Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Year of Hearts

This challenge, to make a heart a day for a year, has been a fun experience for me, and I now that the year is just about over, I want to take a quick look back in this final post.

I'm going to start with the biggest thing I learned:  you don't have to know what you are going to "do" with something before you make it.  If you feel like making something, make it!  Try a new design, or technique, or fabric; the reason I make a lot of things is simply that I want to see what it will look like when it's done.  You can figure out what to do with it later; the important part is that you have the experience of making it, and the knowledge you gain in the process can be transferred to future projects.

Sometimes, things don't come together the way you plan--and that's okay.  Like when I made the alphabet hearts at the beginning of the year--I thought I would make a garland with them, but before I got around to that, I did a personal swap with a friend who wanted several of the letters (her children's initials), so the alphabet is now incomplete...I could remake the letter hearts to complete the alphabet, but I think I will probably just give them away one at a time, each to a person whose name starts with that letter!

Sometimes things are left unfinished, and that's okay too.  I just went back to the beginning of this blog, and found a post I started but didn't finish; it was going to be the first post for this 365 blog. These hearts were never included here, because they were part of some Christmas ornaments I made for a swap, and Christmas was over!  They are layered like a quilt, with batting between two layers of fabric, to they are nice and flat--they could be package tags or name tags, or ornaments all by themselves.

You can't always see where the road is leading--which is part of the fun.  I started out thinking I would do one random heart after another; an ornament here, a brooch there...I never guessed that I would stumble into several large projects.  First, there were the pin cushion hearts I made for a Random Act of Kindness challenge on Craftster in February.  Remember these?  I LOVED surprising the swappers in my Fabric Basket swap with a handmade goody!

Then, I developed my Hope Hearts project.  This is the most important thing that came out of this 365 challenge, since it is on-going.  I'm so glad to be able to help other crafters support family or friends who are seriously ill in this way.  I've sent out almost 100 Hope Hearts kits already.

And most recently, there has been the fun of making hearts to decorate the charity Christmas tree for The Giving Heart--134 of them, to be exact!  That was truly a labor of love, and I was so very happy to be able to put my heart-making skills to good use.

I ended up going far beyond my goal of 365 hearts; but when I went beyond that, I stopped counting, because numbers didn't matter to me any more.  It would have been nice to actually post one heart every single day for a year, but instead I did it my way, and it turned out to be great!

Thanks to everyone who has followed my progress this year, and thank you for every comment you have left here.  It's wonderful to know that you were on this journey with me!