The Curse of the Crafty

Just because you could doesn’t mean you should.

I’m good with my hands. I’m creative. I like to make stuff. In short, I’m crafty.

I’m not bragging about it. To many people, it may appear that I am; to those people, these may seem like fine qualities to possess. Oh, being crafty does have benefits. But mostly, it’s a curse.

When you are crafty and see something you like in your particular area of craftiness expertise, it’s almost impossible to buy it outright. Oh no. You have to analyze it, dissect it, measure it, poke it, prod it, draw it, list it, expand upon it, and attempt to duplicate it (plus your expansions) yourself.

I’ll explain: let’s take dress shopping. For the past few years, it has been the the Year of the Dress. Dresses are everywhere. Dresses are cheap. Dresses are expensive. Dresses are at every price point in between. You can’t be fashionable unless you have a few dresses in your wardrobe. Half of the female clothing department is now devoted to dresses. I love dresses. When I enter a clothing store, I intend to buy a dress. Do I leave the store with a dress? No. I leave the store with plans to make a dress based on the dresses I’ve just seen in the store.

This is why I don’t own a dress.

Here I am dressless because I can’t just buy a freaking dress. I have to make it myself because I can do better. I can do it exactly the way I want. The problem: I can never find the right pattern. I can never find the right fabric in the store. I can never find time to do it. I could make the pattern myself. And I could design the fabric myself. But there’s the problem with time again. I am dressless because I am cursed with sewing craftiness.

I am also cursed with jewelry-making craftiness.

Last year, HSN had this wonderfully amazing necklace in the Rarities with Carol Brodie line. The day I saw it, I thought it was too expensive; I think it was around a hundred dollars. It was a delicate sterling rosary-style 40” faceted AAA-grade labradorite necklace. I thought, I can make that myself. (If you are crafty, you are laughing right now at that thought. I know.)

And I can make that necklace. I’m in the middle of doing so. Here it is.

Labradorite rosary-style necklace at fig+fence

Pretty. I love labradorite.

My labradorite is B-grade, non-faceted, because I couldn’t find better. My wire is base metal because the price of sterling is crazy right now. I don’t really have a problem with lesser materials. It’s the time that bugging me. I completed 18” in about 4 hours. I have about 22” – 27” to go before I’m finished. Roughly, I have 6 more hours of work to go before I finish the necklace.

When I invest 10+ hours in a project, I don’t want to cheap out on materials. From a practical standpoint, 10+ hours of my time is expensive. The materials should reflect that, because labor costs alone will drive the price up. I’m not selling this necklace on Etsy or anything – I never had any plans for that. Still. My time is precious.

A hundred bucks for the HSN necklace seems pretty cheap right now. On the bright side, I’m getting really good and fast at making rosary-style jewelry.

And, shyeah, I realize that I could have made a few dresses in the time it’s taking me to make this one necklace.

Cursed, I tell you.

Oh, Shiny!

I’m sorry I haven’t been around lately; I’m easily distracted by shiny things. – the Tick

Behold! The gloriousity of my craft room (or, as some people still insist on calling it, the dining room):

Pretty...

So maybe it’s not all that glorious or pretty, but deep within that picture is wonder: a new sewing machine. (It is the, ahem, one on the right – the one on the left is my mother’s old Kenmore.) It’s a Juki Tl-2000Qi and was given to me by the Sewing Machine Fairy (or, as some people insist on calling her, Mom – by “some people” I mean “me” – I’m an only child). Here’s a better view of the utter fabulousness, the mega beautitude, and even the super duper radosity of the Juki. (I don’t even care that I made up some pretty stupid words there.)

The pretty Juki is still on the right. Look at that extended bed. Sweet! (Also seen in this picture: the Sewing Machine Fairy left me a pair or two of Clarks sandals, as evidenced by the Clarks boxes I left sitting on the table. Isn

I wrote all of that to write this: I’ve been sewing a lot lately. And really, that huge sale at Joann’s wasn’t the only reason why my back may be permanently bent at an awkward angle from hunching over the shiny new sewing machine.

I’ve caught that bug again. If you sew, you know of what I write. You go along  sewing often (some would say “a lot”) in what you would call a normal routine and WHAM! You’re the Energizer Bunny of sewing (assuming that the pink fluff is hopped up on Red Bull, leftover Easter chocolate, and a driving ambition to sew every single freaking scrap of fabric in the state of Georgia that could possibly be sewn into something halfway nice – now).

Strangely, I haven’t been quilting all that much. I mean, I made a monster pin cushion, a quilted batik purse, a bunny wall hanging, a few stuffed pumpkins, and a couple of quilted pumpkin leaves since I’ve last posted here. But crafts haven’t been driving me to sew, even though I’ve finally finished designing and purchasing material for a quilted bed scarf. Normally, I’d be prepping like mad to make that bed scarf. But no.

I’ve been making clothes… for me. I know: Clothes? Clothes. Weird.