Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crafter's A.D.D. or Mixed Media Artist? You be the judge

Yes, it's true, not only is Crafter's A.D.D. a totally awesome blog with TONS of great project ideas (not to mention about 74 awesome Thanksgiving projects and recipes!) but I just feel like I'm totally in tune with the idea behind the name. It wasn't until I actually found this blog that I realized I HAD Crafter's A.D.D. I mean I knew I would go between projects like a butterfly between sweet flowers, constantly changing my mind and adding new projects here and there, but it never dawned on me what that was. I blame it on my Midwestern Crafty Iowa roots. It all started when I was really in to scrapbooking, and yes, I mean the uber cutesy, frilly, have-to-have-every-tool around sort of scrapbooking which was while I was in college. I was going to be an elementary school teacher and scrapbooking seemed to be a great creative outlet for me (even though I had no kids my life wasn't all that exciting). It was like creating bulletin boards, but in a book format. So I was reading a scrapbook magazine one time and I saw a full page ad for Stampin' Up! which was a direct selling company (i.e. home parties) for rubber stamps. Well, I needed a job and i didn't realize this would actually require WORK so I called the toll free number and the next thing I knew I was signing up and paying $400 out of pocket to buy some starter kit of stamps (and WOW did I get a lot of stamps). Oh and I didn't mention that I was still in college at the time and trying to sell ANYTHING to a ton of poor college students, let alone something that requires thinking was rather difficult. So I let that cool off awhile and sold off most of my stamps, except the letters and some of the staple ones for various occasions.
By this time I was really getting in to my teaching job and was super duper busy. Oh and I bought a house and by that time I had figured out that hosting home parties was a GREAT way to get FREE stuff as the hostess! So I signed up for a stamp party, a scrapbook party, a Southern Living party, (my poor, poor friends) and it was super fun. In fact, I enjoy the scrapbook party so much I signed up to be a Creative Memories consultant about a week after my party. It was a natural extension of my day job, teaching, plus gave me a little creative outlet, plus that was sort of the reason I signed up to do the stamp thing in the first place, because it could be used for scrapbooks (until you realize you'll never have the right stamp set when you need it). Well, I did that for a year or so, never really turned it into the business it could have been I mean, when would I have had time to do that anyway? And by that time, I was about to get married. Let's recap here so far I've :

- Sold rubber stamps to make cards and scrapbooks
- Sold scrapbook supplies to make scrapbooks

(My dad always says I have this strong entreprenureal spirit and that I get it from my Grandmother who was always trying to figure out how to fix up antiques and sell them or to make ceramics and sell them or something. I find that whenever I want to do something crafty my brain makes me wonder how I can do it an make money at it.)

Well when I got married my new mother in law introduced me to the amazing world of SEWING and FABRIC! We went to Creations in Kerrville which is like the Mecca of fabric for the San Antonio and Texas hill country area. It didn't take too long to turn me to the dark side! I was hooked (oh yeah, she let me sew on her BERNINA too) She guided me to make some pillowcases and some curtains and somehow in 2005 I decided to take a beginning quilting class with my mom.

Long story a little shorter, of course I turned my love of fabric and sewing into a business! I mean, why not start an online shop to sell fabric? I could carry fun and bright fabrics that not many shops in our area carry and you know what? It worked, it is fairly successful. But it's a TON of work, and now I've added on to that A.D.D. by renting a studio space to open up to the public to TEACH CLASSES! Oh and this is on top of my full time job. Yeah, I'm not a teacher anymore and I don't even have a mother in law anymore either.

And the A.D.D. strikes again because when I went to Quilt Market in Houston this October, I was a little overwhelmed but also inspired by all the ways fabric can be used besides just in quilting or as part of quilting but to make quilts into art. One of the wonderful women I met at Quilt Market works for a distributor that is sort of the MECCA for those of us with Crafter's Attention Deficit Disorder, I mean they sell EVERYTHING. Yeah, everything you see at JoAnn's? They probably got it from Notions Marketing. (Sorry I digress) but this nice woman mentioned that she had a long arm quilting machine and she told me she believed that quilting is really an art. And then she showed me one of their new products, FABRIC PAINT. Now I can get plain white fabric and paint it and stencil and MAKE IT MY OWN! WOW! Oh and there are SOO many books available about this. (see below for suggestions) And now that I have a studio space I have some ROOM to play with this sort of thing. Plus, there's another wonderful woman in my building that is an Art Quilter and SHE dyes her own fabric before she quilts it.

Now the funniest part was that this long arm quilter/sales rep for Notions Marketing said that she was cleaing out her studio/creative space and realized that she had supplies for all sorts of different creative projects (i.e. stamps, scrapbook supplies, fabric, paint, dye, etc) and the she said it "I'm a mixed media artist" OMG did that strike home! Because it's possible to take all these different media for crafting and put them together to create mixed media!! And that totally justified my crazy Crafter's A.D.D. existence. And I realized, I'm not alone! In fact, I think the Quilt Market is possibly actually just a fancy way of getting all these crazy mixed media artists all in one place at a time and there might be a support group meeting for it somewhere. So would you like to see a list of the other mixed media/crafter's A.D.D. projects I've got in the works?

- While at Michael's today bought some cool chunky blue yarn and some GIANT knitting needles and YES my sister taught me to KNIT!!! never thought I'd do that, EVER
- Just ordered some blanks for creating stamped metal jewlery (off Etsy of course)
- Inspired by a magazine called Handcrafted Jewelry to make my own now
- Ordered some glass dome pieces and some of the backings to make more jewelry
- Tons of new fabrics on order
- Planning to order some of that awesome fabric paint
- Bought the supplies to make soldered glass pendant jewlery (hmm, notice a trend here at all?)
- Plus card making supplies and these awesome new clear stamps I've found that are inexpensive, pretty and easy to store because they are flat (you have to stick them to a plastic block for the stamping part)

Not to mention all the fabrics and patterns I've ordered for the shop and the quilt projects I have in the works (i.e. in my head). So even just reading back over this VERY LONG blog post, I'm realizing that when I  write I have a little A.D.D. too. I need to focus more. Well, maybe that will be a post for another day, or a goal for the new year. We'll see.

Hmm, what do you think? Can you relate to this?

Happy Stitches,

1 comment:

  1. I can TOTALLY relate! I have dabbled in every craft you have, and more (probably because I am a LOT older than you are!). It sounds like you are on the right track - keep up the good work!