When was the last time you learned a new skill? I have been a maker/DIYer/tinkerer for as long as I can remember. Over the years I have gravitated towards certain mediums and gotten pretty good at them (paper, fabric and ink). I have dabbled in a few things that frustrated me because it didn't come easy (sculpture, jewelry making, ahem tennis)
Guys I get OFFENDED when I start something and I am not naturally good at it. It's a patience thing. A confidence thing. Not necessarily a good thing. Can you relate? Learning a new skill can be so rewarding! Using those parts of your body or your brain that are dormant can be such a high. Picture a crossfitter who works out like crazy for three months and can FINALLY turn over a huge tire (or climb a wall, or whatever crazy things cross fitters endeavor to achieve). That's an amazing feeling!
Not that I would know about flipping over tires. I am more of a tilt your cocktail glass up kind of girl.
This year I have challenged myself to learn two new skills: Photoshop and weaving.
I know....huh? What do they have to do with each other? Nothing except I don't know much about either. I might talk more about Photoshop in the future, but basically I didn't learn the program in school and I know there are a million ways it could be useful in my business and creative endeavors. So, thru Google and a few online courses I am slowly but surely learning how to edit pictures and create graphics. If you'd like to see what I've learned I've been creating digital downloads for my shop! You can see them HERE.
Back to weaving.
I've done pot holders, dream catcher, god's eyes and all those crafty fiber projects in the past, but for Xmas I asked for a lap loom so I could learn to weave properly. Oh man, it is hard and FUN. One of my favorite online crafters is Rachel Denbow of Smile and Wave. The past few years she has been weaving and sharing tutorials on her blog. She wrote a book last year that I promptly ordered from the library. Twice. She's an amazing teacher. (sidenote: she is teaching a workshop this weekend and ohmygod I am excited to attend. I will try not to fan girl, and learn as mush as I can. I'll share pictures next week!)
So far I have only created one proper wall hanging. I don't even think I'll hang it up. It was really just a sampler. As you can see I tried several knots, shapes, stitches.
Some of it looks like a hot mess BUT I DID IT!
There was a couple of time (while pulling out a row or two) that I was so frustrated. WHY THE HECK AREN'T I GOOD AT THIS. Why is this more like an hourglass less like a rectangle. I lost count on a pattern a million times. But, it was that good kind of frustration! and there are actually a few parts of the design I really like: - The fringe at the bottom (called rya knots?) was fun to add. The black, gray an white yarn was a bit thicker and created 'bubbles'. I liked that effect..
When I teach a workshop I always tell people ' everyone is a beginner once!' and 'you can definitely learn to do this!' Because they can! And the satisfaction of making something with your own two hands is amazing. And addicting. And so good for you.
So, I'll practice. I'll take this workshop and see where this medium takes me. Maybe it will lead to new handmade products to sell. Or maybe I will only pull it out when I want a new 'something' to decorate my home. Insert witty quote about the journey being more important than the destination.
What was the last thing you tried to learn? Was it hard or did it come easy to you? Was it a one time for fun activity or something you have kept up with? I'd love to hear about it!
See you soon