It’s in the blood

Over on Craft Pimp, Nic posted about Everything Syndrome (aka being a craft butterfly) and named and shamed me in her admission… but then I thought she was SO right and that there was a blog post in there somewhere about why that is.

The symptoms…

  • Frequently having a creative itch that needs to be scratched, and can only be scratched by purchasing said books/supplies etc to have a go at a craft you have never done before.
    I have a book on upholstery I’ve not used yet and two books on surface design I need to look at properly. I have two new (new to me) books on patchwork and I have actually gone through those.
  • Inspiration of all crafts, admiration to particular artists and wanting to do it too
    You know that upholstery book I mentioned? That’s because I saw Kelly Swallow’s chairs
  • Stubborn-headed and determined to pick up a particular craft, but then moving on to another creative hobby before you’ve explored the first thoroughly
    Yep- I can hardly crochet a thing, but got bored at how long things take to make. I have a big list of stuff further down the page that further proves my guilt.
  • Accumulation of many different craft supplies for different areas of craft, the need to have everything to do everything
    Do you remember my destash at the beginning of the year? SOME of that was stuff I accumulated whilst working on the magazine. At the minute I’m being quite good and only buying fabric, books, magazines and promarkers- and I think I have all the colours of those I need for now.
  • Jack of all crafts, master of none (or one if you’re lucky…)
    I used to be a go-to girl when it came to resin casting. I used to get tons of messages asking for help or my opinion on things, which was great- I was actually recognised in my field. Then I got bored and now I still get the odd email or tweet but not so much.

In chronological order for the last 20 years (with a gap for computer geekery whilst at school) I have had a go at…
Needlepoint, cross stitch, hama beads, beadweaving, polymer clay, silver clay, needle felting, making jewellery out of recycled objects, photography, polaroid transfers, resin, shrink plastic, sugarcraft, laser cutting, book binding, decopatch, latchwork, crochet, chocolate making, enamelling, lampwork, sewing, patchwork, applique, machine embroidery, blackwork, dress making, card making, rubber stamping, needlepoint again, surface design… and I’ve probably missed a few. I tried to learn tatting once too but that didn’t work out.

I’ve decided it will be all useful stuff and it’s starting to prove itself. I have the opportunity to combine these things at work and now I am halfway through making a soft sculptural piece that will span several metres at Chelsea Flower Show and they are also letting me do surface design for them at the minute (which is my current “thing”) and I’m learning Illustrator to get it done professionally so I can sell my designs when they are good enough!

It’s in the blood. I’ve decided it’s my parents’ fault.

My mum was not a professional anything, but she taught me needlepoint on “proper” tapestries from around the age of 5 and she used to sew stuffed toys for the school fairs with squeakers in. I got the all-things-stitchy bug from her before I’d really even started school.

My dad was an engineer who spent a lot of time creating CAD drawings on the computer and from around the age of 7 I was given a computer to use. This was just as Windows 3.1 came in so I was using DOS script commands for some programs and Windows for others and the processor took about a year to work. I think my love of Photoshop and my recent development into Illustrator and vector graphics this week is his fault.

My great uncle was a famous cartoonist (and has a proper Wikipedia page) and I was in awe of his “den” where he sat and created his drawings with a “proper” ink pen. My grandma used to knit (she prefers aerobics and coffee mornings these days), my other was a big fan of baking and my grandad was handy with a piece of wood. My sister is in no way creative so I think I have a double helping of all of those traits and it’s just the way I’m wired. And I’m happy to be this way!

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3 Comments

  1. Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I can relate too. All my family say that I get it from my mum. She’d knit all the time and I have a picture on my facebook profile of her knitting in her parents’ house before any of us were born. I’m glad I got it from her though, as she passed away 8.5 years ago and my siblings haven’t got a crafty bone between them. My nan and grandad on my mum’s side both knitted too, but my nan got arthritis pretty early and stopped, but my grandad continued and he was famous in our town for making the Jean Greenhowe dolls.

  2. Posted April 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    i have gone through so many crafts over the years – the fact i worked in a craft shop for 16yrs didn’t help as i saw all the new “trends” and had to try them out! i get obsessive with my making but once i’ve perfected my design i don’t want to do it again – always chasing the next “thing”
    in my family it is definately in the blood – my uncle is an amazing artist – my mum is also amazingly creative but a crafting butterfly like me and my son has been recognised as gifted and talented at art at age six {very proud mummy}
    i just wish i had drive as i do have good ideas.

  3. Laura Elizabeth
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have giggled away at this post because I recognise myself in it. I love the concept of being a craft butterfly. I have an inability to stick to and master anything because I am so easily distracted and want to try everything; when things start to go wrong and I get frustrated, I switch crafts…

    I think there are definity postives to this though. The ability to combine mediums, disiplies and pull connections that others might not see, can lead to great creativity. My list currently includes tatting, cross stitch, resin jewelry, crochet and paper cutting :o)

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