Sunday, April 17, 2011

taking a walk on the crafty side

The beautiful and unabashed artwork of my 2 year old niece

I remember when I was younger (I'm talking seven or eight) I had hopes that someday I would write and illustrate a children's mystery novel. For those of you who know me, feel free to laugh. I would spend hours filling notebooks with pictures of characters, giving each one a personality and a name. After I while, I got bored because all my people looked pretty much the same. Ask me to draw a person today, and it wouldn't look much different than my drawings at eight. That's how good I am. 

Another art form I was introduced to at a young age was cross stitching. All the women on my dad's side of the family are creative and crafty. And bless my Gramma's heart, she took on the challenge of teaching me to cross stitch. I enjoyed it. It was relaxing and it kept my hands busy. (I've always been fidgety) But, again, with no patience to learn different types of stitches, my cross stitching plateaued pretty quickly, and I got bored. 

My Gramma must have really loved me, because she also agreed to help me sew a barbie dress. That experience was traumatic enough that it would be the last time I would touch a sewing machine for almost 10 years. 

Here's the thing. I was a tomboy. I was the boyish-looking kid who loved sports and would spend hours outside with friends getting dirty climbing trees and rescuing snakes. 

I was a conflicted child. I went through phases were I wanted to draw and sew and craft, but when I would get frustrated with a project, I'd run outside, pick up a ball, and play. 

Today, I still feel conflicted. I have gone through so many short lived crafty phases. I can't tell you how many times I've attempted to knit something.  My honeymoon scrapbook, I fear, will never be done. When I bought my sewing machine two years ago, I had big dreams of making bags and clothes. In reality, Tomboy Andrea doesn't have the patience to accept the fact that being a beginner sewer means it that it won't turn out perfectly, there are going to be stupid mistakes made, and it will take at least fifteen times longer than the tutorial says.  

My point is, (yes, I have a point), that if I want to improve and cultivate my crafty side, I need to practice. I need to be okay if the finished result isn't perfect. (Even though I don't have the patience to create perfection, I still expect it). I need to not undertake huge projects that will take me a lifetime to finish. And most important, I cannot compare myself to the crafty brilliance that surrounds me. 

As long as I keep that in mind, it shouldn't be long until I open my own etsy shop! (juuuust kidding!)  

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