Some Context

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Blog entry by Seth posted 12-01-2009 08:14 AM 908 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I feel the need to give a bit more context. Both for this project, and for my wood projects on the whole. Let’s start with the project (still the key holder—still not sure if that’s one word or two).

Here is where the keyholder is going:


Here is why the key holder is going where it is:


The slight difference in texture is due to the fact that there used to be a 1980s alarm box in the space (tackily cut into the window frame next to it) that I removed before we repainted the living room. We managed to replace the missing chunk from the frame. However, since our walls are textured (we wish they weren’t), since we don’t have a texture machine, and since I come from the spackle school of over-doing it, it just doesn’t quite look right. Thus, the obvious solution is to make a keyholder the size of the offending area.

Now for some context to the projects on the whole. In The Brothers Bloom, Rachel Weisz says “I collect hobbies.” I feel similar, except that I should more accurately say that I collect the ideas of hobbies. For much of my life, I have stepped into hobbies without really thinking too hard about them. I have felt inspired to do something and then done it, greatly enjoying the process of doing so, usually spinning that interest into a hobby that lasted anywhere from 2-5 years.

However, for about the past 5 years, it has not come so easily. My interest in music has faded for a number of reasons, and film came and went about the exact time I finally shot my own short film. MatchFlick seemed to be a culmination of a bunch of different hobbies, and perhaps my over-investment in that project killed the hobby lifeblood inside of me. Because I haven’t found sustained inspiration in any project since.

I tried robots. That ended when I fried my multimeter. I don’t get electricity.

I tried that Lego Robot because the pieces were already wired. That ended when I couldn’t make a humanoid easily.

I tried a number of different writing hobbies. My screenplays were about characters that I loved thinking about, namely those who sit there and think, but which no one would ever want to watch. I tried short stories, where I could turn those smaller plots into something considered “complete.” Instead, it just shortened the amount of time my characters had to think.

I tried poetry. I still do like that. But I also feel it’s horribly pretentious. Let’s be honest.

So I made a list of the key features of my favorite hobbies from the past. I came out with a few criteria: a degree of problem solving, the ability to improve over time, and the (probably egotistical) need to have a product to share with others in the end.

This brings us to woodworking, which has carried some interest for me for a while. On paper, it meets my hobby idea criteria. And so I’m going to build a key holder and tell you all about it.


3 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4161 days

#1 posted 12-01-2009 11:34 AM


So… is your “keyholder” going to hold door keys or “key features of your favourite hobbies fromt he past” :)
I look forward to watching the saga unfold.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3109 days

#2 posted 12-01-2009 03:07 PM

Thanks for sharing Seth. My own impression would be that when we are younger, the processes involved in so many hobbies are mysteries to us that intrigue us. Sometimes, when the mystery is solved, it doesn’t hold our interest anymore. The film making project probably burned you out some because of the quantity of time that one project took. As you already noticed in woodworking, there is much flexibility in the field. Projects can be simple or complex, completed in a weekend or a few months. So you can get that instant gratification when you need it and you can grow continuously in the process. And if you get bored in one area, you can always get another tool and branch out in a whole new area.

Nice work so far and I look forward to seeing how your projects turn out.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Seth's profile


6 posts in 3099 days

#3 posted 12-01-2009 07:32 PM

Thanks, David. You’re probably on to something with the mystery of hobbies. And I’m hopeful that you’re right about the flexibility of woodworking as well; that’s my thinking so far, too.


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