The Five Year Project and #CricutEverywhere

The subject of today's video couldn't be more perfect if we'd planned it five years ago when we started on this journey.  Yeah.  FIVE YEARS ago.

Don is a woodworker. Until this project came along I wouldn't have said he was passionate about it - but he enjoyed it.  He made a few pieces of furniture for the house and liked puttering around in his shop (the garage) and it was nice that he had a way to express his creativity and de-stress when he was home.  So I was surprised five years ago when he came in from the garage one night and said "I want to build a boat. By hand." He'd been poking around on the internet looking for something that would be a challenge - to help him think outside the box.  So a month or so later when we were visiting my folks we took a day trip to Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, MD.

And the journey began.

In those five years there have been two deployments and three moves. There's the year we ended up living in a second-floor apartment and Don turned our sun room in to a workspace because that was all he had. Being a notorious "project quitter" myself, I figured Don would just give up and move on to something else.

But he had found his passion.

When we arrived in Washington and found a house right on Puget Sound, Don's creativity/motivation really kicked in to high gear. Neither of us realized just how much work was left on the boat, but Don was not leaving Washington without putting this kayak - the one he was building with his own two hands - in to the Sound that we had come to love so much.

As he got closer he began to think about the end result.  How he wanted his kayak to look when it was finished. We had JUST decided that we were going to make a go of this whole "doing a website together" thing - so he wanted to include our new logo. But he also wanted to make something that represented just HIM - his journey with this project and what it means to make something with your own two hands.  So we went straight to Cricut Design Space.  We were able to upload our logo and turn it in to a cut file, then we were able to cut a million practice samples with different sizes and dimensions until it was exactly what Don wanted.  

Then I left for HSN and on his own Don created the custom image of a hammer and a hatchet and cut it out of a very delicate fibrous paper that he had found several months prior. He texted me these photos with the hashtag #sosimpleadudecandoit (that would be smart-ass for "this software is so easy to use I don't need your help").

I can't even imagine how much it would have cost us to have these professionally done - and it would have been a one-shot deal. With the Explore we were able to create EXACTLY what we wanted, and Don was able to make it his own.

Six days before we were leaving Washington Don finished the kayak. 

Our neighbor Carol is a Native American tribal elder so she offered to bless the boat on its maiden (and only) voyage in the Puget Sound. When the rest of the neighborhood found out they asked if they could join us - so on a beautiful clear blue Sunday afternoon in Steilacoom more than a dozen of our favorite people in the world rode their bikes, walked over with their dogs, brought their cameras and stood with me on the shore as Carol blessed Don and the kayak - offering protection and prayer and paying homage to the tie that binds all living things.  As Carol and her sister sung Don out to sea and welcomed him back to shore I was completely overwhelmed - by the day, by these people, by my pride in Don's tenacity and passion, by this beautiful thing he'd made with his own two hands.  All because five years ago Don wanted to challenge himself creatively.

Inspiration in to action indeed.

So here's the deal.  As I mentioned in the video - stories like this are what inspire me. Hearing people talk about their passion - seeing the light come on when someone finds their creativity - I couldn't ask for anything more. So we want to hear about YOUR greatest creation.  The one project where you looked at it and said "Wow! I made this!".  One lucky winner is going to win a HUGE prize pack including a Cricut Explore Air, an iPad mini, and a one year subscription to Design Space - that is a retail value of over $600!  Enter to win on Cricut's Facebook entry form - the giveaway closes at Noon PDT on Monday. For more information on the contest you can head to Cricut's Facebook Page or click HERE for the official rules.  Please note - you DO have to be a US resident to enter. Have I mentioned that every time you enter a #cricuteverywhere contest you are automatically entered to win a $10,000 dream vacation??  Oh yes you are!  GET YOURSELVES ENTERED MY FRIENDS!!!!

Just when you thought you were through with me I will be coming to you from your TV!  On Monday May 11th I will be on HSN with the New Cricut Explore One (and some other fabulous products) - I hope you will tune in and join us for 24 hours filled to the brim with craftiness.  We're also working on a little social media fun (and maybe one more prize!) for Monday as well - I'll share all the details on my Facebook page as we get a little closer.

I said this at the beginning of the week - but THANK YOU to those who found me for the first time through the #cricuteverywhere campaign and ESPECIALLY to those of you who have supported me (and Don) all along the way. I said in the video that it is people who inspire me - and I am talking about YOU.  You make everything worthwhile, you make this the greatest job on the planet, and being a small part of your lives reminds me every day that I am absolutely the luckiest girl in the world.  Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend and I will see you on Monday!