Thursday, May 27, 2010

How it all started....

I made my first pair of earrings when I was about four years old. My parents were going out for a nice dinner, and as they were ready to head out the door, I proudly presented my mother with my creations: earrings made from bright yellow twisted pipe cleaners that I'd "liberated" from my grandmother's craft basket, and wound around bobby pins. I guess I'd thought the bobby pins would clip onto my mom's earlobes? Ouch! My mom was a good sport -- not wanting to hurt my feelings, she proudly put them on and walked out the door that way. And, of course, promptly ditched them as soon as she was out of my sight.

Since then, I've drifted in and out of various crafty pursuits:

• Making greeting cards. Fun, but a little too close to my graphic design day job for me to want to regularly spend my free time doing so. After the year in which I hand-made 112 Christmas cards to send to loved ones and nearly drove myself insane in the process, screaming obscenities at my inkjet printer and getting glue and glitter all over myself, my home, and my cat, I called it quits.

• Making my own bellydance costuming, which mostly involved hot-gluing together flowery hairclips and hand-sewing various sparkly things and metal bits and bobs to bras and belts. I did OK at this, in that everything I made held together during my performances with no "wardrobe malfunctions" or sparkly bits flying off at inopportune times. But, if anyone ever looked at the underside of things I made... yikes! It's a spiderweb-like mess of uneven stitches and poorly knotted threads. At any rate, I took a break from performing due to various life and work commitments, so I don't have need for costuming at the moment anyway.

• Sewing with a machine. FAIL. Nothing more to be said about that. :) My grandmother was an excellent sewer but I never was interested in learning when she was alive. I really regret that now -- clearly, I didn't inherit her natural intuitive talent in this area!

But, I always keep coming back to jewelry. I've gone through several cycles in which I bought tons of beads, then gave them away or sold them at a yard sale, then bought them all back. This time, though, it seems to have stuck and has turned into an obsession! I opened my Etsy shop, Do Bats Eat Cats, on August 26, 2009 and I am having a blast creating gothy, Celtic, Victorian-inspired, and chainmaille jewelry.

If you're crafty, how did you get your start? Do you have an early memory of crafting? And, make me feel better about my sewing deficiency -- which of your crafting endeavors have you tried and discarded due to utter ineptitude? :)


  1. I got a similar start - I got into paper crafting after making 75 pocketfold wedding invitations by hand. It was my first real paper crafting project, and I started with that?! I remember cursing at my printer too...especially after I broke off the little plastic thing holding on the ink cartidge (flimsy piece of crap!) and had to go buy another entire printer. Epic anger day in my history :) I swore I'd never do it again, but they turned out so amazing, that I did do it again for friends and family. Then I got into scrapbooking and the rest is history!

  2. I loved the story about your first earrings. And though I'd recently acquired a sewing machine, I'm doing all the work by hand (10 hours for an embroidered felt catnip toy that'll be torn apart in a few weeks).
    But the reason we keep doing what we're doing is because we love doing it. :D Congrats on finding your first love & doing what you do best!

  3. Great start with your blog!
    My first memory of crafting is breaking the Christmas ornaments to glue the colorful glass on a Mother's Day card. Since then I moved on to jewelry, but I still break stuff.
    Don't feel bad about sewing, we can't be good at everything. I can't knit to save my live - to my grandma's dismay :D

  4. Fab first post...such a cute sweet story about the earrings for your Mom and then you made me LOL with the yelling at the printer & getting glue & glitter on the cat!!!!! I remember making potholders with these elastic fabric pieces that looked like ponytail holders and hook rugs/pillows! My Mom actually still uses one of the Christmas hook rugs I made every year when she decorates...LOL

  5. Sassy Steph -- Oh yeah, I totally forgot about my latch-hook obsession in my youth! My grandmother DID manage to teach me that skill (along with macramé -- yep, it was the '70s!) and I made some of the most hideous hook-rug pillows you've ever seen. They probably wound up in one of my mother's garage sales years ago! hahaha