8.04.2010

The Summer of Self Improvement -- Paper Chandeliers (Or "The Patience Edition")

This is not the paper chandelier that I made...

I may have told you this before somewhere along the way, but it bears mentioning again.

I kind of (for lack of a more elegant term) suck at DIY.

The problem isn't in the ideas -- I have loads of ideas of things I want to make (oh friends I have ideas), but I tend to fail miserably in the actual execution… It vexes me. So much so, that my lack of craft skills was one of the drivers for this “summer of self-improvement” concept, as I figured there’s no better way to overcome a “fear" of DIY than to just, well, roll up your sleeves and do some DIY. Miserable execution notwithstanding.

Stepping back, I think one of the reasons I’m so challenged in this area is that I have a serious lack of patience. Despite knowing inherently that almost all great things take time to make (i.e., a beautiful room, a Herm├Ęs bag, a homemade chocolate cake), I trend toward instant gratification. This quality has resulted in some unfortunate design choices (the ugly barstools purchased in a race to finish a particular room in our house against some self-imposed deadline) and is, as you can imagine, the kiss of death for most DIY projects.

So, what does this have to do with making paper chandeliers you ask? Well these babies take time. They’re not necessarily difficult to make, but they require patience.

Of which, as noted before, I do not have.

So needless to say, this class was hard for me. And because I’m all about making things harder than they have to be, I also decided to bring Audrey along, which was great for our mother/daughter bonding, but not so much for our end product. There’s nothing like doing a craft with a six-year old to seriously test your patience issues.

Once I let go a bit (ok a lot) and embraced the idea that this one was going to be all about the journey, since we may never actually get to our destination (we didn’t), Audrey and I ended up having a blast. I walked away with the renewed resolve to be more patient and managed to acquire some mad craft skills too -- I now possess the ability to make those (life changing) cute little tissue paper flowers (hello homemade garland and barrettes and party decorations, oh my…)

So no paper chandelier, but all was not lost and that's something.







p.s. had to add a few shots that Audrey took herself (below)...a little "through her eyes" for your viewing pleasure.

beautiful sally glass work in image above on exhibit at bows and arrows...



14 comments:

Ana Degenaar said...

I actually love that chandelier, there's something so beautiful about it... I lack a lot of patience, I wish someone would come up with a "patience" vaccine, I'd definitely have that. I find that I have to be "in the mood" for DIYing and when I'm not I really just wait until I have a better day, otherwise I get all grumpy.

LOVE your photos!
xo

howtohostess said...

I find that the 'patient' type of DIY crafts often lend themselves to being done while watching a movie. I keep some of mine in a big bowl so I can just pull it out, work on it for a bit, and then stash it away!

Erika ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

looks great - and i love the lil pink pig!

Michelle Salz-Smith said...

You described my feelings about DIY to a t. I haven't conquered the concept yet.
I do love Audrey's photos - very lovely. :)

tammy said...

great perspective on the topic! patience and enjoyment is key, and enjoyment is hard to come by when most diy is tedious. my hat's off to you for diving in with audrey and making the most of an intimidating class!

Kelly said...

This looks like so much fun! I seriously love that chandelier.

Travels in Heels said...

Fun! She did a great job taking pictures!

xo,
Sara
www.travelsinheels.blogspot.com

style'n said...

I was nodding my head in complete agreement. I love DIY projects when others do them! I am also not a very patient person..and this is a problem sometimes with my 2 1/2 year old! But what I do love it the fact that you did it and had some nice bonding time with your daughter. AND the chandelier looks amazing! And love Audrey's photography!
naina

the chirpy bird said...

I LOVE home made chandeliers! Perfect for the holiday season! After all the effort you put into making it, it would be nice to be able to keep it around for a while!
xo tash

Pixie said...

Yay! I'm not the only one. I too have ideas, a plethora of wonderful ideas. And I too fail miserably at the execution. Thus I have two plastic under bed bins full of glues, fabric, papers, glitter, paint and heaven knows what else.

ptkate said...

I so relate to your DIY angst...I am all about the ideas and definitely lag in execution. So many supplies acquired! So little actually done! Thanks for reminding me that it is all about the journey...for myself and for my kids...

sd said...

Josyln, you were sooooo patient! You managed a water spill, making shared decisions, building a complicated interpretation of folk art with grace and a smile...while carrying on a conversation with your classmates!

Handmade is hard and often takes time, lots of it. So many books, magazines, and blogs make DIY project look like a breeze with no time investment, and as you noted it just isn't so. You and Audrey were a very sweet team and made it look easy and fun:)

Joslyn said...

shannon -- you were a great teacher!!!
thanks lady!
xo

LAURA!!! said...

OH just beautiful! What a lovely blog!