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The Rumpelstiltskin Challenge

The Rumpelstiltskin Challenge
January 14, 2011 Mary Jo

Because Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Because sometimes we have to build some fences in order to jump over them.

Because there is so much good stuff to work with, right here.

Because I don’t think I could fit another new thing in this studio without a shoehorn.

Because it’s winter here in the northern hemisphere, and Mother Nature tells us to mindfully eat what we’ve squirreled away.

Because I think I could probably work off of this stash for a whole year without running out of things to do.

Because it will be so much fun replenishing it all with shiny new things next year!

Because it’s time to focus.

I’ve issued a challenge –  to myself and to anyone else who has a stash to burn.  The Rumpelstiltskin Challenge. It’s simple: what can you make with what you have on hand?  How long can this stash sustain your creativity? What materials have you been socking away for that magical moment when you’d make ____?  The moment has come.  It’s time to see those projects to fruition.  Time to excavate, slowly, project by project, the goldmine of things we’ve been intending to make and set them free.

For my part, I’d wager that I’ve got enough here in my studio to keep me going at full speed for the rest of the year.  Whoa.  How about you?  Could you go a month? Two? Six? Join me, for as long as you’d like, as long as you can stand.  I’ll be here all year.

There’s a year’s worth of sewing in here, no doubt, but I’ve also got some other projects that have been waiting for a chance to make it to the work table – some creative repurposing into home decor and who-knows-what-else.  I’m choosing not to include my knitting stash in my own challenge, but that’s because my stash is surprisingly small.  Your fiber stash may be the perfect spot to focus your attention, so go for it!

I’ll be checking in here every Friday to report how I’m doing, what I’ve made in the past week.  Join me and share your own triumphs.

There is, of course, a flickr group to document what we’re making.  Find it here:

I’ll also be concocting themes for each month, which you may find useful in kick-starting your creative process.  Follow the themes or not – your choice.

Let’s begin, shall we?  Grab the button and pin it to your own blog, share this post on Facebook, tell your mom, whatever.

Copy and paste this for the button:

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January’s theme:  Low-hanging Fruit

Pick the easiest, already-started, laying-on-top-of-the-pile projects and start whipping something out.  Sew a button on something, felt that bag that you finished knitting ages ago and start using it. (MOM!)  This is the time to build up some momentum with quick, easy, satisfying projects.  I’ll be tying up some loose ends and opening up a little bit of breathing room in my studio before moving on to more complicated things.

So, are you in?

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