Friday, July 9, 2010

Varied Interests (ie. I'm Complicated)

I hear this question way too often... "Is there anything you can't do?" Ummm... juggle?
Seriously though there's plenty of things that I can't do but I have a lot of different interests and love to try new things and take on new projects. They don't always turn out the way I first envision them but I get excited when I find a new hobby or get excited about a new use for an old one. So as far as artsy-craftsy stuff, here's what I do:

My first foray into actual handiwork: sewing!
Other than little crafts in art class at school or in Brownies (Girl Scouts), I didn't do much when I was young other than coloring. I loved to color. I even won a coloring contest when I was in 2nd grade. Somewhat reflective of my type A personality, I always colored in the lines. :) Anyway... I grew up close to both of my grandmothers. Both extremely talented women! My dad's mother was a china painter and doll maker. She painted florals and birds on ceramic decor items and jewelry. Her roses and pansies are just beautiful! She passed away a few years ago but I still have earrings and pendants she painted for me when I was young. A fruit clock she painted as a wedding gift hangs in my kitchen. And I have precious paintings for each of my children that she made for us. I gave ceramic painting a try around 6th grade but let's just say I didn't inherit the painting gene. My mom's mother is a quilter and sewer. She made clothes for us all my growing up (complete with matching outfits for my lovey 'Honey Bunny'.) I think it was the summer I was 12, my grandmother took my younger sister and I to a fun little sewing store for lessons. We made a pillow and a T-shirt/shorts outfit. I learned a lot and while most of my clothing projects now are major 'fails', I can do some basic home sewing like pillows, curtains, table runners, etc. I also used to do counted cross-stitch quite a bit and can do basic embroidery stitches. When I sit down with a hoop, I feel very Jane Austen-y. Maybe I should start stitching project and put in 'Pride & Prejudice'?

My next love and first real 'grown-up' craft also was started by my maternal grandmother. After my grandparents moved to Florida for their retirement years, she got involved in a Creative Memories scrapbooking group. I think as a birthday gift when I was in junior high school, she gave me a box of supplies to get started. I wasn't terribly interested and set it aside for a year or two. But then I learned that my best friend from high school was a scrapbooker and after seeing her albums, I dug out that box and got started! Oh those first pages..... *ouch*! I can't even show them to you because they were so wretched, I went back and redid them! (I know, I know, you shouldn't go back and redo but I wanted to do a more complete scrapbook of my childhood and I only had about 3 pages worth in that first album. Now I have 4 full --and finished-- albums that go from my birth up until our wedding.) I'm not a big photo album person so everything goes in the scrapbook. I have our chronological albums, a Christmas album, and a home album. I also put together 2 albums for my husby about his 3-week trip to the Holy Lands. (They still need journaling and embellishments but the pictures are in!) I'm about 6 years behind but it's a process and I love working on them when I have the time.

So we all know what happens when scrapbookers have extra bits of paper and supplies lying around.... they start making cards! And we all know you can't make cards without rubber stamps!
 Introduce the next hobby: rubber stamping! So this hobby happened by accident! (Honest, honey!!!) A friend invited me to tag-along to a Stampin' Up home demonstration. I hadn't seen her in awhile and figured I'd go just for the fellowship. I did not 'do' rubber stamping; I was not good at rubber stamping (as evidenced by previous attempts); I did not want the expense of buying rubber stamps; etc, etc, etc. Well, I loved the party! I learned how to stamp and it actually looked good! I left that evening and immediately started looking into signing up to become a demonstrator (so I could get the discount, of course!) In my research, I was introduced to The Angel Company and loved their images, loved the unmounted cling system, and loved their low sales quotas. So I signed on and jumped in with both feet. (Honey, if I make all the cards we send, I can save us money. *giggle*)

Well, having all sorts of papercrafting supplies and tons of rubber stamps, I started altering things. I love making everyday things a little more beautiful and creating pretty packaging for gift-giving.

A couple of years ago I hosted a craft show in our living and dining room and invited about 10 friends to participate. We had a great time selling together and I loved the opportunity to try lots of different craft ideas that had been in my 'idea' folder. I made altered picture frames, stitched prim style sayings, decoupaged decorative Christmas blocks, made bath products like soap, milk bath, and bath salts, made card sets, and more.

My newest love: beading! My great-grandmother was a beader. She made little beaded dolls and bells and some jewelry, I think. I have a collection of her bells that I put on their own little tree at Christmas time. Jewelry making was a hobby that I was again determined not to get into. I knew if I started that I'd get sucked in. (I was right!)

Even though my kids are both past the age for me to participate in a MOPs program, the gals at church invited me to their 'Mom's night out: Jewelry night'. We made a pair of earrings and a couple of necklaces. I wasn't very adept at finishing the pieces off which just cemented my feelings about not starting a new hobby. But.... I had a dress that I wanted to wear to church and I didn't have any coordinating jewelry. I couldn't find anything in a store (at a reasonable price) that would work so hmm.... I'm crafty, I think to myself, I'll just make something. Thus a new *cough, cough* obsession has begun. The only problem... a woman can only wear so much jewelry at once and one can only give away so many gifts. I'm hoping that I can maybe sell some pieces at local craft shows or flea markets. Simply to make room for new projects!

So that's what I do! I've tried basket making, ceramic painting, quilting, and tie dye. I don't knit, crochet, sew clothes, do fine painting, draw, make dolls or teddy bears, altered collages, or woodworking. I'd love to try felting and making purses. But I've already got a lot going. :)
(And I certainly don't juggle!)
I hope you find time today to 'do' what you do!

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