The skillsets, and how to avoid fear of them

Over the years, I’ve developed a series of hybrid crafting and building skills.  Not to the level where I could use them in hostage negotiations a la Liam Neeson, but you get my point.

From the Dream Window projects, I’ve taught myself the fine art of cutting and trimming glass, as well as using glazing techniques to install glass panels in windows.  Then from there, I’ve added the skills of sanding and staining wood, drilling wood with various drill bits, and even using diamond-tipped bits to score perfect holes in glass bottles.

Then we go to the Crate Art Projects, and now we’re talking about reassembling wood crates, installing hinges and clasps, polishing the wood with shellac and other protective compounds, etc.

And let’s not forget about the fun I’ve had with electroluminescent wire.  Two art projects – Olympic Bar and Dream Window 17: Friday Night Fish Fry – contained my first tries at assembling projects with bendable EL wire, and two projects for Competition Season 2017 – Saratoga Vichy and L-Ken’s: Saturday Night Clam Fry – show the evolution of my skills in that discipline.

But now comes the next step.  What can I learn at this juncture, and where can I go from here?

Many times in the past, I’ve thought about how to build a concept, taking an idea from my imagination and turning it into reality.  But then I run into some roadblocks.

Such as…

“Okay, now get your soldiering iron ready…”

Solder?  Um…


“The right kind of thread to use when you’re beginning a lace project is…”



“Anybody can build a quilt.  The supplies you will need are…”

Yeah.  It’s like watching your friends on their 10-speed bicycles and you haven’t even had the courage to take the training wheels off your Huffy.

And the thing is, I could probably teach myself all these skills with YouTube clips.  Heck, that’s how I learned much of my previous talents.

But even then, it’s kinda intimidating.

Then again … I’ve challenged myself in the past.  If I can put something together that will, in and of itself, bring my concepts to life – and, in doing so, have these projects go on to prizes and ribbons and money and sales – it’s like I’ve grown and nurtured eggs, which then turn into hatchlings, which then evolve into birds of their own.

So If I want to put these projects together, I’d better build a nest, and then sit my fat ass down on it and work.

Certainly I don’t need a $2,000 Husqvarna sewing machine from the craft store when I can scour Craigslist and purchase a used machine for a fraction of the price.  And certainly I can call in my friends who work in electronics to show me the fine art of soldering LED’s to a punchboard.  Yes?

The thing is … I just have to build my own confidence in this.  I have to be willing to try and to fail.  And if I fail, I have to be reticent enough to try again.

Look at Thomas Edison.  He tried and he failed, and he tried and he failed, and eventually he succeeded with the incandescent light bulb.

Look at Steve Jobs.  He tried and he failed, and he tried and he failed, and eventually he succeeded with the personal home computer.

Look at Melvin Coznofski.  He tried and he failed, and he tried and he failed, and he eventually gave up, so that’s why you’ve never heard of him. 😀

I have to try.  I have to keep trying.

It’s part of one of my biggest mantras.  Never settle for “just good enough.”

So bear with me as I try new projects, with ideas and concepts that would have scared me years ago.

And maybe years from now, I’ll look back at this point and say, “Jeez, Chuck, why were you so afraid to achieve these goals?  Man, you’re such a wuss…”

That’s nice.  My future self calling my current self a wuss.

Now I just have to give my future self the reason to be able to call me a wuss today…

Because future self is enjoying the success that present self started.

Let’s do this.