Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Whittling away at limitations

I am not an especially crafty person--my hands are not skilled at transforming what is in my mind or in my vision to the situation in front of me. I cannot paint or draw, can only sew straight lines, and my knitting? Oy. It's wretchedly tight and irregular.

My profession demands a certain level of competency around crafting--and generally I get around it through clever applications of the Internet. (Truth-telling: I search with keywords like easy and preschool. The second grade crafts are enough to make me hyperventilate.) Thank goodness for e-hows.

One thing I've often wished I could do is whittling. The idea of taking a piece of wood and knowing JUST which bits to remove? And how to make a 3D version of any object, however delicate, into something that is wholesome and set.  A whittled flower does not wilt, and a whittled toy might be handed down to one's child and grandchild.

There are reasons, of course, that I never picked up the hobby. First, I cut myself enough just preparing dinner. And THAT involves a cutting board, and skills I've practiced for years. I'm a little afraid about my thumb's limits.

Secondly, I recall that whittling was presented to me as a very male endeavor. Everyone I knew who was learning to whittle was a Boy Scout.  Meanwhile, Girl Scouts (in my very limited experience) were expected to make a meal plan for a camping trip...which might happen in the leader's backyard. (As much as I enjoyed learning to make eggs in bacon grease, I remember more intently that we did not even get to go to a real campground that year...)

Perhaps whittling will make it on a list of future endeavors.

Step one: Get a pocket knife.
Step two: Get pockets for storing the knife.
Step three: Buy more bandages.
Step four: E-how!

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