Opinion

The Art of Making at your library | Darcy Brixey

At four feet, eleven inches, my great-grandmother was a ball of energy that could do just about everything. Nobody could tell her she couldn’t do anything, including my great-grandfather who told her he wouldn’t make an arched entry into the dining room. He came home one day to find that she had roughed out an entry with the help of a chain saw.

To me, she’s a model of perseverance and persistence.

My mother told me that my great-grandmother could make silk from a sow’s ear. She’d buy clothing at thrift shops just to cut them up and turn them into new objects. The quilt made of men’s suit fabric samples is still a family favorite.

There is something so gratifying about creating things with our hands. Over time our jobs have become more sedentary, and often more abstract. We’ve become removed from nature and the physical world where we can see the growth and creation of our food and goods. The result is often unhappiness. There are plenty of articles in glossy women’s magazines and the shelves at the library are bursting with books on regaining that happiness. Many boil down to finding a creative activity you enjoy.

If you’d like to investigate a new hobby before you spend the time and money, try the library program offerings this fall. King County Library System is introducing a new program series called MAKE. DIY programs such as the Sept. 13th beer brewing event at the Bellevue Library, lead into other kinds of programs throughout the fall. Some events deal with hands-on creation such as building robot puppets or creating pop-up books or steampunk costumes, while others are more technology oriented like the stop-motion animation workshops, tabletop moviemaking or robotics events. There are programs for kids, teens and adults.

To find more information on these upcoming programs across the system please visit www.kcls.org/programs for a full schedule and registration information.

I think about my great-grandmother a lot when I knit. I wish that she was around to help me when I’ve jumbled up the yarn past the point of repair. She’d have fixed it with no problems at all. She was good at learning new skills and not afraid to try things. I don’t know that she’d have built a robot, you can bet that everyone would have a robot sweater.

Darcy Brixey is the teen services librarian at the Bellevue Library. She’d like to tell you she loves to read, but it’s an expectation of the job.

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