Archive for May 9, 2013

The Gauntlet Entry

So the very last step of the gauntlet challenge is to write about the experience, with pictures, in 1000 words or less. (So I guess this is not a case where a picture is worth a thousand words…)

A quick reminder of the nature of the challenge – to pick something you are bad at and want to improve and do something towards that for 30 days. I am bad at sticking to an artistic challenge as I tried doing one last year just for myself and failed miserably. After a great January making progress on my ongoing Home Beautification Project I planned to do some art journalling in February. I think I managed one day. So this one went better than that! (And I have signed up for a one day workshop on art journalling with my mother so I have not given up on that idea either!)

And I had just treated myself to a needle felting machine as a consolation for having to give up on my PhD. It was due to arrive on the 4th of April. So I hit on the idea of using the gauntlet to motivate me to use it every day and experiment with it.

Every day, for 30 consecutive days.

I was a bit worried about the consecutiveness because of my medical condition which fluctuates so that some days I am in pain and some days I am exhausted, but I figured this was something fun and also on my poorly days I could do something small and easy. I would have cheated and done two things on healthy days to pretend I’d done on the bad days, but rule 3 said no cheating on the honour system. I can’t cheat the honour system 😦

So I didn’t cheat.

I failed.

But only a little bit, only on one day.

On the 13th we had a family event for my sister’s birthday, when I gave her the gift I made during the challenge. It was a long day and I did not have time to felt before going out. When I got home I was not only knackered but in a lot of pain and my back made me have to just lie down and not move except to get ready for bed. At least my sister liked her present 🙂

I did dream about machine felting if that counts 😛

So then I had two choices. One, I could give up. I failed, so why bother carrying on? But that would negate all the useful things I would get from continuing, after all, this was not just about winning, it was about the sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing something you set out to do – this is the Year of Finishing Things! And it was about forcing myself to use the machine every day so my husband didn’t call it a white elephant. And it was about becoming more creative. And I am stubborn.

So I chose the other option, to carry on regardless. To do 30 days as if the 13th didn’t exist, like the 13th floor of some hotels. So I pressed on from the 4th to the 4th and I succeeded 😀 I finished the challenge.

I shall try to create a gallery of some of the pictures I have taken of the stuff I have felted in the 30 days:

I hope it works! Well, I can see pictures on my preview even though nothing shows up here in the edit screen so I have to assume it worked. I have no idea how to edit it though, so it will just have to do as it is. If you want to see bigger pictures or find out when I made what then I can only suggest going back through my posts, I have tried to make that easy by having a calendar widget over to the right.

Without a doubt the best thing I made was the Game of Thrones Stark direwolf for my sister. I am still quite chuffed with this so I shall post a bigger pic of it again here:

Needle-felted Stark direwolf banner.

Needle-felted Stark direwolf banner.

This took me three days to make, I do have photos for each of the days but I have not yet got around to posting them.

What I learned from finishing this challenge:

1) I am really not creative when I am tired.

2) I could make some awesome stuff with this thing if I keep it up.

3) I will probably make some really crappy rubbish along the way, but I must not let that put me off.

4) It is harder than it looks to be really creative.

5) The ideas in my head might be wonderful, but turning them into reality is tricky.

6) It really does help to sketch out ideas before making them.

7) If I did another 30 day challenge I would need to pick something easier 😉

8) Some really obvious stuff just involving practising using the machine, like how the foot pedal does not relate to the hand speed like on a sewing machine and how to change needles and what kinds of stuff felt together nicely or get horribly shredded.

9) Probably loads more but my brain is turning slowly to mush as I am getting tired again.

Well, that is 870 words, so I’d better stop waffling or I’ll fail that part too…

PS As soon as the challenge was over I stopped felting, I needed a break! But today I did some more. I am trying to make a butterly brooch for my 99 year old Nana for her birthday. It is a bit rubbish so far, I hope to pretty it up somehow. As it is, she will say it was made by her granddaughter and people will assume it was at kindergarten… at least that would make her feel young!

If you’re lucky my next post just might be about something other than felt… 😉

May 9, 2013 at 10:33 PM 2 comments

May 2013

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