It’s starting to get a bit cooler, and I’m starting to feel the itch to pull out my yarn again. But I’m not going to push it yet. The last thing I want to do is get myself burned out on knitting. Which seems a wild thing to be worried about after 20 years of near-daily knitting. But, here we are…
Anyway, I haven’t been too creative lately. Life’s been wild- the big kid is back to school (Pre-K), which has been a wild transition- mostly good, but just a lot of getting used to, and weirdly less time for “me time.”
But one thing I have been able to do (that’s kind of craft-adjacent), is rearrange our craft area.
I didn’t plan to blog about it, so I forgot to take a “before” picture, but trust me when I say this is an improvement. I had my yarn in a half-broken dresser I got from Buy Nothing a few years ago. The kids’ art supplies on an avocado-green cart that I literally pulled off a street corner about a decade ago. And the books were on their own bookshelf, which was nice enough but fairly tip-y and probably not safe to have in a house with an almost-2-year-old who likes to climb.
Anyway, I got 3 big shelf/cabinet combos from Ikea that my 4-year-old helped me put together, and spent a couple evenings organizing everything in bins. And it looks great!
Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of this eyesore… Anyone in Seattle interested in a broken dresser?
Back when I was a kid (and especially in High School), I loved drawing. I filled sketch books, and art class was always my favorite. But between one thing and another, I haven’t drawn in a real way in years. Maybe decades? Sure, I sketch out sweater ideas, and I can draw a really good garbage truck for my kids, but that’s about it these days.
It felt like too much work to just… go and draw without any guidance (I do love homework). So, I went looking for an online class and found this one hosted by Laura McKendry (a freelance illustrator).
And… it’s SO FUN! I can’t recommend it enough. It’s super low-stress. It’s open-ended enough that you can essentially use it to paint whatever you want, but with enough structure that you can kind of just follow along without worrying too much.
I’m about halfway through the class, and while I’ve done all of her assignments, I’ve also come up with my own art in ways I haven’t done in forever.
(It’s also been decades since I showed anyone my art, so eek!)
I’ve been playing with watercolors and ink pens and just generally taking the time to actually sit down and carefully draw, instead of just scribbling out something and getting frustrated because it’s not perfect on the first try. It’s been a really refreshing change of pace to try something that’s so outside my (current) comfort zone.
Have you ever picked up an old favorite art project/activity?
The first thing I did on what I’m calling my “Knitting Sabbatical” is finish up a project that I’ve been neglecting for a while. I started it in February, and was very excited to get going. I zoomed through the first 75% in a couple weeks. The next 20% felt like it took forever. And the last 5 seemed impossible to finish (AKA, I put it up on a shelf and didn’t touch it for 3 months). Sounds familiar, right?
But instead of getting stuck on Sleeve Island while working on a sweater, this time I broke out some paints and did the biggest paint-by-number kit that I’ve ever seen.
I decided to try it because my Instagram feed had been showing me paint-by-number ads for what felt like weeks, and I’m nothing if not a sucker for a good ad. (Or a bad one, for that matter. I’m pretty suggestable.)
However, I didn’t buy any of the ones from the ads, instead getting one at random from Target. Because… who knows? It was much bigger, and much more detailed than I expected. I don’t know if there were any spaces bigger than my thumbnail.
It was actually really fun, and that last 5% really wasn’t bad- it took me maybe two hours once I sat down to work on it. It’s the perfect on-the-couch-watching-documentaries-or-listeneing-to-audio-books activity. (…And I’m officially 75 years old.)
Now I just have to find a place to hang it up. If only we had a cabin in the woods, it would be perfect!
I’ll be honest. In case you haven’t picked up on it from my less-than-enthusiatic posts of late, I’ve been feeling kind of burnt out about knitting. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been crazy hot around here for the last few months. Maybe it’s because I’m wildly busy and exhausted from taking care of my kids (the bigger one has stopped napping, and refuses to fall asleep before 9 at night, severely cutting into my knitting time). And maybe it’s just because I’ve knit essentially every day for the last 20+ years and just need a break.
So, instead of powering through (which is my usual mode of dealing with stress), I’m going to actually pay attention to what my brain’s telling me and actually take a break.
That’s right. For the month of September, my knitting blog is a no-knitting-zone. I’m going to be breaking out my sewing machine, my paints, and who knows what else. It’s going to be fun! (And maybe embarrassing… I haven’t done a lot of “art” since high school. It’ll be interesting to see what I come up with.
So join me on this knitting-free adventure!
What have you been doing lately (that’s not knitting)?