Start with a Clean Slate in 2009! Resolve to Keep a List of Your "I Dids" Instead of "To Dos"

comments (13) January 2nd, 2009     

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MaryRay Mary Ray, contributor
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A new journal covered with Chalkboard™ Fabric is a fun way to keep track of all you make in 2009.
Youll be surprised at how quickly your I Did It list grows.
Chalkboard™ Fabric can be stitched and made into doodle mats for kids and adults alike.
A new journal covered with Chalkboard™ Fabric is a fun way to keep track of all you make in 2009.

A new journal covered with Chalkboard™ Fabric is a fun way to keep track of all you make in 2009.

Photo: Mary Ray

Let’s face it, if you’re a real crafter you’re surrounded with materials and supplies and your head is filled with ideas and good intentions. You’ve collected things over the years and each item that’s added to the stash brings with it a promise of creation. But, when you face reality, you know there aren’t that many hours in a day or days in a week to accomplish all those plans.

Several years ago, when my list of things to make started to overwhelm me, I erased it—and began a new list. This one included everything that I did create. I was amazed at how quickly this list grew, and each time I checked it, the sense of accomplishment spurred me on to do more. Yes, I still collect beautiful fabric and buttons and trims. But I’ve learned to love them for what they are, not just for what they could be. And my “I Did It” list keeps getting longer and longer.

Keep your list for 2009 in a new journal covered with fabric that you can actually write on and erase. It’s called Chalkboard™ Fabric. It’s a little heavier than oilcloth, but it’s flexible so it can be easily glued on to a notebook or used to cover a box. And, since it’s fabric, you can stitch on a binding to make a place mat to doodle on or chalkboard to hang on the wall. I purchased it at my local Bernina dealership, Sew Original in Boone, NC. You can find it online at sites like Nancy's Notions or Haberman Fabrics, too.

You need to “cure” the fabric first by rubbing it with chalk.

A great way to start with a clean slate!


You'll be surprised at how quickly your "I Did It" list grows.


Chalkboard™ Fabric can be stitched and made into "doodle" mats for kids and adults alike.


Cure the fabric by rubbing it with the side of a stick of chalk.

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posted in: journal, chalkboard fabric

Comments (13)

MissesStitches writes: What a fabulous idea! I think it would be very useful in a classroom, too. OK if I refer to it on my blog? (That is, if I figure out how to do that!)

MissesStitches.blogspot.com
Posted: 5:01 pm on April 15th
MeredithP writes: I do something similar: I post a wall calendar in the sewing room (usually with some sort of fiber theme). When I finish something, I tape a swatch on the calendar. It's fun to flip through the months and see that I have actually accomplished some things.
Posted: 9:36 pm on February 8th
iekisch writes: Hello, I translated your article and placed it at my blog. Hpoe that is ok :)
www.diyredesign.blogspot.com
Posted: 3:01 pm on February 6th
Toffy writes: Usually all of us need to have some "kick" in the booty to get re-focused. An Accomplishment Journel is the best idea I have heard of. I too have post its, notepads, tablets full of ideas for my huge huge sewing and crafting stuff, including the "cast-off's" given me. I taught crafting classes at out Local Senior Center one day a week, so my collection just grew. Now retired, I am overwhelmed by all my "Stuff" that I realize I won't get used up. Donating it back to the Senior Center is not an option the Director throws it all in the dumpster. I am a seamstress, with enough fabric to open up a store. I have more than 80-15 gallon containers of fabric. I know if I made 2 things everyday for the rest of my life, I would still have too much fabric to use up. How did I get to this point...eeeekkk
Now the journal will help me at least keep focused on a big big job of weeding thru all the stuff, and downsize this into something more manageable. Looks like garage sales when the weather warms up a bit.
Posted: 10:26 am on January 28th
MissTaraTara writes: Great idea! I don't keep a paper journal but I am keeping an online photo album of all the projects I complete. It can be uplifting when I look back and see that I have completed something even if the projects were few.
Posted: 8:59 pm on January 14th
SewMoni writes: I like to write small craft projects I want to do on post its and then place the post its in a jar. When I am bored or have spare time, I go to the jar and pull out a post it. Wa la! A project is born for me to tackle. Executing my mini projects this way keeps me interested and leaves a bit of uncertainty rather than daunting feelings about my next craft project.
Posted: 10:30 pm on January 6th
ecmurphy writes: Based upon this idea, I started my "What I Made Yesterday" blog in 2006. Although I knew that I was being very productive, I couldn't account for the projects — big and small — that I had completed. I created this blog to both document my accomplishments and continually drive my creative force. It works! And it's wonderful to take a few moments every now and then to reflect upon the things I have made.

Erin, of What I Made Yesterday:
http://ecbmurphy.blogspot.com
Posted: 10:49 am on January 5th
Jen1964 writes: That sounds like fun!
This is the time I transition back to "business as usual" since everyone ELSE in the house goes back to school. It's too easy to forget everything you've done, and just see the mountain "to do" ahead. So, yes, the journal techniques of listing what you've done, periodically, really helps. When I'm really down, I do 2 columns: one of projects and stuff I've finished, and the other is the junk (and health issues) I've been up against during that time. THAT gives me the whole picture, and I can see whether it's a Mt. Everest I've been climbing, or just one of the local foothills! The view is more amazing when you've climbed the tougher challenges, for some reason. The problems may still be there, but if you've made magic out of next to nothing, that's some accomplishment.
A picture album of your projects is a great idea too. Fabric samples or yarn samples may go with it, or even use your stitch gauge swatch here... My kids loved that album as much as their picture books, because of the stories that went along with each picture. Now my daughter puts pictures of her favorites on her phone and proudly shares them with her friends, when they ask what her mom does. Nobody today seems to understand what a Homemaker is, but those pictures -and the cookies she bakes and brings into school- tell the thousand words! More kids tell her they wish their moms were stay-at-home moms.
So craft on! Keep up the great work: you are inspiring the next generation to be everything our grandmothers would have loved.
Posted: 9:39 am on January 5th
CatherineCornelia writes: I started the new year writing "Today's Accomplishment" in my calendar at the end of the day. I kept a positive journal years ago and it is a wonderful way to stay positive and have something good to refer to on those days when nothing seems to be going right. Thanks for posting this idea of a journal with chalk fabric.
Posted: 8:20 am on January 5th
MaryRay writes: I really don't know why you have to "cure" it. I was following the manufacturer's directions. But, I tried writing on and erasing an uncured pieced and it worked just fine.
Posted: 4:42 pm on January 3rd
Lady_Sew_n_Sew writes: Great idea! I have a folder on my computer with all the pics of my projects I completed, but I don't look at that often, only at a glance when another pic is added. This would be a great journal for my girls to have after I am gone. Thanks for the idea! One question, what is the reason for "curing" the chalk cloth? To make the chalk write better, or erase easier?
Posted: 12:31 pm on January 3rd
gracie_girl writes: It's a good idea. How novel, keep track of what you have actually accomplished, instead of everything that "needs" to be done. I have my own overwhelming stash of stuff, and since everyone knows I do a variety of crafts, everyone contributes their "cast-offs"--ie. the crafts they know/think they will never get around to doing. I've made three nightgowns and a stuffed animal just from the flannel I've been given! I think I would do a picture version, with photographic evidence that I haven't been ignoring my [mental] to do list...
Posted: 10:47 am on January 3rd
1BlindPotter writes: I have used this idea before when, no matter what I was doing, I didn't feel like I was accomplishing anything. So I started to write down all of the things I HAD done, and felt better instantly!
Posted: 9:24 am on January 3rd
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