You see the rich colours and glossy pictures as the magazine sits up on the rack. It promises tips and techniques. You know that this will be the one to have the project that will launch a new mindstorm of creativity. One of your favourite artists has an article that showcases her newest products.
You stop by the craft store and there is a demo. for something you had thought about trying and they even have a coupon for the supplies. They offering classes to learn the technique and some of them are free! Of course you need to buy all the material from the store first. Yes if you thought about it $50 in supplies is a little steep to learn Tiborean lattice woven ashtrays but just think, when you get home you can make dozens. Sure you need to buy a lathe and wood curling specialized vise grips from Tibora but hey, it could happen.
I love to learn new things. Papier mache, crochet, sculpting, acrylic abstract, beading, wire work, sculpture, basketry, mosaics can all use basic materials and tools but each has an industry behind it that is constantly at you to buy more and more products to create the latest thing. A quick tour through any arts and crafts store will have you going down endless rows of colourful, exciting, shiny papers, inks, stamps, glues, findings, yarns, patterns, stains, and every possible accessory.
Once I’d get home with my precious magazine I would find that it was primarily advertising and that the articles were primarily advertising. The projects were designed to showcase things you don’t have and will need to purchase. Crocheting magazines feature yarns you don’t have. They don’t say you can’t use what you own but we all know that if you do you will are just not a serious artist and can’t expect to achieve the results promised to the faithful who have bought the “in crowd” yarn.
Lesson: To combine a frugal lifestyle with a leaning toward handmade you need to be “clever as a serpent and wise as a dove”. You have to see the crafting industry for what it is, an industry. They are there to sell. One of the beauties of the internet is that if you are discerning you can learn basic techniques. Be aware of your own weaknesses. A few days ago a saw a link to homemade rugs. It got my heart racing. I immediately wanted to jump in and try it. Sure I would need yards of a fabric I didn’t own and a backing that was suspect for durability but,… No. I had to calm down. Like a bar to a drinker, I need to avoid new materials and techniques while I’ve got bins of materials waiting to be transformed. Single use materials are not a good investment. No new workshops for now. I’m swearing off (unless it is Maureen Carlson as the teacher. Learning from her is on my bucket list.) I need to deal with my excess of stuff and stop looking for new distractions.
In the blog “The Year of Less” September is the month to “Eat My Pantry”. I think October with be the month to “Craft from my Closet”. Be careful out there gentle crafter. There are wolves in artist’s clothing.
(photo was taken at Van. fan expo. and is not meant to represent this woman as anything but a really fun person)