The other day Ali was discussing her desire to make up a dress in a whimsical print. She knows I adore a good whimsical print and am all for more people wearing whimsical clothing more often. And we started saying how it would be great to take on a "stretch" project like that this summer - something that's outside our comfort zone but which we think we'd really enjoy. Something ... something ridiculous.
I like this notion of ridiculous. Ridiculous can mean so many things to different people. For Ali, ridiculous might mean a whimsical dress (erg, or maybe I stuffed those words in her mouth, I'm pretty sure the word "ridiculous" actually came from me). Or Sigrid was telling me about a fantastic coat her son showed her, one with built in mittens that can be "activated." She says [and I hope she doesn't mind the direct quotation],
Ever since I have wanted to try something like that. It seems more liberating than trying to create the "perfect" this or that, which is what I seem to be hung up on right now.
Totally agree! For me, "ridiculous" means trying to squeeze a 6-paneled skirt out of a Men's button down, or knitting an entire sweater, stranded no less and my first time stranding no less, on size 1 needles. Who does that??? Or rather, why are there these random projects that fall way outside our comfort zone, something totally new to us, but which we are compelled to take on regardless? And isn't it odd that these are sometimes the most satisfying projects?
Maybe they're the ones where, like Sigrid, we're not aiming for perfection, and the process (or the product) is that much better for it - perfectly what we wanted, perfectly suited to the moment, perfectly quirky in all the right ways. Maybe they're the ones that bring some of the joy and spontaneity back into crafting, a sensation of que sera sera that can easily be lost as we hone our technical skills or recreate a runway garment.
So I'm proposing this. Let's make some ridiculous projects this summer. Whatever "ridiculous" means to you. It will be fun. There may be wadders ... that get salvaged ... and become 10x's better than the original concept. It will be low pressure, because after all, isn't "ridiculous," by definition, free from expectations of perfection, technical prowess, and practicality? It will be something to blow off steam when that other project isn't coming together. It will be a procrastination foil for all those garments that sound good on paper but aren't quite as exciting to dig into. It will be a mojo builder - let's just tear into this and see what happens! It will be ... whatever you want it to be. Whatever you need it to be. Amusing, stress relief, forehead slapping, a chance to try something totally wacky or really new, a place to ask questions or get inspiration.
I call it ... Challenge: Ridiculous. I've certainly got some ridiculous schemes up my sleeve (not in the least of which includes trying to talk Ali into making matching dresses with gigantic eyeglasses on them ... and then organizing a blogging meetup and showing up as TWINS. OK, now that I've revealed myself on the blogosphere, I may have to bury that crackpot scheme and come up with an equally ridiculous one.)
Anybody care to join? If there's enough interest I'll put together a Flickr group, or at least create a mini sew-along/ collaborative challenge. I'd love to see what other ridiculous ideas are floating around out there! We could cheer one another on! Gather inspiration! Push each other to new ridiculous ... I mean creative ... heights!