Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why do I do the things I do?

For the record, I don't have time for hobbies. I am a single parent, for goodness' sake. My responsibilities include cooking and cleaning and parenting two sons and periodically taking out the dog while home schooling one of the boys and teaching 50 piano students every week. I also have a grown-up child who often requires a great deal of emotional support and a semi-active "love life." The truth is, I don't have time for sleep, let alone for making things things out of yarn and beads and ribbons and whatever. But I NEED to make things. I see a small miracle taking place every time I start with nothing and end with something that is beautiful. I need the gentle routine of "knit 2, purl 2" to quiet my head and give it time to sift through all the gunk that fills it and attempt to make sense of things that make no sense. I need to play with textures and colors and lines and spaces and I know that even if I end up with a mess, I can go back and fix it-and in what other area of my life can I so easily do that? And I need the camaraderie of the kind, helpful ladies at Yarn Garden Knit Shop in Lawrenceville and On the Rocks in Dacula and my sweet sweet sister-in-law, SeDonna, so that I will know I am not alone in a difficult, crazy world.

Another reason I need to make things is so that I can give them away. When I give someone something I have made, I feel like I am giving him a little part of myself. When I am making something for someone, I think about him and who he is and what he means to me. I imagine his surprise and happiness (however exaggerated) upon receiving whatever the gift may be. I have a feeling I am not unique in this. I am already thinking about who is getting what for Christmas this year.

I lost my brother Greg in April. He died suddenly and unexpectedly at age 44 from a heart attack. I love him and miss him so much. Since he has been gone, everything in the universe has gone into soft focus and become crystal clear all at the same time. So, finally, I need to make things because it lessens the pain.

As I said, I don't have time for hobbies. But I will do them anyway.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

busy, busy

Wednesday morning I found myself back at Yarn Garden Knit Shop in Lawrenceville, learning how to knit in the round. I am making a purple cap! And yesterday morning Donna and I met at On the Rocks in Dacula and took the Pearl Cuff Bracelet class. I didn't quite finish my bracelet, but I am determined to finish it before Nathan and I leave for New York on Friday.

The plan for Saturday afternoon was that Donna and I were going to see "Sex and the City" while the boys big and small saw "X-Files" but there were no coinciding showings. So the guys saw their movie while Donna and I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics in Roswell. I bought satin ribbon and rayon cord (and a box to put it all in) so that I can practice kumihimo and supplies to make some more seed bead bracelets.

And now I'm going to do some organizing in the garage...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Arts & Crafts with Donna

Donna and I have been getting together on Tuesday afternoons for arts and crafts. I promised Donna I would teach her how to knit, but it turns out that with YouTube, she doesn't need me at all. So we have done our knitting separately, but we have done lots of beading together. We spied some adorable little seed bead bracelets at The Bead Bug in Alpharetta, and we decided they would make great Christmas gifts. So last week I showed Donna the basics of stringing--how to attach toggles and use crimp beads--and each of us made a bracelet. Since then, I have made three more, and bought supplies to make even more. And speaking of supplies, I found a great storage solution for all the beads and findings I have been collecting. I had looked for something at the craft shops, but none of the bead organizers seemed adequate and all of them cost more than I wanted to spend. Then I spotted this little hardware organizer at Home Depot. It was perfect--lots of tight little compartments, totally portable, and only $12.97! So I bought two--one for Donna, and one for me. Unfortunately, mine is full already, so I think another trip to Home Depot is in order. In the meantime, I am looking forward to Donna's weekly visit this afternoon. Today I am going to show her how to do wrapped loops--then we can make earrings to match all our pretty bracelets!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Getting Started

For me, getting started is always the hard part. Well, okay--finishing is hard, too. But since a blog is never really finished, I guess this first post will be the most challenging for me.

I have been wanting to write a blog for a long time. But I have so many interests that I couldn't decide which one to focus on. For example, my sister-in-law SeDonna and I are on a craft kick right now. We spent the afternoon of the fourth of July putting together the cutest little beaded angel Christmas tree ornaments you ever saw. Then I showed her the cable scarf I am knitting--I took an intermediate knitting class last week--and I promised her I would teach her how to knit. So we went to a knitting/beading shop yesterday, where she bought herself a skein of yarn and a pair of knitting needles in preparation for her first lesson. And, between the two of us, we dropped $150 on beads and beading supplies; I have taken a couple of beading classes, and I promised Donna I would teach her how to string a bracelet, too. Well, I guess she went surfing the net in search of inspiration after we got home, because last night she sent me a link to a website with the most amazing variety of crochet granny squares. (We both crochet already--at least a little. Are you beginning to see how one thing leads to another?) Along with the link, Donna sent me a note saying, "Now I want to crochet too. Okay . . . I need to be realistic here." And I see her point, I really do. But sometimes I just don't want to be realistic. I want to do it ALL. (I probably should mention that I have occasionally been accused of living in denial. But I don't want to think about that right now.)

So in this blog I will share many, many adventures. I am a single mom, a daughter and a sister; a music maker and piano teacher; a writer; a lover and a friend; a dog owner; a maker of things, including but not limited to collage art, knitting, crocheting, quilting, and beading. I cook and bake and clean and do laundry and all the other several hundred things it takes to keep a household running. To tell you the truth, I often have a hard time keeping up with everything and maintaining order and balance in my life. It might have something to do with that denial thing. I am hoping that writing about it will help.

But now I am off to the gym...