Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The World of Crafts

When I was a little girl, I used to love crafts. My grandmother and I were alike in that way, and when I went over to her house, it was to discover a treasure trove of crafting supplies. My grandmother could crochet like nobody's business (and she still does it to this day), but she also created other crafts using beads and paint and glue and just about anything else you can imagine.

I used to make my own treasures. I once cut up pictures of an old U.S. history textbook and created a huge collage of the history of the United States. It was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself (ha!). I also made my own Barbie doll house out of cardboard boxes. And yes, my house had carpet and wallpaper, not to mention homemade appliances (made out of jello boxes, no less!).

A few years ago, I dabbled with rubber stamping, but I didn't have either the patience or the skills to do it right, so I abandoned it. I also didn't have the space to dump all my creative supplies and each time I set out to make something, I had to take over the kitchen table. One year, though, I did manage to make Christmas cards for everyone using my Snoopy rubber stamps. That was a great project.

Lately, though, the only craft I've really been focusing on is my writing. To tell you the truth, I'm starting to miss my other craft endeavors, especially when I head into Michael's or Hobby Lobby and look at the plethora of supplies available. My mind starts spinning with all the possibilties, but I inevitably buy nothing. I simply don't have the time.

The one concession I did make to this, however, was my embroidery. And wouldn't you know it - the one project I started well over a year ago (a dresser scarf) still isn't finished! I'm nearly done, but I didn't work on it nearly as fast as I thought I would. And I'm not sure it's a good craft for me since I'm not the best with a needle. The back of my embroidery piece is pretty sad. Lots of loose thread and knots and mistakes. But it was a learning process.

Now, though, I've discovered the world of digital scrapbooking, and it looks like so much fun. The only problem? I would be sitting in front of a computer more than I already do. I'm not sure I want to go that route.

Instead, I think my next project will be couch pillows. When I got my Victorian couches last year, I didn't have any pillows to match. I've been looking on and off for some that will work, but darn it, pillows are expensive. So the other day I thought, "Well, heck. I can just choose the fabric that I want and make me some simple, square pillows." I'm actually pretty excited to go look at the fabrics.

But if I had my choice, I would have a room dedicated solely to crafts. I'd get back into rubber stamping, start scrapbooking with real paper (instead of the digital kind) and definitly get back to collaging (which I adore doing). And I could leave it all in that room, shut the door, and not worry about cleaning it up so we could eat supper on the table!

Sadly, though, crafting has taken a backseat to my writing time. I'm hoping to slowly start incorporating my love of crafts back into my life. It gives me such energy to look at all the different things people create, and spurs idea after idea in my own brain. I especially love the shabby chic look, as well as the vintage creations people make.

Oooh. Just thinking about it all gives me goosebumps. But then I think, TIME. When do I have TIME?

Lord, could I have 48 hours in a day instead of 24?


  1. If God grants you that wish, I'm hiring you as my advocate 'cause I need those extra hours as well.

  2. I love to embroider as you know. I need to do my needlework to relax and calm my mind, and recently I've realized how important that is to my writing. So I do it now as a way to alleviate stress and to help me prepare for writing. I'm also about ready to jump into the sewing realm as well, as a friend just gave me two huge containers of antique linens. But I decided that I would wait until I got a few more of my outstanding projects out of the way first, and I'm waiting on buying a sewing machine - I'm picturing it as a reward once I get my other obligations done.

  3. I have an envelope (only one?!) of nice things I cut from magazines and newspapers when they catch my eye. I have a "red," collage, and am half-way through my "blue," one. The nice thing is, all the images are of things I love, like nice dresses or furniture, or even libraries. Every so often I go through my envelope and paste an item on to my collages. That way, I can be creative in a way that doesn't eat up too much time. I don't feel bad about spending so little time on the collages. I just accept that they are works-in-progress and will be for long time. Yet, when I do take them out now and again, they make me happy as all the images are of things I admire/want. They are also a sort of wish-list if you like, of things that would be nice to have.
    So that's how I make time.

  4. How about giving the crafting passion to one of your characters? Or have it be a trademark of your writing, some crafting thread running through the story? That way, you've got the best of both worlds :)

  5. Have ever dabbled in Treated Text? I've got a hunch you'd really love it. (It's a wonderful, creative escape from the keyboard, as is VizPo.) Lemme know if you want more info. :)

  6. It's so fun to bury oneself in supplies and projects! But you're right, the time is difficult to find. And too, the writing stuff usually takes precedence during downtime.

    But I think you should make time. It sounds like you'd really love to pick something up, something new, and I don't think you'd regret it.

  7. It is frustrating not to have the time to do all that we want to. I have to remember not to resent the fact that I work, as it takes so much time that I could use for my writing and other interests.

    One day, maybe.

  8. LOL, Travis! Will do.

    Laurie - I have to be in the mood to embroider. Sometimes I am in too much of a hurry and I just end up creating more of a mess. But when I want to sit down and work, it is very calming and relaxing for me. I love to listen to old radio shows when I embroider, too.

    Aoife - Thanks for visiting and leaving such a lovely comment of how you fit your creativity into your time! I love to make collages - there's just something about putting all those pictures of something you love together in a way that emphasizes their uniqueness.

    Joanne - That's a great idea! I will have to keep that in mind when I make my character sketches.

    Angie - Email sent! Yes, I want more info!

    Janna - I think you're absolutely right. I need to do something to nurture that side of me. It's been dormant for too long!

    Oh Debs, I can SO relate to this. I get upset, too, when I think that I spend 8 hours a day doing something I don't love when I could be using that time for something I DO love. But then again, the job provides me with food and shelter and gas money and all the essentials of life. :-)

  9. Oh more hours in the day. Yes, please!

    I haven't been near crafts - apart from my writing of course - for ages. As soon as the words are done for the day, I either stagnate in front of the TV or read someone else's words. I used to love cross-stitch but haven't been near it for years.

  10. Shirley - Maybe with the long winter nights coming up, you could pick it up again?

  11. I like to knit - sometimes I need to be creative in a way that doesn't involve telling a story or listening to a story. I just need to do something physical - and I can make it tie in. Right now I'm knitting steampunk things. :)

  12. Robin - Oooh! You have to post pics on your blog of your steampunk-themed knitting! I'd love to see it.

  13. Having no patience for crafts myself, I greatly admire people who do. Interesting how our drives for creativity want different outlets, isn't it? I hope you get the time to indulge all your different creative sides, Melissa.

  14. Christine - I have some ideas brewing. Now all I need is the time!


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