Normally I would save something like this for the Friday Favorites, but while blog-skimming this morning, I came across this article from CraftStylish called Crafting Your Personality. An interesting read, to say the least– basically the author’s musings on the crafts she has and hasn’t tried, as well as how she does it, and what that says about her. So I thought it would be fun to do the same here.
It’s pretty obvious from the blog title that sewing is my main deal–the one I’m most involved with and the one I’ve been doing the longest. Since I primarily make clothes and other fashion-related things (bags and such), for me, it’s the main way that I express myself. I think it goes back to private school dress codes– the school I went to for most of my life was pretty strict on several things about the dress code. No blue jeans, except on special dress-up days. No T-shirts. Knit shirts for girls couldn’t be too tight, too short, or too low-cut. No tank tops. No skirts that were shorter than 4″ above the knee, when kneeling on the ground. (That one alone motivated me to sew, because those were virtually impossible to find in the average juniors’ size store unless they were long skirts.) And I’ve always been one who hated preppy clothes and having brand names plastered all over myself. So while the majority of my classmates shopped at the Gap and (my most-loathed store) Abercrombie & Fitch, I was the girl who sewed herself skirts out of funky fabrics, wore vintage jackets from the thrift store (or ones that my mom had sewed when she was a teenager in the 70s), and absolutely loved it when people complimented my outfits and then found out I made that. (Now people ask me if I made it before they ask me where I got it. But generally after a compliment, so I’ll take that as a good thing.)
I think it encompasses a lot of different facets of my personality. There’s the earthy, hippie, tree-hugger side of me who loves flowy skirts, natural fibers, and recycling clothes via reconstruction. There’s the not-so-inner fantasy/sci-fi geek, who loves it when I can bring that Renaissance influence into my modern-day stuff, and will spend hours researching a costume or replicating the embroidery on a favorite movie dress onto a shirt *cough*, just so I can giggle at my own private geeky joke. There’s the career woman side, who is trying to look quasi-professional, but with an artsy twist because I don’t have to work in an office and music means I’m allowed to be quirky. And then there’s the wannabe indie rocker/kid that never wanted to grow up who still loves glitter and shiny things and not dressing mainstream.
The jewelry-making is kind of an extension of that. After all, a girl needs accessories! And, since I generally don’t like repetitive crafts, it’s a good brainless repetitive craft for me. Stringing a necklace is a very low time commitment, most of the time. And, honestly, I’d always take a funky beaded necklace or a handcrafted silver ring over the fine (read: expensive and overrated) jewelry that gets advertised on tv a lot this time of year. Guess it goes back to that earthy hippie thing.
And then there’s the scrapbooking. That’s where my inner artist comes out to play, both because I love taking pictures and I love making collages. Plus I’m a very nostalgic person– I’m the one who saves all her movie and concert ticket stubs, writes in journals and actually does look back at them on occasion, keeps every note I ever get from a significant other (at least until the relationship ends), etc. I like to remember the good times and the people I had them with.
Now that I think about it, the way I do these crafts probably says something about me, too. When I’m sewing from a pattern, I rarely follow it exactly– I’ll mix elements from different views to get the look I want, I’ll make things longer, widen the straps, etc. I’m getting to the point where I don’t really look at directions much, unless it’s things like attaching linings (still trying to master that), a pattern with a lot of details, or a technique I’m unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. I’m not really a rule-breaker, if I’m honest, but I like to follow the rules my own way, and that seems to reflect that. But then for stuff like clothing reconstructions and jewelry, I rarely follow directions at all and completely wing it. I guess that’s the artsy part of me that likes improvisation and spontanaeity. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not really into highly repetitive crafts, like knitting/crocheting/quilting (though I have a definite appreciation for the end product!) I’m thinking that’s because routine pretty much drives me crazy. (One of the things I love most about my music work is that my schedule, though generally similar from week to week, is different every weekday. So it’s not like I’m going to the same place doing the same thing with the same people all the time.) But there’s a methodical side to me too, which seems to come out a little more in my scrapbooking. The method I’ve found that works best for me is to do all the prepwork in advance (do the writing, develop the photos, choose the papers, sketch out a design, etc.) and then just sit down and throw a bunch of them together at once. With room for improvisation, of course, if I don’t like the way it looks. My pages tend to be pretty linear and stuff too, though I’m trying to break away from that some.
I’ve always said that I’m a walking contradiction. I guess these observations just support that theory.
What about you? What does the type of crafting you do or the way you craft say about you?