Thursday, April 23, 2009

Making Stuff

(Not my pictures)

About a year ago or so I was at home working - scheduling speaking engagements and getting things all geared up for the summer rush when suddenly out of nowhere everything financially and related to work just came to halt! BAM! I was unemployed. I had some in savings and my son helped out a bit - - but the time off gave me all the extra time I needed to hone a few crafts and skills that I had been wanting to explore deeper; I'm an artisan at heart.

I took several art-oriented classes in college both in my bachelors and my masters degree programs - - classes on everything artistic with the major exception of painting or actually drawing - - I can't do that. My motor skills are such that I do so much better throwing things, molding things, shaping and hitting things rather than being delicate, and if I am required to use patience - - forgetaboutit. I don't have that virtue. Nope, I do not paint...unless you count abstract in the most broad terms imaginable...then yes, I paint.

I was lucky enough to have a Michael's hobby store just down the road from me and it gave me the names of the ingredients as well as mold information so I could get online and order what I wanted. I'm rather Scottish when it comes to buying things at full price - - and I don't think that's a racist statement, I'm very very proud of my heritage; we have a reputation of being frugal that's all. I found many sites very helpful and I began buying things that would allow me to create, design, mold, throw, and otherwise spend hours out of my days making the biggest mess I could and yielding what I found to be a good product with JUST the amount of highly scented oils and it provided not only an outlet for my creative mind it also brought me that much closer to the realization that we don't need to shop for 1/2 the things we shop for. There was a time I even considered making dish washing soap, laundry soap, and stopping short of creating dog food - - I determined that I had a way of obsessing. (In 2007 I made 26 neck scarves for gifts...crochet. I'm not good at even two stitches, just one...but I did it over and over and over again)

I looked around my new house and realized I don't have a single bar of soap that I made in my house. I don't have even ONE candle here, and I don't have any pots! I have a few dishes I made, a cup I think, and I have a few pots that CAITY threw which are far superior to my work anyway. I found a box of ceramic tiles the kids painted 4 years ago that I haven't fired and I'm working on finding a kiln in the town of Gainesville - - I bet I have to drive to Denton for it, but I think it will be worth it this weekend to do that. I know the tiles will bring back a lot of memories for all of us. I think they were suppose to be coasters for my parents. I cant remember. If not they will be -- Mom, hope you're not reading this because I just spoiled your Christmas.

Thinking about it - - and I do; it makes sense to keep the creative mind going in times of recession and times of stress. I don't worry about anything anymore, and part of the reason is because I just happen to be a really happy and satisfied person. I'm not rich, but I find things that make me smile. I can dig my hands into clay and make something. It takes a while, nothing happens overnight. Like everything else there is a process...a cooling down, a heating up, and even a shelving period. I wonder if I could find a way to use this analogy in another aspect of my life....romance. I'll find a way.

I've been through the shelving period - 10 years. It's time to start the heating up I think....but even with that there must be a bit of prep work, a bit of play, a bit of messing things up, and shaping it. There must be a bit of consideration for the desired result, and like a good piece of art there must be a place for it to be displayed. Yep, it's time to pull out the old clay and shape it up, move it around, and get into it with everything I's the only way to make it something special, something I could give as a gift.

What do you know - - I did find a way to use the analogy! I could be a writer! LOL

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