Not so helpful hands

While it was not as wonderful as the original film, the Wet Hot American Summer TV series had some great bits. The most quoted line (for Morgan and me) is Paul Rudd’s “Your bones are all jacked up,” line he uses as an excuse to rub “Katie’s” shoulders. (I feel like Earl’s brother on My Name is Earl when I start interchanging real names with character names. Ack!! But, it’s true to who I am, because Morgan has always said that I view the movie Taps as a biography of Tom Cruise. That movie ruined him for me, and I’m OK with that.)

Anywho, if I had a $1 for every time Morgan has told me that my bones are jacked up, I could at least treat the two of us to a fancy night out.

And, in a recent Spontaneanation episode Paul F. Tompkins used the line “My Judas of a body.” I think that’s a great line. Most recently it’s been my hands and arms that have betrayed me. The metal shears I used to cut up the tins last weekend put some unwelcome pressure on my hand, and my right thumb has been grumbling at me ever since.

I know that what I do sometimes causes my hands to hurt. I’m sure the long hours in an Alaska fish cannery years ago didn’t help any. But, I’m not ready to put down beading and/or knitting needles. Morgan suggested a week or so of not engaging in activities that require fine motor skills, and just thinking about it makes me antsy. But I do wonder if I could use that time to read. Or, do paper mache. I’ve long thought that paper mache might have to be the craft I turn to when my hands are little more than crumpled balls at the end of my arms.

 

expect more paper mache as time goes on. morgan formed the muzzle; i need to repaint it now
 
 
sure painting is in order, but i still love his “eyebrows” and 3d beak.
 
Being in too much pain to do what I love is the scariest aspect, for me, of getting older. The answer is to take breaks. And to take care of myself. It’s just so much easier said than done. But tonight I am following my advice. I am going to read for a bit. The pressure of an author interview next week is at least as good of motivation as giving my hands a break. And don’t be surprised if it’s a book of fiction that I’ll be addressing later this week.

for funsies: this is the V Day card i made for Morgan. i kind of love the die-embossing technique.

Slow start

  Much like the way Christmas derailed a month of eating well, the holidays, too, have let me struggling to get back into a craft book/making groove.

So, overwhelmed with the books on my shelves, I picked up DIY, Dammit: A Practical Guide to Curse-Free Crafting, by Joselyn Hughes

  A copy found it’s way to me, but I wasn’t sure how many of the projects would speak to me. (As much as I love to make all kinds of things, I don’t dabble in *all* crafts.) But, having received a wonderful new glue gun for Christmas, I was especially hoping to find some craft-spiration to test it out.
I started leafing through it, and immediately I spotted the words: Internet perfection does nothing for DIY. It actually makes it harder.

Those were the words I needed after starting—and restarting—my coloring copper with Prismacolor pencils. More to come about that on Sunday. (And there was the failed soldering class in December!)

I should preface all of this by saying that earlier in the day I was looking at the website for Craftcation Conference, and I felt that feeling of “Why do I bother?” I’m one of thousands—if not millions— of people making stuff and hoping people like it and, maybe, buy some of it.

I know all of the reasons why I should put my worries aside and just do what I do in honesty and to the best of my abilities. (Just this morning I heard a colleague disparage his photography and I couldn’t believe it. His work is amazing!! Which proves that we’re all susceptible doubts and worries, especially those of us with steady 40-hour-a-week gigs that we enjoy.)

Anywho … later that day I was listening to this week’s episode of Spontaneanation, and part of the introductory interview was about accepting how working on a piece of something is productivity. In this case the interviewee talked about spending time cutting out images for collage cards that he likes to make. Much like the words about imperfection, I needed to hear that, too, because I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with projects I’ve started that seem to have no end in sight. Well, one sock will be finished tonight, I just know it.

  
And then, getting back to that first positive message, I got a notice today that a copy of The Art of Mistakes: Unexpected Painting Techniques & the Practice of Creative Thinking, by Melanie Rothschild was waiting for me at my local library branch.

  
The universe has spoken. Clearly. Directly. So, I need to shut my mouth and keep on keeping on. The only wrong move, for me, would be to be paralyzed by doubt and worry. I need to work on projects in pieces and as I can. And, if I make mistakes, so what?! Prototypes are OK. Just trying is great! Making time to play and then use that time to play/make begets creativity, or so I’ve found.

p.s. Grace Jones’ memoir was also waiting for me at the library. What in the world is the universe trying to tell me with that one?