For an entire calendar year I challenged myself daily to design and create a 4”x4” wooden animal. Every day I would draw an animal onto a 4”sq piece of poster board. Each animal’s design had to touch all four sides of the square it was designed inside. Once I was happy with the layout I turned the piece of poster board into a stencil and transferred it onto a 3/8”- ¼” thickness of whatever wood was handy: reclaimed wood, free bins of wood around the neighborhood, furniture people were throwing out, even the sides of my work table were not safe (it didn’t need those sides anyway). I then utilized my favorite tool in the world- a scroll saw- to cut out each creature. Daily they were made, and daily they were posted online. At the end of every month I took a group shot of that month’s animals. These group shots got more and more ambitious. One month I set them out to sea, another I hiked the 22 miles through the Enchantment Lakes with them, I even tried to get them off the ground using helium balloons but, well, have you ever tried to get any kind of weight off the ground with a helium balloon? It takes, we’ll say, a lot of balloons. I got everything I wanted out of this project and so much more. I learned things about myself, I learned things about others, I learned things about setting goals and sticking to them no matter what. I can honestly say making these little guys changed my life. Because it did.