Chances are you’ve noticed the handmade arts and crafts movement that seems to be taking over the world right now. I can’t tell you how much I love this. For as long as I can remember, I have preferred making something I wanted over buying it. I should probably thank my frugal father for this as that is what led to me being determined to copy something we couldn’t afford to buy. I learned at a very young age that making something yourself is typically more affordable AND you could personalize it with different colors, textures and designs.
So there starts my journey. I was doodling at a very young age and then I saw something with calligraphy on it. This caught my eye and I decided I wanted to do it myself. One day I came home and my stepmother had purchased a lovely little beginner calligraphy set for me. I dove right in. I wasn’t very good at it BUT I learned how to do it and I realized just knowing how was the most important thing for me. I could say, “I know how to do that“! I decided right then, I wanted to know how to do EVERYTHING!
I saw some beaded jewelry being sold in a little market. Lovely loomed beaded bracelets with designs. I went to the store and spent my allowance on a tiny loom, graph paper, thread, and a million seed beads and got to work. I went through my jewelry making phase which consisted of knotted and braided hemp with beads, loomed bracelets with seed beads, and moved into assembling earrings and necklaces with gems. I found a little pouch on a necklace made from beads, asked enough questions to know that what I needed to learn to do was called a peyote stitch. So I did. I believe I could remember how and still do it today if I wanted.
I have fixed cars, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, developed film and photographs in a darkroom, baked, embroidered, cross stitched, done paper filigree and more, simply by reading books, asking A LOT of questions, and just trying. I even made bamboo wind chimes at one point!
So, enough about me! Go learn about all the other people trying to make your life more beautiful because they can not deny what seems to be in their blood. There is a wonderful film out now called Handmade Nation and it is full of interviews with artists, creators and innovators involved in this movement to find out what inspires and drives them to do what they love to do. I am hoping to catch it tomorrow at Craftland here in Providence.
Later today, I will introduce any beginners to some basics about embroidery and how it can make your home more beautiful!
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