Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The I Can't Stand Can't Rant

Enough.... I mean.... E N O U G H!!! Enough already. Really. Seriously.

I've had it up to my earlobes with people who say, "I can't." I'm wading up to my baby blues in people who say, "I wish I had your talent." Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Knock it off. I am not so very special. Granted, fine... I'll acknowledge that I do seem to have some innate talent for some things. But the real reason I can do things, and so many different things is very simple. Are you ready? Try to grasp this concept...

The reason I can do many different things is...
I try to do them.

Oh, and here's a fun little fact... I rarely succeed on the first try. I often end up with abject messes that get tossed in the circular file. I can be heard laughing like a lunatic at some of my finished product. The point is, I try to do stuff.

I've tried to get this idea across to people when they say, "I wish I could... like you do." (ugh) My response is always, "Give it a try!" Then the inevitable, "I can't." (low growl)

Oh, but you can! Indeed, you can. Here's why and how. Let's say you want to come to my house for dinner. We set up a time, we make a plan. Now for the tricky part... I give you directions. You look at the directions and think, "Oh, no problem!" You hop in your car, and head North on I-5. You glance at the directions and see that you need to head East on 522, which you do with no problem. You then exit at Rt. 9, headed North. Another exit and a couple of side streets later, you're ringing my doorbell. You followed directions. Making things is no different. Cooking, sewing, painting, it all begins with following directions. If you can follow directions, you can do it. I swear it's true. Here are a few helpful hints:

-Lower your expectations. It's not likely that you'll end up with a masterpiece the first time around. And maybe not even the second or third time. This is quite alright. Even the best artists, writers, chefs, etc. will tell you that well into their careers they came up with stuff they didn't particularly like. Even the most intelligent people have moments when they can be heard uttering, "Doh!"
-Don't be afraid to experiment. Unless you're working with toxic substances and acetylene torches, what's the worst that could happen?
-You don't have to invest a whole bunch or take an expensive class. There are these nifty buildings called libraries. They're full of "How To" books... get this... they're free! If you need supplies, only get the minimum of what you need until you decide whether or not you really like what you're doing. Look around you and see what "found objects" you can recycle into a project. One of the coolest quilts I've ever seen was made with old t-shirts.
-Make a mess. Get into what you're doing. Be tactile. Use all your senses.
-Relax! This is supposed to be fun!

As you get comfortable with what you're doing, you'll get better at it. Then you can use the option to change it up a little. You might also discover that whatever it is, isn't really what you care to do. Maybe you thought you wanted to do needlepoint, but after doing a project or two realized it just didn't yank your chain. Fine, fine, fiddle-dee-dee... quit and go on to something else.

For the sake of my sanity, I beg you, please stop saying, "I can't." I'd really like to hear you say, "Hey. That's cool! I'd like to try that!" I'd even be happy to give you directions. For free. So try something new and crafty. Take it from me, you just never know what you might discover about yourself in the process.


  1. is this rant directed at me? Because you sound like you are yelling at me. *pout* I didn't say I COULDN'T sew,I said I suck at it.
    I'm a firm believer in accepting one's faults and that is one of mine!

  2. No, I wasn't directing it at you, but your comment did put the final boil on the pot that had been brewing (really, I've been hearing those things so much lately). Because YOU are one of the most intelligent and talented people I know. I bet you could sew just fine if I stood next to you and gave you decent directions.

    I'm a firm believer in that concept too.

  3. fine. you come on over and give me directions then young lady!

  4. Oh, wouldn't that be such fun?!

    Better yet, you should ditch the fam-damily and come here for a "workshop." ;-)


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