2014 promises to be something different! I will make sure of that.
Last year I took part in a challenge to make 52 things in 52 weeks, and it inspired me to keep up the momentum and do something similar again this year. So, every time someone mentions the word 'challenge' I keep shouting, yes, me!' Should keep me out of mischief.
Apart from my personal challenge to make at least 52 different kinds of beads in a year (that way, I don't have to berate myself when I fail on the 'one a week' target) I have joined in with a monthly challenge on the Craft Pimp forum and the January challenge is to make something to feed our feathered friends without resorting to going to the shops, except to buy the bird seed. It has to be recycled or found around the home. As anyone who has been to my home will know, it is full of things that should have been sent to the charity shop, the tip or Freecycled long ago! My 'could be handy' cupboard and drawer are over-flowing!
For starters I had 2 cups and saucers left over from my 'tea cup planters' project to raise funds for charity and these seemed suitable for the garden theme. I've raided that old falling apart hanging basket for a chain, drilled the cup and saucer and fitted a hex bolt to stop them coming apart in the breeze (I can promise you, glue will not stand heat and cold for long, trust me, I've been there and picked up the pieces), drilled drainage holes in the saucer and bigger holes in the side of the cup so the seed can spill into the saucer. The 'roof ' is the top of a cotton buds pot - one less bit of 'ooh that'll be a handy pot for something' on my desk, to keep off a bit of the rain. Happily hanging outside my studio, it didn't take the sparrows that live in the overgrown bush in next door's garden long to spot it!
Then I decided to make some fat balls to feed my feathered friends - using this recipe from the Gardeners' World website. Now, I love Gardeners' World, I quite fancy Monty Don (even if he is pro badger-culling - we would fall out over that) but this recipe does not really work! Having made it up with Morrison's best lard (horrid smell) and Cleeve Garden Centre's finest bird seed (which my sparrows love) it does not work as a fat ball - crumbles and falls apart. It needs a container to contain it. So cup number 2 came into play with left over chop sticks from some long forgotten take-away or other. The sparrows have approved.
I had a 3rd idea, but that fell at the first hurdle - poor design so it has been shelved. I also had a lot of leftover fat ball mix that won't adequately ball - so plan 2B is in the fridge. More of that later.
The 3rd idea has been replaced by a 4th idea - if I can get through the garden detritus and find another chain to play with - the magpies and the pigeons (might be collared doves, I'm no expert but they are very fat so collectively known as Hoover birds chez nous) have complained there is nothing for them. So I am working on obliging them too. Watch this space - photos will follow when in situ. I could do with a dry day for it, so probably next week at this rate! But I have until 24 January to complete my mission.
I suspect rain will stop play tomorrow - so I will start on my next challenge of 52 different types/styles of beads. The first few weeks will probably be easy-peezies because I've not been near my torch for weeks, no doubt it will all get harder as the year progresses. I've also signed up for a 5 week business related web course, hopefully making what I love doing most more viable. That will take a lot of my time as I not only need to apply myself to the course work but apply what I am learning to my own business. Parting with (to me) large sums of cash always concentrates the mind!
Whatever 2014 throws at me, it will be changing and challenging and I am ready to meet it head on!
So, tell me, what are you planning to improve your world in 2014? Be it feeding the birds or feeding your life or business. We all have room to grow.