Just ordered some minor quilting equipment from Amazon – a specific plate to make my sewing machine able to do something more than sew straight lines, and a free-motion foot. Because I actually have time to think about all this stuff, I’ve realized that I’m reluctant to write–all I really want to do is make things. I know it sounds silly, since you’re reading this blog, which means of course that I’m writing. But, if you do read the blog, you’ve seen many of them go by here: making bread, making crackers, making quilts, making afghans, making furniture. Creating things that I’ve been buying for years. I take great satisfaction in the fact that I’ve incorporated breadmaking into our daily lives. It’s become easy for me. Shocks me as much as anyone else.
Would I be doing this if I was working? No, absolutely not. One of the things I’ve found over the years is that I’m actually NOT a multi-tasker. If you read the research, you’ll find that humans (or at least, humans of my generation and prior) actually are not capable of doing more than one task at once and doing both of them well. I am really good at what I do when I work–but a large part of that is the focus I bring to bear, and that focus demands that I conserve my energy elsewhere.
Since I have the freedom to do so (and since I have to wait on the quilting stuff to be shipped in), I went out and gathered up yucca yesterday, getting more than one puncture for my pains. I want to make a basket or two–I learned how years ago, but never followed it up. It was a very structured thing – bleached reeds, flat, oval, round, half-round, round. All the same, all… sterile. While I was intrigued by the idea of it, there was just no time, no energy. And, bluntly, no budget at the time for the materials. But I want to know if I’m good at it. I want to know if that “flow” space that I get into when I’m creating other things is possible with making baskets. I want to find out the same thing with free motion quilting–I want to know if I’m good at it.
It’s so different to be able to follow the pigtrails of my thought process past the “I have to,” and on to “I want to.” I cannot even express how grateful I am for the chance I’ve been given to do so. Few of the things I’m doing are actually saving us money, I can promise you. Most of what I’ve tried to make are things which are honestly cheaper, if in nothing but time, to buy. The amount it costs me to make bread, to make crackers, etc., these are pretty much a wash. When a one-pound loaf of bread is 99 cents, it’s hard to beat, pricewise, at least. But, in moving to convenience, to the manufacture of the food and other things that make up the warp and weft of our daily lives, we may have lost more than we know. We’ve certainly lost a lot in terms of taste, as my husband pointed out the only time I’ve actually purchased bread in the last few months. 😀
The exception, of course, is the furniture. The massive hall tree we constructed probably would have cost in the thousands of dollars, seriously. The biggest one we found was up in the $1200 range, and was less than half the size. The entertainment center, bed frame, and closet organizer were probably a couple thousand in savings, as well. Plus, of course, the dining table cost us $30 and the chairs were free.
The other thing all this making has brought back to my life is music. I’ve never been able to listen to music and write. Anything with words affects the words that are coming through my fingers. And yes, I’ve tried classical music. Puts me to sleep. When you look at what you’ve just typed, and it’s: lakkafaehf we’aq3=s lsl.kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk, you know you went to sleep mid-sentence. Unless you have a cat, and then it’s the cat’s fault.
All things considered, even with the savings through the furniture building, I’m not allowed to be smug. I have found that there are things that I’m not good at as I wander through each of these “I want to learn how to” processes. Such as the fact that I’m not good at cooking. Oh, I’m very good at baking. Just the whole cooking dinner thing is mind-numbing and annoying. Fortunately, Corey’s quite good at it. So, whenever possible, I just leave it to him. I’ll do the prep work, potatoes and such, and leave the dinner itself to him. Makes us both happy…
Now to get the man off to work, and to start figuring out how to turn green spiky stuff into a basket…