13 Sep Hello and welcome to those who love to make things!
As someone who identifies as part of the group of” those who love to make things”, I hope you will feel welcome here! For as long as I can remember I have also loved to make things. Left to my own devices I would sew, draw, knit, paint, and generally try to work out how what I had I front of me could be turned into the idea I had in my mind. As my sewing skills progressed I often made clothes for friends and neighbors. Once I’d learned pattern cutting I started designing clothes patterns as well. In the background I also took music lessons and sang in multiple choirs. I was also part of a group who worked with our music teacher, Jean Crook, to create an opera called the “Poisoned Apple” which used many more of my creative skills in both music and set design.
Fast forward through four years doing more music and art and learning how to teach. When I finally started teaching, it was definitely the more creative classes that I enjoyed preparing for the best – be they painting, music, or preparing for plays and assemblies when we had to create costumes and sets. Even math and reading classes would have some creative element!
It is probably no surprise then that as my daughters grew up we would frequently get out paints, markers, crayons and paper, and any craft supplies on hand, and make things whenever we had some down time. Gradually those projects expanded to include the Girl Scout troops I ran – where every girl got all her creativity badges! It also expanded to creating ideas for crafts booths for church fundraisers – putting together knitting kits for people to make, coming up with new ideas for Christmas ornaments that we could make to sell, organizing a Diocese-wide crafts fair project exchange – as well as delving into web and graphic design to help with the marketing for these events – and the choir program in which we all sang.
This sequence of growth ultimately led me to return to grad school to pursue a degree design and visual communications. Along the way I learned a huge amount about graphic design and web design, and subsequently started a freelance design business where I specialized in working with older adults who were interested in developing their passion projects in later in life, often after retiring from full time work.
Now my younger daughter and I have taken our love of designing and making things to another level, and last fall started collaborating on creating items for sale in one, then multiple, Etsy shops. We began by making dresses for little girls, and that expanded into designing our own fabrics. We knitted sweaters and cardigans, and are moving towards creating kits for others to knit. We have both tried jewelry making, but found that the market was saturated!
In amongst this growth and creativity, one final idea circled round once again. I have wanted to get back to teaching, but this time to adults, and I wanted to do so in a way that helps restore the spirit as well as occupying the hands. I wasn’t sure quite how I was going to make this happen, and then as I was working on details of a visit to see my older daughter in England, I suddenly realized that what I was trying to devise was an art retreat. I mentioned this idea to a friend, and will be offering some preliminary one day sessions near Philadelphia shortly.