Sunday, January 30, 2011

"How DO you find the time?"

Well, right. I get this question pretty frequently regarding making crafty things...and blogging. But really, there are times when I just don't find any time. And then other times I am really productive in making things. Over the course of a month or a year, I don't think I have enough time for projects or really get that many done. There are so many of them backed up in my little craft corner and spilling out of baskets by the sofa.

As for blogging, I don't think I am terribly prolific since there are so many bloggers out there who find time every day to post their thoughts and/or pictures of the beautiful things they make. And tutorials, which I love to read and use. If I'm lucky I will get a post in once a week - but obviously I'm not that lucky most weeks.

But here are some of the reasons I have time to make crafty things (in no particular order):

1) I have craft stuff out all the time. I didn't used to have a place to keep a sewing machine or WIP out, but when we re-did our basement a few years ago, I carved out a corner. Just a table and shelving to keep my craft-y supplies in and to be able to leave out projects without having to clean them off the dining room table everyday. This makes such a huge difference because I can just go sew for 20 minutes if that's all I have. Like these piles of half square triangles which will eventually be a quilt. They take a lot of cutting and sewing and pressing that can be done a little at a time. Knitting is portable, so I have projects in ziplocs ready to go with me anytime.

2) art and craft are just things that everyone in my family has always done - I can't think of very many people in my immediate family (meaning parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, cousins) who isn't crafty or an artist, or both. So I grew up in this reality where it wasn't unusual, and where having a sewing room or art studio or workshop was a housing choice priority, and where time spent doing projects isn't considered only "spare" time.

3) I don't watch very much TV.  And very often when I do, I'm knitting or just listening to it from the sewing machine, or pressing things on the ironing board.

4)  I believe that you don't need to be particularly artistically talented or perfect at your craft for it to be worthwhile - I really think this is thanks largely to my dad, who if he reads this will take it in the good spirit in which it is intended.  It seems like this idea keeps a lot of people out there from making things with their own hands. I love trying new things and making stuff. period. If you want to make something and you don't know exactly how, you should go ahead and give it a shot anyway. You don't need to create something perfect. You are the one who will notice the majority of mistakes anyway. And with practice anyone can learn a craft or an art - of course, there are these amazingly brilliant and gifted people out there who have talents I can never really aspire to. But they inspire me, and I'll aspire to developing more skills anyway.

5) I try to trick convince my children to do projects with me so that I can justify the time and the trips to the craft store.  Teen Wonder doesn't fall for it anymore. But she is creating her own things now. Wild Thing really loves to make stuff and will still do it with me.

6) I have insomnia. And evening is probably one of my most productive times of the day. For my real job, I have to get up at an ungodly hour. Morning people probably think getting up at 5:30 or 6 is peachy, but I'd rather sleep until at least 7:30. Unfortunately, 7am teleconferencing requires at least getting up and having some coffee - and usually I like to go to the office to do them since we have such a tiny house and our "office" is in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I still stay up too late and I need more sleep...but the majority of my sewing or knitting happens after 9pm (or the rare weekend afternoon when we aren't running around like crazy).

Okay, that's about all I can think of now, plus I am running out of time to post...and I wanted to share a project from Christmas that still isn't quite finished. I wanted to make multiple sets of these, but I only finished two in time for gifting. At least one more set will go out to my uncle, and the last one (which will get done sometime before the end of the world) will be for me.

My grandma passed away in October. She was an artist, and an amazing quilter - wow. I wish I had a catalog of all her quilts, because I've only ever seen a small fraction of them. Anyway, she had made these paper dolls sometime when she was quite young - they are very old and laminated with some sort of tape. Extremely detailed, and all with these big round heads. A few years ago I got a small Xyron on sale at the craft store, and I used it to make bookmarks with old foreign cancelled stamps that I'd cut from reprint requests to scientists in my grad school lab. I'd been saving these things for something like ?15 years - sheesh. Anyway, that was fun...but you have to do more than one project to justify buying a new toy, right?  I've done some other stuff with it, but I have been wanting to make magnetic laminated copies of the Big Head Dolls for quite a long time.  My grand-dad scanned a few of them for me a couple of years ago, but not the whole set...and I could never find the magnetic-laminate cartridges in stock for my Xyron. But after Grandma passed away, my mom lent me the dolls so I could scan copies and do this project. (the dolls belong to my auntie - and they are priceless, so I was a bit nervous taking custody of them!)

These are a couple of shots of just some of the dolls (and my first watermarking of photos - since I don't want anyone to reproduce these in any way. The photos are low res anyway, but still...

I love that they are magnetic! 

And here you can see why I'm still not done - this is a lot of cutting out. I can do it while watching TV if I don't need to pay attention to the program...but I'm still not quite done...

Happy Sunday everyone! Now go out and make something!

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