This past weekend I had a very successful yard sale in hopes of cleaning out the house and the garage. The garage is now as good as it is going to get, but today I was sitting in the house surveying my surroundings, and I realized that it didn't even look like I made a dent in the stuff in here. I got rid of everything I could bear to let go of that I thought people would buy, but there was still so much stuff.
I suddenly felt the urge to figure out the source of the continuous clutter. Granted, a lot of what fills my house is craft supplies, obviously, but I do my best to keep them all neatly organized and put away so the cats to not thrash them. You have seen my bookshelf of fabric many times in the background of my pictures, and most of my other supplies are neat and tidy as well. But lately I have noticed a few looming piles of stuff that sort of blends in with the supplies, though it is no where near as organized and is starting to take over. I refer, of course, to the dreaded piles of unfinished projects. *Bum bum buuumm!*
Now, I will be the first to say that I am one of the world's best starters, and one of the absolute worst finishers. I have projects that are many years old and are so ridiculously close to completion that I am thoroughly embarrassed to even think about them. I have some things that have been waiting for a button or two to be sewn on for literally years. Oh the shame of it all! I wrote a post a little while ago about discovering my forgotten bag full of unfinished amigurumi. I have many such bags full of unfinished projects that have not been long forgotten in the closet, but sit out staring me in the face every day.
I think I have finally had enough. So, I propose a challenge, both to myself and to all of my friends out there who feel the same way I do about their unfinished projects: Finish It!
Me-Made-May went so well that it has inspired me to host my own craft challenge. The sense of accomplishment from finishing the challenge and the largest fiber art project I have ever set out to do was one of the best feelings in the world. It lit a fire under my butt and now I just want more and more of it. So here is my idea, and please let me know if you would either like to join or think I am completely nuts...
For this challenge, I propose that we all gather together to support one another as we work through our lists of unfinished projects. It is a daunting task to come back to projects that have been hidden away for a long time, but together we can do it! There will be a few rules, but everyone can customize them to suit their needs:
1. The challenge's deadline will be the 15th of December, just in time to give those gifts for the holidays that you started and meant to finish years ago. You can choose how many projects you think you are capable of finishing in that time frame, or you can go whole-hog and try to finish them all.
2. I have created a flickr group for this challenge, the link to which is here:http://www.flickr.com/groups/finish-it
One thing everyone should do in order to properly start this challenge is to gather every single one of your unfinished projects into one big lot and take a photo. Do not be embarrassed, we are all in this together! Then post it to the flickr group, because the first step in solving the problem is admitting you have it! And if possible it would be great to include either a list of projects in the description of the photo (best for people who have a lot of them), or tag them all with notes.
3. One of the most important rules is that you are not allowed to start any new projects until all of your old ones are done! This is probably the hardest part, since we all love a new project. But we all love a finished one just as much, right? Good incentive to get them done faster too.
4. Document your progress however you like, and be sure to post pictures to the flickr group. You can do before and after photos or just photos of the finished project. And if it is a large one like a quilt, feel free to post updates. Showing off your progress will inspire others who will in turn inspire you! And it would be good to keep a list of finished project somewhere we can all see it as well.
5. Set small goals if you feel overwhelmed. Go for one project a week, or even one a month, and do not worry if you do not meet your goal exactly on time, this challenge is meant to be fun as well as difficult! Also, if there are projects that you do not think are worth finishing, then either take them apart, unravel them, or donate them to a thrift store. There is no shame in doing so - I know plenty of crafters who have bought half-finished projects from a thrift store and were delighted that they had to do only half the work. Keep a tally for us to see how many projects have been abandoned.
6. If you would like to participate in this challenge, leave a comment in this post with a link to your blog, if you have one, and be sure to copy the link to this post and either put it up on your blog or e-mail it to friends you think could use some help getting their unfinished projects off the ground. The more people we have the more fun it will be!
I sincerely hope some of you will be up to the challenge, but I will be doing it whether others join or not, if only to save my house from the clutter!
So here goes nothing, I submit my gigantic pile of unfinished projects, and I will be thoroughly surprised if anyone out there has a bigger lot than I do:
Ho-ly-crap... I am ashamed I have let it get to this level. I have so many that it will take me a bit to make a complete list for you all, but I can say that there are at least 4 quilts in various stages, an entire laundry basket full of crochet and knitting projects, and a million sewing projects that are cut and pinned and ready to go. I have actually already finished some and abandoned some, so I will give you all the details in my next post.
Good luck everyone!
*Edited to add: