Make Something.

Yesterday I was showing my husband the bracelet I made (and by “made”, I mean I savaged* a store-bought bracelet and added an evil eye bead). Part of the modifications involved bending a head pin. I did a…passable…job, for a first-timer.

He asked why I don’t just ask our chain-mail-making friend to do it for me.

Because it’s better to make your own stuff, is why.

There’s nothing nicer than making something. I don’t know if it’s ancestral memory of when we had to make everything ourselves, or maybe it’s the novelty of handmade in a world of mass-produced. But something about holding something that wouldn’t exist if not for you is wholly satisfying.

Granted, the bracelet I “made” was put together using stock parts, but still, my hand was involved in the final product. I make other things, too: I knit, I bake, I cross-stitch, I paint a teeny tiny bit. Oh, and I write, in case you missed that somehow (!).

Friends and family have seen (and read!) the stuff I’ve made, and the comment is nearly always the same:

“I could never do that.”

Of course you can! I taught myself to knit with YouTube. I learned how to bake bread by making some really shitty bread. I’m learning how to draw right now, and believe me when I say that my drawings suck mightily. But that only means I’m learning.

Do you ever wonder what happens to all the writing I talk about? The daily quota has to go somewhere, right? Some stories don’t come together and get put on hold. Some, frankly, suck ass and get tossed. But I’ve gotten better only by coming back again and again and making something. Every night when I go to bed I want there to be something I made that wasn’t there before. It’s a powerful feeling to leave your mark, however small, on the world every day.

Have you made something recently? Go on, do it: make, bake, saw, sew, glue, paint, grow, make a tremendous mess. Life is too short to be passive. Go create something that’s all yours.

*Yes, I mean “savaged”, not salvaged. I ripped that sucker apart.

Dark Craft: Cross-Stitch Edition

I found out that Heaven and Earth Designs is having a Father’s Day pattern sale. (For Father’s Day? Really? Whatever, I like bargains.) These folks publish some of the most intricate cross-stitch patterns I’ve ever seen, and once Marilyn Monroe is finished I’m itching to try one of these.

They’re beautiful patterns but for the most part they tend to be a little…pastel.

Lucky for those of us with darker tastes, I had some free time (and some obsessive tendencies). I waded in to the depths and found these:

“Sifter”

“Grove”

“Wrath”

I am completely in love with “Grove”, but C informs me that while I am free to stitch anything I want, I am not allowed to hang it anywhere that she can look at him.

(As always, click the pics if you want to purchase one. And check out HAED’s gallery of finished pieces to see why I’m so excited to try one of these.)