5.31.2008

She's crafty. Or not.

I admire people with skills like crafting, photography, knitting, decoupage, baking, writing or whatever. If you can make something and make it awesome, you are totally cool in my book.

I've tried numerous things in the 30 years I've been chilling on this planet to prove I have some talent at something. Anything. I'm still searching for the one thing I can make with my own hands that I can show off and be proud off.


My intentions are always there and I get really excited to make something with my own hands. I buy books and materials and research and ask questions. Ultimately I never quite succeed in making anything worth keeping.

I participated in a garage sale at a friend's house a few weekends ago and sold all the things I had ever tried to make. I was almost embarrassed at the things I had tried and not completed. First there were all those acrylic paints. I had no particular purpose for them although I did use them. I tried my version of painting on a canvas. It was totally not painting either. It was me spending an hour painting a large canvas in one solid color. I doubt that someone will show up at Antiques Roadshow in 100 years and be told that my 'art' is priceless. I did paint a few terracotta pots but they turned out horrible. An ex boyfriend did a better job at painting them then I did.

Then I focused my attention on jewelry making. I'm a BIG BIG jewelry fan. I've been an avid collector for around 10 years and you'd be amazed at what I have. It would only be natural to make something myself, right? I bought books and jewelery wire and pretty stones and clasps and bead organizers and a billion other things. I made a few necklaces and a pair of earrings and deemed them too 'kindergarten craft project' to ever wear them. I sold the entire collection of jewelry making stuff for $8. That little girl got a bargain.

Funny t-shirt making was a fleeting hobby. A friend of mine made me the funniest shirt with her own two hands. She bought a store made shirt and gussied it up with fabric and fancy glue and letters. She made me two different ones. Two "inside joke"shirts that I still have in my closet. I thought it would be hilarious to make shirts for friends as jokes. Included in that arsenal were t-shirts in various colors, assorted fabrics in different patterns, iron on letters glue on sequins and a plethora of other items to make a t-shirt more than just plain. I made one shirt, deemed it stupid looking and sold the whole lot at the garage sale for a few bucks. Another bargain.

Then, THEN! I bought a bunch of string and was going to make this really cool wall art project I saw on HGTV. I coordinated all the string colors, painted all the nail heads that I would need for the project, measured the string, picked a spot on the wall and then proceeded to put everything in the guest bedroom closet. I donated it all last week.

Let's talk scrap booking. Hasn't almost every woman under the age of 100 at least attempted this? A finished scrapbook is a great way to display cherished photos. I actually did finish quite a few pages and then gave up. It takes a lot of time and scrap booking is not cheap. I sold hundreds of sheets of paper, sheet after sheet of stickers and transfer on letters. Embellishments and cut outs and scissors and punches and tape and OMG, it's almost to hard to even say what I sold it for. $10. I want to cry. I only hope that the lady who bought that stuff knows what a deal she got. She better be making scrapbook pages AS I TYPE THIS.

I can't forget my attempt at crocheting. This is actually something I've been trying to do for many years. My Grandma B taught me to crochet and I actually enjoy doing it. But I can't make a square to save my life. I made a blanket once that's this odd shape and entirely too small for the normal human being. After Jackson was born I decided he needed a pair of mommy made crochet pants for winter. I picked out some nice warm, pretty wool. Got a new set of crochet hooks in different sizes and downloaded instructions online. I spent hours and hours remaking just the leg of the pants. When I got to the crotch area I gave up. Who knew crotches were not easy to make. I sold all the crochet stuff, too. Probably for a song.

A few years ago I even registered to be in a ceramics class in college to get my elective out of the way. I pictured the teacher praising me and my artist hands. My skill with ceramics would rival those of the masters. Ok, I didn't really expect that much praise. But I was hoping maybe THIS would finally be THE thing I've been looking for. Meh, not so much. I had fun in the class and made a few pieces that I'm quite proud of, but it's nothing to write home about. I attempted to sell a vase I had made at that garage sale. A man picked it up and showed it to his wife and asked if she wanted it. She crinkled up her nose and shook her head no. Now Goodwill has it on some shelf probably marked for a buck ninety nine. With a half price sticker on it.

Probably the one thing I keep trying over and over again is cooking. I can follow a recipe like everyone else. What I'd love to do is make my own recipes that are worthy of sharing with humans and not just my dog. I tried again last night. Derick liked what I made, but I didn't. And I'll be honest, my almost 13-year-old doesn't have the most refined palet.

Someday I'll find that one thing I'm good at creating. I figure that day I stop trying to find it, that's when I've given up on life. Until then, I keep an empty set of drawers to hold materials and tools for my next project.


Tell me, what are you good at making or creating? And how did you discover your talent?

3 comments:

Elena said...

I'm decent at drawing dancing penises. Decent, but not truly talented. In fact, didn't I draw one for you in a Christmas card once? Other than that, nothing. When I was very young, I fancied myself an artist and tried my little heart out. My grandpa is very supportive and spent a fortune on charcoal, oil and water paint, special brushes, pastels and all the other implements you could ever imagine. Yeah. Not so much. I lack the patience to do anything like that. I would love to open a Cafe Press shop and make cool and clever t-shirts, but lack the motivation to really even try. Maybe some day. Until then, I just coast through life half-assed.

Oh, and I've NEVER tried scrap booking, nor do I ever intend to. I find most of them to be tacky. =)

At least you can say you're TRYING! That's more than I can say.

If I could suddenly get good at one thing, it would be home repair projects. Lame, I know, but I absolutely love it. I've laid my own carpet, installed crown molding, patched walls, and a few other minor projects. I really, really, really want to put in a new tile backsplash, new kitchen sink and faucet and countertop myself, but Todd doesn't have any more confidence in my abilities than I do. It would be such a ghetto kitchen, I'm sure....

Raven said...

You know what? I DO have those creative skills and I still go through them at warp speed. I am easily bored and have remnants of projects strewn about all over the place!

I think you are doing AWESOME with your decorating which is DEFINITELY a creative skill!

Melissa said...

Theres a HUGE difference between what you are GOOD at and what you like to do! If you like doing it then who cares if something isn't perfect. It's the fact that you took time out of your day for something you LIKE to do.

I LOVE to sew. Am I great at it? Hell no. Now I can sew a really great diaper but you can only sew so many. You do get burned out.

I too love to knit. I am a pretty good knitter. I can't sell anything I knit because seriously who wants to buy a pair of longies that has a left leg noticeably shorter than the right? I wouldn't but since I made it Kelsey will wear them LMAO!

I'm a GREAT cook...when I cook. Heck those country crock potatoes are so much easier to cook than actually peeling regular potatoes and boiling them.

Your great at decorating. Who else would think of lemon yellow, turquoise and other colors together? Fashionista's! You are also fantastic at shopping. Who cares if it's not anything you did with your bare hands. It's something you put together with your bare hands and something you should be proud of!