52 Projects is an adventure in discovery. Every week, for 52 weeks, do something. Something you’ve never done before. Something you’ve always wanted to do. Something that scares you. Something that inspires you. Something that inspires others. Something that tickles your fancy. Something that caught your eye. Something that just popped into your head. It can be big. It can be small. It can be whatever you want it to be. Find out how doing something can lead you to discover things about yourself, your world, your God. Then, come here on Sundays and share it with others. I'll write about mine here, you write about yours on your blog, then use the tool in my post to link to your something. Please feel free to jump in and participate anytime throughout the year!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Week 2: Pin Cushions

Betsy Ross, I am not. Still, I love my old sewing machine that I inherited from my grandmother. I have bags filled with fabric scraps that I’ve been meaning to get around to playing with to see how I might repurpose them. Pin cushions jumped in to my mind in the beginning of the week. So I made one. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of the classic little red tomato that came with every sewing kit ever sold. Easiest sewing project ever done. It was so much fun that I couldn't stop there. One pin cushion turned in to many.

Just by the process of trying one pin cushion, it spread a fire through my brain. I suddenly had a vision of setting up my old vintage black Singer machine at the show I’ll be doing in the late Spring (more about that later). At a real live showing of the Painted House, I can use my old sewing machine as a prop with these pin cushions piled around it. I can sell them on Etsy. I can give them away. You get the idea. One of the best totally unexpected uses for the pin cushion was the discovery that they make wonderful pillows for napping sock monkeys.

When you start with a tiny spark, it has the potential to spread like wildfire and that, my friends, is one of the reasons behind 52 Projects. What have you tried this week?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Let the projects begin! Week 1: soap making

Welcome to the launching of 52 Projects. I hope you’ll join in on the fun. The idea here is to try one new thing a week and share it with us every Sunday. It can be anything from making a tart to taking a self-portrait with your camera to writing a verse of Haiku to learning how to change a tire on your car. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel when you’ve stepped out of your routine and taken a new step.

I’ve been hoarding magazines and clippings of things I’ve wanted to try for over 15 years. Not everything on my bucket list is grand and difficult to achieve. Take my project for this week. I first spotted this soap project 15 years ago. I found it in the December 1995 issue of Handcrafts Illustrated. This was fun and so incredibly easy to make with very minimal mess. The total time was about 15 minutes and now I can add another skill to my repertoire. These are the things I used: a microwave oven, a bar of Ivory soap (which I found a 10 pack for $3.29 this week), lemon zest, oatmeal, some scented oil and a few crushed sage leaves. One bar of Ivory soap produces three golf ball sized hand soaps which are perfect in a little dish next to your kitchen sink or in a guest bathroom. You can customize your soap with a little food color, different herbs if you like and a variety of scented oils. I just happened to have lemons and massage oil on hand. I might also experiment next time by pressing the soap mix in a pan and breaking it in to “bark” pieces instead of rolling it in to balls. If you would like to try this yourself, you can email me at paintedhouse52@yahoo.com and I’d be happy to email you the instructions.

What did you do this week?