I’m one of those people who loves making things. If there’s something out there that can be constructed at home, on a small scale, I’m game for trying it out. I’ve made the usual things like clothing, costumes, and home decor–crafty stuff that everyone’s more or less tried their hand at (and I may show off some of it here on this blog).

But I’ve been known to venture further afield, too. Mr. Athena and I learned that you could make soap without being Proctor & Gamble and lo and behold…that holiday season, none of the relatives escaped without bath products. Now there’s a bunch of soapmaking equipment in our basement, since we had to take a time out because messing with lye is not something you do with small children around. It sits next to the medieval pavalino tent I made out of discounted Sunforger canvas (SCA camping also being one of those things that went into temporary hibernation due to scheduling conflicts with youth activities). I’ve tried my hand at jewelry crafting, candle making, brewing my own mead, and even elementary haberdashery (oh, the things you can do with felt, hot glue and cardboard).

Why? Because I’ve always asked myself, “Why can’t I do that?” My rationale is that somebody, somewhere, has done it, and they likely had to do it on a small scale first, before it caught on with industrial production. And if somebody, somewhere could do it, then so can I.

stone age wheelThe idea of forging my own path has always appealed to me. Yes, it’s nice to not have to reinvent the wheel, but when I’ve carved a round thing out of stone myself, I really get what wheels can do. This urge to create doesn’t always take me places where the livin’ is easy, but if nothing else, things are interesting. There’s no better way to learn how something works–and the impact it can have on your life and your worldview, than by trying it from scratch. Build it. Take it apart. Put it back together again. Change one thing and see what happens, and then change another.

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