Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy that embraces the imperfect, ephemeral, and incomplete. I'm always screwing something up, but it often comes out more beautiful, more instructive, and more fun for it. Come make mistakes with me!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

About Me (But Don't Worry, More Bread Coming Soon)

So I've realized that the majority of people following me don't actually know me in person.  That's kind of cool!  But it also means you have no clue why some lady is busy posting tutorials about everything from hair bows to sushi.  So I thought I'd do a quick post about why I started crafting and blogging.  Most of my favorite blogs are much chattier than I've been, anyway!  So I'll try to slip in a little bit more about my life in the future. 

(The promised bread-baking post will go up soon ... the pics are on my hubby's phone because the camera battery died.  I'll have to corner him and force him to upload them under threat of no-more-homemade-bread-until-you-get-it-done.)

I've always been artsy - my undergrad degree is in lighting design for the theatre - but I can't draw or paint to save my life.  I'm much more of a fiddly, hands-on, 3-D type.  So I always liked to craft, although I never spent enough time on a specific craft to get good at it. 

I'm also a big crunchy hippie - I even lived on a farming commune once - and I believe very firmly that crafting makes a statement.  It's a rejection of quick-satisfaction consumerist culture that separates us from the process of creation and from an understanding of our interdependence.  It's also a fun and meaningful way to reclaim traditionally female domestic arts for the modern feminist.  Fun with philosophy!

But what really got me to start producing and selling was a lot of heartache.  Two years ago, literally days after we got married, my husband lost his job.  I finished up grad school in a hurry and we had to leave a city we adored in search of work.   We were lucky to find something for both of us halfway across the country, but my husband had to take a very low-paying position that only lasts a year.  It's been a great experience for him, but that year is almost up.  Is he going to be able to find fulfilling and decently compensated work in his field?  I don't know.  Is that work going to be in Timbuktu?  Maybe.  So basically, even though I'm lucky to have a very wonderful and personally meaningful job that pays the bills, I've been feeling very out of control.  Not my favorite thing.  Really not.  Really, really not.  And that's on top of the normal stress of starting over in a new city, trying to make new friends, find a new synagogue, and just generally put down our poor aching roots again. 

So re-enter my crafting.  It's incredibly soothing to be making something beautiful and tangible.  Being productive makes me feel valuable, and reminds me that there are parts of my life I can control; I can always nurture my creativity and try not to let stress or depression get the better of me.  That helps me let go of the bits that never go as planned anyway.  I also love the idea that I can make things to bring a little happiness to other people.  And hopefully it will also generate a little extra income, especially if one or both of us winds up out of work again. 

As for why I'm blogging about it - I really want this to be a vehicle to connect with other creative people.   So please leave a comment, share links to your blog and your favorite blogs, or just be in touch.  Let's be friends.