Friday, January 28, 2011

Crafting without a sense of direction or space

So a lot has happened since I bought those first beads in Ashland.  I took a LOT of local jewelry-making classes.  I'm one of those people who learns best from a class.  I do ok with a book, but I am horrible when it comes to just jumping in and figuring things out on my own without any instructional materials.  I guess all that academic learning I did left a mark.

I specifically have a problem visualizing things in 3-D.  I'm that person who has to turn the map so that it's in the direction I'm traveling.   I have no in-built sense of direction - I typically end up memorizing where I need to go, rather than having some spidey-sense on which way I need to head.

I spent hours trying to figure out how to make neat little wire wrapped loops for beads just using a book and various online sites, and mine were still sort of lopsided and wonky.  After one in-person class, where I could watch the instructor do it, I was wrapping like a pro. 

This same 3-D visualization issue tripped me up when I took a sewing class as well.  I learned the trick to sewing things that look so neat and nice is that you assemble and sew them inside-out then flip it around when it's done.  Well, that just totally messed with my mind.  I just couldn't envision how to put things together that way.  I sewed more than one beginner project backwards!

So some aspects of papercrafting are going to be a challenge for me.  I love to look through idea books and magazines to get ideas on cards to make, especially since I'm so new to this and don't really know where to start.  Most of these books give you a high level list of the materials used and steps, but not specific details on what to do when.  It's definitely much more vague than my old chemistry lab manuals.

So I'll have to carefully deconstruct the steps and figure out where to cut first, the order in which to glue items, and that sort of thing.  But, that's why I'm writing it down, right? 

So a question for all of you - what's YOUR crafty challenge?  Is there some aspect of your personality that gets in the way of your crafty vision?


  1. I can so show you how they do some things. We can do a q&a some day if you want. the new blog.

  2. Jenn - that would be awesome to have a Q&A, maybe even an official one for the blog :)

  3. My biggest crafty challenge is perfectionism. I feel like if I think hard enough before starting, I should be able to make a "perfect" item the first time I try. Uh, that's not how working with your hands works. But it still keeps me from starting sometimes. I'm learning not to point out errors when I show things to people - they usually don't notice them otherwise!

  4. It's clear that you stand to learn a lot from this exercise, then.
    Keep doing it: your brain will probably get more wrinkles, and that is one place where wrinkles are good.

  5. Oh yeah, definitely. I think we're so used to buying mass-produced things that we don't realize that handmade stuff is *supposed* to have some imperfections. I have a hard time with the stamped jewelry, because even when I've got everything lined up, it's still not machine-perfect. I'm still training my mind to accept that :)

  6. Love your blog!! I think my biggest problem is finding the time to actually sit down and put together the jewelry peices I collect the beads for. I get all excited for patterns before I ever start any of the last 20 patterns I have already collected.


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