Saturday, 9 January 2016

A Simple Living challenge is for life, not just for 21 days...

A year ago, exactly a whole year ago in fact, I joined in with Kindspring's Simple Living Challenge. Like many of Kindspring's challenges, it was a 21 day thing. (Go check them out here if you like a challenge with heart). Although I found it difficult to cram in the challenges to the three weeks, I never quite intended to be still completing the challenge and blogging about it one year after the event. But why not? Simple living should be for life after all, not just for 21 days.

The story so far? Well, Days 1 - 7 featured challenges such as mindful eating, unplugging, decluttering, emptying your email inbox, spending some time in silence, doing something you'd been putting off, and reflecting on the meaning in your life. Weighty matters, so you can see why it was difficult to complete a challenge per day...

I juddered to a real halt when it came to Day 8 - the challenge was to 'Do It Yourself!', reflecting on the hidden costs of convenience and making something you need with your own hands. "Maybe you'll learn how to sew curtains, or make your own chocolate. Maybe you'll build a bird feeder or make a birthday card for a friend", Kindspring kindly suggested. They even helpfully provided a link to a website called Instructables, which tells you how to make just about anything. I have made curtains, chocolate and cards in my time, but last year, the months rolled by and, if you exclude cooking, I didn't actually conjure up anything from scratch. Perhaps Kindspring is right - I have become distanced from my 'inherent creative skills'.  Oh dear. I seem to do much making do and mending, and using up and doing without, but not much creating of 'things'.

Daughter came to the rescue though. She has been desperate to use the sewing machine and when she found some festive fabric in the box of Christmas decorations, she asked if she could make some Christmas bunting. Of course! She did it mostly herself but I helped. So I think this counts towards the DIY challenge. I mean, everyone needs a string of Christmas bunting at some point in their lives, don't they?




9 comments:

  1. Oh, my! I was trying that challenge last year also (after you mentioned it.) I too found it too much for the amount of time, but had great plans. But some how they got crowded out of my mind. I think it's time to revisit it. (BTW, that Christmas bunting shows some pretty good sewing skills.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With the new year I'm quite looking forward to doing some more of the challenge. I wonder how far I'll get this time before I peter out. Maybe I'll still be blogging about it next year...Bunting was quite a fiddly task for someone who hadn't used a sewing machine before so she did really well.

      Delete
  2. I love that bunting! I am rather craft-challenge, but I am beginning to see the spiritual benefits of making things. Creativity makes us more human.. so this year, more creative pursuits..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It brings a real sense of satisfaction and is such a powerful antidote to the digital world, so I'm with you on embracing more creative crafty stuff this year.

      Delete
  3. The challenge sounds good but I am not sure I have room for anything else at the moment! I love the bunting, I bought some fabric, a few years ago, to do the same I never did make it and the fabric has been used for all sorts of other projects! Simple living is about all the time rather than for 21 days I totally agree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see lots of wonderful stuff on your blog so I don't think you need a Simple Living challenge to remind you to 'do it yourself'!!

      Delete
  4. One of my aims this year is to learn to sew using a machine and to make my own curtains. I have done this once before with my mother's help. She is gone now and her sewing machine lies unused at my sister's house. I'm going to get it and learn how to use it, despite not being that creative.

    ReplyDelete
  5. One of my aims this year is to learn to sew using a machine and to make my own curtains. I have done this once before with my mother's help. She is gone now and her sewing machine lies unused at my sister's house. I'm going to get it and learn how to use it, despite not being that creative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learnt how to use a sewing machine 30+ years ago. Since then I have had spells where I did a lot of sewing and more time where I didn't, especially over the last decade. Youtube has been very helpful. There are lots of videos on bobbin winding and threading. I find threading the needle really hard - my eyes aren't great - I ended up keeping a torch handy for extra lighting (my Granny's trusty old hand Singer doesn't come with a built in light).

      Delete