Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Question Factory

Sometimes I feel like I'm working in a question factory. Everyone is coming up to me asking what product is better, how to use this, how much of that to buy, is one enough? Would my kids enjoy this? Can I schedule I class? Do you have personal experience with this seam ripper? and ON AND ON! Sometimes the questions float around in my head and then I start to get sick in the drowning wave of questions.

I guess the store brings it on itself, however. It is so full of various crafting materials even the most experienced crafter would like to consult some sage advice on the process. I think the difference is that with an experienced crafter, the have learned the principle of experimenting. Just like a factory has a Research and Development division, so does every crafter's mind. See a new product that could be beneficial to an existing project or spur you on to a new and adventurous one. Well rather than asking questions of the person who has fewer ideas on the matter (little retail shop girl writing this), just buy it, experiment with it, and if you don't like it then chock it up to experience and tell other people about it. Sometimes I want to tell this to the customers at the store: Just experiment with it already! THAT'S HALF THE FUN OF CRAFTING!

I know my greatest triumphs have come when I've been intrigued with how something works and seeing if I could master it. For example these eyelet embroidered napkins and table cloth with serged rolled edge. While I do not hope to master this level of embroidery at this moment, I know I could learn the basics. So I bought a hoop and needles, I already had the floss from another project. I started with the wrong fabric, the wrong spacing and a horrible printed background that distracted from my work. But I learned! I now know the needles I got were too thick, but would be great for counted cross-stitch, the fabric scrap I used was not sturdy enough to use all six strands of floss. So next time, I'll use a different fabric and have better results.

These items added a spark to my fire of a new craft: Serging! I did some research, and financial conversations with my husband, and bought a serger! It's marvelous. For some reason my brain connects with this machine much more than a traditional sewing machine. I can already see how I'm going to construct something using this machine, I'm so excited to learn. Here goes the grand adventure in R&D of the Question Factory!

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