Growing up, I ignored any interest associated with “home economics.” It wasn’t just that cooking, sewing, arts and crafts didn’t seem relevant to me, it was also that I wasn’t good at them. The only B I earned in high school was in Ceramics. An ugly, robin egg blue letter holder perches somewhere on a kitchen counter in Montana as a testiment to K’s inadequacy in this domain. An attempt to redeem myself four years later in a community ceramics class ended in similar ruin. Overcompensating, constantly fueling my analytical nature with various interests and distractions, the possibility of my hands suffocated.
Let’s be honest, most of self-epiphanies occur when we observe other people doing things that appear to work. I could use the word “influence” but really, it is peer pressure that led to my interest in creative endeavors. Living in a community during graduate school intentionally geared for interaction, creativity blossomed around me A best friend passionate about beading ignited a little stint where I collected wires, clamps and clasps and little rainbows of seeded beeds. I lavished in examples of homemade projects surrounding me, where people valued the visions of their spirits. I attended events where the guests each brought a craft project, and we left with a half dozen homemade scrubs, potholders, junk drawer organizers and scarves. Some embarked on their interests with ease, some with painstaking skill and attention. Some defied my assumptions, such as numerous examples of masculine crafting; Oxygenating a value in objects generated from one’s heart, and shaped by one’s hands. My Life was Fuller.
The week I designed this list, I spent a weekend visit with one of the priestess of creativity. She told me about Etsy, which offers people a place to be recognized and rewarded for their handmade gems. (Note: this is also the woman who informed me about Google Reader and helps me with my html, which just reconfirms the mosaic of our human interests and dismantles the notion of rigid female archetypes). The site is my new E-Bay. First of all, I believe that where we put our money is an ethical endeavor and social statement. Let’s support independent businesses. Second of all by purchasing these items I announce a vital role creativity plays in fueling my happiness. These things are unique. Don’t get me wrong, I love buying socks and soaps at Target, but digest these products with an uncomplicated savoring.
Such a fun task! It took me MONTHS of deliberation to decide upon my new lunch bag on ETSY, my interest gestating at the same rate of the growing tummy of a prego buddy. So it is with pride that I announce its arrival here. The material forgives spills (a daily diatribe for me) thus meeting my criteria for functionality, and infiltrates brain centers responsible for satiet, thus fulfilling my criteria for pleasure.
Let’s just be thankful it is ceramic.