Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Saturday, I went with my dad to a hardwood warehouse to get some wood for a new project he's starting. It was a dusty barn out in the middle of nowhere east Texas, next to a sawmill where piles of trees waited to be made into railroad ties.
A lot of the wood was rough and looked weathered, but from my dad's excitement I could tell the ingredients were there for something fantastic.

I love going to places like this - yarn stores, fabric stores, farmer's markets, anywhere the raw materials are available to make art. Even places that cater to skills I don't possess, like the wood barn, inspire me. They're like museums of pre-art.

the view from the balcony of the florentine yarn store
My favorite was this tiny yarn shop I stumbled into one late, cold night in Florence, where the moon hung huge and clear over the Arno and the Ponte Vecchio was packed with tourists and the walls were stuffed with more colors and textures than I'd ever seen before in such a small place. I'd just learned to knit, so I was too overwhelmed to buy anything, filling my senses instead (I still feel this way if I enter a shop without a specific project in mind).

I make things because I love taking something as raw as a length of cloth and turning it into a gorgeous dress, or, as my husband remarked in amazement, "I can't believe you made me a sweater out of nothing but two sticks and a mile-long piece of string!" The rough and weathered planks of ash we brought home Saturday have already been smoothed and planed, revealing the creamy, clean wood beneath, ready to become something altogether new.
See why Tara and others are makers over on Scoutie Girl today.

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  1. um... wow. I never really put together the mile-long string part of making a sweater. I feel a little faint now!

  2. wicked crazy, huh? doesn't it make you feel a wee bit powerful?

  3. I love this post. It is really beautifully written. I also really understand the feeling of being overwhelmed when you go somewhere without a specific project in mind. It's why I end up going to the grocery store every day.

  4. That's what I love about crafting, crocheting and just plain ol' creating things, too: taking something as innocuous as a skein of yarn and transforming it into something new entirely. Speaking of woodworking, we were doing quite a bit of that ourselves last weekend at my house -- and I definitely what you mean. Lovely post!


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