I’ve been “crafting” off and on for the past 14 years. Initially, it started as a passing interest, nothing serious. I started to dabble in cake making a few months into my marriage. By dabble, I mean, buy everything they’ve ever created for said purpose and quickly lose interest. I dabbled hard… Then, after having a few kids, it got a little more serious.
I’m not sure if my intensity picked up because I had more time on my hands (after baby 2, I was no longer working outside of the home) or the realization that I actually enjoyed making things. Either way, this meant spending more money and time “honing” my craft. Woodworking, baking, sewing, crochet, knitting… I’ve done a little of most things.
I really do enjoy crafting, but I think I meander through so many medias because I haven’t found one that I feel I excel in. And my problem is, I’m a perfectionist. No matter what I do, how many people love it, or time spent, it’s just never good enough. To say I have creative demons is an understatement. I have been almost moved to tears at the results of a day’s worth of crafting, only to have my husband or kids come later and say “this looks really good!”. It’s nice to hear, but if you don’t believe it, your creativity can still take a hit.
Honestly, I feel that I’m just not that gifted. I loved art growing up but had a hideous art teacher in 10th grade. She sucked the joy out of everything for me and I stopped all forms of art. Now with kids, they have such a huge interest and love for all things crafty that it’s got me all worked up. Now I think I can do it all again, but at the same time feel like a failure with EVERY last project I make.
Then I started reading. I found a book called Mighty Ugly and I’ve started to feel better about myself. I never considered myself creative, then I read this sentence quoted from the book: “Improving upon or even just altering these designs by making decisions about colors, techniques, textures, riffing off what other people have done-all creative”. It was like a light came on. I realized, there really are very few original ideas anymore. Most things have been done over and over. Creativity is simply adding your take.
Now I know I’m creative. I spent so long worried I didn’t have it, simply because I can’t think outside of the box. I can copy and imitate with the best of them, but I struggle with creating my own. I have since had more success with this and I credit my girls. They challenge me regularly. My youngest daughter always wants me to draw with her. I tell her, I can’t. I don’t know WHAT to make, she says “anything”. Then, magically, I’ve drawn a picture and I don’t hate it. I’m slowly learning to realize that so much of creativity lies in just doing and not being great.
So, now I’m focused mostly on sewing. I have this itch for pretty books and I.just.keep.buying… I have accumulated quite a collection of crafting books. The girls delight in this, they raid my closet and flip through the books starry-eyed. “One day I’ll make this” or “Mom, can we sew this tomorrow”? I’ve already set up a machine just for them, so those projects will be tackled. This makes me feel much better about the “investments” I’ve made.
AND, I just found out that it’s the national Maker Faire next week! I so wish I was near one, but I’m not. So, I’ll be having my own right here in my dining room (where we should be eating). The ideas just keep flowing, but the time and skill continue to elude me. Plus, I keep adding to the pile. I’ve added (recently) to my book collection and cannot wait to make as many things as I can. I was supposed to be working through my stash and instead have added to it because, of course, none of the fabric I have is suitable for some of the gorgeous patterns I’ve found.
So, I’m going to stop running my mouth now and go to bed so I can get up bright and early to start on the latest project! If any of you are going to Maker’s Faire, send a picture or two! I will live through you for now 🙂 And next week, I’ll be eager to start working on some baking. Check out my newest addition: