100 days of rectangles
The 100 Days Project is the project that broke me in 2020, turning me from an almost irredeemable procrastinator, to someone who finishes projects in the same year she starts them. It was the beginning of a profound shift in my creative practise, and yet I haven’t been able to replicate that success since.
Partly, I think, that first year I needed the grounding rhythm of a daily project. My friends were also doing it, and we were all watching the same show, so there were so many layers of connection in a time when everything felt disconnected and unsettled. In 2021 and 2022, we were coming to accept the new normal that meant there was no such thing as normal. I didn’t need that focus quite so much, when I had a lot of other little projects on the hop, and a lot of real life.
This year, though, I’m both on track with multiple projects, while at the same time feeling like I’m in a creative rut. I’m reaching for the same projects and the same hobbies over and over, while the further reaches of my collections languish in neglect. I think part of that is coming from a place of pandemic fatigue, but also I feel at times tiny house life closes in on me, and my outlook becomes as small as our house. In those moments, I let myself get bounded by the walls of familiarity and routine, rather that indulging where my mojo is leading.
I’ve successfully managed almost two full months of daily photos, and daily stitches. The habit itself is something I’m clearly capable of forming. The question though was what to do. I had just about narrowed it down to either memory keeping, or print making, but couldn’t commit – both would require a stash of supplies on hand that I simply don’t have the space for. It was at the last minute, two nights ago, I had a brainwave.
In my stamp box, I have a set of doodled frames, from Studio L2E from approximately 500 years ago. Sized for planners, the stamps are 1.5″ wide, and came in both 2″ and 0.5″ heights. What if, I thought, what if I were to use those, and each day, do a tiny little watercolour. I have my basic Sakura palette and Micron pens here in the house already. For 12 days, Alley gave me a tin of watercolour pencils that have quickly become my favourite for bible journaling. I have all I need. There are no other rules. I can paint something I see. I can doodle some lines. I can play with colour. Whatever I feel inspired to do each day, as long as every day, for the next one hundred days, I put some paint in those rectangles.
Yesterday, I spent some time setting myself up for the marathon ahead. I stamped out four double page layouts, 24 rectangles per. This takes me to 96, and then the final four I hope to do a full or half page per day to finish big. I also made myself a little sheet to track my progress, ready to tick off each day’s painting. I have it taped to the back of my bookmark in my day book, the opposite side to the tracker stickers I made for my year long projects & monthly mini goals. It’s only 5cm x 7.5cm, but it’s just the right size to mark each day. If you would like one to track your own 100 days project, I’ve uploaded the graphic for you!
Personal use only
It has a blank line to fill in your own project, and the dots make a grid of 100 squares for you to mark off as you like. The file is a png, which you can save to your computer or device, print, and trim…or just save and edit directly on your phone! If you use it and post a photo, I’d love to see it, if you tag me @barefootcrafter.
It’s simple. It’s wide open. It requires only a couple of minutes each day…but also allows space to spend longer. I’m hoping this will be the project that gets me out of my “knitting or stitching” rut, and back into a wider creative practice. I’m excited to see what I come up with over the next 3.5 months, and as much as anything, I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else does too. This is always such an inspiring time in the creative community, full of wonderful projects and ideas; I always save a million posts during 100 Days. Already I’ve been in the group chat this morning, contemplating starting another, non-100-Days project.
By the end, I will be within spitting distance of moving into our new home. I’ll be gearing up to paint and shop and pack and clean and move. The timing, really, couldn’t be more perfect. For the next 100 days, I have something to keep me sane and out of the builders hair. Then I’ll come out, accomplished and refreshed and ready to annoy my husband with the overthinking of all the decisions to make. 100 days of paint play, 100 days of of colour…100 days of magic. Let’s do this!