Thursday, February 11, 2010

Project Management

When it comes to new crafts and projects, I'm definitely distractable by the new and shiny. I posted before about the stress of unfinished projects weighing me down with obligation and potential, but there has to be a happy medium where I have enough projects going to satisfy my need to create, and yet not so many that I will never finish what I have. I'm tentatively trying to choose one or two projects in several categories that will be my Current Projects. As I finish one, I can find another.

Part of the impulse to drop everything to start on something new is that my capacity for inspiration is much, much better than my long-term memory. If I don't start the new project RIGHT NOW, I will forget.

So I'm also starting to go through my various project magazines (ReadyMade, Circulars from Lowes and Home Depot, etc.) and clipping. I can usually reduce a full magazine to a few articles describing projects I may actually tackle and recipes I may actually try. I freecycled an empty box from work that once held address labels and stick the clippings in there. I may one day scan or scrapbook and sort them by category, but for now I'm just preserving. When I have a project opening I can go through my clippings and pick.

Scanning has two advantages. First it reduces physical clutter, second it allows me to sort ideas from online sources along with the clipped articles. The only disadvantage is that its an extra step, which I may or may not be willing to take once the initial appeal of virtuous project management wears off. Remember that its far more important to choose a system you'll follow than a more efficient one you won't.

So far, my list of current projects go like this:

1. Braided Rag Rug
2. Punk skirt made with multistranded braided belts worked into the design.

Home Improvement:
1. Finish bathroom (baseboards, tub, lighting and ventilation, paint)

1. start pots of parsely

1. Kitchen drawers

Except for certain aspects of the Home Improvement project, I have all the supplies I need for these projects already in the house. That's especially important because I will both save money I normally throw into buying supplies for never-completed projects, and reduce clutter in the house by using up/putting to purpose items that are currently occupying spare corners and cupboards.

The tighter focus and limits on straying outside these areas may also help me finish the projects. The follow-through is usually my weak point in any project. I'm an excellent planner, pricer, shopper, and researcher, but the actual "doing" often fails. Most of these are projects I've already planned, shopped for and begun, but have been sitting on a back burner for anywhere from a month to a year.

Added to Project Inspirations:

Growing Bamboo in Michigan?

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