Artifacts and Alchemy

Mistie K. Jordan in Michigan is creating a project she calls Artifacts and Alchemy. She explains, "This is a yearlong commitment by me to: simplify, use the stuff I have, get rid of the things I don't, organize and create with what I have."

Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to start this project to help with gnawing goals that have lots of thought in my head but seem to have trouble finding their way to actual physical activity to being completed.  Your book made me think about how the days fly by and can be filled with the projects, ideas, and joy that we choose to fill them with, IF, we are willing to take action and commit to them.

Creativity is my goal. Respect, love, and delight in my creativity as a gift for myself and to share with others everyday. I will create with the materials I like (artifacts) , share what I know and learn and practice new techniques (alchemy). I will post on my blog at least once a week to record and share my progress. We are talking life change in little steps.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I say on my blog that I feel like I cheated to get started.  I read your book in the summer, and stirred around in my head while I had a bunch of other commitments to complete.  I pushed through the summer doing stuff that I realized I really DID NOT want to be doing.  All my creativity was pushed to the side and I was really frustrated and sad about losing myself in the projects of others.  Then I started thinking that I have been doing that for a long time.  So, in September I just dove in and started de-cluttering and rediscovering treasures.  It has been amazing so far the space I have discovered in my house and the creative ideas I have that keep flowing and the centeredness I feel in giving myself permission to accept and act on those ideas.  I have started documenting my progress on my blog now that I feel what my true goal for the year is, and that I feel really compelled to act upon my goal regardless of the other things that are happening in my life.  I have been able to say "no" over and over again to projects that seem to be taking my time, but that have no respect for my creative passions.  As the year goes on and there is less clutter and more creating space, I feel more excited rather than overwhelmed.

See all of Mistie's artifacts HERE.


Kathy's Poem-A-Day

Kathy in Stockton, California is writing a poem a day based on the prompts in my book...

DAY 15 - What can you do with just a dollar?  Use a dollar bill as your medium or inspiration today.


The dollar depreciates, dated, but dependable, delegated to the dollar store for discovered daily deals dealt by darling diligent Donna, the damsel designated to dispense the desired discoveries from duct tape to dish soap.  

Why did you decide to do this project? Stumbled across 365 while browsing on Amazon.  It was intriguing.  Now my husband has been inspired to start.  He plans to do a pencil sketch a day. 

DAY 6 - Look in the kitchen and work with the first thing you spot.

Ode to the Banana

Banana so bold
Vitamins you hold
With a nice thick coat
On you many dote

An apple a day
might keep docs away
But a banana a day
I say hooray

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?  It has inspired me to write which I have loved to do.  I take a creative writing class, but it covers only about 20 weeks of the year.  In class I found that I love to write poetry.  Each day brings a challenge, fun, and a smile - a wonderful way to start a day.  I can’t wait to see what the day’s “assignment” brings!

DAY 9 - Make something with your breakfast before you eat it.  2/26

Used Cheerios for my food
Made something to be viewed
Spelled “poem” on a plate
Took a photo and then ate

3x5 everyday

Bryndie Beach in Carmel, California is creating 3x5 everyday... 

Why did you decide to do this project? After taking Tina Seelig’s MOOC A Crash Course on Creativity through Stanford this fall, I liked the idea of doing a mini creative project every day to stay alert and pay closer attention to the work involved in making a small treasure every day for a year.  Connecting and combining random items and thoughts makes for a great and surprising creative road map for the year ahead. So I started with the following:

Where will a 3 x 5 index card lead you?  How can that tiny frame come alive?  Can that small space hold the stuff of dreams?

Basic materials are 3 x 5 cards, which my Dad used on a daily basis, and found items in drawers, all loosely related to tea, a drink I love.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I try to not look at the prompt until the morning, then, depending on the work day and how much is happening, mull it all over and usually latch on to a few objects.  I like going beyond the first, second, or third idea, and seeing how many layers emerge to give each little 3 x 5 more depth and playfulness.  Although I am only on Day 21 today (March 7),  Noah's design challenges have filled me with energy and perseverance.  I find that even though the format is small, the thoughts and results can be BIG! 

See all of Bryndie's 3x5 creations HERE.

365 videos. A Year For Adventure.

Tazie K in Bristol, UK is creating 365 videos. A Year For Adventure...

Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to start a 365 project after seeing all the fun my sister Luna was having with her 365 boats project. I'd known for a while I wanted to make videos, I've always had a love for the visual arts. I had been watching so many awesome YouTube Vlogers, musicians, creative types or reading blogs on blogger I enjoyed being part of the revolution of free media as a viewer so decided to step out from the shadows and start my own channel.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Every day I'm coming up with a new challenge for myself, whether it be in the editing of a video or the filming im constantly learning new things with a lot of help from online tutorials of course. I love were each video takes me even if quite often there still filmed inside the house there always so much fun to create. So far I've got two Favorites. The slow-mo ball throw which was just great fun to film and edit we chucked so many paper balls at Luna and then playing it back at different speeds you could see Luna trying to dodge each ball. Number two is the speed crafts which was the 2nd video. This one was great it was the first video using premiere pro and i had to learn a lot that day in a very short space of time.

See all of Tazie's videos on her blog or on YouTube.

Nourish 365 Project

Jenna Powers in Boston, Massachusetts is celebrating what nourishes her life: photography, food, friends and family in Nourish 365 Project...

Why did you decide to do this project? Turning 35, preparing for a wedding, moving to a new city and moving in with my fiancĂ©… oh, and 60+ hour workweeks that involve being away from home two or three weeks a month…

Photography is a passion, but it was becoming too easy to go long stretches without picking up the camera.  The Project was a way for me to connect with my creativity and my passion, even if it is just for one iPhone click a day (though I have found myself schlepping the Nikon around more often!)

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I knew I could do the photography part, but to my fiance and I's pleasant surprise, it turns out I can actually cook!  (Did I mention that prior to starting my food-based Project I didn’t cook at all?)  Don't get me wrong, I will never be a Top Chef, but after years of ordering takeout and watching any one of a dozen cooking competition shows, it looks like I actually learned some things.

It’s also been a great opportunity to connect with foodies, photography lovers, and culinary geniuses in my neighborhood and in cities around the country.  Having a blogger “like” my post, or a restaurant retweet me or post one of my photos on their Facebook page helps me feel connected to my surroundings, something that’s generally a challenge for me—I haven’t spent more than two consecutive weeks in the same city in more than two years!

I really look forward to what the next ten months has in store for me, my camera and my stomach!

See everything that nourishes Jenna HERE.

Just Dave's Creations: 365 Days of Creatures

David Hoffmann in Minneapolis, Minnesota after completing a year working with color is now spending a year making 365 Days of Creatures...

Why did you decide to do this project?
I did finish last years 365 day project around the theme of color.  I decided to continue on this year.  I changed it though to doing a different creature a day for a year.  The highlight of las year's blog for me was the days I created a creature, like the sad frogs or monsters or the snowmen.

I decided to continue on with this, because I had so many people encourage me to continue.  They looked forward to the things I created and it became part of their week.  It also became a habit, a rather fun one. I'm even more excited this year because of the new direction.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?
My students (I'm an elementary art teacher) now ask weekly what creature did you do today?  They get really excited to see what I came up with.   It shows them things I do as an artist and they can be
inspired to try new things as well.

My hope is to take these creatures and turn them eventually into larger pieces, greeting cards, t-shirt ideas, etc...  It's just plain fun and paper art is a medium I love, but failed to ever spend much time in.

See all of Dave's creatures HERE.

365 Days ~ An Image A Day, What It Means To Be...

Terin Christensen in Danville, California is creating 365 Days ~ An Image A Day, What It Means To Be... 

Why did you decide to do this project? Dedicated to my daughter and my mother.... Women who have challenged me and pushed me to grow. This project started with a book my daughter sent to me entitled  365: A Daily Creativity Journal.

I have committed to posting images for 365 days. Initially I thought I’d shoot a picture a day of different woman, but quickly realized that was not a realistic goal. Subsequently, I’ve broken the project down into shooting one person per week thus posting four daily images that capture their essence. The remaining days in the week will be peppered with photographs of my mother and miscellaneous images that reflect my voice.

Each person will be asked “What does it mean to be a woman?” or “What does it mean to be you?” Their responses will present insight into the mysteries that lie within them and define them.

I’m sure this road will take me down some crazy paths and the project will morph along the way. Life is a sweet short ride and thank you for traveling along with me.

Courage to follow one’s heart and to use one’s brain is essential!

See all of Terin's project HERE.

Flow: Simplify Your Life

I was interviewed for the recent Simplify Your Life issue of Flow magazine from the Netherlands!

Here's a rough translation:
12. Set yourself achievable goals
Creativity requires action, says Noah Scalin, creative. "Stop thinking and start doing! The creativity is already inside of you, the secret is taking action instead of just thinking about making things. Give yourself small manageable creative goals (i.e. make something that fits in the palm of your hand) and then just do it on a regular schedule (daily? 3 times a week? Once a week?) without judging the outcome. Think of it as exercise for your brain. The more you make, the better you’ll get!"
Noah Scalin makes images and photos, he paints, writes and creates illustrations from  paper. Also he created the Skull-A-Day project: see how Noah made a skull every day for a year. "It was such a pure creative expression and I loved that something that at first seemed ridiculous and personal turned out to be so life changing for me and has reached so many people all over the world! " Noah's latest book The Design Activist's Handbook has just appeared. Noah's Skull a Day project can be found on

The article also features Darth Buttons image I created for the Star Wars Remix project!

365 Lil' Guy Portraits

Scott Krichau in Albuquerque, New Mexico is creating 365 Lil' Guy Portraits...

 His rules are:
 - Draw a "lil' guy" every day for the next year.
 - Color them when I can.  Ink and travel don't mix well.
 - Write something about each "lil' guy," but not too much.

Why did you decide to do this project?
I got to watch Carolyn Curtis work on her last 365 and figured I needed to do this.  I can make the time each day to draw, color, and write.  I awake to a blank paper each morning.  It's a great way to start the day and get the mind working.  Hope we can get the dog to start one of his own next year.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I've been struggling with writing the story of my "lil' guys."  Coming up with characters has always been easy, but naming them and giving them a chance to express something has evaded me.  I really enjoy letting each "lil' guy" become their own character.  First names combined with an observation about life become just enough info to know the "lil' guy.

See all of Scott's Lil' Guys HERE.

Ring-A-Day Follow-Up

Herbert Hoover completed his yearlong Ring-A-Day project on February 11, 2013...

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project? I love to design things, so many of the rings are about the design. With so much opportunity to design, my skills couldn't help but become stronger with each new daily ring.

However, where I learned the most was craft. I found the limits of my caster's abilities, the metal's abilities, and learned how to polish metals to a mirror shine under magnification. Traditionally, a polisher apprentices under a master jeweler for 3-5 years. There's more to learn, but I've polished a lot of rings this year.

I also started to appreciate gems once I was confident to set them without breaking them. I only lost one, and didn't break any. The kiln heat made one CZ milky, but it might be able to be polished back to full luster. I could easily do a second year of the project concentrating on gems. Does anyone know of a "rock collecting" grant?

In what ways did the project change your life? I have much greater respect for anyone who makes or repairs jewelry. It's a tough trade to learn, and a tougher trade to make money doing. I understand why this trade was passed through generations. You have to sleep, eat, and talk the craft to stay sharp and competitive. It's like sports or music. You have to keep practicing and keep learning to be good.

I began reading some of the history and lore of ring making to help keep my creativity primed. The story of a king throwing his ring into the sea, which was quickly eaten by a fish, that later was served to him with the ring still in its belly, was one of my favorite tall tales. Amazingly, gems weren't an important part of rings until the Romans added them. They were more functional as a form of ID or security tools than as jewelry. There was also gold electroplating as far back as 2500 BC -- 4,300 years before Alessandro Volta "invented" the battery in 1800 AD. I got to study some old texts by borrowing old NYPL library books. One of the books is 120 years old. It makes me concerned when libraries take a book off the shelf that hasn't circulated in several years to make room for more vampire dreck, so in this way the project gave me a new appreciation of history and the conservation necessary to keep from loosing this knowledge.

Now what? I'm working on some new ring designs that require a little more time and patience than one day allows. I'm also looking for ways to share the fun I had creating and blogging this adventure.

Now that I understand the hand-crafting design process of making rings, I'm learning how to use a CNC mill to cut wax models for casting. It will add a level of accuracy and craftsmanship that would otherwise take years and lots of patience to learn by hand. Learning the basic handwork and metal craft first will give my CNC designs a firm grounding in classic style and design.

I've joined to help people realize their jewelry ideas.

Read Herbert's original 365 post HERE.

See all of Herbert's rings HERE.

Sam 365 Skeleton

Suz Terzuola in Albuquerque New Mexico is spending documenting Samantha a life size medical model skeleton that traevels the world with her in Sam 365 Skeleton.

Why did you decide to do this project? I have always loved skeletons.  I use them in my art work, and jewelry.  During a medical illustration class a hundred years ago, I fell in love with the bones.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? The interaction between Samantha and people who meet her can be magical.  There is no middle ground as to their response. They either love her or hate her.  Such strong emotions I've seen!  We were almost arrested in Rome at the Colosseum.  I was called a "brutta" before we were invited to leave. At Christmas she got as many gifts as I did!

She is my size, so carrying her around, through airports and busy cities is labor intensive.  TSA, Depatrment of Agriculture have had their way with her.  I am about to have a custom case made for travel.  We still have NY, NH, Germany, Berlin, and Chicago have booked tickets. 

I tell people that the real  "ART" happens in the experience.

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See all of Suz's travels with Samantha HERE. You can also find Sam on Facebook and Etsy.

Joy's Project 2013

Joy Bender Hadley in Marquette, Michigan is creating daily in her Project 2013...

Why did you decide to do this project? Not exactly sure... I wanted to challenge myself. I am an art teacher and in the past few years I had not completed many works of art myself. I have been attempting to push myself the past two years and figured this would be an ultimate test.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? This has been an incredible journey already! I have some weeks that are tough to produce and others that feel easy... But it is always amazing to leave my art studio everyday knowing I've made a mark, an image!

I also post my images online and that has created an environment of communication with other artists, family members and friends. I learn about myself with each image and with comments from others about my work, I learn about them. Such a collaborative feeling!

See all of Joy's art HERE.