Monday is a Lovely Day
Ten Tempting Treats: 2008 Version

The Quirky Crafter

Let's face it, we all do things a little bit differently, right?  Everyone has their own idiosyncrasies when it comes to getting it done.  Maybe it's because you never really learned "the right way" or because you found a better way.  Maybe it's because you're lazy or because you're a perfectionist.  Whatever the reason, I thought I'd share ten of mine.

1. I don't really use a paper trimmer that often.

I own several, but I always cut my photos with scissors.  Sometimes I'll cut patterned paper with a trimmer, but mostly I'll just eyeball it and use scissors.  The thing is, I'm not a particularly clean and linear scrapper, so messy edges just add to the energy of the layout for me.

2. Wow, I have a hard time with two-page layouts.

This is the last two-page layout I did that I liked:


I made that almost two years ago.  And it's not particularly brilliant.  For whatever reason, I have *a lot* of trouble making two pages work.  It's something that I want to work on.  I often have a lot of photos and run out of room on a 12x12 (which is when I go to a mini book), but I need to be better at the two-page spread.

3. I only learned to machine sew in 2006, and I'm mostly self-taught.

In fact, I only learned to iron because I wanted to quilt.  I love sewing, but I don't understand almost anything technical that people say to me about "blind hem stitch" and I can never figure out issues of bias and non-bias.  Blech.  Life's too short for all those rules.  I love to sew, and so I do - with my own little ways of getting it done. 

4. I don't read instructions.

Like a man, I refuse to believe that I need instructions.  Sometimes this is good and sometimes this is bad.  I always try to figure it out first and then if I'm still having trouble, I go and read all the instructions.  My reasoning behind this is actually quite sound: If I have fully examined the machine or program and can figure out how it works by myself, then it become intuitive to use.  If I learn from the instructions, it means I always need the instructions.

5. I can't work unless I have order.

Contrary to what it may look like to my husband, I need order to work efficiently.  I try to clean up between projects and really put things away.  What looks like a pile of boxes is a very clever organizational system and I do know where almost everything is.  Truth be told, I have a bit of an organizing fetish.  I'm always trying out a new system or planning a better way to organize it all.  There are many times that I pull absolutely everything out and put it all back again!

6. New technology thrills me.

I'm always ready to try out a new computer program, gadget, die cutter, machine, tool, etc.  I'm an über geek when it comes to that kind of stuff and I really enjoy the challenge of figuring it out.  I swung by Portrait Bug over the weekend, and when the owner saw how geeked out I was over the Slice, she handed one over for me to play with at home.  I had it out of the box and charging almost as soon as I walked in the door.  Love that!

7. I can't get away from story.

The art that appeals to me - theatre, visual art, music, dance - all tells a story.  I can appreciate art that exists for aesthetic reasons, but I can't really get into it unless there's a story being told.  So, it's no big surprise that when I sit down to create almost anything, it begins with story.  What's the story that I want to tell?  I'm trying to get more sophisticated about it - relying less on actual text to tell the story.  Which brings me to...

8. I'm rarely satisfied.

Once I've learned a new skill or conquered a long-term project, I immediately want to move into "what's next?"  I'm always striving to learn more, do it better, and generally improve.  I'm constantly seeking a new challenge, a new measuring stick, a new accomplishment.  I think of myself as very calm and shy and withdrawn, but the truth is that I'm pretty darn competitive and pushy - at least with myself.  I know lots of other crafters who are happy to do the same thing over and over again, but I can't stand it!  Like a shark, I need to keep moving in order to breathe.

9. I'm terrible about washing paintbrushes.

I clean my stamps.  Usually right away.  However, paint brushes tend to get dumped into a jar of water.  And then they sit in that jar of water for weeks, and occasionally even months.  I know this is not good for the brushes.  So, I always buy quality student-grade brushes - good enough to not fall apart in the water, but not so good that it matters if I ruin them.

10. I hate to waste things.

I take great satisfaction in using scraps, using leftover ink, using packaging, etc.  I keep everything!  You never know when you might need it!  It was a revolutionary moment when I figured out that I could donate supplies I no longer wanted.  Previous to that I spent a lot of time trying to make "ugly" supplies look good instead of getting rid of them.  Silly, huh?  I still have trouble throwing stuff away.  I mean, trends are circular - and everything old becomes new again!

What are your crafting quirks?