A few months ago I blogged about a book I read called the Creative Family. Its discussion on creativity and the importance of crafting made quite the impression. Her message of steering clear of focusing on one’s mistakes resonated with the perfectionist in me. When knitting, I am quickly discouraged by my project as soon as I make one mistake (which inevitably occurs as I am new to the hobby). Instead of harping on the snag and wanting to throw the item away before it is completed, she suggested understanding the beauty and character of those mistakes. She writes, “ The work of homemade is never perfect, and that’s the beauty of it.” As a DINK (double income no kids), I have a lot of free time in the summer. This is not to make anyone jealous. I so very much want to have children but David and I have some financial goals we would like to reach before we expand our little family. So with this free time, I tend to be bored. As David can attest, I am not good at “relaxing.” Relaxing is not in my vocabulary. Yes, you can definitely find me lounging and nursing my post-school year hangover for the first two weeks of summer vacation. But by week three, I am typically stranded in a sea of free time. I want to try to avoid burning through money but I don’t want to be locked up in my house watching endless movies, so I find summer vacation to be bittersweet at times. I love to read but after so many hours of this in a single day, I need something else.
That’s where crafting comes in. I was invited to a friend's place on Tuesday to learn how to sew. Heather was beyond patient with me as she went over the Singer sewing machine set before us. I now know how to thread the needle, prepare the bobbin, and sew a "straight" line. We practiced on a little draw-string purse made from some “scrap” materials. After this thirty minute entry into the world of sewing, Heather helped me pick out some beautiful material from JP Knit & Stitch and we started to plan out a fabulous tote bag project for the afternoon. We paused for lunch at the new Clover in Brookline and by the time David was out of work, I had completed what I think is a pretty impressive tote bag. I cannot sing Heather’s praises enough. She helped me get started, she encouraged me, and she and I joked the whole time about the bag being “perfect” and how we both struggle with the perfectionist's curse/blessing. Yet, the sad part of this is that while I left her house with the sewing machine and tote, she will be leaving on Sunday for Germany. I am going to miss her and her husband, Robin, so very much. In four years, they have become such dear friends. I am just so glad to have spent such a fun, challenging, and hilarious day with the two of them right before their departure. And, that tote will always been a great reminder of our lesson, friendship, and how I need to get my bum out to Germany to visit them ASAP!