These are Good Side-Effects!
In My Room:
I don’t know where it all began. I could call myself a Sewing Guru and say it was inbred in me, but that’s an over-simplification.
We are all influenced by what we see around us, what we get used to.
Mom always sewed, and I loved the idea of making something myself – with my own hands.
She never said I was too young to tackle something. If I could want to do it, I was old enough to take on the project.
My room was where I could do almost anything except flood it or play with fire.
That left a lot of options.
Since I was the only one in the house with my own room, Mom’s sewing console stood in the corner.
Well, there must be some scraps of material around here…..enough to make something. And so I did;
I started small and worked my way up. The finished products were very basic and amateurish. But so what? I was having fun and building my confidence.
I thought I only had to learn ONE skill and be done with it. Like a tiny paycheck, I could live on that. It wasn’t fair that each new lesson made me want to try something else.
Like crochet…..I wasn’t very good at it, but that did not stop me from buying several sizes of crochet hooks and different colored yarns.
Mostly impulse buys.
Then I tried knitting, but it’s one stitch at a time! I am too impatient to knit. But I loved the finished products.
Knitters are so cool because mostly we associate them with little old ladies.
They are young and wear the most beautiful sweaters with designs never seen in a store.
And….built like waifs, so they can wear all those knitted dresses.
So how did knitters influence me? First I bought knitting needles of all sizes, and copious amounts of yarns to “create fantastic designs“!
I read all about that in the “Learn-To-Knit” catalogs with glossy photos that I bought.
I still had not mastered the art of knit one, purl one, yet.
Pay attention, I am still on the influence it had on me; the side-effects.
Well, that episode with the wool, taught me not to jump in too soon; until I was sure I wanted to do it.
Now that I had the tools for the job, I had to keep them. For-ev-er.
In the 70s – when-we-grew-up-with-the-greatest-music-of-all-time – we were so heavily influenced.
Let’s face it: in the present day can you imagine yourself in those flared bell bottoms, headbands, and fringes?
What about the mini skirt, platform shoes, and no bra?
Everything comes back, but not how it was back then.
There were a lot of communities that housed hippies and “artsy” types, and everything hand-made was king….or queen.
I fell upon a “bead” store in the county, and no, I don’t remember where it was. Probably gone now anyway.
But it fascinated me, with all the colors and shapes and sizes of beads, incense, and vintage clothes.
I kept going back, I was drawn there. If I had all the beads I liked, what could I make with them?
Enter my FIRST Macrame phase!
Negotiations Are In Order
Anyway, what could I do with all the yarn I bought to learn the art of knitting?
And what about all the beautiful, cord I bought, (too), in 1,000 foot cones?
What about the driftwood and branches I collected along a river?
There were dowels of all sizes
Yes. I went ahead and stocked up on knitting and macrame stuff.
But this time I really meant it.…I could use these supplies.
Not like the time I bought water-color paint and canvases, so I could see if I could do it. (Not too bad).
I was going to mean business with macrame.
Back To The Beginning
What is it about this macrame that captures you?
Well, first you have a branch, or driftwood, rope, or yarn…see where I’m going with this?…….These days you have options.
In the beginning, I went to the hardware store and looked for fishing rope, clothesline string, and cording by the yard.
My hands turned raw and sore; cracked!
I had to use gloves to do the job and then you lose contact with the rope.
Not good; you need that connection. It’s a bonding thing; like childbirth…..Seriously.
No Cost To You!
Because I am frugal (read cheap), I usually start with the least expensive supplies and least enjoyable to use.
I think I am putting myself through some kind of test.
If this has some merit on the upside, maybe, just maybe I can use up ALL THE SUPPLIES I HAVE and invest them in this new experience.
And this time I meant it. What a fantastic hobby this was going to be.
So Enter 2015…………….
When I start something new, it takes over my life. I could not wait to try this, again.
I was ready, in the 21st century, to try something old and make it new.
Seems there were about 5 million people in the world already doing this.
Sites that showcased hand-made items were saturated with macrame.
Did I let that discourage me?…….You bet I did.
Now I Talk To Myself
I was terrified to put my skills to the test. THEN, I decided that I had no one to compete with but myself.
Did it matter if the market was saturated?.…..I didn’t even know these people!
Self: Could I make something interesting? Could I do it well? Would I like what I made? Would this be a creative outlet? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
I had the tools, what could I lose by trying?
I owed it to myself, and the world, to use the supplies I had stashed, and not waste them.
I would make up a design that I liked, adjust it to my taste and not copy anyone else’s style. I set myself some goals.
The Cord Dictates!
I started some very ambitious work. I had no idea where I was going with it.
I shot eighty half-hitches over a dead branch, about 45 inches long.
I started tying knots, and the experience was bliss.
I was using 100% cotton cord, made from the finest plants. It was smooth, to the touch, and no gloves were required.
It molded to my design and wanted to be transformed into something beautiful.
A far cry from the hardware store cording I used in the past.
So….I knotted and inserted beads, colored yarns, and fringe and suddenly I was making a most wonderful role model for little kids. Mother Goose!
Did you know that she knitted blankets for little children? And she sang ditties to entertain them and other children joined them?
Kind of like a medieval childcare center.
(She is beautiful and waiting for her forever home).
Here’s The Payoff!
It took me weeks to complete Braveheart and he resides in Anita and Peter’s home near Niagara Falls!
All my designs are named and it jumps out at you. I don’t decide on the theme or the finished product most of the time. The cord will dictate its course.
Don’t fight it, because you will lose that battle.
For the last five years, our home has resembled a theme park with macrame hangings everywhere.
But people come and allow a design to steal their hearts so that my offspring find new homes. This is a great experience.
I made a hanging called Angel Flight, VERY dear to me. It simulates a US plane coming home with a fallen soldier onboard – very emotional and it influenced my design.
It turned out beautiful and found a home in a gorge cul-de-sac, with Claudette and Doug in British Columbia.
I can’t imagine it resting anywhere else.
I still have some of my designs and some are residing far away, but each one left its mark on me.
I made a wall hanging for each of my brother’s homes.
They said that I had captured them in the design……Coincidence? I don’t think so.
I have recently started Eclipse, but she is not finished yet.
Yes “she” because I can relate to girls.
And why not, we’re super and unafraid.
My best friends are girls and that’s good.
It soothes me.
Now I am facing the biggest side-effect of all.
I want a She-Shed! Can you just imagine a barn-like structure, with timber walls (insulated, of course) where I can retreat every day, and create?
My supplies are endless lined up in crates and shelves along the walls.
All my hobbies are on display.
I have huge tables and a soft carpet underfoot; it’s electrified with high-speed internet, of course!
This reminds me of the ecstasy of having a sewing room when I was in my twenties.
I thought I had made it; and I had.
Now, this has morphed into something Big. A bit all-consuming. This is it.
Somehow I need to build a She-Shed.
I’m contemplating a He-hut
Hope you get one. I would love something so useful! Next blog we’re going to Greece. Please read Travel is my second hobby.