I have decided that I've played victim to the Fibro far too much over the past few years - don't get me wrong - it's hard NOT to be a victim to it - the levels of pain and exhaustion really take their toll and as for the effect on your mental health ....... well enough said. What I mean is that I know I've reached the point in my personal journey where I need to reintroduce some form of structure, some regularity. I've found that being able to complete little projects has boosted my self-esteem - BUT - I also know that when I've had to stop part way through something or missed an event I've really beaten myself up about it. So how to avoid the pitfalls of setting goals that you may possibly fail at but still get the benefits?
What I've decided to do is to join in with some monthly projects timed to start with the New Year and to run on throughout the year. The best part of these seems to be that there is no true deadline, you get to work at your own pace with the aim of completing a project within each month but if you don't it's ok. I've seen that on one of the projects that has run for a few years one participant has just posted pictures to show she's finally completed hers from two years ago. No-one's wagging any fingers, and all comments are really appreciative and complementary of her work. That sounds like it's for me and will fit in well with the unpredictability of my illness. I know there will be days/weeks when I can't craft and equally there will be the days/weeks when I can - I just need to teach myself how to balance those up, and focus on the positives.
One thing I've read a lot about is the effect that being positive can have, and I've particularly liked the idea of a Gratitude Jar - basically you keep a jar and put a little not inside of positive things that happen throughout the year, then on New Year's Eve you take out all the notes and read through them as a way of remembering how much good stuff has happened. It helps you to focus on the positives and ignore (as much as possible) the negatives. They say that what you focus on is what you attract more of - so this can only be a good thing - right?!
I've thought about this and decided in my own way to take it a little further. I was lucky enough to just catch the sign up for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 - http://cqjp2014.blogspot.co.uk/ - this involves making up crazy quilted blocks at a rate of one per month to a size equivalent to 6" square (this means they can be an odd shape as long as their area equates). I really love the look of crazy quilting but have only had one go at it so far - see below - and I thought it would be a really cool idea to create a crazy quilt of gratitude - just need to work out exactly how!!
I think this is the project I'm looking forward to the most but I have also signed up to a quilting block of the month, the Sugar Block Club at Stitchery Dickory Block - http://www.stitcherydickorydock.com/sugar-block-club/ - and an Altered Book class: A Year of Altered Books - http://tentwostudios.com/classroom/ - I know this sounds like a lot but with the altered books class all the resources stay accessible indefinitely so it won't be too big a problem. (Fingers crossed anyway!!)
If I get on ok with these I would like to try some of the monthly challenges that craft blogs run, this would include Tim Holtz's '12 Tags of' challenge that he runs annually.
BUT before I can really start this I need to clear up my crafting space - I am really lucky that my other half (Phil xx) made me my own craft storage/worktop area last year - this has proven to be more storing than doing just lately and so I need to organise my crafty stash and get on with some creating!!