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Thread: Arts & crafts you are involved with

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Arts & crafts you are involved with

    What arts and crafts have you done in your lifetime? Are there some you’d like to try your hand at some day but haven’t found the time?

    I guess I hail from a fairly artistic family, because my mother was an artist who started in tole painting and later moved on to oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, and mixed media. She also was into calligraphy (mostly Chinese brush characters) and antique furniture staining (she was also an accomplished classical guitarist, as well). I recall getting a leather punch kit when I was a kid and made a decorative bookmark and a wallet, but once the leather included in the kit was used up I never did anything else related, apart from drilling extra holes in belts. As teen I got a calligraphy kit for Christmas one year, and to this day it’s a skill I still use from time to time for party invitations or signing fancy certificates and such. I primarily do ‘Old English’ lettering but was requested to do a piece one time for a friend in that very Germanic ‘Fraktur’-style lettering (and no, it was not a ‘Congratulations on your graduation from SS boot kamp’ certificate or an expulsion edict).

    As an adult, I bought a wood burner and a couple of pattern books a few years back, but apart from decorating a horse-themed wood jewelry box, have really not had the time (post-Junior) to do anything else with it. I’ll probably pick it up again when Junior graduates from high school in 13 years. Similarly, I bought a glass etching kit around the same time and did one small piece and ended up putting it in storage once Junior came along. I guess I also tend to be a ‘jack of all trades but master of none’ kinda guy, and have difficulty perfecting one talent before wanting to eagerly embark on the next.

    I would like some day like to take up stained glass or fine wood carving, but to be honest that may only happen on that One Wishful Day upon retirement when I suddenly find myself with a surplus of free time on my hands (hah).

    Any serious photographers out there? Scrap bookers? Knitters/crochet-ers? Baking (any master bakers out there)? Jewelry making? Pumpkin carving? Painters? Anyone ever create artistic antique-style maps? What arts and crafts are you into?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Moving at my own pace....... Planderella's avatar
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    When I was younger, I used to get involved with a lot of artsy/craftsy stuff like knitting, stitching, rug-making etc. A few years ago, I bought a candle-making kit with the intent to start that hobby, but never took the plastic wrap off of the box. Never got the scrapbooking thing off the ground either. I like to watch these types of shows on PBS and whatnot, but I've come to realize that it's not for me to actually implement.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    I've always been a bit crafty and talented with my hands () and try various arts & crafts projects now and then.

    Currently I'm on a crocheting kick. I've made a number of amigurumi for my nephew and now am working on a baby blanket for a co-worker.

    I'd like to get more involved with stained glass. My father did a lot with it years ago before I was born and when I was young. My brother and sister got to do projects with him but he never got around to me. So, he's made up for it by taking me to some glass-working classes at Corning Museum of Glass. Those were a lot of fun and some of our things didn't turn out half bad.

    I also dabble in the world of baked goods - nothing to astounding but I can follow a recipe and ad lib here and there. This weekend I made my first King Cake of the season and it turned out quite well.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Dandy, please post your King cake recipe. I've glanced at the one in the Times-Picayune cookbook and made some meager attempts using packaged cinnamon roll mixes.

    My crafts:
    • fabric (clothing, accessories, sousaphone bell covers) since about age 8; ramped up with the need for Mardi Gras and other stage/performance wear, my membership in the Red Hat society, and the Civil War event participation
    • stained glass (took a class in 1980, immediately whipped up Christmas gifts and a couple of window pieces). Presently on hiatus (its not the time, it's the space: makes a big mess with glass shards and blobs of solder)
    • Glue gunning. This is a step up from duct tape and baling wire. I have developed this way of looking at something that needs a repair, and figuring out the best way to fix it. (In the Christmas music thread I posted a video showing the Michigan Alumni Band, and the battery lights adorning my horn are well worth the price of admission.)
    • Jewelry, a bit
    • "Crack-booking" before it took over several aisles in the fabric stores
    • Desktop publishing: resumes, marketing materials, point-of-purchase displays, tradeshow exhibits, holiday newsletter, home decor, campaign badges...
    • Crochet, knitting, other handwork. (Why don't they make the implements in a size/shape that doesn't aggravate carpal tunnel?)
    I'm sure there's more...

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    I crochet a lot. It's a good stress reliever, as long as I don't put myself under too much of a deadline/take on too much. I do a lot of blankets, and each Christmas I do stocking stuffers and some ornaments. I do some items for around the house, but since I have a lot of those type things made by other people in the family, I don't really need any more.

    I also do Swedish weaving/huck weaving, but not nearly as often as crochet. The projects I do are smaller, and so far I've only kept one. All others were gifts.

    I've done ceramics, but that was just a phase. I tried cross-stitch, but I found it very frustrating. I never learned to sew - I think I should, just because it's a very handy skill to have, and I could be my own tailor! I have one sister that sews/quilts, and the other does cross-stitch and has started embroidery.

    I have a friend who makes her living knitting and crocheting items for sale, at craft fairs, on line and special orders. I wish sometimes I could do the same, but I know I don't have the discipline to get a customer base and such. Plus, I think I'd go stir-crazy if I was in the house all day, every day.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Only females have responded thus far? Should I have included more RUGGED examples of arts & crafts like chainsaw carving or home taxidermy?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  7. #7
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Sorry another female response:

    I know how to sew*
    *limited skillz...buttons, some pant leg & skirt hems, general seam repair. I leave the expensive clothing (like bridesmaid dresses) to the professionals!

    I also like crafty little home projects, like taking a plain ugly lampshade and putting my hot glue gun to work with some pretty trim, making wall hangings...etc

    I have started oil painting, a fun hobby, I have always had some natural ability when it comes to art, so it is a fun medium to experiment with since I usually stick to drawing.

    Off-topic:
    Maister, its nice to have a female oriented thread every now and again!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Only females have responded thus far? Should I have included more RUGGED examples of arts & crafts like chainsaw carving or home taxidermy?

    I was just getting to the chainsaw!

    I have been at it about 2 years now. I have expanded to chisels and mallet for finishing.

    I also build custom furniture. Each piece is specifically designed for its use and usually has multiple features. Some which are not readily apparant!

    Also add BEER BREWING to the list as well.

    How is that for more RUGGED?
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  9. #9
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    As most of you know, i do photography at uni, so thats my art. I also dabble in a little linoprinting, which is fun too.

    In terms of craft... well i am not terribly crafty, but i can sew. My parents gave me a sewing machine for christmas, and i made bags for all the girls in my and my parents families for christmas. I am currently sewing a winter cape from a pattern i found on the Burda website, and i purchased some vintage patterns to make my race day outfit for this year (not making the hat though, im good, but i aint that good!). I often put up pics on my facebook page of clothing i sew.

    My boyfriend refers to putting stickers on things as "Getting his craft on".
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I've been doing woodturning for several years and occasionally show (and sometimes sell) at craft/art shows. I've taken classes and workshops in basic jewelry and silversmithing as well with the aim of creating mixed media objects of wood/metal/stone. Have also worked collaboratively with my wife who is a potter.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  11. #11
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I used to be much more crafty than I am nowadays but that's due to my oppressive schedule. I am hoping to rediscover some things once grad school is over. I love to cross stitch complex designs and do it well. One summer as a teenager I did a few larger pieces that were replicas of Norman Rockwell's cover art for the Saturday Evening Post and a bazillion little pieces as gifts. I am pretty handy with a sewing maching but don't make clothes-usually stuff for the house, costumes, etc. I would love to learn how to quilt as the women on my father's side were master quilters. I would also like to learn how to crochet or knit as well. I am a very good baker and candy maker already. Believe it or not I am pretty decent at woodworking-I like lathe work the best.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    My mother-in-law is a crafter extraordinaire: she makes everything from Christmas ornaments to embroidered sweatshirts to totebags (my Secret Santa victim got one of these last month). I think if she was younger and more energetic, my MIL could really make some $$$$ as a craft show vendor.

    As for me, I can barely sew on a button, failed at needlepoint and crocheting, and have difficulty drawing a straight line . I would have been a horrible farm wife! Back in middle/high school, though, I completed several paintings, two of which I have hanging up in my home, and I really enjoy photography.

    When my dog passed away last year, I decided to make a Megan scrapbook, a tribute to her and the times we had together. Because I cannot cut straight (!), I ended up producing the entire thing on the computer, combining photos with various other graphics and some narrative, and then printing and pasting the pages in a book. It came out really well. I may try that again sometime.

    I guess writing has always been my preferred "art." When I was a kid, I used to produce short stories or books that I shared with my friends and teachers. I don't do too much fiction writing anymore, but writing is definitely where I feel I can be most creative.

    Side note to Dandy: Don't forget your movie-making talent!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post

    Side note to Dandy: Don't forget your movie-making talent!
    Hee. I was going to mention that. I'm really enjoying making those shorts. Luckily my little furry movie-stars provide me with plenty of footage.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  14. #14
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I do a decent job of keeping my toenails and fingernails cleaned and manicured. That's about the full extent of my arts and crafts abilities.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Only females have responded thus far? Should I have included more RUGGED examples of arts & crafts like chainsaw carving or home taxidermy?
    Maister, no one else is interested in home taxidermy. (Anyone ever see the Jackass episode where they took a grandma to a taxidermy shop to find out how much it would cost to preserve and stuff her? Didn't think so--hilarious though)

    I've made a scrapbook or two but they were very basic. I had something I wanted to present and preserve for my husband and it was the right tool. But now I don't have anything to put in the scrapbook, so I can't get into it. I've tried knitting and crocheting but haven't had much success. I started sewing but then a move, AICP exam studying, and the holidays got in my way. If I have a creative idea I'll carry it out but I'm not "into" any specific crafts. I recently thought it would be fun to make some kind of mosaic and I might start looking into that.

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