A Book of Days

A ship is safe in a harbour but that is not what ships are for…


Likewise, fabrics are safe in drawers, boxes, baskets. Yarn is safe in bags under the bed…Wood and paper and a miscellany of miniature projects and accessories are happy enough here, there and everywhere, obscuring every surface of the Makery…

Something must be done!

And perhaps I have finally found a solution. And perhaps not. Time will tell.

HEADER SOURCE (Header font – Zapfino)

A long time ago, I saw one of the sons of Vita Sackville West speaking, on Youtube, of Virginia Woolf. He says:

She once said to me, “Nothing has really happened until it has been described”, and she meant described in words. “Therefore,” she said, “Write a lot of letters to your family and friends. Keep a diary,” she said. “Don’t let a day pass without recording it whether anything interesting has happened or not. Something interesting happens every day,” she said.

I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly that something interesting does happen every day. I couldn’t fail more abjectly to record it. Despite many attempts, I don’t think I’ve ever kept a diary for so long as a week!

Alas, I am more like the geese that come by on occasion. They arrive with enormous enthusiasm and a lot of noise and have a wonderful time on the pond for a day or two. Then, without any obvious rhyme or reason (but with just as much noise), they fly away to explore somewhere else.

Visiting geese are always always a surprise and a delight!

Some of you may recall that my blog used to be called ‘Rainbow Hare Quilts’. Then after obsessively sewing and quilting for a few years, I dropped the ‘Quilts’ and ‘Rainbow Hare’ became more of a yarn blog. I learned to crochet, I knitted lace and colour work and knitted flat and ‘in the round’ and took breaks for making cloth dolls and creatures, fabric illustrations, the odd story, paper mache, miniature projects…Once I take into account family, gardening, day work and all the endless farrago of things I don’t blog about, I’m not surprised that I sometimes feel time to create some kind of life’s work is running against me.

So when one of my fellow Endeavourers mentioned Barbara Sher to me and I heard about this book, it caught my interest, though you could be forgiven for asking what doesn’t! I don’t know if I actually meet the criteria for what she calls a ‘scanner personality’ but some traits are certainly familiar. There are so many things I’m interested in and want to do (or make) I can find it hard to choose, especially during the time between finishing one project and starting another, and I do find myself unable to specialise in one craft because I just love all of them.

Anyway, my purpose is not to diagnose but to make a ‘Scanner Day Book’. This is suggested early in the book and seems to me to be a fun and useful way of documenting all my ideas and plans for creative projects that I might or might not ever actually make. The idea is basically to take a double page spread, choose a project that appeals to you and fill your page with writing/drawings/clips of research or ‘anything else that allows you to enjoy the subject you’re writing about’. Going off on tangents is permitted and it doesn’t matter if your ideas never get made and Sher says, “This is about your vision and the free play of ideas for pure enjoyment”. When you lose interest, you stop.

This is not a million miles away from something I sometimes do already. I have a book (that was meant to be a bullet journal) where I make working plans for projects I have already decided to make or record ideas for projects with deadlines and write down/draw patterns as I go if I’m making them up trial and error style etc.

In fact, since looking through it to make this post, I wonder if the new book will be very different.

But I like the fact that it encourages this approach for any passing idea we might feel a sudden inspiration or enthusiasm for because that removes the necessity to tailor a project to fit a deadline or materials to hand and it means that a lack of time for making things needn’t result in all these potential projects being forgotten. Quite often (despite the book above) I come across a piece of fabric or a scrap of paper with a plan for a quilt or doll or I notice something I’ve pinned on pinterest and remember I was intending to make a certain thing but then I became overrun with general life and forgot all about it.

So I’m hoping a ‘Scanner Day Book’ could be an efficient way of both selecting projects for actually making and getting started on them without having to go through all the planning again. If nothing more I will endeavour to work through the new book sequentially and keep up with recording the contents better!

So far, I have only read Refuse to Choose up to the first mention of a ‘Scanner Day Book’ so there might be more involved than I am appreciating at the moment and I think a possible downside could be that making the book might be a distraction from making ‘real’ things but I’m going to give it a try and see it goes.

Here is the new book and the first page…

I came by all these dolls unexpectedly and was suddenly in possession of them without any plan for their use so I thought this would be an opportunity to try out the ‘Scanner Day Book’ exercise.

Last week I saw a dolls house with some furniture and dolls for sale locally on Ebay. The starting bid was £40 but I assumed there would be a higher reserve and/or lots of people would bid at the last minute. Anyway, I bid £40 without any realistic expectation of winning and planning to give more consideration to whether I would really want to buy something like this now or wait a few years.

These are pictures from the original listing.

I’ve been thinking it would be nice to do up a dolls house for my grandaughter (18 months), two grandchildren expected in June and any future grandchildren to play with but, given the time before that will happen, I was in no rush. And I am also in the middle of several miniature projects, which I haven’t blogged much about, and I thought some of the furniture would come in useful for those (I think it is mostly unsuitable for young children to play with) but I am still very much in the constructions stages so, again, I was in no rush.

When I won with my opening bid, I was very surprised. When I unpacked everything, I was amazed! The dolls house is huge and the photos really don’t do the collection of furniture and accessories justice (and didn’t include a variety of extras the seller threw in). I really think this really is a miniaturist’s equivalent of winning the lottery! When I went to collect it all, I did check with the seller that she was definitely happy to let it go but she said she was wanting to have a clear out and she insisted she just wanted someone else to have the enjoyment of it, which was extraordinarily generous, and I know we will enjoy it for years to come. I will decorate the house and put in some child-friendly furniture and people and I’m sure I can find things to do with the furniture and accessories that are less child-friendly.

But there are too many dolls for the house, even if they are laid by until all the children are old enough for them, and I think it would be a terrible shame to leave them packed away, gathering dust after coming by them so fortuitously.

The Day Book exercise has given me a few ideas to be pondering and, maybe one day, some of these dolls will turn up here in posts of their own :)

I wish you a joyful week!

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

8 thoughts on “A Book of Days

  1. piecefulwendy

    I somehow missed the mention of that book, but I can see bits of me in that concept. It will be fun to see how you progress with this. Sometimes working on something different gives me a new idea to use on another project, so I see it as a bit of creative play, if you will. What a great purchase, the doll house and all the items that came with it!


  2. TextileRanger

    Hurray, I finally fit into a category! Although I have been known to refer to myself as a dilettante and a Renaissance woman. :)

    Your log book is a work of art on its own, and I am always in awe of your flawless execution in your projects. You may think you are a little scattered, but I think your careful working style is a bridge that connects all your projects.

    And wow! About that dollhouse! What a treasure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hawthorn

    Your journals are beautiful memories of crafting and will probably be cherished for a long time and used for inspiration. And – wow – well done with the dolls house complete with all the extended family (and staff looking at how many there are!)


  4. Sharm

    Good luck with this – Like you say, I can see it has both potential and detour written over it! I hope you get the time you need to be able to write down all the ideas that come your way in the space of a day ……….. that could be quite interesting …… or perhaps it will see you spend time focussing on the initial thought for the day rather than all the other ideas that come


  5. Flashinscissors

    I found the video about Virginia Woolf very interesting. I didn’t know much about her, she was just a name to me. I remember my mother having one of her books when I was very young.
    Your journal looks great fun, although I think you are already extremely methodical anyway!
    Wow! That dolls house is fabulous! You were so lucky to get it and all the other bits! It was a very generous sale and has gone to just the right person. I look forward to seeing pictures of what you do with it.
    Just before lockdown one of the ladies at my handicraft group purchased a similar dolls house and she sent us some photos of her makeover ….. it is such fun to see what can be done. I’m sure you will have many happy hours “playing” with your new acquisitions.
    Barbara xx


  6. Carol

    OMGosh what a wonderful find!! I am jealous. I want to find an old chest of drawers and turn it into a doll house. Your grands will have a wonderful time with theirs.
    xx, Carol


  7. Benta

    the book sounds a great idea. I’m very good at buying note books but hopeless at sticking with any idea of filling them! at the moment the sewing room is too much of a mess for me to thnk about any new ideas, it would just be a depressing list of started projects!. The dolls house is amzing!! (as is the news more grandchildren are on the way, congratulations) I collected a number of dolls house pieces when I was a childminder (we minded up to 8 children at a time so needed quantity!) There are at least 3 wooden boxes (the size of a reasonable size 1:12 room) with window and door openings, and there may be some solid wooden furniture which would be child proof, so let me know if F and the new ones show any interest!!!. PS the hat has been used loads – thank you xxx


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