Frequently asked questions, in no particular order.
1. From whom do you learn all these things?
Actually, I teach myself. I am auto-didactic to the point that I don’t remember anyone teaching me how to ride a bike. I taught myself.
2. If no one teaches you, how do you learn?
I usually have very little knowledge of most things when I first become interested, and so it would be disingenuous to claim that I pull the knowledge out of thin air. There is a vast amount of information on every imaginable subject out there to be explored, whether it’s in books, magazines, or the internet and I exploit that. Once something catches my interest, I spend every available minute absorbing as much information about it as I possibly can. I go in all the way and I read all the books, I read all the blogs, I watch all the videos, and I practice. Practice is essential to learning anything. The key to teaching yourself any skill is to not be afraid to fail. I know that it can be intimidating, and you should start with the basics, but remember that it’s only fabric, paper, flour, yarn, or whatever the medium for the particular activity may be. If you cut wrong, drop a stitch, burn the cake, no one is going to die, the world is not going to end, and it’s not open heart surgery. There are instances, however, when a bit more caution is required and that with activities that can actually put your life at risk. Don’t be afraid to fail. When you are not afraid to fail, you are willing to take more chances and learn about yourself and about the activity. As cliche as it may sound, you only fail if you don’t try.
3. Why do you hop from hobby to hobby so much? Why not just stick with one?
The short answer is, I lose interest. My usual level of interest in something goes something like this: not even on my radar–>pops into my life by chance–>I become interested–>it consumes my life for a period of time and I achieve a certain proficiency level–>I plateau–>interest wanes–>repeat the processes with something else. Some times it’s because I realize I’m not good at whatever it is I’m into at the time, other times it’s because life gets in the way, but the outcome is the same, the interest level takes a plunge. In addition, I love learning, and every time I become interested in something the knowledge acquisition process is renewed, and that’s what drives me. Would I like to know everything about a particular hobby, craft, etc? Sure, but I have many interests and I am happy exploring them all.
4. How do you find time for all this?
I don’t find time, I make time. It’s all about priorities. You have to make time for what is important to you and for what keeps you sane. I don’t buy into the overworked, exhausted, and utterly dull life that has come to be the style of modern first world residents. We all have responsibilities and chores, but you need to decide when good enough is enough, and make time for fun things. You will never be the perfect mother, the model father, the ideal worker, the exemplary citizen, so stop wasting precious time in the pursuit of the impossible. Good enough is enough, and it’s OK to do things that make YOU happy and take time for YOU. It is worth noting that I don’t do all these things all at once. I have too many interests to invest in all them at any given time, which is where the advantage to being a serial hobbyist comes into play.
5. Can you do alterations for me? Can you hem/lengthen/shorten/take in/take out my pants/dress/blouse?
I get this question from people who know me and know I sew, and my answer is always the same: you can’t pay me enough!