Since I was little, I have always been making things. None of it was good, or skilled, or beautiful, but I just liked doing it. Play-Doh and Legos are, of course, the go-to time-occupiers for little kids, so I was always into them. I had a Creepy Crawlers oven. (This was the boy equivalent of the Easy-Bake oven – instead of making sweets, I made bugs. I was a tom-boy, what can I say.) I had a kids pottery wheel. (I made this hideous clay bowl for my mother. It was lumpy as all get out, and I don’t even think I painted it…so it was just brown and lumpy. Yep, a piece of crap. And like any good mother, she loved and kept everything I ever made. They’re probably all in boxes in her attic right now.) I had some cheap artist kit with all kinds and colors of pencils, markers, crayons, and even charcoal. One year I got a beginner’s painting kit for Christmas. I even did a little sewing when I was younger for class projects or pillows. (My poor dear friends that got homemade things from me as gifts!) I was huge into scrapbooking when that was all the rage. I had so much fun learning and designing for my wedding. And on top of all that, I wrote non-fiction and danced ballet, modern and jazz.
My appreciation alone for arts has been lifelong and unquenchable. I’ve been a voracious reader since I can remember. And music! I can’t play a lick of any instrument, or sing a pleasant note, but I always have music on and around and love discovering new artists.
For some reason, my entire life, I have never thought of myself as an artsy person. And if I did, I just felt like a poser (do people even use that word anymore?). But I am artsy. If you saw any of the things I’ve created in my life, you would know I’m not just brimming over with raw artistic talent. But for some reason there’s been an interest that has persisted as I look back on the wake of bad-to-mediocre projects I’ve left behind me.
Why did I not pay more attention to these things when deciding what I wanted to pursue in my life, say, for instance, in college? Why did I think a well-paying career was more important than finding out what I was made to do? At least I got a better idea part way through, and ended up with a degree in English. (Like I said, LOVE reading – what better to do than spend all day reading books and talking about them with other people?) I even took an arts & crafts class (yes, they offered that for college credit) senior year just for fun and to have an artistic outlet. But my college offered an apparel, textiles, and merchandising program! And I missed out on it!
I’ve just begun to realize recently how much I truly enjoy sewing, how fulfilling it is to me, and how glad I am I discovered this interest. When I first started, I used a borrowed sewing machine and didn’t buy anything but essentials. I didn’t have much faith I’d be any good at it, and I didn’t want to waste money if I gave it up a couple months later.
Two years later, I’m at the point where all day at work I look forward to getting home and having a couple hours to sew. It’s one of the very few things that when I get frustrated I don’t just give up on it. I’ve made more things that were a disappointment than a success, but I keep moving on to the next project. And I don’t care if I ever sell anything that I make (though that would really be awesome). Because it’s the actual act of learning and sewing that I enjoy.