Friday, August 29, 2008

Growing Up Crafty

I don’t think I would describe my Mom as artistic. She can’t draw a lick, isn’t at all mechanically inclined, and doesn’t particularly enjoy tedious processes. She likes to say she’s a good “copier” as in she can see an idea in a magazine and recreate it. But I think it’s more than that. I didn’t realize until I was older that not everyone’s homes are as inviting and comfortable as ours always were. She has a great sense of color and design and she used it to make our home a pleasant space to live our lives in. I didn’t really grow up around a sewing machine, but my Mom did dust it off to make us matching red taffeta Christmas dresses one year, and always handcrafted our Halloween costumes. She must’ve done a good job at it because they made the rounds between all three of us kids, a few cousins, and are still packed away for the grandchildren’s play time. My Mom is left handed, so it made teaching me to crochet a little more difficult than it needed to be, but she was patient with me and I have the blankets to prove it. Some of my favorite Mom-and-me time was spent perusing craft shows nearly every weekend in the holiday months and our Sunday trips to the local craft store. Although she doesn’t keep up with it now (we’re back to that tedious bit) she introduced me to scrapbooking, so I have her to thank for inspiring the 13 albums I've crafted which are among my most treasured possessions.

My Dad has more tangible artistic abilities. He worked a night shift when I was very young and would wake me up some nights when he got home to show me an elaborate pencil drawing he had just done to help explain/teach me about whatever he thought I’d find interesting. I was completely amazed when he illustrated the lenses of the human eye and how we actually view objects upside down. He’s very mechanically inclined and used that talent to fix anything around the house that was broken, but also to figure out unique ways to create images with a camera, like the time we went outside at night and set up the tripod to take a picture of me as he moved a flashlight around me. The effect made it look like I was glowing… like a ghost. For a good part of my childhood, my Dad had a passion for woodworking which he came by through his own father. I still remember the crispness in the air as I stood in my grandfather’s or our own garage watching my Dad turn raw wood into furniture, toys, tools or pretty much whatever anyone could dream up to add to his list… and it was a long list!

I’m so thankful that my parents nurtured my creative side! The process of making and the resulting creations are so fulfilling for me that it’s become a part of my daily life. I hope that my own child will be familiar with the sense of accomplishment I feel from creating something out of nothing, but more than that I hope to instill in her, what my parents fostered in me; a deep appreciation for all things handmade.


storybeader said...

it sounds like your family is VERY crafty - that's where you! got it from.

And I think the beanbags are fun - and any kid would enjoy them. I'm voting for them. So what's inside, beans?

storybeader said...

isn't it strange, looking back on your youth, and trying to imagine yourself in your parents situation? Your "I didn't realize.." reminded me of that.

Nora said...

Very nice story! Creating things truly is very fullfilling, that's why I love it so much!

Stacey - Elle Belle said...

Storybeader, Yep, beans inside! I tried a few other things, but the beans give them the perfect weight and that traditional beanbag feel.

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