I'm a writer, but I'm also an artist/crafter. I do many things, and yes, when I choose to, I do them well. Until recently, I thought that was normal. I mean, doesn't everyone decide they want to tat, go pick up the tools and learn to tat while eating their lunch at Taco Bell? That's pretty much what I did, although I lost the tool right away (it's so danged small!)and will now have to relearn as I didn't practice :(
I crochet, I hate knitting, but I'm capable of it. I had been taught the basics 20 yrs ago and never picked it up again until my recent appearance in Antigone. I was the queen. Now, if you haven't read the play, you might think that's exciting right? Well, it's not. The queen only shows up in the beginning, with no lines (a first for me LOL) and knits. So I got the little pack that teaches knitting and learned to knit, and I had to do it without my glasses as well.
Results? I'll probably try to keep up the skill for making socks, but that's about it. I still prefer crochet! Although, I did find that the continental version wasn't as frustrating for me so that's the route I'll keep I think.
I can make friendly plastic jewelry. It's not so popular anymore, but it was a lot of fun. It's a rubbery plastic that changes color a bit as it is heated and maneuvered. you learn how to cut the pieces the right size, etc. It's one of those skills that is getting lost in today's society.
I can cross stitch, although it is time consuming and exacting. I have made two heirloom Christmas stockings to date. Let me tell you, they are intricate and beautiful. Most people who meet me don't think I have the patience nor the skill to do something like that, but I do. It's the time that kills me :P
I like to quilt, although there are parts of it I still need to learn for doing the top stitching. I need a better machine for it, is the first problem. Anyway, I definitely don't get enough time for this with my young kids. I have to focus when piecing or I cut all the wrong sizes/shapes and I am too poor to be running about spending money on more fabric simply because I mess up.
And speaking of Fabric, (really the capitalized "fabric" is how I think of fabric) I sew costumes. I am involved in so many plays through community theatre that I have taught myself how to make costumes. I have had pointers from friends along the way, but mostly it has been trial and error for me.
Like Fabric, I'm also into paper. I taught myself to scrapbook, with friends of course, so I could do my wedding album. My wedding album came out beautifully and I have a whole array of paper and tools to play with. I combined it with my stamping (as many people have) and have enjoyed myself immensely.
Then, if I haven't missed any, there is my art. I came into it late in the game and I have found the thing that makes me happiest. Painting, oil paints in particular, help to soothe my mind and release my stress. I've changed my major from political science to art because of a chance 2 credit oil pastel class I happened to take. (They only offered it 1 or 2 quarters at the community college). It's impacted my life unbelievably. I can paint in almost any style I choose to. I am best at impressionism but I tend to throw in how I feel about my subject which gives it an expressionist edge.
This lead to confidence. Confidence that I can finish hard things and learn more. Which lead to me being comfortable picking up my writing again when I lost my job. I feel the need to create in all the ways set forth here. When a particular 'mood' strikes me it is best if I follow that lead. If I try to force something else out, I usually end up with something ugh. If I don't listen to my mood or can't because of life, then I get frustrated and my stress level increases ten fold.
I've decided to make writing a career, which means I have to do it almost everyday. I have to keep learning and growing. It's more than a whim or a mood. There are days when I wish I could do all of the things I love. However, for me, if I could write and paint everyday I would get my creative edge appeased as well as the right brain satisfied.
There is so much that goes into writing that isn't about the creative process. More so than most people think. The same is true for all of the arts I listed. Most of the ones listed takes math, precision, planning and goals. You may be an artist and very good at any of the hundreds of crafts available to you, but remember, there is more to the craft, and therefore more to you, than creative moodiness :D
PS I can't wait to get back to Washington and have all my stuff back! The only thing I brought were my paints. I had shelves and shelves of paper crafting stuff and yarn and it had to be put in storage :( Happy days for me when I get back. It will be like the best Christmas ever when I get to see my things again!!