There are so many reasons why you should make things. For me personally, I make things I want but can’t seem to find. Its usually something odd that seems to fit my mood at the time, like tie dye socks that lead to tie dye shirts and PJ’s that I made for Christmas. I learn something new and make gifts at the same time .
Sometimes, I just want to know how to do something, like install a new video card in my computer. That lead to learning how to build a computer – since I completely fried the motherboard the first time I tried- oops.
Is there a dark side to this ? Well I believe anything taken to an extreme can be a bad thing. I have to limit all my personal projects due to a lack of room in my house and the cost can be prohibitive when it comes to learning something new. I have found with almost all my projects, it is cheaper to buy something then learn to make it and have to buy all the supplies needed for that particular craft, in the beginning. The cost is less as you make more and more things using the tools you bought.
But me personally, the joy I get from making what I want and knowing how to do it, means so much more. I know I am not alone in this. I can tell by the shear number of sites and blogs dedicated to crafts and DYI projects. As a species. I believe we love to create and share what we have made
- Craftaholics Anonymous
- Paste Magazine – list of blogs to follow
- The country chic cottage – list of blogs to follow
- Wiki craft blog directory
- Pinterest DIY boards
I realize that some of what I have made is really not that great, but there is something to be learned even from that. Learning a new skill is a reward not easily measured. It keeps your mind fresh and gives me a new outlet. There have been many times that a new skill has translated into something else completely unforeseen that has been a lot of fun. Sometimes, it can just make you part of a larger community and part of a new conversation.
There is a peacefulness that comes when I am completely absorbed in learning something new and in making something. When I am making a stained glass window, I have to be present in that moment or I will hurt myself. If I am not paying attention when I am hammering out the metal for a bracelet, my fingers will pay the price. Even something as seemingly simple as learning a new recipe, needs my attention or dinner is burned or my finger is cut.
This peaceful attention to the exactly what you are doing, to be present right now, is something that can’t be bought, it is something that is made in that moment as a by-product of learning and creating. It is used immediately and can only be enjoyed right then. To much focus on the end- product can ruin that moment and cause me a lot of frustration, so I have learned to focus on each step and let the end-product just come as it will. My attention to the details in that moment will lead to a better result.
It is this insatiable curiosity I have always had that keeps me on this journey to learn new things. With every success and yes every failure, I am driven to learn more. There is world full of information that we have access to that is unprecedented in our history. How many times in a day do you say to yourself, hmmm I need to look that up. It can be as simple as a new recipe or as complex as the current status of the research on the human genome project.
So that’s why I think its important to make things, all kinds of things – I remember my Mom always -til this day- bakes when she needs to relax, I think this is where I learned how the simple act of making something can be so regenerative.
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