During all the long hours 'til daylight is through, There are plenty of things for my two hands to do!

Now that the children are gone*

(*see almost every previous post),

I've been thinking about what to do with the resulting gobs of free time I have on my hands. Actually, the switch to remote control parenting has not been as carefree as one might imagine -- it certainly requires more effort than changing the TV channel, and the results are less reliable.

I'm just feeling at a bit of a crossroads, now that I am no longer required to be home at any particular time of day or night. (Technically one could argue that I should require myself to be in my studio a good portion of every day, but it's the rest of my time I'm talking about.)

I could do some work in the garage (there are probably spiders.) I could catch up on 20 years of filing. I could clean out the linen closet, but I'm afraid to open it.

I suppose I could consider taking up a hobby. I am endlessly fascinated by the things that people are passionate about -- the ways they invest their time, love and money. There are so many options, the possibilities are dizzying. For instance:

Now honestly I'm a pretty creative person, but I would never have thought of that. And let's consider where cobwebs come from . . .

I could begin a collection:

Yes, I too could collect dog-shaped rocks. And even paint them to look like different breeds. But -- Hello, my name is Susan and I'm a (recovering) collector. My husband would ask your support in this recovery, I believe. (It may be related to the problem in the garage and the closets?)

And I certainly don't need to collect anything related to dogs. I spend enough time picking up dog hair.

Now if I really wanted some attention, I could collect rocks that look like religious figures, or maybe Elvis. I remember a certain guest on Johnny Carson who collected potato chips that looked like famous people. That gives me an idea:

If I got a potato chip factory, I could make my own potato chips so that I could make them look like whatever I want! The first one I would do would be Oprah. (I can think of a lot of reasons why potato-chip-Oprah would be funny. Thick-cut or thin-n-crispy, for example.) Or Brad and Angelina's twins -- Russ and I could retire. I'm pretty sure people would pay much more for those than they do for fiber art. (See 300% profit reference above.)

I could dabble in some different mediums -- for instance, sculpture:

The use of Bert's nose would make me technically call this assemblage, which I've already done a lot of. But clay would certainly be new!
(Or I could just watch old-school Sesame Street, which I already spend quite a bit of time doing).

Since I have dabbled in a whole lot of art things on the road to the thing I'm doing now, I couldn't possibly store any additional materials.

I could take up jiu jitsu,
which from reading this
I learn means
"muscle-breaking." My
muscles already feel
broken most of the time.

Or tap dancing, so
I could finally get
invited to parties
(hostesses love it!)
it makes the limbs supple
and gives a "springy" feeling of fitness
to the whole body.
Much better
than broken muscles.

I could raise giant frogs, combining fun and profit.

Is there a Giant Market for canned frog legs where you live? Because I don't think Minnesota jumped on the canned-frog-leg bandwagon. Although "A Fortune in Frogs" has nice alliteration.

I could raise miniature cacti, which I actually plan to do but only in my own front yard in New Mexico. So first I've got to retire with the potato-chip-twin windfall.

I could take up a musical instrument.

We established by about age 10 that I'm no good at piano, and I don't like to play the flute too much because when people think you're pretty good you get asked to play in church quite a bit, whether you're actually good or not. Best to keep the flute thing under wraps. But I could take up this instrument -- no one would have a use for it so I'd be safe:

I could buy women's magazines and try to make some of the stuff in them.

Wait -- I actually made some of the stuff in them, and it's impossible.

(If you've ever attempted something from a women's magazine, you may now feel vindicated.)

This sandcastle, for instance, made from glue, cardboard and sand (they're not lying about that but there are always lies in the instructions) should never be attempted by anyone. There is no occasion for which it would be worth the effort, and even though I remember the sand on the kitchen floor, I don't remember specific details of the craft miracle that accompanied its creation. I've blocked it out.

But the idea of making

wool accents sounds appealing to me. Wait a minute -- that already takes up all my free time.

Oh yes, and here's how the one you're following is coming along:

slowly, but there are four other pieces coming along with it. I've got to work like crazy to be ready, not only for Chicago, but now for Baltimore (I got in! Another craft miracle!)

The biggest miracle will be doing those two shows back to back (insomnia posts in the coming months.) I guess hobbies can actually be a lot of trouble -- well, full of the kind of joy that makes life worthwhile but also trouble -- why would anyone want to replace their children with that?


april said...

CONGRATS ON BALTIMORE!!! when is the show? and you're right, i think the celebrity potatoe chips has much higher market than canned frog legs - but i'm really not a business gal.

hey, does snacking on chocolate chips go against our diet thing? yeah, i know i need to stop that and probably coming up with an actual plan would be good (like no sugar or treats - why is that so hard to swallow?). oh and i would so be at your house right now to borrow those remington steele dvd's if i wasn't so far away.

good luck with all the crazies of preparing for these shows!!!

susan m hinckley said...

April -- The USPS can deliver Pierce Brosnan to your door (and will). As for the diet, I actually considered scanning all the empty mini-snickers wrappers from this weekend and having a blog confession, but I believe I promised only one diet post.

Jessie said...

what were your collections? I think collections can be so neat - but I can never find/afford enough of one thing to constitute a collection. I've been forever scarred by a fact I read in some elementary book - a man had a collection of eye-goop! His most exotic piece was from a camel! BARF!

april said...

that would be wonderful, susan!!!

Pam said...

Susan you are an absolute delight! So funny. Thank your for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.I will definately visit again.

Jeanie said...

On the picking up a new musical instrument note: remember what Paul's dad told him when he encouraged Paul to take accordion lessons, "You'll always be the life of the party." Something to consider.

I'm enjoying your blog. Some day maybe I'll blog myself, though I'm afraid that my life is far too boring!

Jenn said...

It was great to meet you too! Now that I see your art and can really appreciate the petite stitches and perfect nature, I understand why you were wanting your book to be perfect too. Your blog is so fun. I especially like the slide show of your work. Perhaps I'll have to look into doing something like that too.

Thanks for your enthusiasm about going forward with my classes. I hope to get started soon. Keep up the great art!


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