Blog: The Makers Movement

July 9, 2015

MakersMovementI have written and unwritten this post about five times. I’ve worried that you guys aren’t as into this topic as I am. I’ve worried that I won’t get my point across. I’ve worried that it will just sound like the ramblings of an overtired mom of a 7-month old baby. An overtired mom who would kill for a two-hour nap and a proper pedicure. Oh, what I wouldn’t do for a proper pedicure. In a salon. If we’re being honest, I haven’t had one since the baby was born and currently my footsies look like I’ve been playing barefoot soccer with rocks. Not cute. Amen and hallelujah for closed toe flats.

Back to the topic at hand: the makers movement. Thanks what I’m calling it, anyway. It is truly fascinating to me. I am so excited by the fact that there seems to be a huge movement toward making. A movement toward crafting. A movement toward- “why buy when I can create it myself?”

Now, I’ve been a maker since I was knee high to a grasshopper (man, I’ve always wanted to say that) and I’m sure many of you are the same way: a maker through and through. You’ve got “crafty” in your bones. You bleed glitter. But then there are those of you who are being pulled toward to idea that handmade is doable…and fun!  You are intrigued by what you can do with your own hands. You are excited by that “I made it” feeling.

For me, I am motivated to create because I absolutely love the idea that simple, raw ingredients can be combined to make really awesome and beautiful things. I love the limitless possibilities of paper and paint. I love that I can create something that has never existed before. I love that I can think of something one minute and an hour later turn it into a tangible project. I love breaking down the “making” process and sharing it with you. Those are the elements of making that get me going. Those are the things that make me want to make.

So here’s what I want to know from you…what makes you make? What motivates you? What pulls you into the makers movement? Let’s chat about it! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

 

35 thoughts on “The Makers Movement”

  1. Like you said…I have been a crafter since I was knee high to a grasshopper, too!
    My Grandmother, Mom was an amazing woman. She could do anything.
    A Kansas farm woman. She cooked amazing food. She crocheted, tatted, sewed, needle point,
    embroidery, gardening… and crafting when it wasn’t popular. She had to order from a catalog, LeeWards.
    She was amazing and I was able to inherit a fraction of her skills.
    I am a card maker and I sell my cards and donate the money to my church missions to dig
    fresh water wells in Malawi, Africa!

    1. I love hearing these stories about older generations of people who had tons of crafty know-how! They knew how to do it all! I’m so happy to see that people are getting back into the “maker state of mind.” Also – I would die to get my hands on a copy of that LeeWards catalog!! OMG – that has to be awesome.

  2. I’m the same, I love the satisfaction of having made something myself from scratch and of always being on the look out for the next project or a new skill I can learn.

    Since I’ve been blogging I also love hearing that other people have made my projects, seeing how they’ve added their own style on to them and how they’ve been inspired and them inspiring me again in turn! It’s a great big lovely circle of inspiration! x

    1. I am ALWAYS on the look out for news project possibilities – we definitely have that in common! It’s such a fun way to look at the world in a new and different way!

  3. I love the feeling of having done it myself, as well as the process of learning a new skill. I thinking making things is a form of learning that keeps you sharp and interested in life. Making things teaches you skills, tricks, etc. that you can use in other areas of life, transferable skills. It’s fun to accomplish something, have it turn out well or keep trying until it does. I just love making things.

    1. Don’t you love that feeling of accomplishment when you’ve made something. I sort of feel like a super hero when I make something awesome!

  4. My mom was an amazing maker — all my clothes, draperies, needlepoint, crewel, knitting (you’d kill for the awesome things she knit my son), etc. She did it for financial reasons. Believe or not, there was a time when it was cheaper to make than to buy. Not necessarily the case now, particularly for clothes. So, in her depression era mindset, she wanted me to get an education “so I could buy things and not have to make them.” When I graduated from law school, she told me that she could relax knowing I could always get “store bought.” UGH. Makes me cry to type this.

    Nevertheless, and despite a limited amount of creativity and skill, I love love love getting lost in the process of making. It really does relax me, and while the jury is out on whether it is cheaper than therapy, I know it is an essential part of my happiness. The hours fly by, no one is upset or unhappy, no one is sick or needing anything. It’s just me and paper and ink and sometimes the blog and whoosh, the bonus is if I can make something decent enough to actually send to someone.

    Thanks for asking. It’s a great topic. Please keep making!

    1. Joan – you should write a book or something! This is so well said! I am totally the type to go the “made from scratch” route as much as possible, even though the baby has me taking the “store bought” solution from time to time. Your mom sounds amazing and so talented. I don’t even know what “crewel” is but obviously it’s cooler than I am. And btw…you have more than a “limited amount of creativity.” You’re good, girl. Very good.

  5. THIS IS ME! Sorry to yell but this is totally me. I make my own clothes, cook only from scratch and anything I can think of! When I was little my mom used to sew for all the high society types in our little town and I loved all the beautiful gowns and suits she would create from just a piece of fabric. I could not wait to do this myself. I took every sewing class that was offered in school (I went to school when they had sewing classes) and still love creating my own clothing. I remember my mom making my sister and I the most fabulous wallets out of paper towels and masking tape, this must be where I got my love for papercrafting. Thank you for bringing all the memories back and YES I am a maker too! Would not have it any other way!

    1. If only I knew how to make my own clothing! I can sew in a straight line which helps me make plenty of pretty things but I am sending you big high fives for your sewing skills! And like you – when it comes to being a maker, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  6. I am literally knee deep in the newborn phase and it is killing me not being able to craft or create. I love crafting or being a maker because it is so much a part of me. When I started making cards I felt like I found a missing piece. It is such an outlet and I don’t feel myself when I can’t make something. I am always brainstorming or sketching something new. It is such a high for me!

    1. Sister – we are in this together! I try to steal as much time for crafting as I can but it’s definitely tough with a little one tugging at your pant leg (literally!)

  7. Thank you so much for this post!

    I, too, have noticed a resurgence in the desire for handmade items. The “Makers Movement” –as you have aptly named it–is, I believe, a human response to maintain a human component in our world, which has been largely replaced by technology. It’s an interesting topic and one that should be explored.

    From a personal perspective, I cannot identify what pushes me to create, because I have been a creator all my life. My mediums have changed, but my desire to bring beauty and personality to my world has always been a part of me.

    What is interesting for me now is the ability to combine technology with the creation process. For example, using my die cutting machine (Cricut) and software to create cards that I used to create with just paper, stamps, stickers and pens. I see this combining happening in all aspects of creative work–sewing, knitting, home decorating, gardening and home keeping–just with the free exchange of ideas on sites such as yours. It’s very exciting.

    I know you must be tired with caring for a baby, but I want to continue to encourage you to develop your ideas and share them with the world.

    God bless,
    Ritamarie

    1. What a great point! I totally agree that “making” is such a great way to embrace our “humanness.” I also love, love, love how many ways there are to combine technology and crafting. I literally use my Cricut every single day because it’s so easy and quick, and even thought I love making and crafting, I don’t always want to spend all day doing it!

  8. I come from a long line of “makers”. I think originally it started as a need (great food, clothing, inexpensive beautification of home) and turned into something that fulfills the soul. Now, it gives me a sense of pride to create for myself and others. I like to believe that others enjoy the final project and recognize that there is skill behind homemade.

    I have crafted on teams, created for publication and always make for others’ milestones. What gives me enjoyment now is to do for purpose. My mom leads a group of papercrafters that make cards to sell with the proceeds going to Belize – schools and small businesses.

    Thanks for a great topic!

  9. I grew up in the middle of nowhere. My Momma had a huge vegetable garden – she canned, froze & dehydrated veggies before it was fashionable. She made her own bar soap! Everything she prepared in the kitchen was made from scratch. She sewed all my sister’s & my clothing, the drapery, curtains & throw pillows in our home. She crocheted everything from afghans to doilies. She painted our bedrooms in cheerful lilac and robin’s egg blue. She was a force to be reckoned with! I inherited her love of hand made treasures. I try mightily to emulate her style. For Valentine’s Day I make handmade truffles & place them in handmade boxes for all my besties. I try really hard to give a handmade gift for all those milestone occasions – sometimes it is hard to keep up with though – life gets in the way. I derive so much personal satisfaction from creating something lovely & then being able to present it to a beloved friend. In my mind, it is so much more meaningful than buying something just to check it off a list. My mediums run a gauntlet- from painting, paper crafting, baking, to beading, canvas art, mosaics and furniture refurbishing. I have 5 projects in different phases right now in my studio – which I am lucky & grateful to have. I just need more time!!!!!!

    1. I love all these stories about all the inspirational people who were makers before us! They are putting my skills to shame!Your studio sounds a lot like mine – projects EVERYWHERE!!! And if you find that “more time” let me know!! I need some too!

  10. I feel that my love of crafting is due to my upbringing. My father earned a very modest income; we had no car, no phone, no TV, but we had gorgeous handmade clothing and toys, plenty of home cooked meals, and a family who encouraged sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, painting etc. I was fourteen before I had a store bought sweater, and seventeen before I ate in a restaurant. Handmade/homemade was due to necessity, but it also fostered a love of handmade – using “stuff” to make an item that gave us pleasure in the making, and pleasure to the recipient. In a few years, my husband and I plan to leave our home (with plenty of storage for my “stuff”) for a much smaller home, so I am using my supplies to make cards for our local food pantry’s clients. Those who choose food can also choose from a variety of cards, all made with paper, with no stamping except the greeting. I have not yet made a noticeable dent in my supplies, but I am having such fun trying techniques, using my supplies in unexpected ways, such as paper wreaths for the rooms of hospice patients. I will be sorry to see my paper stash all used.

    1. Wow – I love hearing about how your upbringing inspired your crafting! Sounds like you grew up in the craftiest house in America! Hopefully you can make a ton of beautiful things from your stash to pare down your supplies before the move!

  11. I’m one of those crazy people who has crafting in her blood. I get inspired by EVERYTHING and this leads me to picking up new hobbies every week. I’m serious. So far, I’ve been into polymer clay miniatures (my first love), jewelry (wire and beads), ceramic sculpting, needle felting, making dollhouse furniture (metal and wood), friendship bracelets, typography, drawing and painting (and watercolors), knitting, bookbinding, and now cardmaking and other paper crafting. It’s quite insane. My craft room is all organized into little sections for each craft. I am almost afraid to go on YouTube because I just know that when I see someone with a tutorial for something new, I’m gonna have to try it out.

    1. HAHA! I love that you have a new hobby every week. That is hilarious. This comment is going to get me into a new hobby myself, because I have been eyeing clay miniatures for a while and I love them! I’m just like you in a lot of ways – I love making anything and everything and I feel like I’ve tried every hobby in the book! Now I just make whatever I feel moved to make. Sometimes it jewelry….sometimes it’s a cool t-shirt! As long as it’s crafty, I’m in!

  12. I completely agree Amber! I am amazed and fascinated by this makers movement! I too have crafting in my blood. Reading this post and the responses has triggered some great memories for me – Thank You! When I was a child my grandmother (who worked full time) had the patience and enjoyed teaching her grandkids. She taught me to create flowers from an egg carton and also flowers from crate paper, crochet, play the piano, she let me oil paint with her (I do not have her patience – LOL ) and when I was around 11-12 she let me buy patterns and make a gown & suit for Barbie & Ken using her sewing machine. Until I started kindergarten my mother made all of mine & my sisters clothes. She baked the most delicious cakes/cookies/bread – she could bake anything. In school I took Art every year that I could (5 years) and enjoyed everything we learned.
    As a young adult I had a hot glue gun and sometimes would try to create things with my older sister – I always thought she got all the creativity. Somewhere along the way I got away from it. A few years after I married my wonderful husband I decided I wanted to make a scrapbook of our wedding. I decided to create a travel scrapbook first to get some practice. That was probably 7-8 years ago. I am making scrapbooks for my nieces & nephew to give them when they graduate from High School – still a few years away. Since then I started making cards and anything else I can create with paper. LOL Last week I finally got on board and ordered a Cricut Explore Air – what was I waiting for? WOW!
    OK – I think I got off track here somewhere… I enjoy making cards to donate to different groups who can use them and for family & friends.
    I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I am always inspired to try something new. Even if I don’t I still so enjoy reading your posts – I always come away with a smile. 🙂
    So my question back to you & others – with all these crafty attempts we make, what do we do with all the pieces & parts that didn’t quite go as planned or wasn’t everything you thought it would be? Along with my craftiness comes a problem with parting with said pieces & parts. I can’t throw away that paper that I could maybe punch small flowers out of one day. Does anyone else have this issue? or encouragement to just throw it away and go on?
    Thank you Amber for posting this great conversation!

    1. OMG – handmade outfits for Barbie & Ken! You win. That is so cute and awesome! Now, as for your question about what to do with all those crafty leftovers – I’ve actually become very good and only saving what I can use and letting the rest go. It’s so freeing to get rid of the little bits that clutter up my space. I usually keep a bag or box of “extras” and end up gifting them to friends with kids who can use them for a fun afternoon activity. I say you try and get rid of all those itty bitty extras!

        1. Thank You!!! And thank you for the feedback on what to do with all the extra parts & pieces. I am going to try to live into your advice and free myself of that!!! 🙂

  13. Hi! I’ve been a follower for quite a while now 🙂 I love your posts.
    Anyways, I love creating scrapbook pages, mini-albums, cards and altered arts.
    I’ve been a crafty soul ever since I could remember. From the time I started scrapbooking, I’m already passionate about documenting moments in my life. Oh yeah I could just put them all photos in an album but nope, I wanted to decorate, embellish them with pretty stuff first 😀 So yeah, I love that through scrapbooking, I document life in style 😀 It’s and outlet for creativity.

    Thank you for all your wonderful and inspiring projects. Keep up the awesome work.

    1. Hey Donna – so happy you joined in on our little virtual chat! I have always wanted to get better at scrapbooking. It’s such a special way to preserve memories! Photos are great, but I love when you can add all those extra little touches and even little handwritten memories about what was happening at that time. Keep scrappin’ girl!!

  14. I like to see something wonderful and say I can make that but I would create it another way a or use a color that pops. I create because I love it.I create for friends and family, I love doing it and it makes me happy. Slowly trying to start blogging my creations. But like you I literally have a little one ( Boy) tugging on my pants literally asking 7 thousand questions in a min ( 4 years old).

    Happy Creating everyone!

  15. I started making when I was young myself! My mom made me learn . . . sewing classes at 10 which I HATED (and even before that I was always working with her on something). But then in high school, something really kicked in for me. I learned to knit at 15, and it’s been make-y ever since. I am glad I learned some of those things when I was younger, because I feel like it was so easy to absorb before I got old and overthink everything. But now that I’ve been doing it so long . . . I just always do it. It’s sort of a requirement to keep me sane and happy!

  16. I totally agree with everything you said here!! I’m obsessed with making everything myself even if it’d be easier to buy. I always get so excited after I finish something and run to show my husband “Look what I just made!!!” He is never as excited as me, but I’m always so proud showing him.

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