Sharon’s Take it Further Challenge for March is about small things

Do you ever notice the little things, the small moments, the details in life? This month’s challenge is to do just that, pay attention to the tiny details. Sometimes the small things become emblematic for something larger.

This reminded me of one of my favourite quotes – I heard it on the radio, and later tracked down to an American writer, Donald Windham:

It is ordinary to love the marvellous. It is marvellous to love the ordinary.

However, while I aspire to a mindful, noticing way of living, my brain has never really cooperated. I’m either not paying much attention at all – I wander about in a daze, life gets very black and white and the small things pass me by. Or else I’m getting so focused on the detail that I stop making connections or even remembering why I was there in the first place. Finding the middle ground where I really breathe and look and listen… it’s a struggle, and it takes a lot of energy.

So, I’ve decided this month (thinking small) just to spend a bit of time focusing on two little things I like a lot.

1. dots – look around and find them, draw them, paint them, stitch them. I’d like to join them up too. Maybe I could take my February challenge a little further by experimenting with joining dots by machine.

2. dogs – (actually just one). Tansy, being a Tibetan spaniel, is very little and very much emblematic for larger things – joy, love, faithfulness, for example. Sometimes I draw her and as I’ve been thinking for a while it would be good to have a go at drawing her with the sewing machine, I’m challenging myself to do that this month .


I think, too, during March, I’ll seek out poetry that inspires me to stop and look, starting with the wonderful celebration of difference, Pied Beauty, by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

TIF Challenge March 1

8 thoughts on “TIF Challenge March 1

  • March 8, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Love the idea of dots and dogs. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

  • March 8, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    surely dots + dogs = dalmations 🙂 looking forward to see your machine drawing of Tansy

  • March 9, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Thank you for the poem ‘Pied Beauty’ by Gerard Manley. I love textiles and images but I think sometimes language is underestimated.

  • March 10, 2008 at 2:40 am

    I love the idea of your dog for a symbol and am looking forward to seeing your designs evolve. I also enjoyed the poetry. It is a one time love of mine that has somehow slipped to the wayside. Maybe this post is a message to me to rekindle that interest.

  • March 10, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    What a beautiful poem, thanks so much for that link.
    It can be so difficult in a busy life to notice the small things, but what a great challenge, I find when I do take this time (usually only when forced to through illness) It’s really peaceful and comforting. I wish you many happy hour with you’re dots and doggie!
    : )

  • March 10, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Hi Fiona, Can’t wait to see what you do with this concept.. this is a great challenge isn’t it, lots to think about before the creation even begins…. Jane

  • March 11, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    A month of small observances then! sounds good.

  • March 13, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I have a strange obscession with dots too! The machine ide sounds good! dooooit dooooit hehe

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