Growing up, particularly when we were quite young, my Mom made our clothes. When a new shelf or bench or other handy wooden-type-thing was needed, Dad or Granddaddy built it. When a lamp went bad, Mom rewired it as her father had taught her to do. So it was that I came to be one of those people who looked at ready-made items as not necessarily the only option. And just because something stopped working, or ceased to look pristine, that didn't mean it was ready to be discarded. You can refinish, rework, rewire...giving new life to an old piece is perfectly ordinary in my mind. Sometimes, when things really line up quite right, the idea even becomes a reality!
The phrase "I can make it for that," became one of my mantras. In the way that someone who knows she can create something and how much effort and materials will go into making a project a reality. Of course over the years I also learned a bit about where my limits are where certain projects are concerned. Turns out I'm not the most patient seamstress and therefore I don't always assume I want to make something rather than purchasing it. And I have more than one still-unfinished piece of furniture whose evolution was all plotted out in my brain years ago. But it's so gratifying to have the option. I think of this trait, specifically, when I talk to other like-minded people who "get" this long-nurtured default response to my questioning of whether I'll buy or make something myself.
Quite recently I was reminded of this affinity while talking to a friend who, turns out, has similar inclinations. I noticed a cast-off set of wooden shutters sitting in the corner. The shutters are not unlike two sets I hinged together after a friend didn't need them anymore; I now use them as a part of my festival booth displays. So these little shutters sitting in the floor were familiar, and yet made me curious. What was their purpose? What fun thing will evolve from that little gem? (Quite different from the question, "Why on earth do you have some old, broken down shutters sitting in your corner?") And just like my own, the purpose wasn't limited to a single idea. Maybe they'd be reworked as a small screen, or maybe they'll one day be altered to enclose some photos in an artistic frame. Doesn't matter what happens to them, really...only that the potential is recognized. The plan still needs some tweaking, but the tweaking will be a part of the creative process. And that's great too.
My thoughts turn to some recently-purchased fabric. Not for a fancy piece of clothing, but for a little shoulder bag. You won't believe the deal I got on this fabric and if I hurry while the weather's still somewhat chilly (although you might argue a different case altogether,) I can still use the dark colors before spring comes and I make the other little shoulder bags. You know...the ones I was gonna' make after Cindi and I found that fantastic deal on the spring/summer hued fabric in that great shop last spring in Atlanta. The ones I still haven't cut out yet...