The Power Year Project – Documenting my Life Visually

My goal: Produce 1 drawing (or other creative visual representation) each week that documents my current life and surroundings.

The Rules:

  1. Once a week, I will complete a minimum of one drawing. I will call it complete (which is a very hard thing for me to do) and publish it to the internet.
  2. I will set aside a minimum of thirty minutes each day for personal creativity (not work, not pre-ordered FishyFishy business, not extra-curricular organization business…just me, creating something) to be accompanied only be music or silence.
  3. Once a month, on the 11th of the month, I will reassess my priorities and make sure that my drawings have all been published and I have moved on.

The Reason:

I need to regain focus in my life. I have reached the point in my life where other people’s creative pursuits have overwhelmed my life and I need to regain focus on my own personal creative pursuits. Drawing and painting were some of the most important things in my childhood. When I started on the path to become an architect, I didn’t realize that these passions that drove me to the field might be neglected and left behind. So, this project aims to reanimate the passion that has driven so much of the direction of my life. Getting back into the practice of daily (non-technical) drawing has the potential to fulfill a lot of the aspects of my life that are currently unfulfilled, or substituted by unsatisfactory pursuits. I’m hoping that making this a priority and being held accountable will also help me remove myself from some of my commitments that do not contribute as positively to my life as I would like.

The Inspiration:

Like Harold, you create your own destiny by drawing the lines and the shapes of your experiences and surroundings. It’s time for me to get control of the purple crayon again…



My friend Tron (aka Megan Quicke) is the type of person who sets clear, ambitious goals and then takes the leap needed in order to accomplish these. She declared 2009 her ‘power year’ and she set out to re-direct her life in a very intentional way towards creative projects that really feed her soul. Her power year, with its clearly defined goals and public presence was very inspirational. Now, with her life somewhat re-focused, she has issued a challenge to others to have their own power year. And since I have such a hard time saying no, I accepted the challenge.

Lately, I’ve been spread really thin, so when Tron announced that she wanted to share her power year concept and that she would facilitate an online ‘power year pledge class’, I immediately thought that sounded like a great idea, but how would I ever fit it into my already over-booked life. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that an intentional power year was exactly what I needed to re-focus my life.

So, being that it is 2011, and 11 is a magical number since I am born on the 11th day, I am declaring this a power year. It seems fitting since 2009 was the worst year ever – then, I vowed to make 2010 ten times better than 2009 by declaring it the year of action and getting things done – and now that there are too many things vying for my time and energy, 2011 will be a year of disciplined re-focusing.

Power On!

After a brief hiatus where I did more organizing than actual making, I have recently been back on a needle felting kick again and have finally built back up some of my Fishy Fishy inventory.  This past weekend was the Denver Handmade Alliance’s ‘Art by Craft’ Market where I sold  a few of the new mobiles, several fuzzy carrots and some small fuzzy penguins.  This marked the DHA’s first year of existence!  It’s fun to realize how much we’ve been able to accomplish in just one short year.

The market itself was a blast; it was in the Museum of Contemporary Art and had a pretty good mix of people throughout the day and the vast majority of people seemed to love the intoxicating cuteness of fluffy little felted animals.  I even got a brief mention from Jennifer Pollock, a gracious local blogger who authors and also bought one of my bird mobiles (for herself – not for a baby!)

Now, it’s back to the needles and fluff so that I’ll be ready for the next event!

Ballyhoo: NOUN,  1.  A clamorous and vigorous attempt to win customers or advance any cause; blatant advertising or publicity.

My Denver Handmade Alliance friends and I have been frantically preparing to make a lot of clamor in our community about awesome handmade stuff!  We’ve teamed up with the Denver Office of Creative Affair’s Create Denver Week to put on a craft fair next Saturday that all you local Denverites should come to!

I have been dreaming of planning a design competition for a while now, and the perfect opportunity to plan one has finally presented itself!  Earlier this year, the Buntport Theater board was restructured in an exciting way which has resulted in several of us former advisory board members having committed to raise a rather significant amount of money for the theater every year.  Since I don’t know very many rich people, I figured I better start planning some fun events to raise money instead.

First up is Incognito, a disguise design competition that will end with a big auction party  (with great local music and even puppets! – who doesn’t love puppets!?!).  We just announced the call for entries and already I’m really excited by the interest from very different artists, architects, crafters, local business owners, and just plain, ordinary, creative people.  I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

sundrop charmThe ‘Mile High Etsy’ team has begun a craft exchange and this month was the first excahnge.  This month’s theme was the weather and since we’ve had some rainy days recently interrupting the otherwise fabulous warm spring sun, I decided to make a ‘sundrop’ felted necklace pendant.   It was a pretty simple and quick project but I think it turned out lovely.  Hopefully the recipient of this will like it too!

Adorable Little Fishes

Adorable Little Fishes

I’m giving away one little fishy fishy mobile on Mrs. Ashley’s blog called Beauty4Moms.  Ashley’s blog has links to all sorts of great coupons and links to product giveaways.  Hopefully some of her dedicated mom-readers will love my little mobiles.

Check it out and enter to win!

House Giraffe and 'Giraffe Snacks' toy

House Giraffe and 'Giraffe Snacks' toy

I have always dreamed of a mini house giraffe that would clomp around the house and eat houseplants, so for the last couple years, I have come across opportunities that have allowed me to make mini giraffes.

One of the best was a great paper mache giraffe that I made a couple of years ago on a quiet friday night and then ended up mummifying him this fall for an entry into the Denver Community Museum.  A few weeks ago, that giraffe was part of an auction at the museum and it ended up going home with my friend Joanne who now lives in Boston.  So, the mini-house giraffe love is slowly spreading!

An Entertained Giraffe

Here is the latest commissioned mini giraffe for my friend Kurt, it comes along with a  toy (a felt tree branch) so that the giraffe can stay entertained and so that  it won’t get too jealous when the cats in their household are being played with. I’m sure this will make a fun addition to Kurt and Karen’s house as long as the cats don’t try to tear the innocent little giraffe apart.

So the internets tell me that today was ‘National Apron Day’, which seems somewhat arbitrary, but I love silly holidays, so I’ll take this opportunity to share a photo of an apron I made to wear when selling at craft fairs (kind of like the aprons servers at restaurants wear to handle money, receipt books, etc.).  I made 2, one for me and one for my friend Rachel; her’s is slightly more muted colors, I’ll try to get a photo nest time I see her.

Fishy Fishy apron

Fishy Fishy apron

The aprons are  made out of some random wool felt rectangles I had lying around.  I added a little needle felted fish to mine.

To make your own, simply cut felt to the sizes of pockets you want, then sew together!  Easiest thing ever – but I still got lots of compliments on it.

To add the wrinkles you see in the photo, drop apron in a puddle in a parking lot during a rare Colorado torential down pour.

My Creatures of the Sea mobile made it into a treasury about naptime on etsy today – thanks snowdrop!  What a wonderful surprise to wake up to this morning…although looking at all of those products just kind of makes me want to go back to sleep for a quick little nap.

Flickr Photos