For my whole entire life, I have have made little things. If I couldnt quite get something together, I would ask my Mom or Dad. My parents are both also incredibly "crafty". My Dad is the son of a carpenter, and my mother was and is just incredibly inventive. Both of them grew up incredibly impoverished, and had to make do with the things they had. That transformed to ingenuity in both of them. My whole childhood, back as far as I can remember, is filled with both of them doing little projects to make the tiny single wide trailers we lived in look posh and homey and not so poor. My Mom would sew curtains from hand me down fabrics, make my sister and I dresses and cute cut off jean shorts. We would scavenge second hand stores while my sister and Dad were at school and work. My Dad would "find" reusable furniture items on the side of the road and remodel them into something awesome and functional. One day it was a set of bar stools, the other, a book case.
Even as I got older, and my parents became ever more educated, making more money, there were still projects like that around. Some of the things from back in the poor days still exist around the houses my parents own, and even have followed me in to my place here with my boyfriend, Alex.
Honestly, the thing that followed me more than any other THING was the value of things that was instilled in me by that sort of upbringing. I would like to say that everything in my house came from someplace that does not mass produce, that has a personal signature, a "soul". That would be an exaggeration-but not too much of one. So our couch, dressers, bed, and kitchen island are from Ikea. But virtually everything else- even the dining room table- are a sort of hand me down, or "found" pieces. This excludes electronics. Ha. I have successfully instilled a voice and a feeling of home in to everything we have. All the schtuff is modified. I sewed throw pillows, I made cushions, recovered this that or the other. I painted things, repurposed something in to something else. Of course, we have a small space, so I have very limited resources. And, I am a bit of a crafts hoarder. I like to save everything that comes through the kitchen. Tins, glass jars, plastic containers. I love how these things can be transformed into very functional, useful, and beautiful things with just a bit of twine, scrap wood, paper mache and paint, or filled with dry goods and stacked on a shelf.
I am disabled. I drew a poor hand in the genetics department, and have ended up sick with three very serious and painful conditions that have a laundry list of their very own peripheral illnesses, of which I also happily (/sarcasm and /levity) from. Because of these disabilities, I have certain limitations of my abilities such as energy level, stamina, strength, and all around repetitive movements. I am by trade a hairstylist, and I dedicate as much time and strength to that as I can. Everything else I have is given to learning.
I scour the library, magazines, and the internet for information pertaining to all the things I have an interest in- and that list is added to daily. Me making and building is an extension of me learning. Its what I can take home and do the easiest. I can't- or shouldnt- be making fireworks in the porch, so I put together a terrarium, or piece together an applique or draw a new pattern for a plush toy. I give these things life, lives of their own, lives that I want to live because there are so many things I want to do that a singular human life span does not give time to do. I can't live forever, and I can't force myself in to being one particular thing for the rest of my life. Why pigeon hole yourself that way? I see making as a way of living on. Creating something is just in itself creation- which is something bigger than me and anyone else. Something that can be passed on, a tangible memory that can be held and built upon by whomever holds that tangible piece of that something. A way to effect someone, maybe someone you will never ever even meet, in a way you might have been able to if you had infinite life span and were able to become a philanthropist, a doctor, a horse whisperer, a chemist, a researcher, a writer, an advocate, a whistle blower.
Even a doll can quiet a child in the middle of the night from a nightmare, then again when that child is older, and sick in the hospital. A simple doll. That I made, that left my hands and then was a piece of simple comfort to someone I never even met.
I do these things because I want to know and do everything.