Introduction: My 30 Days of Instructables

Picture of My 30 Days of Instructables
Well, the 30 days of instructables is over! I didn't miss a day, although there were a few days towards the end where I wasn't able to make much progress on any one project. I still haven't finished a couple of these projects, like the Dual handle weight bag (stumped by the zipper; sewing's not my strong suit!) and the Custom print t-shirt (got a great print of Edwin the cat in his favorite pose, just haven't had the time to ink it in). Not to mention the several projects for which I got the supplies but wasn't able to even start (where do I begin? Homemade Mounds bars, Guava-Vodka Caviar Pearls, Ketchup and Mustard Pearls, Fluorescing gin-and-tonic jello, Homemade Caramels (yes, we're a foody family!), worm bag indoor composter, formerly decapitated head necklace, backwards running clock...). This overabundance of materials was actually key to success here, as having a ready supply of supplies for a range of easy to difficult projects made it possible to stay on track while not totally abandoning my family, job, and other responsibilities! Plus, I'm all set to continue expanding my instructables horizon (though not on a daily basis, I'm afraid!).

So, without further ado, here are my 30-days of instructables instructables, in order of appearance and initiation:
  1. Nanaimo Bars
  2. Infinite photo
  3. Duct tape cell phone cover
  4. DIY Gatorade (hint: the salt and lite salt seem to be what makes Gatorade taste like Gatorade; you probably can do better without the Koolaid!)
  5. Homemade Altoids (these were great, but be aware that the listed proportions move one from "Curiously strong" to "Bafflingly intense");
  6. Dragon's Egg (rumor has it this may not be an authentic dragon's egg; perhaps a wyvern egg instead?)
  7. Creepy Eye Following photo
  8. Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup (extra sweet potatoey!)
  9. a repurposed Fix (or renew) a stick deodorant (to house Homemade Deodorant)
  10. Refillable Brita filter (sorry, this is the original filter; I took the new one to my office before photographing it)
  11. Dual handle weight bag (pathetically undeveloped)
  12. Pantone clock
  13. Bacon Chocolate Chip cookies
  14. Custom print T-shirt print
  15. Shrub costume (won 3rd place in school contest; he was robbed! Attracted lots of attention and photographers during trick or treating)
  16. Bowl of Worms (these needed to set much longer than the four hours I could give it, but they were exceedingly effective nonetheless)
  17. Halloween cheeseburgers (simple and brilliant!)
Several of these took several days (small pieces of days, actually) to complete, which is why there are only 17 listed. I had originally included several pretty ambitious projects (mostly woodworking or electronics), but I eventually decided that the nature of this challenge didn't really favor those kind of intense projects, at least when your life is as splintered as mine!

Overall, this project was usually a blast and only occasionally mildly stressful ("Crap, it's midnight, and I still have to grade those tests and do an instructable?!?"). If you're looking for a legitimate 30-day challenge, I highly recommend trying new instructables for a month. A few suggestions to increase your enjoyment/chances of success:
  • Plan ahead! You need to have as many projects selected before day 1 as possible. The sheer size and diversity of instructables will ensure that sifting through the site for a couple dozen interesting and doable projects will take a lot of time. The less of this time you have to spend during your 30 days, the better.
  • Plan ahead! You need to make sure you have everything you need for a project well before the day you plan to tackle it. If you're going to do one or two dozen projects, that's a lot of hunting and gathering!
  • Variety is the spice of life. Not only categories (food, crafts, electronics, etc.) but level of difficulty. The easy ones are life-savers on your extra busy days, as long as you remember to:
  • Choose projects that are personally relevant (fun, interesting, useful to you). Even the easy ones need to meet this criterion. When you're pressed for time or exhausted, the difficulty in facing a technically simple project is directly proportional to how boring it is to you!

Comments

canida (author)2011-11-01

Nice job! 17 Instructables in 30 days is not shabby, especially if you've got a job and a life at the same time.

What are you doing next?

clibanarius (author)canida2011-11-02

Thanks! Maybe once kids have fledged and I've retired I'll take a crack at 30 in 30 days. Meanwhile, whenever time permits sounds pretty good. In some ways this is kind of a strange hobby, celebrating other people's creativity like this.

Do you mean next instructables or next 30-day challenge? I think next instructables will be in that molecular cooking genre I never quite got to (kid version: ketchup and mustard pearls or adult version Pomegranite Vodka caviar pearls, a variant of this.).

canida (author)clibanarius2011-11-03

Either! Those all sound like fun. Have you seen my Alinea Dinner Challenge post? More modernist cuisine fun.

clibanarius (author)canida2011-11-04

Wow, I'm guessing Alinea arrived in Chicago sometime after I moved out (in 1974)! Beef n' barrel, dog n' suds, and a pizza place with "Dad" in the name are about all I associate with Chicago restaurant-wise! That Alinea's challenge looked like a blast, and I'm glad the Chicago restaurant scene has opened up (of course, it might have been that my parents didn't see the point in taking three young boys to fancy-schmancy restaurants back then!).

gmjhowe (author)2011-11-02

Excellent work on all counts!

sunshiine (author)2011-11-01

Great going! Thanks for your hard work!

angelabchua (author)2011-11-01

Wow, totally impressive, and completely inspiring!

mikeasaurus (author)2011-10-31

Way to go!
Hey, 2 of those projects were based on mine, awesome!

clibanarius (author)mikeasaurus2011-11-01

And they were both awesome instructables! Thanks for putting them out there.

Alan

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2011-10-31

Looks like a good month to me!

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