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Being a dilettante

Lately I feel like I want to learn something new, or continue learning something I've already done some of...mostly along the lines of arts and crafts. It's great that I want to do stuff and might have the energy to do stuff, because it's been a while since I felt that way. But it's also frustrating right now, because whatever part of my brain that I use to choose among various more or less equally good options seems to still be offline, so I can't make up my mind what I want to learn or where/how I want to learn it.


jewelry:
things to learn
using resin to make jewelry
wirework
enameling
chainmail
basic metalsmithing
basic soldering

places to learn
beading frenzy
baubles and beads
bay area bead extravaganza conference
beaducation.com
books and magazine articles

yarn crafts:
things to learn
nonstandard/historical/ethnic knitting techniques (knitting in two directions, twined knitting, bohus stickning)
techniques for knitting in color (fair isle, slip stitch)
incorporating beads into knitting
less common knitting stitches
fitting techniques
cable stitches and techniques
designing lace patterns

places to learn
stitches west conference
local yarn stores
web sites: knitty, ravelry, interweave
dvds, books and magazines

sewing
things to learn
embroidery machine
serger machine
long-arm quilting machine

places to learn
techshop

other stuff I think about learning/doing
lampworking
glass fusing
stained glass
wood shop machines and hand tools
ukulele, recorder, tin whistle, hand drums, singing (group and/or lessons)
logic pro (computer music software)
photoshop and other graphics software
photography

some things I keep feeling tempted to learn but have resisted so far
yarn dying, spinning
weaving
polymer clay, silver clay, glass clay
glass blowing

What do you want to learn? What are you glad you learned?

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/744599.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
gmdreia
Sep. 14th, 2011 05:14 am (UTC)
I want to learn all of those same things!!

I really want to play with ceramics and precious metal clay, too.

mjlayman
Sep. 14th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
I want to be up to do the things that are half-done and that I have things out to start.
graymalkin13
Sep. 14th, 2011 08:10 am (UTC)
I can't make up my mind what I want to learn or where/how I want to learn it.

Well, you've made a great start -- you have a lovely list, and I'm really impressed that you included the places to learn the things.

I would like to learn how to make a proper necklace out of the beads I bought 2 years ago. I think it's a learn-by-doing thing, though I also have some instructions I found online. (Finishing it with the clasp is intimidating. Everything I've done before has wire ends sticking out.)

If I didn't have CFIDS, I'd like to learn to speak and read Japanese and French; how to cook and bake; how to use a variety of artists' media; how to scuba dive; and how to play a bunch of musical instruments.

Things I'm glad I've learned in the last few years: Some basics about using colored pencils and watercolors. Some basics in Photoshop -- I can create mandalas and manipulate designs for coloring and painting. That's all I've had the energy for.
fauxklore
Sep. 14th, 2011 12:32 pm (UTC)
I find I get overwhelmed if I think too hard about all the stuff I want to learn. What works for me is to just browse class catalogs and look for shorter term workshops (1-2 days) to try things out.

In terms of crafty things, I want to learn something having to do with clay / ceramics. There are several bookbinding techniques (e.g. Thomas Ashman's metal binding) I want to learn. I want to learn more nalbinding stitches and more knitting techniques and Tunisian crochet.

My top priority on non-crafty things has to do with languages (Spanish, Hebrew, and something Asian) but that is harder because my travel schedule makes it difficult to take weekly classes. I should look into hiring a tutor.

I want to learn some physical things too - better dance and swimming techniques. I started taking dance classes again a couple of years ago after not doing so for years and I am very happy I did.

Finally, I want to learn to play the didgeridoo and the Uillean pipes. But I am reasonably sure my neighbors don't want me to :)
nellorat
Sep. 14th, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
I'd bet you can take a reasonably priced language class online, is a tutor is too expensive. However, the choice also depends on whether your emphasis is reading or conversational.
fauxklore
Sep. 15th, 2011 01:30 pm (UTC)
I suspect that it would be harder for me to discipline myself to do the work for an on-line class. Involving a physical class or another person feels like more of a commitment.

As for cost, there is actually a free language tutoring program I have heard about here. You pay a fee to enroll but get it back after some number of sessions.
fauxklore
Sep. 14th, 2011 12:35 pm (UTC)
Two more things.

1) I took a 1 day intro to glass blowing class, which I enjoyed but decided I didn't want to commit to learning more about. I find 1-2 day workshops are ideal for things that are "maybe I might want to do this."

2) If you are not familiar with Art and Soul retreats, they have a lot of great classes. I'm not sure how far you can travel, as I think the nearest to you is Portland, but it might be worth looking at, especially for metal-working and jewelry type stuff. (I did a bunch of book binding classes at Norfolk a couple of years ago.)
sarahmichigan
Sep. 14th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I learned to cook fearlessly and adapt recipes to my whims from my mother. I regret I didn't learn to sew from her, but luckily my husband knows his way around a sewing machine.

I'm glad I learned to read sheet music and had 8 years of piano and a few years of alto sax, even though I don't play any instruments anymore.

I'm glad I learned Spanish, though I've lost a fair bit of vocabulary and syntax from lack of use.

I'm glad I learned yoga.

I'd like to learn more practical skills for doing minor maintenance to the car and the house and yard.
nellorat
Sep. 14th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
In craft stuff, I tend to learn by doing and/or reading online. My mother taught me how to knit when I asked her to years ago. Sometimes I just want to make something and do it by trial and error--although I should credit my father for introducing all his children to multiple media (watercolor, clay, acrylic, paper mache) when we were as young as four.

A private instructor is great for me with yoga because I need some adaptations of some poses & the meetings also provide motivation.

Most of my "learning stuff" lately has been reading binges on a single topic.

I also am glad I learned from my mother to cook by feel and scent--although that makes it hard or impossible to pass along how I cook a specific dish.
auntysocial
Sep. 14th, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
i want to learn soldering too, both for closing jump rings in jewelry and doing tin can crafting. I'm lucky, I have a teacher right here at home, if I get around to asking him when he's not too busy doing something else.

I still want to learn how to knit socks--some time after I finish the poncho that's been almost done for 3 years.

I'm glad I learned as much as I have about Photo-shop, but I still want to learn more.
johnpalmer
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
I want to learn statistics... and re-learn my grad school math. And I want to "learn" speed-reading if I can.

I want to be able to geek bread enough to be able to move toward what I want, even if I can't do it.

I want to be able to make good, light providing candles that burn up all their wax unless used for too short a time.
(If you light a candle, and blow it out, and keep doing that, eventually, you'll create a divot, and if you're lucky, the candle will burn down into the divot - but you can also get it so the candle can't burn because it'll melt so much wax from the sides that it drowns the wick. I like making candles that, if placed in a holder, will burn down mostly-evenly, until the wick lies in a quarter-inch pool of melted wax.)

I want to be able to do that from paraffin, and maybe from other types of wax.

I want to be able to plan out a *big* dinner for a *lot* of people ("a lot of people" can be pretty small - 8, 10, are "a lot" for someone who lives alone! :-) ), and have a guess for leftovers, and have people satisfied with food quality.

I want to learn more about my body and how it works and how to make it work better.

And I want to learn how to be happy.

flarenut
Sep. 15th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
I want to spend enough time welding to actually be able to do it, not just know how in theory. Same thing about machining metal. I want to learn how to turn wood. I want to learn how to use 3D modeling software. I want to learn glasswork. And blacksmith work.

I want to learn/relearn enough french and german that I could imagine speaking them to someone other than myself. I want to learn spanish.

I want to learn/relearn enough of some programming language and development environment that I can just code something up rather than spending 95% of my time looking up the syntax or idiom for doing what I want, or figuring out stupid OS interactions like opening up a window or getting input from the user.

I used to make a good living out of being a dilettante, but that doesn't see to be so true anymore.

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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