I’m still loving doing Ring-a-Week. I posted this week’s earlier, they’ve seen been polished and patina’d. The quick pics I took on my bench didn’t turn out, I’ll reshoot them later. The extra time of all the photographing and posting definitely adds to the work, but it’s worth it because of the feedback from the other participants in RAW.

But that’s not all! I also challenged a friend to Journal Quilt Page a Month. I hadn’t mentioned it yet, because I had to talk to my friend. She said yes, so we’re on! I proposed a specific word each month for the challenge, but she wanted to keep it more open ended, so we are.

I haven’t done January yet, not much time left! It’s hard to shift gears and go from jewelry to sewing, but I think there’s something good about stretching creatively, and working larger. (Larger, in this case, is 8.5″ x 11″, still pretty small by art standards, but large by jewelry standards!)

I was really inspired by the show of Journal Quilt Pages at the International Quilt Show a few years ago (I’ve got a blog post about that somewhere, oh, here it is: A Visit to the Quilt Show.) and the ideas for these little quilts have been sitting around, parts of them cut out even. The challenge is to give me a deadline and get them out of the drawer and made.

If rings aren’t your thing, there are other challenges out there, there’s Bird-a-Week and 4 x 4 Fridays (not jewelry). Links for those are here:

http://www.flickr.com/birdaweek
http://4x4friday.blogspot.com

Here’s what I’m noticing about Ring-a-Week. It’s fun to work on a lot of the same type of thing. Start making rings and you think of all kinds of ideas for rings. Everything starts looking like a ring. Some of my impractical rings could be sketches for a more finished, made practical ring. And, rings weren’t one of my strong points. I have a feeling that by the end of this year, having made more thank 52 rings, they sure will be.

None of that is terribly surprising is it? Make a lot of something and you’ll get better. Feed your creativity and you’ll come up with more stuff. You knew that already. I’m just saying it’s working for me.

Want to try a new material for a ring? I just saw today that Robert Dancik’s Faux Bone now comes in ring blanks, to save you some time.

Check ’em out here:

http://www.fauxbone.com/fauxpages/pricing.html

And their blog has a “what’s on your bench” feature, send in your Faux Bone project pictures to be featured there!

How about you? Are you doing a challenge? How do you keep yourself challenged, make yourself stretch? Love to hear from you! Feel free to share a link to a pic on flickr or your blog. Thanks!

Image from the stock xchange http://www.sxc.hu

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