Pah Rum Pumpum Pum

This Christmas I was (am) very poor. To be fair, I’m one of those annoying people who doesn’t have to be poor. I work part-time from home, and home obviously doesn’t have to be one of the most expensive cities to live in. Over half of my income goes to rent; a tenth of my income goes to my ritzy yoga studio membership. Legitimately-poor people don’t get yoga memberships. But if I can’t eat it or learn from it, I can’t justify going further into debt for it, and somehow I’ve never been happier.

I wrote to my family members in November, asking for help buying the ticket home.

As you’ve probably discerned I’m low on income this season/year/lifetime(?), so I was thinking about getting craftsy this Christmas in lieu of spendy. Is there anything in particular you’d like knit (mittens! socks! pom-pom hats!), written (odes! sonnets! college entrance essays! greeting-cards!), web-design’d (headers! blogger account set-ups! social-networking presences!), radio’d (radio!), baked (pumpkin bread! cookies!), or created in some other handy fashion?

If there’s one thing I have, it’s time. And if there’s one thing I love, it’s glitter glue.

The following two months were a little intense, with their share of 5am finishing touches. But also, super awesome. Suddenly I was off the internet, catching up on episodes of This American Life and The Moth, learning how to divide heels and add stitches. I was doing things with my hands. I guess I’d kind of forgotten I had hands.

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Scarf for Jan (Larger and other view.)

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Story for Dad (Larger and other view.)

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Collage for Paige (Larger and other view.)

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Socks for Mom (Larger and other view.)

The whole experience got me thinking. A friend of mine works at the North Bennet Street School of craftmanship, and in December they were having an open house. She invited me to stop by.

And now, suddenly, I work in their gallery once a week, selling student work and supplies: the tiniest saws you’ve ever seen and a million different chisels and awls and clamps and ninety-dollar chrome rulers. The majority of the supplies we sell I’ve never seen before, couldn’t tell you how they could be used. The other day I was tittering in the back room, dusting what appeared to be decapitators while Italian opera merged from the speakers overhead with the alarming, muted buzz of wood-sanding two doors over. I’m trading my time, organizing safety goggles for a cloth-case bookbinding course in February.

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4 Comments

  1. J’adore ma echarpe (place the accent over the first “e” in your mind). Apologies to the Francophiles, if I have butchered the French.
    I wear my scarf ALL the time… always feeling wrapped in the warmth and love of those talented hands.

  2. Hi Adrianne!

    Two things – one – I am SO HAPPY you are enjoying your time organizing our funny tools.

    Two – do you want to do workstudy at the ‘ritzy yoga studio’? 10 hours/month in exchange for membership. Sign-ins, cleaning, various other tasks as needed.

    Three – those are gorgeous crafts. I hope to one day make it into your inner circle, if only for the gifts alone!

  3. This collage is proudly on display in Savannah!! Your Christmas present is still in my bedroom… I have yet to locate a post office, damnit. Don’t you worry though- it’s on my list of things to accomplish this weekend! Get excited!

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