Learn, make, repeat… What making means to me

I’m a long-time listener of the A Playful Day podcast. This year, Kate rebranded her podcast and is hoping to create a community that supports makers.

The first episode of this season came with a creative challenge:

What does making mean to YOU? 

Making means a lot of things to me, so I may elaborate with future posts. But for now…

There is making with my hands…

Handspun yarn
Spindle-spun yarn from sheep fleece

And making in a less physical manner (digital design, music, writing, photography).

Succulent flowers
Succulent flowers by the pond I made with a little help from my friends… ♬

I might make something designed by someone else…

Knitting a hat
Lovely Westminster Hat pattern with Blue Sky Alpaca yarn

Or design something myself. (Or try.)

Knitted Cloud
First of a couple of failed attempts at designing a mug cozy

I may make something practical, to be worn or used…

Completed Kelso sweater
I made a flipping SHIRT! With sticks and string!

Or maybe I’ll just make something for the sake of looking pretty.

TARDIS sunset painting
Gotta love those wine & paint nights where you just go off on your own wibbly-wobbly-whim.

There’s also something about doing things the slow way that is extremely satisfying to me. Like the time I collected acorns and simmered them for a day, then roasted them for an hour.

acorns
They were alright…

Or picking and shelling pigeon peas for days…

pigeon peas
Pretty pigeon peas!

It seems that people don’t know much about how things are made anymore. Because we don’t need to make from scratch, a lot of us don’t.

Knitting seems like voodoo to some that watch me. Planting a garden and keeping it alive (not even thriving) seems like a major feat (when in reality, I probably visit my garden every other week sometimes and it seems to do quite fine without me). Seeing my friends turn flat fabric into a garment blows my mind. When I realized that I could create yarn with my own two hands from fleece, I was amazed. There is always something to learn and most crafts, even if they seem impossible, are within reach with a bit (or a lot) of practice.

Yes, making is a slow process but it is so satisfying to make something from scratch — mindfully — yourself. To know every step from raw material to end product has made me appreciate the conveniences available to me. Most of all, it teaches me patience.

Read about The Maker’s Challenge

Listen to A Playful Day: Season 1, Episode 1

Inspiring #themakersyear photos on Instagram

Some of my favorite blog posts answering what making means:

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