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Speak Out With Your Geek Out #5: Hands On


When I set the goal of writing a new Speak Out With Your Geek Out post for each of the five days the project was running, my first concern was - "Do I have enough different geek interests to focus on a new one each day?" I started jotting down ideas, worried that I might not have enough discrete interests to do an entire blog post on five different geek obsessions without too much overlap.

I should have known better.

Food was an easy one, which is one of the reasons I put it first. I've always loved cooking (and eating!) History and music were also big "duhs", especially after my mom sent me an awesome snippet about her interest in local history and Dad sent me one on square dance calling. And games--other than my obvious interest in RPGs, because that's my "claim to fame" geekery... Well, when you pack as many boxes of board and card games when you're moving as you do boxes of clothes /and/ shoes put together? Yeah, that's something you should definitely consider an obsession...


dollar_bill_heartBut then, I ran into a problem. While I touched on it briefly in the history blog, I wanted to talk about my obsession with costuming, cosplay and LARP (related, but not identical topics). But I also wanted to touch on beading and jewelry making. And scribal arts (calligraphy/illumination). And crochet. And sewing. And felting. And. And.

Yeah, finding enough topics to talk about my geekdom? So not an issue.

Rather than stretch Speak Out With Your Geek Out for the entire year, I decided to take a page from my BFF, Jencina's SOWYGO post on her obsession with learning in all its variations, and look for a common thread in all these little fanaticisms...

Turns out? I'm a making geek. A hands-on, try it out, turn bits and bobs into something cool geek. Whether it's folding dollar bills into ornate shapes, spending hours turning paper and ink into pseudo-medieval scrolls, or sheep shearings into scarves, the idea of taking raw materials and making them into something "more" is just fascinating to me. I have a bit of a "I can do that!" side; in our family, we define crafts as the stuff that, if you had the right tools, you could replicate... Arts, on the other hand, are the things that you look at and go "I could have the best workshop in the world, and I'd never be able to make that!"


Nuit_SkirtMy crafting ability and interest is pretty broad, even if my artisan-fu is weak. I love trying my hand at new things, and puttering with them until I can do them passably well. In fact, I sometimes have to make a conscious decision NOT to try something new, because I know I will become obsessed with my new interest, invest hundreds of dollars into it, and then have tons of product (whether that's bath salts or bookmarks) that I don't really know what to do with. I've avoided learning how to scrapbook (one of my sister's geek-hobbies, although she'd never see it that way!) for exactly that reason! I love the idea, love the toys and tools, but I'd need an entire new room in the house just to devote to it!

Sometimes I will make things for friends, and often for gifts. I've tried dabbling in the sales-business for crafts, to profitize my obsession. I created a business called "Charmed, I'm Sure" and created earrings and wine charms out of beads which were cosigned out into a couple of craft shops when we lived in Bisbee, Arizona. Salesmanship just isn't my thing, though, and the gap between "too much for my household/friends/family to use up" and "enough to actually start selling it and recoup my investment" is usually just brought enough to keep me from getting started doing professional sales on any one craft.

Plus, by the time I've made enough to sell, I'm usually on the verge of being pulled in by my next, newest obsession!

jess_and_oak_spaghetti_hatsJess_and_Oak_Cunning_HatsAnd, as if being geeky about crafting wasn't enough, I'm also a geeky crafter. While I don't restrict myself to geek-topics for my creations, I've certainly dabbled a bit, witnessed by the crocheted "Flying Spaghetti Monster" and "Jayne's Cunning Hat" sets I made for myself and my teddy bear, Oak. I've made hats with kitty-ears for my daughter, as well, although she's loathe to model them for posterity.pairs

I also make hair falls, as well as doing the majority of my own costuming, props and accessories for the various LARP characters I play. I even designed the layout for the card prototypes for my (still in beta-play) card game, Tinker's Damn.


viking_in_armorAs well, my geek-crafting overlaps with my other geek obsessions as well, in the Venn Diagram of my life. I do the majority of my own costuming and accessory making for my interests in historical recreation, which has led me to make 14th century cotehardies, Mongol headdresses, and SCA fighting surcoats (The armor itself is the Viking's own creation - he's more than a bit of a geek-crafter himself!) I also really enjoy calligraphy and illumination, although I'm woefully out of practice!


Like most flavors of geekery, there's more to this obsession than meets the eye. Creating "things" enhances my enjoyment of my other geeky hobbies. Sometimes I make things for gifts, that helps my geeky friends (or even total strangers, in the case of scrolls and the like) enjoy their hobby more. Crafting geekiness makes the fact that I am geeky more evident, both to myself and to others. It give me a segue into talking about my obsessions with others, both those who may have similar interests and those who know nothing of my fantatic-topic.

Like Speak Out With Your Geek Out, it makes my geek world both easier to share and more positive.

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