I figure that a skill is something you learn and a talent is something you are born with.
Over my employed years, I developed all sorts of skills, but I still maintain that the two most practical and useful skills — ones that I learned more than a half-century ago — are sewing and typing.
At one time or another I have earned money because I was able to do each, and, as years went by, both skills became essential to fulfilling various creative urges.
My writing has always been dependent on my typing, since I think too fast to write things down by hand. I wind up not being able to read my writing. And editing?! Well, why use anything but a computer?
Tonight, I finished lining one of my crocheted bags so that I can use it as a purse. While crocheting is also one of my skills, it’s not nearly as useful as sewing. Mostly, these days, I fix clothes that I have to make them fit, taking them in, letting them out, shortening etc. depending on what I see as my style du jour.
I like to experiment combining fabric with yarn — hence my crocheted bag with a lining that includes two side pockets — one for my iphone and one for my hearing aids (odd pairing, no?)
Ultimately, improvised products like my new bag are the result of the one talent I have that I find most useful. In my closet is a denim jacket with knitting sleeves that began as a XXL woman’s denim short sleeved button-down-the-front dress that I bought for $3. I took off the sleeves, cut off the skirt part of the dress, sewed on knitted sleeves, a knitted pocket, and a ribbed jacket bottom — and now I have one-of-a-kind denim jacket.
I improvise when I cook, I improvise songs, and I’ve pretty much come to see that I improvise my life in general these days.
It will be interesting to find out how that works for me now that I have no schedule, no purpose/task, no expectations.
One indication is that I’ve joined a fitness club so that I can take water aerobics for my aching back and also use their 30 minute exercise circuit. There won’t be much chance for improvising there. I hope I don’t go and improvise a reason not go.
I am good at improvising. I don’t need patterns or anything but the most rudimentary of instructions. Give me a creative project with a useful goal and I’ll improvise a way to get there. Give me a goal, and I’ll improvise a project to get there.
Tomorrow I will have a new one-of-a-kind bag. Photo to follow.