General

The Enemy of Leisure

A month.   That’s how long it’s been since I’ve posted.  January 8th-February 10th.  That’s whack.  Why?  You may ask-I’ll be glad to share.

Work.

A month of grueling, thankless (except for the paycheck), work.

It’s the enemy of leisure, you know.  So I’ve had to be selective with my time.  Kids…hubbie…tired.  Fatigue is also the enemy of leisure.  I haven’t been completely off-goal, but I have been very limited.  I’ve done some reading, and I’ve done some knitting, and that my friends, sums it up.  Throw in a couple of rented dvd’s and a few good meals and I’ve just recapped the last month in 105 words.

I'm loving this!

Copy Cat and Compulsive Hobbyist

First, I need to give you a little back story.  I have a couple of pretty significant issues that have influenced my course of action this week.

Issue #1: Sometimes I’m a copy cat.  Every once in a great while, I see something that gets under my skin.  I may not act on it the first time I see it, or the second or the third. Inevitably, however, if it’s lodges in just the right way, I will engage in full on mimicry.  (It’s the sincerest form of flattery you know.)

Issue #2:  Hi, my name is Amy and I’m a compulsive hobbyist.  It’s been two days since I picked up a new hobby.  And here’s the rub.  I don’t need anything new in my life right now.  The sewing machine is still out (and I think it’s staring at me) from my sewing “do over”.  I have a constant stream of crochet projects in progress with skeins of yarn taunting me from every nook and cranny of my house.  I haven’t blogged about it, but I have beading projects in process (that are staring at me accusingly from their totes) in an adjacent room. I’ll stop there lest I begin to look ridiculous.

Okay, now that you’re familiar with my issues, I can tell you about my latest misadventure…

The Seed is Planted  

Blair, who blogs at WiseCraft, began blogging about her sketchbook project a few months ago. She’s exploring the use of  water colors. I admire her for her efforts and tenacity, and have looked forward to seeing her progress.

As a pertinent side bar,  I’ve had a great interest in painting for a couple of years now.  It just doesn’t strike me as a class you’d want to take online. I think there are certain things you’ve got to do in person.  My kids are young.  I work.  There’s just no time right now.  But the idea lingers at the back of my mind.  So again, I’ve enjoyed watching Blair progress through her journey.  She’s talented in so many areas, it seemed natural that she would do something as bold as posting daily sketches.  I could never do that.  I can’t even draw for pete’s sake.  My painting plan has always been to work in abstract so that drawing would be irrelevant.

The Seed takes Hold  

Friday, I notice that Beki at artsy-craftsy babe posted her sketchbook.  It’s adorable.  Beki is ridiculously talented. She knits, sews, quilts and hand stitches some amazing projects, and apparently, she was inspired by Blair’s sketchbook project.  She’s done the most adorable watercolor houses in this little book.  I began to feel something more than “interested”.  I began to feel,  inspired…

The Seed Sprouts

Finally, over the weekend I read a post where Blair blogged about the tools she’s using for her sketchbook project. She’s doing watercolors with an assortment of nifty devices.   I’m a sucker for implements and tools…(it might even be classified as Issue #3.)

So really, it was inevitable.  Monday, I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up a small spiral bound sketchbook and some common colored pencils.  I lingered longingly over the graphite drawing pencils and watercolor pencils of every hue…then I snapped out of it and got out of there as quickly as I could before I got sucked into other departments.

Here’s one exceptionally good thing.  By far, this little adventure had the cheapest start-up costs of any hobby to date.  Five bucks.  I can live with that.  Second good thing?  It doesn’t have to be terribly time-consuming.  I’m just pencil sketching. I can spend as much or as little time as I want.

I’m still analyzing why this feels like something I need to do.  I’ve never drawn anything I considered competent.  I’ve always admired those who have a talent for drawing.   And maybe that’s enough.  It’s a skill I admire.  I’m not going to try to do it daily.  My goal is at least one bankable sketch per week.  I think it’s going to be fun, and I’ll keep you posted!

General

Acts of Random Gastronomy

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun…

When I ate my first Big Mac, there was not a McDonald’s in my home town.  You had to drive about an hour in any given direction to get to one.  When I tried my first one, it was love at first bite.  (Scarcity drives demand, don’t  you know.)  I don’t remember if it was my sophomore or junior year in high school, but we finally got a McDonald’s in my little East Texas town. The cars literally stretched about a mile down the street the Saturday it opened.  I’m not sure that there was ever a more anticipated opening in our little burg.  It was big news.  Yep, big news.  But it wasn’t pretty.  I have vague memories  an  undetermined period of time where I consumed  Big Macs daily. Looking back, it’s hard to believe.

I don’t love Big Macs anymore.  I don’t love McDonald’s.  And I certainly wouldn’t drive out of my way to get to one.  There have been times when I’ve pulled into the drive-through for my kids and smell has repulsed rather than enticed me.  In spite my general abhorrence for the restaurant chain, however, about once a year, I have an inexplicable craving for a Big Mac.

Over the last couple of weeks, I felt it coming on.  I’d see a commercial, and be tempted.  I knew it was coming, and when I woke up this morning, I had a sneaky suspicion that  today was the day.  Today was the day for a Mac Attack!

I’m not gonna lie.  I was stress eating.  Stress with a capital “S”.  And I’m not ashamed to say it…That sandwich was good.  I enjoyed it.  I didn’t feel bad about it.  I don’t now.  And I’m done.  Done until the next time.  My next annual (or whatever-I’m pretty sure it was well over a year this time) Mac Attack.  Nostalgia?  Probably Tasty? Usually. An anomaly?  Absolutely. Acts of random gastronomy…

Crochet

Playing the Field..

I’ve been multi-tasking….burning both ends of the candle, if you will.  On the one hand, I am full steam ahead with my Tunisian Crochet class and the Multi Garment.

Simultaneously, I am “go” for my sewing “Do Over”.

It’s like dating two guys when you’re single.  You usually spend one date wishing you were on another.  Then you feel guilty when you’re on a date with a guy you really like, because  the other dude is more responsible and more stable.  Usually things fall apart with both of them at about the same time and you wind up with no date…but I digress…

Apparently the sewing “do over” is Mr. Stability.  The Tunisian multi-garment is the hotter Mr. Smooth. (This is a bizarre analogy, but let’s go with it.)

The stitch patterns are gorgeous.

Even though I’m using cotton instead of silk, the stitching still promises attractive drape. With the Tunisian, despite being in learning mode, everything is easier.

Sewing, not so much.  I’ve finished my first set of pillow covers.  I haven’t worked up the enthusiasm to photograph them yet.  They’re cute….that’s it.  Just cute.  I wanted spectacular…wow! But nope, they’re cute. Like I said, the craft equivalent to Mr. Stability.  I think I’ll wait and post them when I can add a few more for a grouping.

Until then, back to Mr. Smooth…