A Maker's Journey - The Project

A Birthday Bunting

This week in A Maker’s Journey I present you: 12 meter of birthday bunting! But before you applaud my efficiency on having sewn 84 triangulare flags in two weeks, I shall confess these buntings have been sitting in my stash ready to be lined up for over 7 years now.

A relict of that time in my life when I thought it would be a good business idea to open an Etsy shop and sell buntings. I was wrong of course. It was a highly unsuccesful idea, which cost me a good few hundred pounds in fabric, binding and website graphics before the penny dropped. 

Although it didn’t, did it. Instead I found myself with a rather large stash of unused fabric and bias binding. Plus about 120 tiny bunting flags that I had enthusiatically sewn up immediately and then didn’t know what to do with as no one was buying my buntings. 

In the end, of course, it all became the core of the stash that inspired this journey. Not entirely wasted then. But it is safe to say, it filled me with great satisfaction to finally sew those little flags up for their intended purpose. 

I had been dreaming of creating some festive bunting for our house for years now. I always imagined turning our dining room into a cheerful installation for every birthday and celebratory occasion, something that would make your heart sing as you stepped into the room.

Now, as I said, these flags have been ready to go for years now. Yet it took me once again nearly two weeks to finish a project. While I ironed and pinned and rattled the seemingly endless chain of flags through the sewing machine I did start to wonder why. As once again I found myself thinking that my vision of this project and my lived experience didn’t match up.

When dreaming about being on A Maker’s Journey I had visualised this open wide meadow of time in which to make and create, but the reality is more like plucking weeds from the cracks of street corners. Where are these idle hours gone? Like the times when I would walk the family dog for hours across the fields near my parent’s house. Having come home from school in the early afternoon, and thereby having fullfilled all those obligations put on me, I got to enjoy this free space of time and thoughts.
When I became responsible myself to keep the scaffolding of my ife’s obligations together, I have obviously taken the same schoolish approach to it that I’ve been familiarised with. Scheduling everything into little time compartments. Except, it seems, time to be idle.

More so, I’ve started to realise that organising my commitments in this way means I never get to connect them to my energy levels, interests and whims. Which are such crucial elements to learning and creating. Furthermore it threw up a lot of questions for me regarding our school system the way I experienced it and most children still do today and wether it really achieves its intended outcome?!

But I digress, it did make me wonder though wether it is really that beneficial to plan fixed times for A Maker’s Journey in my week. Particularly as the fixed time slot it currently occupies is sandwiched between the weekly shop and pick up time from nursery for the oldest. Two rather stressful, high-energy absorbing events. And interrupted by lunch for me and all the cuddles and milk stops for the newborn.

I’ve come to realise being on this journey requires a lot of rethinking in areas I never anticipated. And so, while I hang the buntings ready for my 39th birthday, I begin to wonder in earnest how I can direct my life, and subsequently the lives of my children, to unfold by my needs rather than learned behavioural structures of timing and compliance? How can I ensure, I have time for the things I want to do with and in my life, yet simultaneously know the things that have to be done will be taken care of too?

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