Civilization is a conspiracy. Modern life is the silent compact of comfortable folk to keep up pretences. ~ John Buchan
** quilt by Patti Haskins
I have toyed with the idea of learning to quilt, knit, crochet and sew for years. I even went so far as purchase a "Teach Yourself" book with needles, and everything - and I failed miserably.
Here is the thing- I come from a VERY visually creative family. I am totally lacking in this department. Actually, let me stop saying that.. I have never actually attempted to try. I did take a few art classes in high school, and surprisingly I did okay. Not perfect, but I am teachable. I realize for some it comes very naturally (like for my mom and sister.) I, on the other hand, really concentrated on the performing arts: Dance, Theater... and then of course, I got my degree in journalism. I can produce, write, edit video like a pro. I love to tell stories visually (photography, video.. etc.) Perhaps I can learn to tell a story with other forms of art.
I really don't have any interest in drawing or painting. But pottery, mixed media, decoupage, jewelry making, knitting, quilting - these art forms interest me. So - in the quest to simplify my life and self-treat my stress these days, I plan to pursue these folk art forms.
Maybe the rest of 2010 could be a learning moment for me. Stretching my mind, my creativity - and in the end, I will create things for my home, my friends - and who knows? Maybe I will be very good at it. Or maybe not.. but I always feel the need to try before I quit.
Here is what I want to be able to accomplish before December of 2011. I know... will I actually follow through? Hmm... I might surprise you.
1. I want to be able to make beautiful bowls. (pottery.) I LOVE bowls and plates. How about I learn how to make these things? I found a place that offers classes, and I have sent an inquiry.
Check out the website - The place is called Cahaba Clayworks and is probably a 10 minute drive from my house. Classes run about $150 (not including supplies) and run about 6 weeks. I think once a week for 6 weeks could be an excellent "therapeutic" and fun way to create items for my home. If I like it - I could continue, if I blow - that's okay, at least I tried.
2. I want to make necklaces and ear rings and bracelets. If you know me, I am obessed with accessorizing. I have the hardest time finding pieces I like. Sooo.. why don't I learn how to make my own. I think this could be SUPER FUN and I bet I could make some really neat gifts for friends and family! I found this place - The Bead Biz in Helena (about 15 minutes south of Birmingham.) The classes look like sooooo much fun, and such a wide array of choices. I sent them an inquiry also. They seem to hold numerous classes and many different kinds each month. This is very promising!
3. I want to make quilts. My grandma Thurston was a quilter. She was an amazing quilter. That craft died with her. I would LOVE to make quilts. I LOVE quilts and I think it would be very fulfilling to pick up this folk art form. Imagine what I could do with these quilts? Gifts - and well.. SELL THEM! I know.. I am jumping really fast - but have you seen what homemade quilts go for?? $$$ (that was me making the noise.. ching ching ching.) I found two very promising places to learn more. The Heart to Heart quilt shop in Trussville (north east of Bham - about 30 minute drive from my house, and 15 minutes from my work.) They have a WIDE array of classes. Then I got super excited about this other place. Could make for an interesting retreat of sorts.. (may be what I need - NOW) - The Alabama Folk School in NorthWest Alabama. So yes, it is a bit of a trek - but it is a weekend or 4 day retreat. They include an intense workshop which includes 6 - 8 hours a day of intense instruction, then a hike in the mountains followed by a campfire.. etc. You stay in hotel-like accommodations and they provide three square meals. They also teach a wide array of classes. I requested to be kept on their mailing list, maybe from time to time I could take off and try something new. I think it would be an amazing opportunity. Why not?
4. I want to make my own skirts, pillows, curtains, etc. I found a great place in Homewood, AL (10 minutes from my house) called The Smocking Bird. I inquired about their sewing machines and sewing classes.
5. Finally - I almost started salivating over another place, it is in North Carolina (not a far flight or drive for me) The John C Campbell Folk School. Check out the writing classes - and everything else classes! WOWZA. I think that is just a "I wish I could go" opportunity, once I finally settle on which one of these folk art classes I really like.
That's it, really. I am considering picking up some new hobbies, I have always wanted to do this - and honestly my lifestyle is changing again. I will just add this to the dance classes, and maybe I will be well adjusted and find my place in this "adult attempt" to stay interesting.
Remember - I don't have kids. I have GOT to find something to do - besides what it is I am doing now. Boredom can add to the stress. I need more than work and few dance classes here and there.
What do you do to enrich your life?