Your life without a computer: what does it look like?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us WITHOUT.
Without the internet I would be crafting like a madwoman and unleashing my creativity with color – and lots of it.
When I was a young girl, I was obsessed with corn husk dolls. I had read about it in one of my mother’s Readers Digest crafting books that she would buy, only to store them in a locked closet with all her other hard cover volumes of other Readers Digest “exclusive” editions. Luckily this closet was in MY bedroom and so I occupied myself with reading all about how to make this or that, alien discoveries, ghost stories and…you guessed it, corn husk dolls.
Unfortunately I never ever got to create a single corn husk doll because when I told the cook what I needed a corn husk for, she looked at me like I was crazy. Here we were in the Philippines where all the little girls wanted these ‘Made in the USA’ Barbie dolls and “walking dolls” – which I already had inside my room, mind you – and I wanted to make my own doll. And not just any doll – but one made from something they normally threw into the pigs’ trough or simply just throw away.
So, no corn husk doll for me. Although I probably did earn the label ‘that’s the weird one’ in the servants’ quarters.
Fast forward many years later and I found myself all alone in a converted garage studio with two bags filled with craft materials I could never have afforded on my own. But because I worked for a Michaels Arts & Craft Store near the college where I went to school at nights, they allowed me to get whatever I wanted as long as I came up with something to put in the display cases. And I was off – with full license to create faux porcelain roses, floral arrangements, wreaths and Easter eggs made from colored string dipped in Mod Podge and wrapped around a balloon. It was craft heaven for me – and not a single computer or TV in sight for years! And no one to say I was weird.
Fast forward again to 2007 and I stumbled upon a notice online about a Knit in Public event at a local park. Having just moved to Long Beach from the South Bay, recently married and totally not knowing anyone in my new city, I decided to go and check it out. After all, an ex-boyfriend did teach me how to knit four years earlier. So just like I set out to meet friends on the beach when I was a new resident in Hermosa, I decided to meet new friends in my new home in whatever it is they did in this new city.
And there they were with their knitting needles, handspun yarn and spinning wheels. It was like being in crafty heaven, only the clouds were all sheep wool, alpaca and even some sparkle! And someone even brought a real live alpaca! Soon, I was obsessed with learning how to make my own yarn using drop spindles and spinning wheels, processing wool from locks all the way to its handspun yarn state, and for the next five years that’s what I did – and still do on occasion.
I learned all about where yarn comes from – from gorgeous alpaca which I spin and then knit simple caps as gifts, merino and all their different grades, to the longwools like Wensleydale which my friend Natalie Redding of Namaste Farms raises by herself and shears while wearing designer duds (much to the chagrin of clueless observers who miss her authentic passion for raising these and other animals), hand combing the locks to make sure they don’t mat together in clumps so I can create beautiful shawls or neck thingies that end up in a bin somewhere in the garage.
Unfortunately these days, while Mr. M and Little M are out painting the town whatever colors fathers and their little boys paint them in, all I think about whenever I knit or spin yarn is that I really should be writing.
Or maybe hang out on the internet.