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Creative Experiments

Photo by Chuttersnap on Unsplash

I love to try new things. And I like goals. But I don't always like super big things (like New Year's resolutions). Quite a few years ago, though, I felt like I needed something for the year. We had moved the year before (moved in together!), and we were in a new neighborhood. So I decided that I would try one new restaurant near our new place every month. It was so much fun! I went with various friends and with my partner. We all had a good time, and my partner and I found a couple of new favorite restaurants.

Another year I wanted to get better at knitting, so I decided I would make something every month. That experiment didn't work as well. I made a few things, but the monthly goal was too much for me (I'm a slow knitter!), and it started being not so fun

In 2019 I set the goal of going to each of the reciprocal venues that had free admission with our zoo membership, and that was the best one so far! So many fun trips!

This year, I'm trying out a new recipe every month, something that's a little tricky or intimidating to me. So far I've made bao, dolmas, and homemade pizza, and this month I'm going to try egg foo yung.

I've learned that my experiments work best if they're something I can do, something that happens on one day, rather than something that stretches over the whole month. I've also learned that I enjoy them more if I share them with others. So the years where it didn't go as well, wasn't as enjoyable, when I didn't make it to the end of the year werent' failures at all. They helped me see what works for me. And that's a thing I am trying to learn about all sorts of "failures." I thought this story about how things not going as planned or hoped are still helpful might be useful to some of you out there. I hope you are finding fun experiments of your own no matter what the outcome!


21 thoughts on “Creative Experiments

  1. Susan Renshaw

    Love your ideas of the different goals. My idea was to finish all the UFO's (unfinished objects) in my craft room - especially during lockdown. I have achieved some but am a failure to a large extent as the list gets longer!

  2. Estelle

    I love your thoughts and ideas. It is like taking little tid bits of new and making it your own, if it works great, if not, lesson learned. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Kim

      I really like the way you put that together--nice and concise. It is like mixing things to make it your own!

  3. Susan

    What a wonderful way to set goals. I like how you make a very do-able year long theme. Any ideas on what you want to do next?

    1. Kim

      No idea yet. I usually start brainstorming in the fall for the coming year. I know that on my list of recipes for this year I still have arepas, egg foo young (a new addition), and my family's nut roll recipe. And probably some sort of filled dumplings--a friend gave us a great cookbook from a local Russian restaurant that's known for its dumplings, so I might take that on.

  4. Cindy Bahl

    I love knitting and have for about 10 years. Slow knitting is actually a good thing! I can recommend a fantastic Facebook group for new knitters, if you like. Even though I’ve knitted for years, I remain a member because I still always learn new things in that group. And I love helping out fellow knitters.
    I strongly recommend reading this book. It will make you fall back in love with knitting. I especially loved the Audible version of it.
    “Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting”

    1. Kim

      Oh, I forgot about the Yarn Harlot! I used to follow her online somewhere... I don't do a lot of knitting anymore. I love to embroider but had stopped for a while because of my vision. But I found nifty magnifying goggles and also some good magnifying glasses and a cool light that goes around my neck, so I can embroider again. So I've kind of put the knitting on the back burner, although I pull it out every once in a while to make a scarf (I really like making scarves and cowls!)

  5. April

    I always set goals every new year, and I think I make them too numerous and lofty so I always fail. Maybe this year I will change things.

    1. Kim

      I used to make overly large lists and never made it through everything. That's what lead to the monthly things. That and I thought that having experiences every month would be really fun (and it is!).

  6. Cheryl Turtlemoon

    I like your ideas, and when you don’t quite manage things, that’s just learning rather than mistakes:)

  7. Judith A Liebaert

    For my hubs and my 15th anniversary, I made of list of 15 things to do together than we'd never done. We didn't complete all of them (it was a pretty ambitious list), but it was fun trying.

    1. Kim

      The filling was realy good. The recipe was weird and called for kneading in the baking powder after the dough had risen, and I feel like it didn't get mixed in all the way. Some parts of the dough puffed up while others didn't. They were pretty tasty. Definitely going to experiment more and fine tune my recipe. They ended up being pretty fun to make.

    1. Kim

      They got overcooked a bit. Pretty tasty, but they need a lot of sauce. I have a better idea of how to tell when they're done next time, so I'll definitely make them again. The hardest part was finding the grape leaves!

  8. Francine

    I pretty much do this too! I try to choose one area to focus on each year to improve. In previous years it's been crochet and knitting. This year I am focusing on drawing and painting, but I also want to make more complex knitted projects, and sew one garment a month. So far the sewing hasn't been working out too well/ I do love stretching myself this way, and even when things don't work, we still learn something.

    1. Kim

      Definitely! We always get something out of it even if it's not what we thought it would be when we started.

  9. Jean

    What fun! I like that you had the courage to try different goals. So a few didn't work out the way you wanted. That's ok because you tried and you know more what you like or dislike.

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