Saturday, March 22, 2014


When I had children, I was determined to be a crafty mom.  I wanted my kids to think of anything  and know their mother could just make it for them.  I always did well in school, I breezed through college, I worked some terrible office jobs, but I knew that one day I would stay at home with my children making fantastic dinners, sewing custom dress-up outfits, and sending them to school with the best Valentine's Day box or whatever silly project was required of them that week.  Apparently I was just expecting to one day download all the necessary skill and knowledge into my brain Matrix-style.  When I was pregnant with my first child I realized that I had to buckle down and figure this stuff out.

First, came knitting.  I bought a book, yarn, and needles.  Between my book, online tutorials, and YouTube, I got the hang of it pretty quick.  But it was so slow.  It took me days, or even weeks, to finish a project.  I dabbled here and there for the next year.

When my son was about a year old, I decided that I needed to learn to sew.  For the next 6 months I barely touched my knitting needles and it was all sewing, all the time.  I made quilts and bags and capes and... more bags.  I liked sewing because it was much quicker.  I lacked the patience for knitting.  But I soon learned that I am a lazy seamstress.  I almost never iron.  I take any short cut I can if I know you won't be able to see it on the finished piece.  But with a sleepy then busy baby in the house  there was just no good time to sew.

All of a sudden, I started seeing so many cute crochet patterns online.  Just in time for me to make things before my daughter, currently housed in my uterus, would arrive.  So all the fabric I stocked up on, all the notions, all the books took a back-burner to my new hooks and chunky yarns.  My crochet phase lasted longer than my other two.  It was so easy, so fast, and I could actually free-hand it.  I got into amigurumi and my son requested a new creature every day.

Sewing, knitting, (briefly) photography, crochet.  While I never stuck with anything long enough to master it, at least I had a basic understanding of it all.  Before I started my crafting journey, the only time I had set foot in Hobby Lobby was to buy fabric for a toga in college (yes, for a frat party).  But now I knew about gauges and blocking and fat quarters and darning needles.  I actually knew stuff.  I even had a bottle of Mod Podge somewhere in my closet. I thought I was done learning for a while.  Until my birthday, when I spontaneously decided I needed a Cricut.

Cue cardstock, vinyl, chipboard, and cartridges.  I pretty much got sucked into that world for another 6 months or so.  Everyone got a handmade card for the next few holidays.  But now, I'm finally taking a break.  I can't think of any projects I want to get done.  I can't think of any new technique that I really want to learn.  We're in a nice holiday-free few months right now.  Both my kids just had their birthdays.  I feel like it's the perfect time to get all my thoughts down.

I am sharing my crafting history because I want something to be very clear.  I have no idea what I'm doing.  I have never been an artistic or creative person.  I didn't grow up with anyone showing me these things.  I don't get very many original ideas.  I think things in my head and they never translate well when I try and realize them.  I am also lazy (or impatient) when it comes to projects.  I don't mind doing it quick and dirty as long as the end result is okay.  I don't follow the "rules".  If I think a step is unnecessary,  I'll omit it.  Then I'll spend twice as long trying to fix whatever went wrong when I skipped that step.  I'll take 10 different tutorials and tailor them to what I want to do.  Also, I'm cheap.  This means that I won't (and can't) spend $80 on materials each time I want to start a project.  I can maybe spend $8, or $18 if I'm really splurging.  So being lazy, poor, and impatient means that 90% of the projects that look so easy and awesome are going to be beyond my scope.  Basically this all translates to something I hope other people can relate to: I want to do this, but I don't want to spend a lot of money or time on it.  I'm here to share projects I've done that other poor and lazy people can do.  I'm here to show that we can make cute homemade stuff without being an expert-level super-mom rich crafty crafter.  I omit or change any steps that I think I can get away with, I use the cheapest acceptable materials, and I cut any corner that can afford to be cut.  Sometimes I fail terribly.  Sometimes it turns out awesome.

No comments:

Post a Comment