Tuesday, July 26, 2011


". . .the things you used to own, now they own you".  ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 5

I'm taking a hiatus from my challenge until further notice. Sigh. I really like to follow through on things, but our family has a new challenge that is absorbing most of my time.

We are cleaning.

For most families, this probably means picking up socks, throwing out ratty old rugs, and steam-cleaning the dining room. For my family, cleaning--real cleaning--includes an all-day trek to The Pit (a creepy ole' storage space under our house) to sort through the hundreds of boxes lurking there. And so we set off, armed with courage and lemonade.

A sample of what lurks in "The Pit"
After four hours, we had found money (two dollars and a buncha quarters, in my case), chocolate ladybugs (which had been decimated by weevils, the true "chocolate bugs"), my little sister's old bath towel, and tons of old papers, letters, and toys.

A path we cleared
We managed to clean out one storage area, the entrance to The Pit. It actually looked quite nice.

I sorted these boxes. :)
However, much of what we cleared out is now sitting in an enormous pile in the middle of our basement. The mounds of trash have been hauled off, but stacks and stacks of boxes and crates and chairs and bookcases remain, making it look like we're a family of hoarders. (I really hope we're not.) We plan to have a garage sale, but that means we need to sort through everything *again*. Yeeg.

I've also been working on my room. I haven't done an extensive overhaul since I graduated from high school four years ago. And. . . it definitely shows. Sure, I've cleaned it, but I haven't searched through the drawers and ruthlessly discarded half my stuff in a while. It's scary--what if I need that fifth pair of tweezers? Couldn't I use three identical pairs of flip-flops? However, I've found getting rid of things to be freeing.
My room in the middle stages of the purge.
Let's say you're like me. Now, remember those corduroy pants--the ones that are slightly too long and a little too. . . brown? And that polo--the one that never fit you quite right (and besides, you wore it in high school). And let's face it, you'll never wear those shoes Aunt Agatha got you, although they're a fascinating specimen of mustard and chartreuse plaid. Your room is filled with kindly-meant gifts, impulse buys, clothes that still have tags, all hidden in corners because they're just too. . . embarrassing to remember. 

Now really, why do I need these?
Get rid of them. Seriously.

It's incredible to realize that you'll never again have to see all those guilt-inducing things. Don't like those pants? Why keep them? And you'll never have to feel bad about those shoes if you don't have them reminding you every day when you walk into your closet. So au revoir, stuff! Auf wiedersehen. Have a nice life--without me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I laughed when I saw today's word: erubescent (the spell-checker wants to change it to "pubescent". . .). It means "becoming red or reddish; blushing."

A blushing peach!
Excellent. That's a challenge in and of itself--make something blushing. I'll edit and post when I've got it.

Later that day. . .

It's even got a leaf for "natural" effect!
All of the gorgeous colors
  A peach. I made a peach. I grabbed four random colors of yarn and hobbled together this hacky sack full o' beans!

It turned out a little weird, but I'm pleased with the overall effect. Now I just need to find someone to teach me how to play. . . O_O

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fifty Days of Challenge

I've been slacking off. Sure, I've been working at camp for the last seven weeks, but that's no excuse. I had my yarn and crochet hook, but all I did after finishing my mukluks (I'll post pictures at some point) was give yarn to my girls to make parachutes. So. . . Bad me.

(In case you couldn't tell, this is lonely, neglected yarn. It has a sad face.
True, I was a bit burned out--I finished eight huge flower scarves right before I left. They were lovely and they made me a lot of money. But they were also insane and repetitive, and I made all eight of them in a week (O_O). So it's no wonder I haven't worked on any projects for months--right?
One of the eight monstrous scarves
Perhaps. But now it is time to start anew--with a challenge! For the next fifty days, I will create a randomly determined challenge, complete it, and post the creation on Etsy. To account for unforeseen circumstances (such as surprise parties, ogres, and lady-eating sharks), I'll give myself two extensions per week. Yes.
A rather more pleasant interaction than expected
Challenges will be arranged by taking the word of the day from dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday) and constructing a challenge fitting that theme. So, for instance, the word today is "feign." So my challenge for today (presuming I would undertake it with only an hour remaining) would be to. . .  Create an object that appears to be one thing while actually being something else. How simple!

Is it a doorway with two people or an elderly man's enormous head? Oh, dear. . .

If you wish to join me in my quest, please do so! I would love to see how others respond to the prompts. Even if you don't knit or crochet, you might make jewelry, draw, paint, sew, write, or do any number of creative things. Feel free to post pictures and descriptions of anything you make. :)