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.