Hello My Name is Chris and I Am…

Dear Diary,

Hello, my name is Chris and I am an alcoholic. That’s what I would say in front of a crowd of like folk if I were an alcoholic.

But I’m not.

In fact, I don’t even drink (except about twice a year to remind myself of why I don’t). I generally make such a huge fool of myself when I drink that the regrets linger far too long to make it worthwhile. But that’s a post for another day.

What I am is a craftoholic. That’s right, I have an addiction to crafting.

When I realized that my nest was empty (it wasn’t immediately apparent since all of my daughter’s non-essential stuff is still in her bedroom), I redecorated the upstairs bonus room that had been used previously as a game, slumber party, homework, and all around teenage symposium area…into my much anticipated craft room.

Having my own craft room has long been on my bucket list, but I have always had a craft area. A craftaholic has to have an area that is designated entirely to the pursuit of their addiction right? Like an alcoholic to a bar?

I’m not sure where it began. I suppose somewhere in elementary school when I was allowed to use scissors, paper, glue, and glitter with abandon. There was some deep satiation that came with creating something tangible from a vision that only before existed in my brain.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a great talent like a true artist. There are some genres of art I don’t even attempt. A great painting in my head turns into something a four year old would create whenever I have attempted it in the past. Trust me on this. I think I even messed up a paint by numbers project when I was old enough not to.

Painting, clay molding, woodworking…all of these have been attempted and after failing beyond redemption, set aside for less painful pursuits.

Writing has always been and always will be my first love. My crowning achievement is the memoir I have written. It took me 15 years to write it, and I am most proud of it. The only problem with poring heart and soul into my writing is…the end product makes me feel so exposed. So vulnerable. So breakable.

Consequently, my beloved memoir sits in our home office (also known as the “place of rare productivity”) and I pull it out when I want to take myself seriously as a writer. Which is not very often. Obviously.

So in order to appease the ever present compulsion to create, I let my right brain run free on less significant ground. Which is now in my craft room.

My craft room. The place where every little supply of so many different areas of crafting cohabitate like cherished members of an extended family. Where I have accumulated so many items (justified by being purchased on sale or clearance which is irrefutable evidence of it’s value) that if it were not for very strict guidelines of organization, might be condemned as hoarding.

Luckily, I produce just enough objet d’art to avoid the inevitable intervention that is required by most to quit their addiction.

It is a seemingly random process of when, how, and what I create when viewed from outside of my overly chatty right brain. Only I possess the very complicated key to the hidden birth place of an end product.

Confused? Let me explain.

When I was walking in the riverbed by my house as training for the Next Big Thing, I came across huge forests of bamboo. My left brain registered this as “free material” in a foot note of information, while my right brain took it as a sign from God that I must harvest some and learn how to make bamboo chimes. The end product was some  lovely bamboo chimes AFTER learning how to harvest, dry, cut, and assemble bamboo to make a “free” product that hangs outside on my patio.

Never mind the cost of building materials (bamboo saw, several different kinds of jute, fishing line, metal hanging rings, sand paper, several different colors of wood stain, etc.) of said bamboo chimes through trial and error.

Materials that now reside among all of my other supplies in…you guessed it…my craft room.

My latest craft obsession project was born out of a very sensible left brained idea to use some of the supplies I’ve had on hand for a long time to make Christmas wreaths to sell at a friends craft fair, thereby recouping my investment and hopefully (dare I?) making a surplus of funds to put toward future bucket list endeavors. Sounds like a pretty intelligent plan doesn’t it?

Whoa, not so fast.

After confirming the date and time of the craft fair, my usually fancy-free right brain went into a place of extreme insecurity. Instead of going to it’s usual place of creative joy, my right brain went to a place of overachievement, which I strongly suspect is where my left and right brains overlap.

Sooooooooooo, bottom line is that I have spent a ridiculous amount of money to use those “supplies I already had on hand”. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time second guessing any wreath making skills I may or may not possess in pleasing my imaginary customer.

Hence why I have been absent in updating you my dearest.

As proof of my wanton crafting binge…here is a sampling of what I have tangibly created from the tip of the iceberg of ideas in my mind. Especially since once untethered, my imagination is a very difficult thing to get back under control. It’s not easy being me.

Wish

gingerbread man

Christmas words

This one has mini lights…kind of hard to see…

cupcake santa

whimsy

peppermint dream 2

And so many more….

Do you think anyone will want them?

Just humor me dearest diary. I’ve got too much vested now for you to be objective.

This one I made just to see if I could with the intention of discarding it, but it took so much time to make I hung it up warts and all.

book pages

In my craft room.

Because my name is Chris and I am a craftoholic.

Until next time…

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