If I don’t start my day crocheting, I make the mistake of getting out my laptop to check my email, Facebook, blogs I subscribe to and random links, and somehow I do this all at the same time. I know this happens to a lot of people; I’m not special. Before you know what hit you, you’ve learned that Christie Brinkley was self-conscious in a swimsuit when she turned 50 (this is supposed to make us women feel good) and that Scout Willis has started a Free the Nipple campaign in New York City. Am I missing the point of that? (pun intended). All very interesting, but this has done nothing to further my goal of a daily intellectual challenge and/or creative inspiration.
Feeling completely empty and mega-meh, I crochet for a bit, putting a decorative slip stitch on my latest project. If you’ve ever slip stitched on the surface of a project before, you know that it takes a little coordination and can sometimes put your hand and arm in an awkward position for what can be a long period of time. After about 30 minutes, my old wrist, thumb, elbow and shoulder were calling for mercy, so I had to give up on that for the day.
Still feeling restless and dissatisfied, I resisted the urge to see what had changed in the online world during my absence and headed for the library–the physical bricks and mortar place with lots of books and magazines that could be held and touched. After getting a further dose of fluff by reading the latest People and Vanity Fair (the Monica Lewinsky piece was actually pretty good), I discovered a magazine called American Craft and randomly selected two issues. It is published by the American Craft Council and its purpose (from their website) reads:
“American Craft is a wish book that helps creative people to see the world with fresh eyes. Its memorable stories and images inspire readers to craft a conscientious, expressive life they feel good about. The magazine celebrates the age-old human impulse to make things by hand, in order to communicate, learn, heal, and connect. Our core audience values community, sustainability, quality and authenticity.”
Suffice it to say, I am their latest fan. Love this magazine! A quick review of the two issues I grabbed:
- December 2011/January 2012. Thrilled to discover Nick Offerman featured on the cover. One of my favorite Parks and Recreation characters (Ron Swanson), Nick is a master craftsman in real life and on the show. According to the article, Offerman “…knows firsthand–as so many committed craftspeople do–the thrills, comforts, and sheer grounding power of working with one’s hands. He knows that when you learn new skills, you add to your manual, mental, and emotional toolbox. You multiply your opportunities for self-fulfillment. You learn to think in new ways. You make creative progress, and the benefits can be profound.” Wow. That pretty much sums up the experience of working with one’s hands. Of course, there were many other good articles included as well as inspiring images and updates from the world of arts and crafts. Good stuff!
- October/November 2013. This issue–“The Jewelry Issue”--featured some jewelry artists and news from the world of jewelry-making, eg, the rise of the customer as designer. For those of us whose main interest is not the world of jewelry-making, there was a feature on Isabel Allende, the prolific and talented writer, and as it turns out, artist. Allende not only designs and makes beaded jewelry, she knits, paints and dabbles in many other crafts. It was a pleasure to read about the places she finds inspiration and to see photos of her home and projects. If you are into jewelry making or adornment, this issue is full of inspiration.
Feeling refreshed, energized and excited, I took these two issues home (along with some creepy mysteries by two of my favorite authors) and, as I did throughout my childhood, looked forward to spending a humid summer day indoors with new books and magazines.
Tomorrow: Finishing my latest StorylineCreations hat after giving my arm a break, and heading back up to the library for more issues of American Craft. Can’t wait!
As always, I welcome your comments. See you on Facebook!