DIY & Crafts

Fitting It In: A Crafty Life

Canadian Living
DIY & Crafts

Fitting It In: A Crafty Life

Hi friends, Aw, man! Judging by the comments on yesterday's post, many of you have figured out my secrets: just like Maureen, Kaye, Laura and Andrea, I choose crafting over dusting, sweeping and scrubbing. And just like Jen, Judy, Charmaine and Evelyn, I craft whenever I can – while riding the subway or the train, while watching TV or chatting on the phone. I haven't worked up the guts to try knitting in a meeting yet, though! [caption id="attachment_1600" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="Knit everywhere. About 1/3 of this sweater was completed at train stations and on trains."] Knit everywhere. About 1/3 of this sweater was completed at train stations and on trains.[/caption] At first glance, it seems that I craft a lot because I live a life that's geared to crafting. It's part of my job, after all, so sometimes I can get away with a bit of crafty day-dreaming at my desk. I have a tiny apartment, which means it's almost impossible for me to lose a half-finished project in another room (that would require actually having another room!), and it's unlikely that I could spend more than two hours on housework in a given week, unless I take to scrubbing the bathroom floor with an old toothbrush. (Once was enough, thank you very much.) [caption id="attachment_1601" align="aligncenter" width="195" caption="Having a dedicated crafting space – even in my tiny apartment – means that inspiration and tools are always at hand."] pile-up-the-inspiration[/caption] Add a husband and a kid or two, move me to a different job (um, please don't) or a different apartment (well, OK), cut my commute down to five minutes (yes, please!), and those craft-inducing circumstances would change. But I don't think that I'd abandon crafting. I've been making-and-doing ever since I can remember, from the days that I crafted with Mr. Dressup, all through university, and in my early working years. I'm starting to think that I don't craft because I live a life geared to crafting; rather, I've arranged my life so that I can craft as much as possible! [caption id="attachment_1602" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="Multi-tasking by eating cake and knitting at the same time is always an option."] Multi-tasking by eating cake and knitting at the same time is always an option.[/caption] Of course, this isn't to say that everything always turns out right or that I don't have half-finished projects stuffed away at the back of a closet. (It doesn't; I do.) I get bored with projects. I get frustrated. I stop halfway through, start something new, run out of yarn, or fabric, or paper, or glue, overdo it at Christmas and end up needing an enforced crafting vacation... And believe me, I will never even to start half of the things on my want-to-do list. (It's really, really long.) But I really do think that Shakespeare had it right when he said, "Joy's soul lies in the doing." [caption id="attachment_1603" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="It helps if you love what you do."] It helps if you love what you do.[/caption] Other ideas to help you keep crafting as part of your life:
  • Let your want-to-do list be as long as you want; keep the to-do list short and sweet. Nothing kills the crafting vibe faster than feeling like it's a chore.
  • Dedicate a workspace. Even if it's just a TV tray that you stash in a closet, it helps to have a bit of room where you can leave your works-in-progress.
  • Turn the TV off. You don't really need to watch that episode of Friends for the 18th time.
  • Make what you want to make. Projects you're not interested in drag on forever. (Witness the counted-cross-stitch project that's been languishing in various closets of mine since 1997.)
  • Don't feel like you "have" to make something just because it seems like everyone else is. By the same token, if you think it's awesome, go for it. Sometimes the herd gets it right. (Sometimes. Not always.)
  • If you can afford it, buy nice materials. They're easier to work with and you get better results. It might mean that you buy less, but maybe that means that instead of working on five projects, you're working on one. That means you'll have the time to really get it right – and that you'll want to wear the sweater, use the quilt or display the toilet roll cozy with pride.
  • Keep it small and portable. That way you can take your project with you and work while you wait at the doctor's office or in the carpool line.
[caption id="attachment_1604" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="English paper piecing is a fun take-along craft."] try-new-things[/caption] That's enough out of me. What are your best tips?
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DIY & Crafts

Fitting It In: A Crafty Life

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