Sunday, October 15, 2017

Learning Something New

As some of you may know, I have been doing some kind of needle work almost all my life, starting when I was about 6 years old. I have sewn my own clothes. I make quilts. I have knitted many pair of socks. I crochet all sorts of things. And I enjoy doing all of those things for the most part. However, recently I have become bored with the projects I have been working on. Yes, like many crafters, I have so many WIPs (works in progress) that I doubt I will live long enough to finish them! But, like I said, I'm bored. Let's learn something new!

For some time, I have wanted to learn a new craft. I have looked through the catalog for the local adult learning program and nothing strikes my fancy. A while back, I was reading a book and one of the characters was doing pastel painting. Eureka!

Several years ago, I tried painting with acrylics. I was not very good at it. Oh, my pictures came out looking somewhat like the step-by-step instructions, but I wasn't enjoying it. Mixing the paint resulted in mud many times instead of the nice color that I wanted. I still have those acrylics, but I doubt I'll ever try them again.

When I was inspired by that book character to think about pastels, I looked into it. I found a craft that I could try without investing too many dollars. Less than $20 would purchase a cheap set of oil pastels and a pad of paper. So, I signed into Amazon, ordered those supplies and in a couple of days I had my paints and paper and was ready to start.

My first attempt was an apple. I was going on memory instead of getting an apple and using it for reference. I think it turned out OK for a first attempt. What do you think?

Well, that is OK, but what about working from a picture? I looked online for a simple picture of my favorite flower -- iris. I gave it my best attempt and here's what happened:
It actually looks like an iris! Still, it's an amateurish painting, but it's a start. Turns out, I really do like making pictures with oil pastels. I have a lot to learn. My next attempt will be a bird, maybe a cardinal.

Learning something new is exciting. It stimulates my brain and gets my creative juices going. And now I have supplies on hand that will help me ward off the boring days of winter. Maybe I should get another pad of paper...just in case!

As always, thanks for reading my ramblings. I would love to hear from you with feedback on my newest craft.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

When did we get so lazy?

I doubt that anyone will read this post, but that's OK. I have something to get off my chest. If you are one of the unfortunates who decided to click on this post, I apologize for the rant. I hope you will forgive me.

It seems to me that there is a pervasive element taking hold in our country...or maybe our generation. I don't know which it is, but it seems to have developed since the advent of social media. Or maybe it's more apparent since we started sharing our lives on social media. The pervasive element of which I speak is laziness.

Let me provide an example. I follow a couple of "clubs" on Facebook that have a large number of in at least 10,000 people.  Both of these groups post a lot of photos. I love looking at the photos. Apparently others do, too, because instead of reading the narrative that goes along with the photo, they will post a comment asking a question that is answered in the narrative. Now, maybe I'm being too picky. OK. I guess I am being picky, but why is it so hard to read before asking questions? My parents raised me to ask questions if I don't understand something. However, they would provide guidance and expect me to find my own answers. Therefore, I grew up reading and then asking questions.

Why aren't we all taught this way of learning? I don't know. Did it start when we started plunking kids in front of the TV and took a hands-off approach to parenting? Maybe it is a result of single-parenting. No, I don't think that's it. I know too many single parents who taught their kids in ways similar to the way I was taught.

I don't know the answer to this. I'm sure that psychologists and sociologists have studied this. I don't care enough about the reasons to do my own research. I just had to blow of steam today.

Thank you for reading my rant. Now I will fade into the background, a place where I feel most comfortable. Spring is coming. Who can be grumpy when the earth is bursting to life around us?

Enjoy your day!