Monday, March 2, 2015

making and doing in March

Happy March! The first Monday of the month. It's a sunny morning and although it's still very wintry outside, I'm finally getting a feeling of the coming of spring. I think it's the position of the sun and these longer days. It feels good.

Embarking on a new month with a new focus feels good, too.

logo for the make and do creative challenge for March

I'm not really even sure if I can still call this month's focus a "creative challenge", but I'm going to keep going with it. Last month I wrote that I was craving focus, simplicity and serenity. I still am. I still feel I need a bit of single-mindedness. But I've also come to the realization that I need to clear the way in order to be creative and productive. As I worked in my studio last month (not just painting, but I'll share more about that later), I kept getting frustrated by clutter and disorganization. Sitting here at my desk I look around at its various shelves and surfaces and I'm embarrassed to admit that it's a bit of a disaster. Actually, and this is a bit scary for me, I'll take a photo right now so I can be completely honest and share just how bad it is.

cluttered work space before photo

I usually take my photos to avoid sharing chaos like this because no one wants to look at it. We want to see pretty pictures of beautiful work spaces. How realistic is that? Well... by the end of the month I'm hoping that it will be realistic for me because for March getting organized will be my creative challenge.

I meant to declutter and organize and purge back in January when I was repainting and reorganizing my studio, but I was impatient to get back to work after the painting took me away from it for so long. My biggest organization problem is the "out of sight, out of mind" phenomenon. My desk closes up and the clutter is contained and hidden. Closets, drawers... those places can get a little scary while the visible places seem nice and organized. Any time I work at my computer, I'm reminded of how disorganized things really are. Any time I'm looking for a specific supply (that isn't painting-related), I'm frustrated. It's hard to work when you can't find what you're looking for. Additionally, as I let go of some of my creative to-dos, I can let go of the "stuff" that accompanies them. Supplies that I'll never use. Tools I no longer need. I wouldn't consider myself a hoarder, but I do have a tendency to hold on to anything art and craft related. When I first started out on my creative adventure I had no "stash". I couldn't create the way I wanted to create because I had none of the tools or supplies. Collage? With what? I had no papers. Sew? With what? I had no fabric. Crochet a sweater or a blanket? I'd have to go out and buy the yarn first. I would look at a magazine like Where Women Create and yearn to have enough "stuff" that I would need beautiful storage solutions to organize it all. I yearned for possibilities, for choices. Quite a few years later, I have oodles of both. But now I'm yearning for some clarity. The pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction.

And so March... March will be a month of spring cleaning for me. Of winnowing down my collections of supplies and of ideas. Really, it's all about my continued desire to focus. And, to go back to my word of the year, focus and clarity, simplicity... all of those things will help me to flourish.

What about you? What are you planning for March? Is there a certain creative challenge calling you?

10 comments:

  1. I've been meaning to simplify and clear out my clutter for years Anne! I have made a few half hearted attempts to do so but the clutter gradually rebuilds! It is so frustrating because I just don't know where things are. The thing is I hate it but it is made worse my my husbands desire to want to keep everything! Good luck with your challenge. For what it is worth, I don't think your work space looks too bad at all. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Simone. I cringe when I see the photo so it's nice of you to say.

      It's such a challenge, isn't it? As artists and crafters we want to have plenty of supplies, but there's a difference between keeping what you'll need and use and keeping things just to keep them. Sometimes it's hard for me to be objective and tell the difference. Having a husband who wants to keep everything would be a challenge, too. Mine is the opposite. He likes things even more streamlined than I do, though when it comes to car parts... Hahaha.

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  2. Dear Anne, I cannot even express in words how inspirational are your posts. Always love to come back here and check how you are getting on. I think you are doing so well ! !! I have just ordered stuff for making creams inspired by one of your post! March is a month of making creams for me :). Big hugs to you and million of thoughts of gratitude! Have a happy and creative month!

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    1. Thank you so much, Aga!

      I'm so glad you'll be making some creams in March and I hope you enjoy it. I find it very satisfying and then getting to enjoy the finished product...

      Big hugs to you, too, sweet Aga! Hope your month is filled with much creativity, beauty and joy!

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  3. Ah, Anne, I am in exactly the same place right now, needing very much to whittle down my stash of "supplies" and create a more serene space for making art. I love that you posted that photo!! You are very inspiring and it's such a pleasure to have you as a friend!

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    1. Thanks, Judy. Isn't it so hard? But we'll both get through our sorting and whittling and soon we'll have serene spaces for making.

      Hugs to you!

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  4. Clutter....I hate it as well. But it sneaks up on a person.
    I do have Spring Cleaning on my list and did some already on Monday! I was so happy.
    Creative ~ I hope to create some fun Easter baskets for my mom and sister. Not sure what all I want to do, so thinking. :-)

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    1. There's something wonderful about spring cleaning, isn't there?

      Have fun with your Easter baskets. I'm sure you'll create something that will be lovely and fun. Have a great week!

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  5. I just started reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. So far it seems to make sense but I'm not sure how well it will work for me with husband who wants to save things and of course the clutter that kids can make. Good luck with your project. It doesn't seem so bad to me.

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    1. I can imagine that kids would contribute to lots of clutter and chaos. So funny that husbands can be so different. Mine likes to get rid of stuff, although he has quite a collection of car parts and computer bits. He keeps them nice and neat (he's so much more neat than I am).

      I think everyone has their own feelings and tolerance of "stuff" and clutter. Creating a balance can be tricky, especially when other people are involved. Good luck!

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