Cheers to 2018!

Have You Heard?

This year, I’m not making any New Year’s Resolutions. I’m D-O-N-E with that activity – and moving on to a much more rewarding one! Wanna’ join me? Great! Let’s get started…

Instead of Making Resolutions, I’m Challenging Myself!

First on my agenda is to make some serious headway on all my PIPs. (That’s shorthand for “Projects in Progress”.) And the best way to do that is to “Kon-Mari” them. What the heck does that mean? Let me explain…

Here’s my quick “how-to” guide to help you get started.

1. Pull out all your PIPs. Yep…this may take a little while, but it’ll definitely be worth it. Trust me on this one. 😉

2. Take each project out of the bag, box, closet, etc. and hold it in your hands. Look at it carefully. Does it bring you joy? If it does, put it in one pile. If it doesn’t, put it in a second pile.

3. Now, all those projects that bring you joy (i.e., you still want to stitch them) – divide them into 3 smaller piles.

  • A: I definitely want to finish this project soon and I know what I need to do to get it finished.
  • B: I definitely want to finish this project, but I’m stuck and don’t know what to do next.
  • C: I definitely want to finish this project, but it’s not at the top of my priority list.

4. Next, take the projects in Pile A and prioritize them. What does that mean? Well, looking at each of them, decide which order you want to stitch them in. Once you’ve decided, make a list and put it with the projects in that pile.

5. Then, take the projects in Pile B and, looking at each of them carefully, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why did I stop working on this project?
  • What do I need to do to get back on track?

Jot the answer to each question on a sheet of paper and put that sheet with the corresponding project. (Do this for each project.)
If you’re truly stumped about what to do to get back on track, that’s perfectly okay. Don’t fret about it…just acknowledge it and move on to the next project, until you’ve worked your way through all of the projects in Pile B.

6. Finally, take the projects in Pile C and pack them away in a storage bin or drawer. They’ll be safe and sound – just waiting for you to come back to them later. 🙂

What about all those projects that no longer bring you joy?

It’s OK to admit that you have some canvases (or yarns) in your stash that you just don’t like anymore. (Everybody does!) There’s bound to be somebody somewhere who would absolutely L-O-V-E to have them, though.

In fact, here are some ideas to help you find ’em new homes…

  • Teach a friend to stitch and “gift” her (or him!) the canvas and threads.
  • Donate them to your local American Needlepoint Guild or Embroiderer’s Guild of America chapter. Many chapters sell donated canvases to help raise money to fund programs throughout the year.
  • Donate them to a local senior citizen center/organization. My local senior citizen center gladly accepts supplies and ladies (and gentlemen!) complete the projects, then sell them in their gift shop. Proceeds are used to fund annual programming.
  • Donate them to an after school program. (The beauty of this option is that it helps create the next generation of stitchers!)
  • Sell them on Ebay or through one of the many “stash exchange” groups on Facebook. (And, of course, you can use the money you make to buy new canvases or yarns that bring you joy! Tee hee!)

And now, my friend, you’ve completed the first step toward a happier and more productive 2018. Be sure and visit me again here next week for the next Challenge and share your progress on the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page or in the comments box below.

Until next time, happy stitching!

XOXO!!!
Stitch with a smile!

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12 Comments

  1. Kat (aka Kathy) Breeding

    January 4, 2018 at 8:29 am

    I’ve used Mari’s system for the rest of my house and really like the feeling of lightness it gives me. I am just picking up my former passions of knitting, crocheting, and needlepoint so I don’t really have lots of build up of projects… yet!!!

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      January 4, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Hi Kat! Thanks for your note. 🙂
      Isn’t Kon-Mari awesome?! I’ve not managed to go through my whole house yet, but it’s on my “to-do” list. 😉 I’m so glad to hear that you’ve picked up your needlework again. And I can’t wait for us to get started inside The Stitcher’s Club on January 15th! It’ll be here before you know it! Happy New Year!

      Reply
  2. Lu Ann Gilliland

    January 4, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Thank you! This encourages me to get organized!

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      January 4, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Hi LuAnn! I’m so glad you found my post helpful. Be sure and check back next week for more tips on making 2018 your best year ever for your hobby! 🙂
      Happy New Year!

      Reply
  3. Benita Strnad

    January 4, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Ellen,

    It is nice to hear from you. I am trying to organize my stash, especially those smaller projects that I have been carrying around in my knitting bag, and so these tips are very timely. Most of my current projects are small, but keeping all the parts of them (pairs of gauntlets, headband, hat) together has been a chore. I finally got out some Ziplock plastic bags to store them in and keep them together until I get the corresponding/matching pieces completed. That helped, but now I have three slippery bags inside my knitting bag. I hope that they will soon be gone and ready for my gift box.

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      January 4, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Hi Benita! It’s great to hear from you, too! 🙂 It sounds like you’ve been busy. I’m glad you found my tips helpful. Be sure and check back next week for more about how to make 2018 your best knitting (or needlepoint) year ever. And keep me posted on how those projects are coming along. 😉
      Happy New Year!

      Reply
  4. Jeanne Wade

    January 4, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I’ve been working my way through my PIp’s and have enjoyed finding ones I’ve forgot I had, especially a red bird Christmas ornament with decorative stitches.

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      January 4, 2018 at 10:24 am

      Hi Jeanne! Thank you for your note. 🙂
      I’m glad to hear you’re making progress on your PIPS. 😉
      Please post a pic of your ornament over on the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page. I’d love to see it – and I’m sure everyone else would, too! (Pssst…Click here to share it.)
      Happy New Year!

      Reply
  5. Lorraine Graybill

    January 4, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    My January goal is to organize my stash… and that means I will likely purge all the little bits and pieces that are no longer bringing me joy… so I can make room for one or two new projects that will! 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration, Ellen!

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      January 7, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Great goal, Lorraine! It really is amazing how much it helps to get everything in order. I’ll bet you find stuff you forgot you had. 😉
      I know I did the last time I “kon-mari’d” my stash. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Robin R Gress

    January 11, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Hi Ellen,
    Your post and my plans for the new year are perfectly in sync. I had lately come to realize that I’m not in love with many of the canvases that I bought several years ago, especially when I was starting out. I really didn’t know how to look at a canvas, and I was too quick to hit the “buy” button. Nonetheless, I kept them all, largely because I’d spent good money on them, and largely because it never occurred to me to jettison them. But having seen the lively trade on Needlepoint Nation, the lightbulb went on. So, in coming weeks, I’ll probably put roughly a dozen canvases in the “outta here” pile, and I’m as pleased as punch about it 🙂 Best, Robin

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      January 11, 2018 at 11:48 am

      Hi Robin! I’m so glad you found this post helpful. 🙂
      My taste in canvases has definitely changed through the years, too, and I agree, it can be hard to part with those things we’ve spent our hard-earned money on. Sending you all kinds of good wishes and “Kon-Mari” positive vibes for helping find new homes for them. I’m sure there are plenty of stitchers who would LOVE to add them to their collections. 🙂

      Reply

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