Sunday, February 01, 2009

Projects (LBE)

You may remember me saying a couple of days ago that I was tidying up the shed in preporation for doing certain "projects" I plan on doing? Well, I'm now going to tell you about those projects. In fact, I'm also going to tell you about the other projects I'm planning on doing... Ones I can do inside...


On Wednesday my Mam and I were discussing projects we wanted to do to keep ourselves busy. She's figured out a couple for herself, and I said, "what about me?" So she asked what I wanted to do, and what I felt I could do. I told her I didn't know, but that I wanted it to be something useful, and which could lead to other projects or be built on or something.

Anyway, we eventually came up with some ideas of things I could try and see if I was able to do them well enough and enjoy them enough to make them worth continuing with. A couple of them are ones I don't really want to be doing indoors though - not because of space, but because of mess - and it's too wet here as a general rule to rely on having dry days to do them outside. Hence tidying the shed to make some space for myself.

And what are they? Well, I'll tell you. I'll let you figure out for yourself which ones I need the shed for. ;)

The first thing is making things out of clay. I've always enjoyed working with clay. I'm sure I've mentioned before about how I can make almost anything from clay if I know what it looks like well enough, have enough clay to work with, and have enough time to work on it. OK, some things I can make better than others, but that's not important. Anyway, some things made out of clay (e.g. pots, vases, etc) can be useful. Admittedly a lot of things aren't, but clay is a good thing to work with, because you can make so many different things with it. You can make nice figurines as gifts or to display in your own home. Or - as I've already mentioned - you can make useful things like pots and vases.

Another thing that I'm planning on doing - which could also be useful - is sewing. I've never been the best seamstress, but I used to do an "OK" job. My issue with sewing is threading needles, but if I get a needle threader then that problem is sorted. Anyway, I'm going to start off making simple things like cushion covers and maybe one of those make your own teddy kits and see how it goes. If I'm enjoying it enough and feel I'm doing a good enough job I may start doing something more complicated. I'd like, for example, to be able to make my own clothes. That way - if I can do it - I can avoid the issues I have when clothes shopping. You see, I'm short in the legs, long in the body, and quite round in the middle. Everything either fits me around the middle but has several inches too much leg, or is several inches too short in the body. It's annoying, it's frustrating, and it makes shopping a nightmare since finding something I like the feel of the fabric of, like the style of, and that fits is VERY difficult. So if I could just buy fabric I like the feel of and then make my own clothes it would be a lot less stressful and give me something to keep my hands busy while I listen to my stories.

I've made draw string bags and a few other things before, and the stitching on those held nicely. The draw string bag I made for my plate, bowl, cup and cutlery to go in when I went camping with Guides, for example, lasted the whole time I was in Guides (so a couple of years). It's still in one piece as far as I know... I think it's in the attick at my parents' place. And some of the peg bags I made sold at a bring and buy sale we did at Guides, so I can't have done too bad of a job on them. ;)

I also made a rag doll before... Not sure where that is now... Possibly among the toys in the spare room? Anyway, it was able to withstand being pulled about by a three year old, so it can't have been too bad. LOL!

OK, moving on...

There's also knitting. I've never been very good at knitting, but I'm going to try making some simple blankets to practice with. Then maybe I can progress to making scarves, hats, mittens and wooly socks... And maybe even a wooly jumper or two for myself? Again, something useful that will keep my hands busy while I listen to stories.

I've never made anything more complicated than a couple of little blankets, a scarf for a doll, and a wooly hat for a doll. And I never could get the hang of more than plain stitches. But it doesn't matter if it's all done in plain stitches, does it?

With the way things are going it will be cheaper to make clothes anyway. Besides, if I can make the stuff then it means that if a seam splits I can mend it instead of throwing it out. Or - at the very least - use the fabric or wool towards making something new. I'm sure my things wont be good enough to sell, but if I can just make things good enough to wear myself then it will be a great help. And maybe then my Mam will get her way and I'll start enjoying going shopping with her? LOL!


You may also remember me mentioning recently about wanting a bird table but disagreeing with the prices they're asking? If so, do you remember me saying about wanting someone to make a bird table instead? Well... I'm going to do it myself!

I know that at least some of you will be thinking things along the lines of, "but you're blind," and "what if you hurt yourself?" And so on... But I want to point a couple of things out before you get started on those thoughts.

1. Yes, I'm blind. But so is Carl (my brother). He's been blind since the age of two and has never had a problem with carpentry/woodworking. He's even used those big machines that cut metal that they have in some workshops in the past. So if he can do it, why can't I?

2. Yes, I could hurt myself... But so could a sighted person. And I haven't hurt myself so far using hammers, screw drivers, etc. That doesn't mean I wont. But - as I already said - anyone could. The guy who laid our carpet, for example, cut the tip of his thumb clean off while cutting a piece of carpet not long before doing our carpet. But if you go through life avoiding something just because you could get hurt then you'll have a boring life and there wont be much you can do. I mean, you can easily get hurt just by turning over in bed if a spring has come through the matress, or if you're closer to the edge than you think and fall out of bed or something.

So, like I said, I'm going to make my own bird table. We've got most of the tools already, and it's easy enough to get hold of some wood. So why not?

Providing the bird table is successful I'm also considering making the gate we need for the side path that leads round to the front. We have a bit of wire stuff up there right now, but we don't really want access stopped completely. We can't buy a gate because they're all either too big or too small, so one needs to be made. Nobody - apart from Carl, but he lives all the way up in Norwich - seems interested in carpentry/woodworking though, so nobody's all that eager to make it. But I'd like to. I quite like the idea of being able to build things out of wood. And perhaps my wooden items will be sturdier than the flat packed rubbish you buy in most shops nowadays? I certainly hope so!

I did consider gardening, but since I've never really had a green thumb, and since - though I enjoy being out in gardens - I've never been in the least bit keen on the year round work involved, I decided to give that one a miss. Besides, even when I could still see I never could tell the difference between weeds and flowers. LOL! So I think I'll leave the gardening to other people. I mean, it would be nice to have a herb garden, a vegetable patch, etc, but when I'm out in a garden I like to relax, listen to the birds, smell the flowers, etc... Not work. So that idea is so out the window! Mam's going to help me tidy up the garden, and Mam and Kelly will then help me keep it tidy (OK, OK, they'll do it, I'll make tea... LOL!) I'm not even going to pretend more than that will happen in our garden though.

Anyway - and this one's more something fun to do than a project, but I thought I'd add it on here anyway - Carl told me about some kits you can get where you get some little wooden tools and a block of chalk and you have to use the tools to chip away the chalk and uncover the "fossils" (not real ones, obviously) inside. I like the sound of it, but the chalk gets EVERYWHERE (or so I've been told). I'd like to get one to see if it's as fun as it sounds.

OK, I think that covers everything. If not then I'm sure I'll tell you about it at a later date. LOL!

Enjoy whatever's left of your day! :)



The Wife O Riley said...

All of those are great ideas!

I'm not worried about you Tori, you know your limitations. You don't need us to second guess you.

I'm sure what ever you create will be incredible and I can't wait to see the pictures.

By the way, I fall on the bowling lanes at least twice a year. I don't think that it's limited to just the seeing impaired. LOL!

Intense Guy said...

Sounds like you could be busy beyond belief Tori! and about the bird table - I was thinking about plastic do-it-yourself assemble ones might be neat - especially since you do kit models - perhaps a project idea in there somewhere.

And don't forget about writing the poetry... :)

Celticspirit said...

You are very ambitious! Those are all great ideas. I'd like to learn to make stuff out of wood and I was nervous thinking I could cut myself. And here you are not even afraid to give it a try. Like I said before, you inspire me.

Knitting is almost like a therapy. It's very relaxing and I'm sure you can do it. If you find it difficult then try crocheting. It's easier to pick up lost stitches than it is in knitting.

Good luck!

MarmiteToasty said...

Oh such great ideas :) - I wish I lived near, I would LOVE to be able to teach you and guide you with the knitting its one of my passions....

The pottery sounds super, my sister is a potter of amazing greatness.... unusual things that are individual beauties.... something Ive wanted to do for like forever is enroll on a pottery course at the college, but as usual life and time stands in my way...

Just dont get mixed up and do the sewing in the shed and the clay and pottery in the house LOL

Happy Sunday dear you.....


Tori_z said...

Thanks. :)

Will get Mam or Kelly to take pictures when I finish stuff. Don't know how long it will be, but whenever it is I promise to share. :)

And, glad it's not just me who falls when bowling. LOL!

Those kits (both the plastic and wooden ones) are among the bird tables I was moaning about the price of. They are ridiculously priced, just because someone already cut the plastic or wood for you.

I wont forget the writing. I'm actually hoping that doing all these projects will allow my mind to work better. I find I get inspired more if I'm busy. So maybe keeping busy with all these other projects will inspire me to work on my writing properly? That's my hope anyway. :)

The way I see it is, you don't know if you can do it until you try. And why avoid trying just in case you either fail or "might" hurt yourself? I mean, if you avoid everything you might hurt yourself doing then you wouldn't get much done. You could cut yourself with a kitchen knife. But people still chop vegetables and use knives when they eat. You could burn yourself on the hot tap, but people still enjoy hot baths and hot showers. You can hurt yourself on almost everything, so there's no point living in fear of cuts and bruises. OK, some things that could cause you to get hurt are best avoided... Like running in front of moving cars, plunging your hand in to a blazing fire, etc. But certain things hold such a small risk of you getting hurt that they aren't worth avoiding. So, if you want to try, then try. Don't avoid it just in case you get cut. Just do it and avoid your fingers when trying to hammer nails in or cut wood. ;)

Well, if you come for a visit then you can maybe show me then? :)

You don't need to go on a class to do the basics. To get really good... Good enough so you can sell your stuff and all that, then yeah you do. But to do stuff just for yourself or as little pressies for family and friends then you can get away with not going and just get yourself a potters' wheel and some clay. Then use your imagination. That's what I'm going to be doing. I suppose I could go on a class if I really wanted to, but it's not worth it. By the time everything was arranged in the way the people in charge of the classes decide is suitable for me the class would be nearly over. Besides, I don't plan on selling anything I make. I'm planning on having the stuff either just for myself or - if I manage to make anything good enough - for pressies for family and friends.

LOL! Doing the sewing in the shed wouldn't be a huge issue (though the stuff would need a wash afterwards, I expect). But I'm with you on the pottery part. Don't want clay all over the table or anything like that... That stuff's murder to clean up if it has a chance to dry before you realise it's there! ;)

whimsical brainpan said...

Pottery and working with clay is so much fun! I was never able to manage to work with a potters wheel though. I think you'll enjoy it.

Good luck with the sewing! My talent only goes as far as attaching buttons and darning socks (which is odd because my Mom and my sister are both very good at sewing).

I also wish you luck with the knitting. I hear once you get the hang of it, it is a lot of fun.

Good for you for doing the bird table! I would never expect you to let your "disability" stop you from doing anything that you want to. It's one of the reasons I admire you so much.

I'm with you on the lack of a green thumb thing. I am a serial killer of plants.

And the fossil thing does sound fun!

ChicagoLady said...

I imagine working with the clay will be very successful, since so much of it is touch and feel, not necessarily seeing.

Good luck with all the projects you want to start. Hopefully they will keep the creative juices flowing for other things.

LadyStyx said...

Cant wait to see pictures of some of your projects!

Punkn said...

Those are some great ideas, Tori. Do you have to have a kiln for the pottery? My son, Greg, excelled in his pottery class in high school. Some of my most treasured pieces are things that he made.
It sure sounds like you are going to be one busy lady. I can't wait to see pictures of your projects.

ChicagoLady said...

I just read about London getting a bunch of snow. Did you get any???

Tori_z said...

Thanks Chicago, Styxie and Punkn. :)

You don't "have to" use a kiln. I've done pottery before using nothing but air to dry the stuff and then using varnish and such on it afterwards. There's also the option of using a tray you wont be cooking food on and baking the items in the oven.

Yup... See today's post (I just finished it). :)

AliceKay said...

Lots and lots of projects there, Tori. Good luck with them, and have some fun while you're at it.

Tori_z said...

Thanks... I'm wanting to try out a load of different things that can lead to other projects, if you know what I mean. That way I can figure out what I can still do properly, and decide what I enjoy doing most, since I now need to re discover that information.