeAnn Frobom from Nebraska, who blogs at PasqueFlower Ponderings, says she’s “done quilt block of the month projects, and I’m printing off monthly patterns for an alphabet quilt from The Quilt Show Web site, which I probably won’t start until after tax season and/or after” a graduation quilt is done. When I visited her blog, it became apparent that together with her quilt block projects, she is on a fabric stash-busting mission. “I had a scrap management epiphany when Bonnie K. Hunter visited the Lincoln Quilters Guild,” LeAnn writes, “and explained her system of cutting scraps into squares of varying sizes.  You can learn more about Bonnie at her website: http://www.quiltville.com/.” Based on the fact that LeAnn has purchased the three books shown below to motivate her to use up her fabric stash, I would say she’s well on her way to being a Class A Scrap Manager. You can read LeAnn’s full post, Scrap Management, by clicking on the image below.

LeAnn Frobom's Stash Busting Books

Deb Baroff of Oklahoma, who blogs at Stroll Through Storyland, is also working on a sewing project. Her challenge seems to be “growing with sewing” as she embraces a year-long quilt-making project. Deb’s usual projects involve beading or mixed media work, but you can certainly sense her excitement when you read her blog. “I’m learning so many new things,” she says, “I thought I would share some.” Click on the image below to read her full post. Deb has chosen some lovely colors and prints for her quilt.


It strikes me that everyone mentioned in this post is experimenting with new techniques or exploring a craft they don’t ordinarily touch. If you ever feel blocked, this is a wonderful way to rev up your creative juices. What are you inspired to tackle this February?

© 2014 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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6 thoughts on “Readers’ New Year challenges”

  1. How neat! All your bloggers are challenging themselves with arts and crafts I adore! I have to check out the Journal52 that Felicia wrote about, though I don’t think I can involve myself in any other challenges! And I’ve seen some of the books LeAnn included in her blog; they are now on my Wish List! Thanks, Judy, for including my challenge! {:-Deb

  2. Judy, thank you for mentioning me and my jewelry in your post! You have reminded me that my sewing machine has been neglected lately! Maybe this will inspire me to get to work. I look forward to seeing your bag creations!

  3. It’s great to see so many projects underway! Challenges are a great way to try new things and get things accomplished.

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