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Spinoff - Handiwork

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From the time you were little or you worked to aquire a talent?


I barely passed Home Ec. Every bit of handiwork I do I've learned as an adult and I've had to truly work hard to aquire the abilities.


I've found I'm not naturally creative... It's similar to homeschooling in that I first have to duplicate, refine the skills, THEN I can be creative.


So I'm curious how many of us who do handiwork on a regular basis learned as children and retained the skills and how many learned as adults?


Soapmaking? Adult obsession.

Herbs? Lifestyle obsession.

Knitting? Only took a class because DD wanted to learn to knit. (She doesn't like it btw.)

Sewing - Learned as an adult because I wanted to make things for the kids like period costume clothing, etc.

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I love all kinds of crafts. However, as a serial crafter I rarely stick with any one medium long enough to get really good at it. :glare:


As a child I learned: hand stitching, embroidery and soap carving.

As a teen/young adult: oil painting, sketching and leather work

As a young mom: machine sewing (for kids clothes and house items), gardening, cooking/canning


Now I am trying to refine the things I do and add more creativity and follow fewer patterns. I would also like to take at least one area and develop more expertise.

Edited by Denise in Florida
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My dad helped me a lot with school projects, which gave me a basic understanding of creating stuff. We did stuff like making a huge paper mache diorama of turtles, making a two way mirror for a Hardy Boys book report, making a life-size King Tut mask, etc. I spent much of my free time in childhood teaching myself how to draw from library books.


Other than that, I've learned everything myself...how to cook (my mom was an awful cook), bake, crochet, knit, etc. Knitting and I aren't yet friends yet, though I can knit a sock now. I can just barely sew; my machine hates me. I can create with crochet, though, and make crazy things every so often. One was a set up costumes for rubber chickens for a "puppet show." It was hilarious. I even made a set of green eggs and ham once.

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I took a sewing class at age 10 and have been sewing ever since although for a while it seemed limited to costumes. Last year I decided to return to garment making with a focus on proper fit (i.e. tailored skirts as opposed to pajama pants). It has been fun!


On and off since junior high I have made pottery. I lack a wheel and kiln of my own so clay work for me requires that I register for a class. Homeschooling prevented this for a while, but I'll eventually work my way back to the studio.


My knitting skills have radically improved as an adult. Granted, I am a novice, but I can knit basic patterns and cables now.


I still own my favorite craft book from elementary school years as well as a stack of craft books from high school. Hand work has always been part of my life. Somehow it keeps me sane.



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As a child I learned basic sewing and embroidery at school, and knitting from my mum. I loved to cook but was not realyl encouraged much- I did learn some good skills at home ec though. My dad also taught me and encouraged me to garden.


As an adult I have continued to knit, taught myself sewing machine and further sewing skills (but still only basic) and I havent done much embroidery at all, yet I feel comptetent I could if I wanted to. I enjoyed it as a child. I have continued a love of cooking and a love of gardening.


As an adult I have also done pottery, learned to draw and paint, have learned herbalism and healing techniques/ natural medicine, and learned many other skills over the years such as spinning.

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I learned the basics of cooking and sewing from watching Mum, but the rest of what I've managed as an adult. I wish they'd encouraged these things more, but for some reason they didn't.


I quite understand wanting a child to clean up the kitchen after cooking, but that makes it all such a big job, it seemed too big to contemplate a lot of the time. Especially if the kitchen wasn't clean to begin with... I think Mum forgot how exhausting the cooking of a simple dish is to a novice.


I was given my own sewing machine, and Mum started teaching me, then one of the belts broke and it was never replaced. I asked her about it a few years ago and she said she hadn't realised I was interested. I thought it was too expensive and we couldn't afford it, and I knew better than to nag. I guess that time I should have nagged. ;)


One of the reasons I'm trying so hard to learn these things is so I can teach my kids. I think it is good for their self esteem to be proficient at these kinds of things. As a younger person, all my skills were the invisible sort that don't get recognition, so I always felt like I couldn't do anything.



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OK, here goes:


cross-stitch--learned as a child, haven't done it since my dds were born


crochet--dm tried to teach me, couldn't get my tension right


knitting--learned as an adult from a book


sewing--learned as a child, still sew


quilting--learned as an adult, my quilt is in storage until I have room to set up my quilting frame and finish it


needlepoint--learned as an adult, still enjoy from time to time


needle felting--learned as an adult


I only took home ec once for 6 weeks and got a "D," but I taught myself how to cook & such.:001_smile:

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My mom and grandma sewed. Momma tried to to teach me to sew and I took a summer class on it once but it was never really my thing. I always wanted to learn other crafts but never had anyone to teach me. While I was pregnant with my oldest, I worked with a woman who crocheted. She taught me how while she was knitting my baby's blanket.

Then the internet came along and it opened up a whole new world for me with crafting tutorials. I've been trying to learn everything I can since then. :D

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My current passion is knitting and as a child someone showed me how to cast on and do basic garter stitch. I made a rectangle. When I was in college I tried knitting again because I saw an afghan pattern in a magazine. My roommate knew how to knit but wasn't a "knitter," though her mom was. So she helped me with a couple things. That afghan never got finished and I didn't pick up knitting again until about 6 years ago. Actually I re-picked up crochet again, first (I'd been shown how to make a square back when I was a kid). A friend had just learned crochet and was making . . . an afghan! So I made one too. And a couple of scarves. Then it was knitting, off and on, until about 4 years ago when I became a "knitter."


I learned to sew when I was 12, but I was so bad at it that my grandmother had to rip apart my project--a blouse--and redo it. I've always owned a sewing machine, though. I still struggle with sewing probably because I don't do it very often and haven't learned techniques to make it easier.


I picked up rubber stamping as an adult. That was hard because I liked all the designs I saw but I struggled to put my own layouts together. I don't naturally "see" designs. Like the OP I have to copy and then make them my own.


Ceramics--I loved it but only had the opportunity in high school.


Cross-stitch--took that up as an adult but as much as I loved the designs I found the work too tedious.


Woodworking--required in 8th grade as Industrial Arts. I was Horrible at it! I tried it again in the early 90's when woodworking was The Thing but I was still horrible at it and got nowhere.


Currently I'm dabbling in wool dyeing with food coloring and that's fun. I think I would enjoy soap making but it's probably a bit too complicated for me right now. My house is just not set up for some of these messier endeavors.

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