Thursday, August 28, 2008

Carnival: Crafting Through the Years

What's a blog carnival? Every other week EtsyBloggers street team has a choice of two themes that members can write about. This week I chose "Something you did as a child that you will always remember." Rather than writing about one childhood event, I'm going to talk about crafting I remember doing as a child.

My mom's a creative, artistic person. I can remember sitting and watching her draw, on rare occasions -- she'd wanted to be an artist but got a not uncommon "I'm not supporting any starving artists!" from my grandfather. For most of my recalled childhood my mom was a single mom, so she really didn't have time to be a "project mom." Most of the things I remember doing with her related either to holidays or cooking, or both (she is an artist in the kitchen, as well). I can recall making Christmas cookies, and ornaments, and we did a lot of those "stained glass" suncatchers that were made by pouring colored bits of plastic into individual sections in a metal frame.

I used to stay with my aunt in West Virginia for about a month during several summers when I was in elementary school. Every summer she had a project for me and my cousins to work on. One year we made pincushions, another we sewed an outfit for ourselves (I'd be interested to see what mine looks like -- if I had any sewing skills that summer they have evaporated! but I do recall choosing a shorts and shirt set in fuschia and turquoise terrycloth. Oy!), and another we made strawberry jam in Ball jars with decorated lids to give as presents. I spent a lot of time painting at my grandparents' house, both paint-by-number sets, which my grandfather loved, and just randomly painting things. I remember painting a red spot on the porch railing so I could cheat at I Spy when I played with my grandfather later. :)

Looking back from when I was a kid to now, thinking about wandering through craft stores, it's kind of funny how trends come and go in crafts the same way they do in other things. Those little stained glass plastic thingies I used to make and bake are impossible to find now. (But the internet will find you anything! The kit above is available here, with others: For a while I did Color Point fabric painting (Seurat would not have been impressed). Mom did that Petal Porcelain where you dip fabric flowers in gunk and set them on things, mostly wicker things. She also did String Art... ha, there's a relic! Macrame came, and went, and is back. Cross stitch has mostly replaced embroidery. And the craze now is Scrapbooking... and jewelry making, with aisles and aisles of the craft store devoted to each.

Am I a fad? I certainly hope not. Jewelry is timeless, though the fashions may change, and people may not be stringing beads so much as a hobby in ten or twenty years, but I hope to be still hammering, twisting, weaving, and soldering. And maybe sharing what I know with someone else. Crafting solo is enjoyable (okay, understatement), but glancing through the things above that I remember, the things that are most memorable are the things I made for or with someone else.


Andrea said...

Ahh, paint by numbers and string art, by two favorite things as a kid! And my mom was the macrame queen. Almost all the accessories in our home had macrame worked into them somehow - lol.

This was a fun read! Takes me back.

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to the team! Your chainmail work is beautiful!

Vanessa said...

Great memories! I loved those stained glass kits!

Happy House Quilts said...

god's camp...
and i too prefer to craft with others...helps the creative juices flow!
take care!

Mary Ann said...

Great post. As soon as I started reading it I got an image in my head of my Mom adding sequins to a holiday tablecloth and me sitting there watching in awe at the patience for detail. Thanks for the memories.

storybeader said...

I can't believe you remembered what you sewed back then. I like the baked plastic, or glass, nowadays.

Athena said...

Nice memories! I remember starting latch hooking (and my mom finishing it), but mostly it was learning how to make snickerdoodles and other cookies.

Youvegotmaille said...

Oh man, I'd forgotten about latch hooking, it definitely should've been in there.