I’ll be taking a few days off to celebrate the new year, and since I don’t want you to go hungry for crafting inspiration, here is a mega-post of everything I am inspired by for the upcoming year. Here are my 13 crafting resolutions for 2013:
1. Locate and Upcycle a Retired Piano
I’ve been wanting to locate a dumpster-bound piano ever since I read this sad story, and saw these beauties.
2. Grow some Green
No place is more dear to me than the silent and sunlight-dappled forests. As a child I roamed and explored them, as a teen I harbored secret fantasies of running away and living by my wits there, and now, if I ever need to calm myself or reconnect with what is important to me, these green mossy places are where I turn first. Nothing is more comforting than the smell of decomposing leaf-litter. I’ve wanted to bring the woods home with me for a long time, and these inspiring green walls and green globes (aka. “kokedama,” or moss ball, Tutorial here.) do the job quite elegantly.
3. Light it Up
Nothing turns up the “wow” factor of a project more than working lights, and I would love to learn how to wire them up. Ok, so it doesn’t work for every project, and I’m not about to string up grandma’s doilies with LEDs, but for the right project, the ability to do simple wiring makes the results astoundingly beautiful.
4. Learn Wire-Work
It may cost me my fingernails, but I would love to be able to make something as beautiful and detailed as this:
5. Have a Hand on 10% of my Closet
Most of my clothes are unaltered from the state in which I received them. The same is true for most people’s closets. But a personal thought, a sign of some time and care, and the knowledge that my clothes were (at least partially) hand made just for me really makes me feel a lot better when I look in the mirror in the morning. I would love to spend some time ravaging my closet with a needle and thread, some embroidery floss, and maybe some beads or appliques or a hot glue gun. Here are some alteration ideas I’m considering:
6. Learn to silkscreen
I feel quite sad that I don’t know how to silk screen. In fact, I don’t know how to do any printmaking. This has been on my list for a long time, but this year it is going to happen!
7. Build a rice paper room-divider screen
I love room-dividers, be they hangings, partitions, or fold-out dividers. They make a space seem cozy without cutting off light and air flow, and more importantly, they can be beautiful works of art. I’ve wanted to build a fold-out-divider for a while, and I am drowning in ideas for what to put on it. The woodwork involved is fairly basic, but I won’t kid myself that this will be a quick project. I’ll keep you updated with tutorials as this project progresses, but in the meantime here is some room-divider inspiration.
8. Make some stuff with the kids
Most crafters started young. My dog-eared old copy of Childcraft’s Make and Do attests to this. Now that I am living in a household with two children (ages 8 and 3), I’d like to find some child-friendly crafts to foster their creative sides. At the same time, I try not to make stuff just for the sake of making stuff, so I would like to find some projects that wouldn’t just be thrown away after the making process was over. Here are some excerpts from Make and Do (click for a larger version).
9. Find a friend with a kiln
I love working with ceramics but I rarely get the opportunity because of the expensive equipment required to fire the finished piece. This year, I hope to find access to a kiln so I can make something like this:
10. Build an instrument
I built a bowed psaltery a few years ago, and since then I’ve been toying with the idea of building a different instrument. Now, I’m no luthier. The patience and precision necessary to lay in frets gives me the heebie-jeebies. But this website has pre-fretted necks of a whole variety of instruments. I think a cookie-tin banjo might just be calling to me.
11. Knit a cape
After visiting Iceland I’ve been dying to replicate some of the fantastic knitted capes and capelets I saw there. The Icelanders are a stylish and beautiful race of knitters. Knitting is not considered an old lady craft there, either; it is taught in elementary school to every student, and men knit in sports bars while they talk about fixing cars. Everyone wears wool all the time, and there are easily more sheep than people on the island. Here are a few snippets of inspiration for the knitters reading:
12. Make something out of butterfly wings
I always look at the ground when I am walking, and this habit has rewarded me with a fair-sized collection of gossamer butterfly wings. I’ve kept them safe, pressed in a book (Nabokov short stories, pressed in The Aurelian, a story about a doomed lepidopterist), but this year I want to find some creative way to preserve and display these delicate fragments. If you want some butterfly wings of your own, this site has quite a few for sale.
13. Pick a tree
I’m living in a city now, so my love of the forest has to be focused on the few individual trees I meet during my daily trips. I would like to pick one tree to notice every day, and each week I would like to produce an artwork or craft which was inspired of made from pieces of that tree. I want to explore both fine detail and gestalt, and this gives me a chance to really develop on an idea. In the meantime, here are a few inspiring pieces of tree-art.