Monday, March 30, 2009

On Sewing and baking and cooking and...

One problem (well, it's not really that big of a problem) that I have is staying focused on one hobby. I've never really been the sit around and get bored type, but now, more than ever, I'm becoming the kind of person who can't sit through a whole movie because I get bored just sitting! My hands have to be moving or making something...

I spent a good part of the weekend sewing this purse, and though it was fun, I don't think I've had to focus on something that much in awhile! But I loved it! I love that sewing requires me to be super patient and diligent. I literally got sucked in and sat in front of the machine for hours trying to figure things out. I didn't like how intimidated I was of my sewing machine, my birthday present from the hubby. I let it sit there for the longest time. I did sign up for 2 sewing classes, both of which were canceled, because I wanted to learn. But I hadn't touched my machine before then. I let it get all dusty; I was literally afraid of it...

I had a hard time understanding why some folks find sewing/baking darn-right hard, until my sewing-fear gave me a reality check. I'll be honest, baking doesn't/didn't come easy to me before the food blog, I was more of a cook and still am, for the most part. Now I find myself fascinated by baking, I feel like a chemist in my kitchen -- but it's still a lot easier than sewing and I don't think I was as 'scared' of baking as I was of sewing. I thought "if it tastes bad, I'll eat it anyway. No harm done". For some reason, I couldn't apply that way of thinking to sewing. I don't know why I was so scared, I could've just picked up an old shirt and messed around with it. I could've just watched a few YouTube videos and cranked out something simple, but I was such a weenie.

So now I love to sew and I'm not afraid of the sewing machine. I have a much more 'so what if I mess up?' attitude, and that's helped a lot. The fear would still be there if not for that first step; opening up the machine, threading it, sewing a straight line on a scrap piece of fabric, the basics. Everything depends on that first step.

I could throw myself into cooking without thinking because I had to. I had to eat; I couldn't just pick up fast food from some random place, because it would make me sick to my stomach later. Funny how necessity and desperation override fear; the 'how bad do you want it' factor really applies to everything. But now I want to learn even more! How do you sew on a zipper (without help :P); how do you sew on a button properly? How do you sew a french seam?! I want to know how to create digital scrapbook kits from scratch, how to code blog layouts using CSS, how to take the perfect foodie picture without natural light, how to bake gluten free croissants, how to... and the list goes on.

I discover some other creative outlet and this process starts all over again. I'm almost afraid to see what else is out there! I dabble in this and that, and I almost feel guilty when I neglect one interest for another, or even when I don't fine-tune one thing. For instance, I sewed most of this weekend, but I haven't drawn in awhile and there isn't much cooked food in the fridge. And this isn't a complaint, really. I know there are much bigger bigger things to worry about/be thankful for. BUT sometimes, sometimes I just wish I didn't have to sleep! :P

One thing I'm actively trying to learn is how to lead a balanced life. I'm thankful that I don't have to choose; why not have a little bit of everything? Maybe Sundays are for cooking/baking and Mondays for drawing. Fridays are for grocery shopping and Saturdays are for outings and sunshine. I am so thankful that I can have balance, it's a blessing. So what if I can't become an expert over night?

Speaking of outings and sunshine, here are some pictures of a day trip we took to Concord, MA (home to Emerson, Thoreau, and Alcott). We toured the Alcott house and visited Emerson/Thoreau's grave site (sounds morbid but it was romantic and peaceful); we even got to see where 'the shot heard 'round the world' was fired, near Minuteman Park (think Battle of Lexington/Concord). Concord is gorgeous! Everyone, and I mean everyone, there was so so friendly!

I've always been a fan of Little Women, but I didn't know much about Louisa May Alcott. I didn't know that she was in love with her good friend Emerson, and that she wasn't a fan of marriage (though she'd apparently reconsider for him :). I didn't know that she was a war nurse, liked to paint, adopted her nephew, and was/came from a family of free thinking transcendentalists who lived in Concord precisely because (then-'backwards') Boston didn't appeal to them. I also didn't know that her home was part of the underground railroad and that it's now remembered for having honored guests, like Harriet Tubman and Nathaniel Hawthorne. (Even Emerson frequently visited and anonymously left money scattered throughout the house to support this never-asking-always-giving family which consisted of an artist mother, equally artistic daughters, and an intellectual father.)

Alcott House

Emerson's Grandparent's House/Where Emerson wrote Leaves/Nathaniel Hawthorne's House

Lexington/Concord Battle site -- where the first shot was fired.

Lexington/Concord Monument

Louisa May Alcott's Grave

Emerson's Grave

Thoreau family grave site.


tallmisto said...

This is/was so me. I had always wanted to sew and actually collected a couple of very old sewing machines to teach myself. The old ones were very difficult to learn on b/c well, they didn't work. Then I finally received one as a present and I stared at it thinking "now what?"

Then I just started sewing. I love aprons and that's where I started. I've never used a pattern because all that paper confuses me. That's my next step, conquering patterns. But I love the aprons I made. They actually turned out and I gave them away as gifts.

I also have my long list of creative waters to swim in. It feels nice knowing other people have hobby ADD too!

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