On Saturday morning, after a lovely lay in and starting the day off slow with the children, I was kicking around the loungeroom looking at my various projects, and none of them holding my attention for more than about 30 seconds. What is it about having nothing more to do than make pretty things for the fun of it, that completely kills your mojo to do any of it? Give me a deadline or only 15 minutes, and I can power through a project. Give me three days with no plans and I’ll fritter it away trying to decide what I want to do. And so, it was time to deal with my lack of direction in the best way I knew how…with a challenge.
After much back and forth and searching of pinterest boards, we eventually settled on a three-pronged challenge:
1) finish reading a book
2) finish a project for our make-all-the-things challenge
3) hit a milestone on a WIP
Bonus item 4) write a flash fiction
PART ONE: FINISH READING A BOOK
On my Kindle, and on my audible app, I had already downloaded The Keeper Of The Lost Things**, as part of A Bookish Baker’s book club. Technically, this was the pick for October, but who am I to deny a new book demanding to be read? I spent the weekend switching between the ebook and audiobook, and finished it Sunday night (because doesn’t everyone finish Octobers book club book on September 30?). I will post a full review in my mothly book wrap up, but the short version is, that I loved it. I will definitely be grabbing the next book by this author.
PART TWO: FINISH A MATERIALS PROJECT
I kicked around a few ideas for what I wanted to do for this part of the challenge, but in the end decided to work on a custom book that has been sitting in my WIP pile for far too long. In theory it should only have taken me an hour or so, but I had no sooner punched the holes, and gotten as far as tightening the bindings on the first signature, and the kids were in the craft room, wanting to make stuff too. Of course, they didn’t want to just sit and paint and chat, they wanted to sew…so the book got put aside. Then Mr Barefoot was home from his travels and we were off to the farm, which isn’t best environment for book binding, so it stayed home, and hasn’t progress past that first signature, sadly.
PART THREE: HIT A MILESTONE ON A WIP
This was the easiest one to decide on, since I had finished the Phantom from Story Time Sampler on Friday afternoon at swimming lessons, and having done the first couple of rows of Black Beauty. I will also confess this was the most frustrating part of the challenge. I worked pretty solidly through the weekend, including taking it to church to work on during our annual Hour For Bibles activity time, taking it to the farm, stitch stitch stitching away…and I still didn’t finish. Adding to my frustration is that back in the day that this was a monthly release pattern, people were getting the blocks finished within the day – including some within the hour. I know I’m not the fastest stitcher in the world, but those benchmarks feel so unattainable, and here I was, three days in and still not finished (though I am getting close).
BONUS PART FOUR: FLASH FICTION
HA. Hahahahahah what even is writing, I do not know. Didn’t touch this one.
So in the end, I didn’t do so great on this challenge. BUT. Even though I didn’t complete the requirements, I still consider it a success, since it did what we set out for it to do – it got us moving and making and chatting and DOING. Which is the entire point of our challenges. Focus, to get us doing stuff instead of spinning around on a hamster wheel.
Today I’m child free, so I’m determined to get that Black Beauty block finished and that book bound. I have quilt camp gifts in progress I want to finish. There’s a little bit of housewifing to do, but for the most part, the day is mine to do with what I wish. I’m about to grab a coffee and sit down to write a list of today’s to-dos so that I don’t fall into my trap of too much time leading to nothing getting done. 7.5 hours until I meet the kids at the cinemas and bring them home afterwards. That’s plenty of time to get a heap done, right?