Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Crafting Butterfly"? -or- "Everything syndrome" ?

Sometimes I get really frustrated with myself when it comes to crafting. I seem to want to do (almost) everything … and everything all at once … I want to know how to do everything, and I want to be good at everything … but I think I’m destined to become a jack of all crafts, but a master of none.

I call this “everything” syndrome because it is frustrating, it feels like a illness … other people would call me a craft butterfly, which means I flit from one thing to the next. This paints a prettier image, so for sure I’d rather see myself as a butterfly rather than having a “syndrome” but why is it so frustrating? Surely butterflies aren't bothered when moving on to another flower? Whereas I get miffed at my yearning to explore another new craft before really becoming competent at the one in that moment that I am doing.

So, I have narrowed it down into a few symptoms … so other people can diagnose themselves so then it’ll make me feel better that I am not alone. Ha!

• Inspiration of all crafts, daydreaming about what you would do if you had the knowledge and skill set
Normally spurred on by being surrounded by other talented artists/crafters therefore constantly enthused.

• Stubborn-headed, obsessive and determined to pick up a particular craft.
You can't think of anything else …

• Frequently having a creative itch that needs to be scratched,
Can only be scratched by purchasing said books/supplies etc to have a go at it yourself

• Full force enthusiasm for the new project and/or technique.
Feeling fabulous, new creations, learning new things!

• But then losing patience and motivation for the new craft.
How fast does it lose your attention?
Do you lose attention because it reaches the end of our skill set / patience / tools?
Do you lose attention because you start to obsess about something else? *guilty!*

• Results in moving on to another creative hobby before you’ve explored the first thoroughly.
Flitting from one craft to another. Yes, be a butterfly!

• Accumulation of many different craft supplies for different areas of craft,
Hoarders syndrome … if you chuck it out, you will need it next week.
The need to have everything to do everything.

• Jack of all crafts, master of none (or one if you’re lucky…)

Of course it is natural that some crafts stick, others don’t. Once tried, you know if it’s for you … but do you give yourself enough time to truly figure that out? Or does something else distract you?

Making jewellery, and playing with beads of course has been my obsession for many years. I’d say, this one has really truly stuck on me. Thinking about it now, it probably has because there are many corners and media within this genre that keeps me hooked. Not only the wonderful variety of beads, but also the techniques – beadweaving, stringing, wirework etc. Most of the things I try to do know, I try to incorporate back into jewellery.

But jewellery making has taken me on to other curiosities …

Some explored, some not, some have books on the shelf, but no tools and supplies. Some have supplies and little experience, but have been limited to my own patience. The main thing I struggle with – is the distractions … outside inspiration of other crafts that make me wanna do that too! I blame the peeps on CraftPimp and Crafteroo for being so talented and encouraging!

Silversmithing / metalwork – a natural progression for anyone who dabbles making jewellery. I need to have the time, patience and money – because this one does not come cheap. I started to use precious metals in my work, I buy in components and I buy so many, that I want to learn how to make them myself to make jewellery. Critical thing here is the price of raw material. Which is off-putting in today’s market. I still want to do it though – I know where to go for courses!

Resin – mainly for use in jewellery. I have components, tools and supplies – was obsessive with the stained glass technique and once I figured out what I needed to achieve that, I felt better – I dabbled … and then got distracted …

Lampworking – Well of course, another link into jewellery making. Oooh making your own beads! Yeah baby! I went on a course with Carla Di Francesco, I have books … I have GLASS … I have a Hothead torch … but I did not have the space in our apartment to truly spend time on it. No good ventilation and what-not, would give it a go on the balcony on sunny days, but if the wind picked up, it’d be useless. I was only going to give it away/sell it all a few months back, but the OH said to me that I’d only regret it considering we will have space in our new house for me to continue to have a play.

Ceramics – again mainly for one reason and one reason only … making your own beads! I was mainly interesting in picking up porcelain, not interested in much else. So, yes, I have the books but I have no supplies. I was recommended to start with Fimo / Polymer clay so then I don't dish out money for a kiln before it’s necessary and so I’d get used to molding and sculpting. I still need to research a bit more on how to manipulate white polymer clay to give an effect of porcelain, with glazes etc and I’ll probably do that. The other side of polymer clay (the intricate canes and patterns) isn’t really for me. Inspiring as they are, I don’t use polymer clay beads as a first choice in my jewellery making… but porcelain, or faux-porcelain - yes I would.

Paper craft, (card making etc) – Not done for many years, but want to do some again. Scared of how big this one would become because one thing I know for sure, is that I love variety and the paper and the tools you get for this could become just as mahoosive as my bead stash.

Quilling – Some modern quilling things you see out there are works of art. I was sucked into this, absolutely amazed at how this previously considered “old-lady-craft” has been reinvented. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I had to get stuff in. Dabbled in small creations (again into jewellery) and want to do more, it’s just that I got distracted …

Sewing – since my machine is still destined for a service (and I also need to retrain myself on it) I am limited at the moment to hand-sewing … I’ve made lots of little fabric flowers, stitched together things to be made into brooches and necklaces (again … to incorporate into jewellery) it actually has come hand-in-hand with a ribbon obsession too … there’s no help for me is there … ?!

My OH is not a big fan of noise and distraction, so I have previously not sped up getting the sewing machine working because I know he’d hate the noise. When we move into our new house however, it will be a different story as there will be a dedicated hobby room! Roll on house move!!! I’m aching for my machine to be serviced, so I can move on to bigger projects, I’d love to be able to make curtains and cushions for my new house and have a go at upholstery. I must think in baby steps here, as again this is another craft that can spiral because there’s so many variations on techniques, tools and materials.

Embroidery – hand embroidery if anything, this fits in with the sewing of course, but of course I have it in my head to make embroidered buttons and beads. Using embroidery and/or cross-stitch techniques … something small to keep my hands busy, and small enough so a project doesn't lose my interest. Supplies I have, some important things are on order – but this craft is what I currently have on the agenda!

Stained Glass – I have books and I know where to go for courses. No tools and supplies as yet, but that’s because previously I have no space to really give it a go. It’s on my agenda for when I am in the new house. To make jewellery components, wind-chimes, artwork … I love stained glass (check out my pinterest board) and am daydreaming in becoming a worthy artist within this media. My aspirations are big but probably not realistic!

*** *** *** ***

The thing is, is that I am constantly wanting to try something new, or retrace my steps to things that I have wanted to do in the past, but not yet got round to trying.

I’m stubborn and determined, like I cannot think about anything else… BUT THEN the wind blows and sets me off sailing in a different direction!

This week's whim … I want to make embroidered buttons … the ones that I saw on craft pimp made has made me really want to have a go! I have ordered some things off Ebay and honestly my worst fear is that when I finally have everything to do it – I’ll either a) be onto something else by then or b) it’ll only entertain me for such a short time before another impulse comes along.

Do you think I’m like this because I have not yet found my true crafty passion (or maybe it is just jewellery and it's just curiosity that sets me off in other directions ... )
or do you think I’ll be like this forever?!


  1. You're doing it because, for so many of us, it's just what we do! I feel your pain as I bought the whole lampworking set-up but only managed a couple of years before my l'il one came along and that went out of the window. Then it was quilting. Or should I say buying fabric for quilting. I did manage a quilt top which has remained unfinished and un-quilted since. I'm now in my papercraft phase and have spent waaaay too much already.

  2. Sounds familiar!

    I do lots of crafts. And there are some I would love to try but stop myself.

    I made a decisions that there are things that I would do - knit, crochet etc for me and my family. And there are things which I hope I am really good at - making buttons, sewing brooches, that I make for my shop.

    There was a few long years where I did no crafts at all really. So it comes back, and the things you put away may well be used and played with again.

    Alix xx

  3. Perfect post to describe a whole world of crafters! Completely understand and sympathise - I'm still a jack too!

  4. I just found my way to your blog for the first time (via Pinterest). It looks great and, having read your last post, I can see we were obviously separated at birth! I'm glad I'm not alone...as Sheryl Crow sang 'if it makes you happy...it can't be that bad!'
    I'll definitely be stopping by again xx