365 Days of Creative Canning Follow-up

On Monday 20th May, 2013 Megan Forsyth in Perth, Western Australia completed her 365 Days of Creative Canning!

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project? I expanded my knowledge of preserving recipes, using many new fruits and vegetables and preserving in a variety of ways - learning how to use all of the fruit. Canning is all about following what is in season for your region, growing your own fruits and vegetables or getting to know your local orchards and farmers markets. My biggest lesson was building a relationship with local orchards/growers, and meeting people all over Perth in the process. I have met so many wonderful people, of all different ages and backgrounds. Food preservation is a science, so my goals were simple: GROW SAFE, PREPARE SAFE, PRESERVE SAFE and STORE SAFE. Preserving is a skill that I can teach to my daughters to pass on to the next generation to live strong, self-sufficient and independent lives.

In what ways did the project change your life? My life has changed in so many ways! It was very busy - between my family, working and life in general - however I found it quite therapeutic having time to myself in the kitchen each day, creating something that I can then trade with or pass on to family and friends as gifts. I also started up Perth Jams & Preserves Classes, community cooking classes that I teach once a month, as well as private lessons. I quickly filled my notebook with my recipes, tricks and twists on flavours and ingredients. My family have enjoyed homegrown (or locally sourced) fresh produce all year long, preservative-free and artificial-ingredient-free.

Now what? Now I have time to write up the rest of my recipes to add to my website www.365daysofcreativecanning.com, and I am starting to put my recipes together to write a cookbook, as well as a few other community (teaching) opportunities in conjunction with my monthly community classes. I am still preserving and creating though!

Read my Megan's original 365 interview HERE.

See all of Megan's canned creations HERE.

Lonesome Liz's Mojo Sideshow

Elizabeth Bissette in Nashville, Tennessee created Lonesome Liz's Mojo Sideshow...

Mojo Sideshow Sign by Wes Freed
She Explains, "The Mojo Sideshow began as a series of poems I composed for National Poetry Month, (they have a poem a day challenge each year). Each day in the month of April, I wrote a poem about a different Sideshow character. I later approached Richmond's Gallery 5  with the suggestion it be added to their Carnival of 5 Fires. The result was a multi-media show that included art by Wes Freed, Molly Crabapple, myself and others based on the characters. I added a central thread to the poems, creating a Southern Gothic Faust tale with my Outlaw Country persona, Lonesome Liz, as a modern Faust, in this case meeting the Devil at the Crossroads. The play also featured an Outlaw Country/Gospel score performed by JB Beverley, (Hank III) and myself, along with other talented local actors and dancers.

Why did you decide to do this project? I wanted to see what would happen if I wrote a poem every day!

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? During the course of the writing, I had the amazing opportunity for feedback from Beat Poet Charles Plymell. A few months ago, I took the play back out with the idea of revising it as a Wild West show. I not only again had his marvelous input, but he introduced me to another Beat Poet, who is a Grandson of Cole Younger. With their encouragement, a new production is almost finished. This time the central tale is that of the James/Younger Gang. Coincidentally, Cole Younger and Frank James had their own Wild West Show for a time. Bob Ford, James' killer, made himself a Sideshow act.

Deanna Danger as the Magician's Assistant

See more of Liz's Sideshow HERE.

Beth Nyland is Making 365 Somethings

Beth Nyland a "writer/consultant/mama" from the Western Chicago Suburbs is Making 365 Somethings...

Why did you decide to do this project? Answering an item on my wish list, my husband gave me 365: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life for Christmas 2012, just as I was finishing a year of writing a poem a day. I chose to save this creative project for my birthday, May 1. That day, my daughters (ages 8 and 10) began the Make Something 365 project together. Every now and then, my 15-year-old son contributes as well.

My theme is words, because I wanted to stay close to my passion for writing while stretching into new creative territories. My daughters chose cats and mustaches as their themes. Although they don't make something every day, they conceive of something every day. When they do produce something tangible, the results are always clever and often hilarious.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I'm just 23 days into this particular creative journey. But I think I may be developing an addition to daily discipline:
  • In 2011, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which taught me that through daily visits to the keyboard, I can generate more than 50,000 words in a month!
  • In 2012, I wrote a poem a day. Thanks to the leap year, I composed 366 poems. Not bad for a business writer.
  • At the start of 2013, I engaged friends and strangers in Just 99 Days: Daring to Dabble in Daily Discipline – an exercise I plan to lead again, tweaking the process and my support so the experience is better every time.
  • Then I learned that April is National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), so I wrote a poem a day in April 2013. Another 30 works in my growing archive.
  • When my birthday arrived on May 1, 2013, I began Make Something 365, along with my children.
Make Something 365 is different, and I'm loving it. As a writer, I usually compose on screen via keyboard. Make Something is pushing me to work with my hands in different ways, to exercise my creativity in more tangible, three-dimensional forms. I'm no Picasso or Rodin, but the exercises are fun.

To keep myself accountable for daily results, I'm posting each day's work on my blog. I became accustomed to this discipline during my 2012 poem-a-day exercise. Still, publishing unpolished, fast work is, well, character building. But for me, this journey is not about turning out works of art. Instead, I'm enjoying the daily commitment to play, solve problems, think differently, and live true to my believe that we are all creative -- regardless of age or skill or confidence level.

Having my children along for the ride may be the best part of this experience. We talk about Make Something at breakfast, dinner, in the car, all the time. They are wildly creative in generating ideas for their own work and mine as well. They work fast, without fear or hesitation. Their bravery and wisdom are inspiring me to return to that childlike state as I approach creative challenges at work, at home, in relationships.

See all of Beth's somethings HERE.

365 Hands Follow-Up

Kim Knapp completed her yearlong 365 Hands project on Saturday May 4, 2013...

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project? I’ve learned much over the past 365 days… here’s a list of the highlights
  •  Success …. Reached my goal. I can do anything I put my mind to. 
  •  Support … I could not have done this without the support of my wonderful husband who had to live with my daily “hand” chatter, antics and photos. 
  •  I found the artist in me… I’m an Artist… commissioned the first 50 hands for Art-O-Mat 
  • Time … NO EXCUSES… I found the time daily to be creative and blog. I learned that there are enough hours in a day. 
  • JOY … I found joy each day … from creating, making a mess, the smell of paint, glue, crayons and markers, working under pressure, feedback from family, friends and strangers, to the simplest hand finds which brought a smile to my face, as I went out and about my daily activities
  •  Sharp … my mind is clearer, I make business decisions quicker and easier and I am not so hung up in details and the “what ifs”. I’m more creative with my business and daily tasks at work. 
  •  I love hand prints in concrete… if I drove a cement truck and laid concrete for a living, I would leave a hand print in my work at every job. I’m sure they have rules about that. I wouldn’t make it long on the job! 
  •  I learned to Blog… this was my first…. Blogging is fun! There will be more blogs in my future 
  • I appreciate my right and left hand… they are of value and I don’t take them for granted.

Now what? Four ongoing projects as a result of this blog:
  • Lend A Hand Project (helping others) 
  • The Inkspot Family (children’s book) 
  • Art-O-Mat (hand sculpture for sale) 
  • Hand Art in Concrete (calendar and wall art) 

Read Kim's original 365 interview HERE.

See all of her hands HERE.


365 Days of Basset Hounds

Lisa Northrup in Colorado is creating 365 Days of Basset Hounds...

 Why did you decide to do this project? I have two pure bred year old basset pups referred to in my work as "the boys". They are such a ray of sunshine in my life that when I was looking for an idea it came to me while I was thinking and scratching them on the head. 

I am a perpetual planner and love daily tasks.  For the last two years I have posted a "prompt of the day" on my FB wall to inspiring my friends to take a moment and think about something every day.  It is very popular apparently because people think something has happened if I miss even a day.  I also post up on my FB wall a post quote/picture each day.  This reminds me and hopefully others to start each day of with a positive thought.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? On a personal note, I embarked on a lifelong dream to learn to paint and draw this year. I now belong to an art group. This challenge has been instrumental in keeping my creative juices fresh and flowing every day.  While I don't always have the time to paint or draw I can always find time for a craft project.  On another side note, I am loving following others who are on their journey and supporting them.  I found a 365ers - 2013 FB group and follow your 365 Day Project FB page.  I have made some great new friends.

While I am only 62 days into my challenge I am absolutely certain that after I complete this 365 Challenge I will be ready to start on another one.  Thank you so much for the wonderful book and idea.  It's great!

See all of Lisa's Bassets HERE.

Imelda's Cat A Day

Imelda Hinojosa in Southern California is doing a 365 day look at her drawing table called Cat A Day...

Why did you decide to do this project? Two years ago I did a "CAT A DAY" project, where I drew or presented a cat of some sort, each day. ( drawn, clay, bread, photo, etc) The following year I missed the daily challenge and habit that it had become. I decided to do a "Look into the work space", as a way to encourage myself to face that blank surface each day. And to expose when it is not a blank surface, but instead a cluttered mess, a collection of spills and paper shavings, cat hair and coffee cups molding away...

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I find that I look forward to posting, mostly. I find I am more productive and aware of how something can be photographed or used on the blog.  I enjoy the humor of my cat sprawled out on the surface, just as I'm about to start working, or the stillness of seeing the sun pour in the window and lay a pattern on the surface of my table...It keeps me rolling, instead of stalled: " wishing I was doing my art". Setting up my own guidelines; that my posting can be ANYthing, as long as it is in by the magic midnight hour, frees up the imagination. (In comparison to the more specific-CAT A DAY-where, some days I "didn't wanna".)

See all of Imelda's days HERE.

Make or Do Something Every Day

Shelli Mosteller in Fairfield, Ohio is using my book to Make or Do Something Every Day for 365 days...

Why did you decide to do this project? The journal was a gift from my daughter's best friend, in thanks for carpooling and whatnot throughout the year. So, of course, I'm obligated to use it, right?

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It's been really interesting so far. It's like exercise for my brain and creative muscle, finding my spin on each daily prompt. Some days, it's really fun. Sometimes, I come to the end of the day and think, "Aaargh, that Infernal Journal!" But I do it anyway, and I've always been glad. My projects aren't artistic masterpieces. I'm not a visual artist. I'm more of a director/videographer/entertainer. But I love that the prompts are open enough for a wide variety of interpretations. It's just enough to spark a little – oh yeah, I could do this… I'm having fun sharing my daily projects with my friends on Facebook.

Ann's 365 Days of Pattern

Ann Kilzer in Austin, Texas is creating 365 Days of Pattern...

Why did you decide to do this project? After studying both printmaking and computer science in college, I made the more practical choice to pursue a technical career, but always aimed to maintain my artistic interests. Now that I'm finished with grad school and have a more balanced life, this project gives me an opportunity to rekindle my creativity.

Why patterns? I've unknowingly been dabbling in this area for awhile, but I finally have decided to focus my work. As an art student, I often received comments that my work always had some "all-over pattern" to it. I doodled pages of repeating coat hangers in my math notebooks, admired vintage wallpapers and islamic designs, and secretly desired to become a textile designer. Now that I'm in my late 20s I feel inspired to make my dreams possible, even if it is in a small way. A year ago I discovered the works of Florence Broadhurst, who really elevated wallpaper and textile design to high art. I feel inspired to explore what kind of patterns I can make.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I'm finally putting my art studio and drafting table to good use. Doing this project has been really fulfilling. I have plans to start block printing on fabric in the coming weeks. It's really exciting to be making something with my hands again.

One unexpected change is that I'm getting lots feedback from friends on social media; specifically, many people are sharing patterns with me. It's very rewarding to see that my project is making other people think about art.

I've also extended my pattern blog to feature guest artists. I'm not part of any art community right now, so this is my attempt to connect with other artists online. I really had a great time interviewing Alyssa from Because Patterns. I found her work via Facebook, and am so thankful I reached out to her. Learning how she creates her work was very inspiring. See the full interview HERE.

See all of Ann's patterns HERE.