Always a Maker

I consider it a blessing and a curse growing up with an artist for a mother.  My mom has been crafting since long before I was born, focusing on stained glass when I was young, and venturing into other avenues throughout the years.  From a young age, I wanted to make things.  I learned to sew when I was 8 or 9, and wanted my first project to be a sweatshirt.  I’m sure my mom tried to persuade me to make something easier, like a pillowcase or something, but I wanted a sweatshirt, so I was making a sweatshirt.  Which I still have, up in the attic.

My mom taught me a phrase that’s haunted me throughout the years…  Oh, you could make that!  And thus begun my journey to make ALL THE THINGS.  When I was young, it was little animals out of clay.  Then sewing bags, notebook covers, and pencil pouches for school.  After college, those long four years I was devoid of my sewing machine, I learned about a little thing called Pennsic.  Pennsic is an event run by the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group that reenacts the Middle Ages with battles, arts, cooking, and comradery.  Pennsic itself is a two-week reenactment event, which meant I had an excuse to sew again!  I needed two weeks worth of garb to wear!  I was finally inspired to start making things again.  I taught myself chainmail and started making my own jewelry.  I researched period clothing styles and tried to recreate them.  I taught myself how to crochet – knight helmets, stuffed dragons, stuffed animals for baby gifts.  I learned how to use an industrial sewing machine and started sewing yurts for my friend’s company.  New projects don’t worry me, I enjoy teaching myself new skills and new crafts.

Last Pennsic I discovered inkle weaving, and in the months since I have been weaving every day.  I’ve made belts and trim as gifts, woven straps for archery quivers, and even started making camera straps for a few people.  I’ve loved the challenge that weaving provides, and I’ve taught myself a lot of skills through the different weaving methods I’ve found.  One of which is patience.  Another is how to pay attention to what I’m doing so I can figure out how to fix it when I mess up.

I’m not just a weaver though.  I’m not just a crocheter.  Or a seamstress.  Or a jeweler.  I’m a maker.  I make a lot of things.  If someone asks me, “Can you make…” I usually cut them off with a “Yes.” before they can finish the question.  When someone asks me what I make, I usually answer “… yes?”  I make a lot of things.  If you can think of a thing, I’ve probably made it at least once.  This includes spear throwing catapults, 8-foot-tall yurts, and a chainmail shirt for a stuffed dragon.

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