Sunday, July 18, 2010

To Simplify

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?


dewin said...

Wow, the folk school looks really interesting! Great find. Thanks for sharing! And good luck with your new interests! I hope you stay open to new experiences even after you (if you do) decide to have kids.

Courtney said...

Learn to quilt! I started last year and love it. (There are a few of my quilts on my blog if you are interested:
It is a great way to relax, and all of my friends and family love getting homemade (and useful) gifts.

Loving The Reflection

Leanne said...

Really great ideas and cool stuff to get into! Love it all! Especially the jewelry thing - I've wanted to do that myself. A good friend does quilting, and I already know that I have NO patience for that. What do I do to enrich my life? In addition to reading, I do alot of drawing and scrapbooking (the dreaded S word!) But I really love it. It's a great creative outlet for me.


Interested in purchasing ad space? Your ad could be RIGHT HERE.
Email for more details.


Related Posts with Thumbnails