Making Stuff is Awesome

It’s Thursday and I’m Crafting my Life! May’s theme is recognizing our innate awesomeness. Because we are awesome. Last week I wrote about how moms are awesome, and this week I’m talking about how making stuff is awesome. Read on, because I promise it will be, um, awesome.

When I need grounding, I make something with my hands. It’s my way of re-focusing my mind, and reminding myself that I can accomplish something. When I’ve knitted, sewed or baked something, I’ve created something tangible that I can hold as a memento of my awesomeness. Plus, the act of creating things in this way also helps me to still my mind and stay present in the moment. It takes me out of my head and into the physical world around me.

Skirt close-up
Close-up of a skirt I made myself

The act of creating something is powerful. It’s like your statement to the universe that you are alive and you are contributing. I like making actual physical things, but that’s certainly not the only way to create. Writing can be a creative act. So can re-organizing, gardening, helping another person or even making a spreadsheet. There is power in completing tasks mindfully and with purpose, investing your whole self. It is your art, and your gift to the world. It’s the record of your life, of your impact on the world around you.

I know that not everyone is crafty. I find knitting relaxing, but I know some people find it stressful what with all the yarn and the needles and the patterns that make no sense. If knitting raises your blood pressure, then there’s no need for you to do it. But I bet that there’s something that you love to do, something that makes your heart sing and reminds you of how awesome you are. It doesn’t have to be something profound, or high-profile. It can be as simple as making a great meal for your family, or writing a fabulous thank-you note. But when you find that thing, your thing, you know it.

Up close with the dandelion fritters
Dandelion blossom fritters that I made

To be perfectly honest, I sometimes have a hard time motivating myself to make stuff. Creating can feel like just one more task on my never-ending to-do list. “Clean the kitchen, sort the kid’s clothes, buy eggs, sew a baby gift.” In that context, the last thing I want to do is sew. But then I watch my 5-year-old daughter, and feel humbled. She can barely put down her crayons and paper long enough to eat. She draws picture after picture after picture, taking great pleasure in both the process and the product. She creates things with joy, and as a matter of course. And she has no doubt about how awesome she is, or how awesome her pictures are.

Watching my children fills me with inspiration. I hope that they never stop making space to create in their life. And I hope that they never stop taking pleasure in what they’ve created. In my eyes, they are awesome, and I want them to know it. So why do I not afford myself the same respect? Why can’t I make the time to do the things I love, and that make me feel good about myself? I have no good answer, and so I make myself take the time to create. Once I get started, I can’t stop. My momentum gets rolling, and I make stuff, and it is awesome. I just need to make creating – make myself, really – a priority.

Mitten close-up
Stripey mittens that I knitted

Not every project that I make goes to plan. Sometimes there are bad words and tears. Sometimes I stab myself with pins or have to pull out 2 whole rows of knitting. That’s life. Just like anything else, creating isn’t going to be perfect all of the time. But that’s the leap of faith we take. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to try. And in the process, we learn and contribute. We improve and we grow. And maybe, if we’re lucky, we discover our awesomeness in the process. Because we are awesome.

What about you? What do you create that makes you feel awesome? Please share!

May’s Crafting my Life series is about recognizing our innate awesomeness. On the last Thursday of the month, which just happens to be the 27th, I will include a link up. To participate, write a post on this month’s theme anytime in May, or track down a post you’ve written on the subject sometime in the past, and add yourself to the list. Then read everyone else’s ideas and thoughts and be inspired! Check out the link-ups from January, February and March to get a feel for how it works.

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  1. I think I am still on a journey to discouver what it is that makes me feel awesome. I have ideas in my head of things I would like to do but forcing myself to actually DO them is the tough part.

    We really need to create more hours in the day. 24 is just not enough…how about it Amber? You’re good at creating stuff, can you create more hours for me? 🙂
    .-= Carrie´s last post ..Elephant Shoes and Olive Juice =-.

  2. I’m good at growing ideas in my head, but having them come to fruition is another struggle I have.

    This post feels like a virual hug, so thank you!

  3. Baking, sewing things I can’t believe I can sew, photographing, making up stories, digging in the dirt … I wish I could do all of them each and every day, but I’m happy if — at the end of a long day at the office and taking care of my son, and making sure the house doesn’t fall apart — I can make the time to do just one. If I can do at least one a day, it’s been a good day.
    .-= Sarah´s last post ..A table of his very own… =-.

  4. OK I admit – I make stuff and sell it. Somehow that has turned into a business so now, although I take great pleasure in making the jewelry (and get a rare buzz when I see someone wearing it!), I count making personal stuff as my true ‘me-time’ creating moment. And yes, it takes a bit of organisation to fit in a few rows of a lace pattern or another stripe on the sweater or even a few stitches on an embroidered initial ……… but it feels so good.
    I’m considering I have a fully fledged addiction – making things is like feeding the addiction and if I don’t ‘get crafty’ at least once a day I start to twitch.
    .-= pomomama aka ebbandflo´s last post ..Happy Mother’s Day =-.

  5. i LOVE making things, which probably makes sense since i went to art school and got a degree in… making things! my post over at my place today is about making my own cloth diapers, which has been my most recent project. (

    making stuff just makes me feel… good. it’s like taking time for myself.
    .-= the Grumbles´s last post ..eight months. =-.

  6. I didn’t grow up with much craftiness being modeled (and I went to Catholic school which means i didn’t even get an art class) and was so surprised to find myself loving quilting, knitting and such.

    My biggest challenge is follow through. I am great about getting psyched up and getting a project started and almost finished, but somehow my enthusiasm moves to something else right before I finish.

    I actually just opened up a bin of baby things and found a quilt that I made for my son, now 2.5, which was almost done except for the binding! I zipped it through the machine and it was done in less than 20 minutes! Why I waited three years to do that…I have no idea! lol. It’s the Gemini in me 🙂

  7. My mother trying to teach me to knit almost resulted in a cataclysmic fracture of my entire family, and I’ve never really recovered from that. I like painting things and working with paper. Framed scrapbook pages are great gifts for great-grandparents and grandparents who have lots of stuff but can’t get enough of pictures of my adorable children.
    .-= allison´s last post ..******************Wordless Wednesdays: Quiet, Stuff Growing. =-.

  8. I also get a certain amount of enjoyment out of making things with my hands. I created a painting a few years ago (ahem, paint by numbers but I still created it!) that I am very proud to display in my home. I also enjoy cooking, especially from scratch – soups, bread and most recently home made pasta. For me there is a great freedom in following instructions and executing a recipie. I also enjoy gardening and I’m not really a crafty person but I’m certainly hands on! Amber, can you link me to your dandilion fritters?

  9. Children have to observe their parents having creative interests other than them. They need to see their mother’s cultivating their inner awesomeness! Those fritters look good. I actually thought you were joking the first time you mentioned them 😉
    .-= harriet Fancott´s last post ..“Family Matters: Blogging the Parenting Experience” =-.

  10. Where are you coming up with these themes? At least this one should be a bit easier than last month. I used to craft all the time. And I was awesome. But then my hands fell apart on me and I could barely hold a needle or a paint brush and so I stopped. And then I had kids. And I REALLY stopped. I’ve been working on modifying a bread recipe for my bread machine though and I’m pretty close to figuring it out so I suppose I create bread when I want to feel awesome.
    .-= Marilyn´s last post ..Pretending it’s Summer:Wednesday of Few Words =-.

    • My themes are coming out of my own head, and my own journey. After dealing with negativity last month, I just thought this month called for something a little more upbeat. Although, I’m thinking that maybe I should have a poll or something to decide for June.

  11. Making stuff is awesome and you are an awesome stuff-maker!

  12. Those mittens look yummy enough to eat!
    .-= Lady M´s last post ..The Trouble with Numbers =-.

  13. In my country, making things is not very unusual and is probably the norm still, and not at all an activity for children only. It’s an approach, born out of necessity really. Perhaps due to the fact that we have (or used to have) fewer ready-made things, or because our national economy is poorer. It is only when I started blogging that I realized that making things is actually “crafting”, and that some people consider it almost like a special gift or skill or something to reinvent and reappropriate. Now, creating and making beautiful and unique things, that is a special gift and skill, one I wish I had. By the way, your dandelion fritters inspired me to try something similar, and as soon as it stops raining (will it ever?) I’ll send my kids out to pick flowers.
    .-= Francesca´s last post ..Away =-.

  14. Yay for making things! I’m DIY obsessed a bit so you are speaking my language with this one. Love the mittens. Wish I could knit! I’ve tried it and hated it. I guess I should say I wish I liked to knit.
    .-= AmberDusick´s last post ..Shop Update…Today! =-.

  15. Amy Kehoe says:

    Impressive!! You make pretty things!!

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