When Good Hobbies Go Bad, by Deb Eve

brownwaite_smallI’ve never been one of those committed hobbyists. What I mean is that, aside from writing (which once was a lifelong hobby and now is a job), I don’t tend to have much stick-to-it-ness when it comes to hobbies. Which may actually be a good thing because looking back at my hobby history, one might notice that my hobbies tend to get out of hand. And so while I may not be a committed hobbyist, you might say that I am a hobbyist who ought to be committed!

Let’s see, there was the time when writing was still a hobby, and I thought it would be fun to get a group of women together and write about . . . well, women stuff. And somehow from there I ended up on stage in front of a packed audience waxing poetic and humorous about (and I do quote here) “my bodacious ta-ta’s.” And that of course led to the rumor going around town that I was going to take my shirt off during the performance – and I could not, in good faith, deny that rumor. (Oh, relax … I was wearing a lovely red camisole underneath!)

And then there was the time I thought it would be fun to brush up on my rusty Spanish. So I tried to sign up for a Spanish class at the local community college. But there weren’t any classes that fit my schedule and well, Stand Up Comedy comes right after Spanish in the course catalog. And next thing you know I’m on a cable TV show, and MC’ing a fundraiser and up on stage at an open mic comedy night. But at least that time, I managed to keep my shirt on!

Then there was the one and only time I set out to sew a potholder … and ended up with a queen size quilt! And though I wish I could repeat that feat (for I do so admire and envy you quilters), I must sorrowfully report that I am no longer physically able to sew. (My sewing machine ran out of thread and I don’t know how to thread the bobbin.)

So hobbies have not always turned out well for me. But never one to give up, I have recently acquired two new hobbies. For the past few years, I’ve been dabbling in the dirt – gardening that is. And I do find that each spring my ambitions – and my garden – expand just a bit. Last summer was the most productive garden yet – which meant my family was eating kale in everything from June through November.

And I’ve been taking pottery classes for just over a year now. I’m proud to report that I have made excellent progress in this arena. I’ve progressed from making little, off-kilter bowly-things to making slightly bigger off-kilter bowly things (along with the occasional accidental olive plate). And you may ask, Eve, are you planning on progressing to making bowly-things that are actually centered and nice and round? Which is a question that my teacher asks. (A teacher who is in no way responsible for my off-centered-ness. She tries, lord knows, she tries.)

Eve's OKPots
Eve's OKPots
But I figure, there are plenty of potters out there making nice, round, centered pots, whereas, it takes a certain creativity to make perfectly off-kilter ones. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. And now I’m thinking, if writing doesn’t pan out for me, maybe I can go into pots! Of course, they’d all be off-kilter, so I’d call them OKPots or maybe, Good Enough Pots. And our tagline would read, “Perfection is So Overrated.”

But anyway, do you see the ugly pattern emerging? For the sake of my family and friends, I can only hope that FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA is so hugely (and quickly) successful that I will no longer have time to pursue my hobbies. Because, if I actually do expand that garden, it’s going over the septic tank and really, who wants poop-tainted peas? And while most of us probably are a bit off-kilter ourselves, do we really need pottery that mimics that? (Although wouldn’t it be nice to give a friend who leans to the left a coffee mug that leans to the left too?)

But please, someone stop me before another perfectly good hobby goes bad!

~Deb Eve

p.s. My pottery teacher makes exquisite pottery of all kinds and specializes in making totally gorgeous urns for pet (and people) cremains. Check out her website … if you’re into that perfectly centered kind of pottery.

14 Replies to “When Good Hobbies Go Bad, by Deb Eve”

  1. Your pottery looks better then anything I managed to turn out in Ceramics eons ago. My parents still insist on using a pinch pot vase I did for them, and its a little embarrassing when it comes out for holidays…

    I think your hobbies all sound pretty successful to me!

  2. Somehow, you can combine the OKPots and the PoopyPeas and create an empire. Who needs Oprah’s book club after all?

    Well, I would offer to talk you through rethreading the bobbin but I suspect you’re perfectly happy being offline in that particular hobby. 😉 But you should consider going back… lots of opportunities to take off your shirt when you sew (well, not when you’re quilting, but if you sew a shirt).

  3. Oh never mind they came through in the middle of the piece. Eve, these pots are great…I love your glazing. If you make pots with little holes and little round feet and make plates to go under them, you have great planters for stuff.

  4. Oh my god. Poopy peas IN OKPots – perhaps with little feet and holes in the bottom to be used as planters!!! Okay, you people are giving me MORE ideas to run with. Do you see the problem here? Eve needs fewer ideas floating around in her head. Not more!

    Actually, Katie, I would like to know how to rethread a bobbin. I keep thinking, how hard could it be? Like a million other people can do it, so why can’t I? And I do think at least having use of my sewing machine would be a handy thing.

    Glad you all like the pots. See, the thing is THEY ARE ALL ONE-OF-A-KIND and that’s only because I have absolutely no control over what I’m making. And if I like the way something turns out, there’s absolutely no way for me to recreate it. (My teacher always says, just before I start throwing, “What are you going to make out of that?” And I say, “Oh, I just want to let this lump of clay express itself, self actualize, and become what it wants to be.” Now, this may – or may not – be a good way to raise children. I’m guessing that it’s NOT the right way to approach pottery.)

    But do check out my teacher’s site. She really does make some beautiful and unique things.

  5. Eve, don’t forget ruggelach! You make the best ruggelach, although that may be more of a calling than a hobby. And eating all that kale sounds like a hobby in itself.

  6. Thanks Tiffany! Yes, the ruggelach is a ministry! And the hobby with the kale is finding ever new and creative ways to hide it in other things so that the rest of the family will eat it!

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