I went to a Crafts and Cocktails workshop yesterday where I drank sidecars and learned how to hand pour my own scented soy candle. (Not at the same time, and also not in that order.) It was a very cozy workshop, located in Handmade Habitat‘s studio at Off the Beaten Track warehouse. I learned that candle making is both harder and easier than I thought, and it is something that I am totally capable of doing.
I’ve been getting more and more into the idea of making stuff, or at least learning how to make stuff. My best friend L and I are looking at different workshops and classes that are offered in DC where we can learn stuff like pottery and finger crocheting and hand lettering and terrarium potting. I want to learn how to create more stuff, or at least develop skills that will allow me new ways to be creative. For me, it’s strictly a fun thing, and one that I find leads to increased happiness in my life the more I make time for being creative just to be creative.
Some of the stuff I already do, like knitting or cooking or writing, falls into this subjective category of ~making things~. I can knit beanies and scarves and hats and potholders and blankets. I cook from scratch almost daily, and I derive a very specific type of joy from making an elaborate dinner for my loved ones’ enjoyment. And, of course, I write all the time, even if not all of that writing is publicly shared. Some of this costs money (knitting), some of this costs time (writing), and some of this costs both (cooking).
Isn’t that it, though? Being creative and learning new skills not only costs time but also money, and I only have so much of either at any given time. Yes, I learned how to make my own candles yesterday, and that was absolutely worthwhile in terms of both time and money. I also learned how to make my own reed diffusers a few weeks ago, thanks to some Googling and DIY-ing, which took minimal time and will save me money in the long run. Crocheting is also on my list, as I have the yarn and hooks already, so that’ll just cost me time.
Then there’s stuff like embroidery and jewelry making and sewing with a machine, all of which are rather impractical for me to learn (or relearn, for some of those skills) outside of a workshop setting because it requires tools and equipment I’m not willing to invest in on my own. I’m not about to acquire a sewing machine on a whim, nor am I going to run out and buy a soldering tool to start making my own jewelry. And while I am happy to support the independent makers and artists that are hosting a variety of workshops and classes, I need to work them in my budget before I am able to register for them. That assumes, of course, that I will have the time to go to said workshop, and that I won’t have to work that weekend or evening or that I won’t be burnt out from work in the first place.
Sigh. Maybe in 2017, I’ll have figured out the ideal balance of time, money, fun, and creativity. Wouldn’t that be the dream?