If you have ever visited my Instagram account, you have probably noticed that in addition to crocheting I frequently delve into other arts. This year I have actively sought out as many opportunities of happiness, learning and fulfillment as I can. In fact, I ended up with a word of the year: ‘joy’. If you’ve never set a word of the year before, I recommend you try it! I don’t discuss this a lot on my social media, but as a chronically ill person who has a lot of ‘yuck’ days, finding joy has been a huge deal for me. A lot of these activities take planning and support from my friends and family, but it is so worth it, even if I need some time to recuperate afterwards!
‘All The Things’
One of the things that gives me joy is trying new things. I have tried a variety of new things in the past here and there, fun craft days with friends, and obviously crocheting, but I am now trying to seek out and try as many things as I can. Basically, All the Things. The great thing about ‘All the Things’ is that the list keeps growing. I take a quick peek on Instagram and Pinterest and see so many hobbies, interests, arts that people partake in (and so many variations!) that the sky really does seem to be the limit. Some things are ‘okay, well I’ve done this, I don’t need to again’, but I have really enjoyed every one, and find I am getting so much out of each experience. I’m also finding that skills from certain arts translate well to others as well. I’ve also been lucky to have some friends willing and ready to try some of these new things with me! 😀
Check out a smattering of the things I have tried below:
From following various designers on Instagram, I learned that often people have people testing their patterns before releasing them to Ravelry/Etsy/their blog. After some investigation, I found several Facebook groups for designers seeking testers. Through there and from posts calling for testers, I have gotten to test out a variety of clothes and amigurumi! It has been a great way to connect with other crocheters, an opportunity to use my editing skills, and learn a bit about what is involved in pattern writing (something that I am working on right now!).
A good friend of mine who also enjoys trying things found out about a company that did various workshops working with glass in the city. Due to the risk associated with molten glass, working with it requires a lot more ‘hands on’ guidance than most of the activities I’ve tried. Totally understandable though, because that glass is HOT. The instructor led us through the process of adhering coloured pieces to our molten glass on a stick, and blowing it with the right amount of power and speed. This guidance insured that everyone came away with no burns, but more importantly, with two beautiful glass balls! I’d love to try some other glass work in the future, as it is such an interesting process.
Fairy Gardens and Houses
Truth? I started my fairy garden last year. A workshop came up at a local garden store to design a mini-garden in the spring which sounded like so much fun, so I went! Since then, the fairy garden turned into a bit of a jungle, so this spring I replaced the plants and picked up some new decor (the fairy garden also has Christmas decorations, including a Christmas tree and little snowmen!). The great thing about a fairy garden is that you can change it frequently, or leave it the same. It is ever evolving!
This year I’ve also taken a liking to fairy houses, and building them out of clay. My houses started out as candle holders, the first being fairly small. Handbuilding at this time was still relatively new to me, and figuring out the limitations of clay was challenging at first. Over time I’ve learned more about building, acquired new tools and learned some new tricks, so my fairy houses are growing!
My latest project has been building a fairy house for the garden. It will have fairy lights in it, connected to a solar panel. At night the lights automatically turn on. I cannot wait for it to be finished! My favourite things about making fairy houses is that it now others who do pottery with me have started building them as well! The opportunities for creativity and expression with fairy houses is endless, so it is such fun to see what others come up with!
Pottery- Pt. 2
When I took up pottery last year, I started with simple things like throwing small bowls on the wheel and simple hand building. After about 20 little bowls, I felt like I needed to challenge myself further. Since then, I’ve been throwing bigger, and building more challenging pieces (like the fairy house above). I’ve tried slip trailing, more challenging shapes on the wheel, being able to pull thinner on my bowls, and most recently have started throwing dinner plates! This has been a HUGE challenge, because a) it’s a totally different technique for creating plates than bowls, b) it takes a lot more clay (4 lbs is definitely my limit) c) it’s easy to make your plate too thin and d) it is easy to throw it off centre. Suffice to say, I think I have 1 functional dinner plate and one ‘artistic’ plate so far!
I’ve noticed that some crocheters add embroidery to their works, which add an extra element of artistry to their pieces. After talking a bit with a designer I’ve tested for in the past, I decided to try it for myself on some crocheted Easter Eggs that I made to go with some cute seasonally appropriate bunnies. I haven’t come back to embroidery since, but I is something I would like to try more of in the future!
Still on the list….
I have an ever growing list of things that I want to do and try! Instagram has been an amazing way to find different forms of art and craft, so I explore it frequently to find new opportunities for expression. Here is an abbreviated list of some of the art projects I want to try out over the coming months. What is on your list?
- Polymer Clay sculpting
- Solar Yarn dying (Check out this tutorial from Interweave for more info)
- Felting (I already have two kits from TS Mini Bears sitting on my shelf that I am itching to try)
- Quilling Paper
- Cake Decorating
- Fused Glass