Sometimes it takes a year to make something

Sometimes it takes a year to make something, and you know, that’s ok.

Once upon a time, and I mean really once upon a time, in the days of my craft blog, when New York City supplied me with a 3-fare per weekday metrocard to get to and from highschool, I made myself the perfect wallet: compact, cute, and with plenty of compartments, including one for change.  This wallet served me well for a full four years, but as one would expect from something hand crafted out of fabric, eventually began to fall apart.

Approximately one year ago, In a brief burst of creative inspiration during the 3-week lull that Cornell provided between the end of classes and graduation, I thought “Aha! Let me make a new wallet.”   It had been so long since I had made the previous perfect wallet, I figured the best way to replicate it would be to take the old one apart and copy the pieces.   This I did, but as so often happens due to my habit of starting projects rather late into the night, about halfway through, I put the project down to get some rest.  It was


fine, I would finish it soon, within the week I was sure, and I had a little pouch I could use to hold my money and other essentials in the meantime.

Well, a week turned into two, and then into three, and before I knew it I was packing up my things and moving out of my college apartment, sending the project home where it would remain in a box, along with some other things, for longer than I would like to admit.  I became accustomed to my little pouch – which had just two compartments and generally forced me to take all of my cards out and shuffle through them, or dump my money on the table, in order to find anything.  Yes, I was the girl standing outside the bar shuffling through card after card in her tiny Sanrio Shinkansen (…that’s the Japanese bullet train…) pouch to find her ID.  But it was ok, because I was going to finish making that other wallet, a real wallet, soon.  Right?

Six months passed and my mother offered to buy me a wallet for Hannukah, a “grown-up” wallet, but every nice leather option was too bulky for my taste, or didn’t have a pocket for my change. But it was ok, I really was going to finish making that other wallet… I swore!

Just when it seemed hope was almost lost, a full year later, on the day my Class of 2012 Cornell comrades attended their commencement ceremony, inspiration, or perhaps desperation, struck, and I finally finished it.   And you know, it didn’t even take that long.  It’s unclear how long it will be before opening my new wallet and having easy access to the item I am looking for stops making me grin and giggle with glee.  We’ll see.

Perhaps this intense excitement over such a simple thing means the wait was worthwhile? … Perhaps not.


Making Things

sometimes I make pizza.

Recently, I have been met by the overwhelming desire to make things.   Not that this is out of the ordinary; I have always been known to be the creative sort.  I have sewn, I knit, I crafted and DIYed, I put together outfits and took pictures, I act (of course), one time I wrote a play, and another time I fancied myself funny.  However, lately it seems that the days fill up too quickly and I just can’t find the time or proper outlet to release the creativity that wiggles and worms inside me in the itchiest of ways.

I have taken to browsing the web for much yenned for inspiration.  Perusing the “small cool” spaces of apartment therapy and the mouthwatering treats laid out on the kitchn.  I admire the pretty pictures people take and the pretty meals they make, which they make in pretty houses and serve on pretty plates.   With these as my exemplars, the thought of “making something” only grows more daunting.  I can’t bake a cake like joy the baker!  Or roast a chicken like smitten kitchen!  Or imagine an incessantly clever recipe like spoon fork bacon!  (Yes I know these are all food examples… now shush you.)

sometimes I make (purse pouch) presents

And then I realized one of my favorite things about all these writers, creators, makers, whatever you’d like to call them, is that many of them write about these very doubts.  They’re embarrassed by their messy closets, they didn’t have time to clean the house, they trip on their tongues when talking to boys, or their bosses, or their no-longer possibly future bosses.  I find my brain bouncing in circles trying to reconcile Lena Dunham’s self-deprecating humor with her success (OMG I WANT TO FAIL AS GOOD AS SHE DOES?) to take one of my latest and most favorite creative examples.  How is it that these fantastically creative people share all my thoughts and feelings about inadequacy while making so many tremendous things?

I looked around my space: a space which like so many other things of late I have found incredibly dissatisfying, which in post-graduate cohabitation with my parents seems to shrink by the second, and realized that, after-all, maybe it is not so bad.  I may not have reign of a kitchen to fill with colorful plates and pans, or a living room to decorate with fancy pillows and throws, but there is something about the little space I have that could be “small and cool” in it’s own childhood meets young adulthood sort of way.  Maybe I’m not so different from all my creative mini-idols.  I reorganized

sometimes I make (almond joy!) cupcakes

a drawer and tidied up my desk (which is rapidly untidying itself as I speak) and thought maybe, just maybe, I canmake things here.

It would be much more romantic for me to start this blog (my fourth in about that many years — wait, no, it’s been five years! 5!) with some sort of resolution or declaration, like “I will make a thing a day, no matter how small” or maybe even “a thing a week,” but I think this sort of fatalistic guideline is where my previous blogs eventually crumbled and failed.  Life happens, things get in the way, but maybe now, more than ever, as little time as I may have, I need an outlet for my creativity, because if I know one thing, it’s that I am most happy when I can create.    Be it pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keys), needle to thread, oil to pan, simply taking the extra 20 seconds to pick just the right belt to go with that dress, or my favorite kind of “making,” making a character, acting a part; when I think about it, I probably do make something every day… even if I’m only making my train… or making way too many run-on-sentences.  Maybe this blog too will soon fall by the wayside with my others, but for now, I’m once again going to take my chances.

sometimes I just make (kale and white bean soup for) lunch

And tonight, I can say I made a blog!  And it’s ok that I stated up a little later than I meant to and didn’t catch up on another bad TV show.  In truth, I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while… but was really hoping I’d have “made something” more tangible (or at least had the blog “more ready”) to post with it.  Well… so be it.  Let’s see how it goes.

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