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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

March is National Crafts Month

I have always enjoyed creating, and when I think about where that love of crafting came from, I have to give credit to my parents and grandparents.

Mom used to sew. When I went to Kindergarten she made all my new dresses. She did this with four small children, and was about 20 months pregnant with her fifth. Oy. When I was in High School, she made us each a pieced comforter for Christmas. I knew she was making them, but she was good at keeping them hidden when we were home. They are all well-used and loved. Mine finally shredded in the washer, but I have a small piece of it in a hoop that I hang on the wall. My kids also each have a comforter she made for them a year or two before she died.
She also took ceramics classes in 1969. I have the piece she did that is the Last Supper. Mom also took my sister and I to classes. I have my pink covered heart dish, and my "brown sugar" kitty. Tonita and I made matching kitties. Mine is standing, hers is lying on it's back like Max and Tucker do when they're shamelessly begging for attention. :o)
When I was in High School, cousin Barbie (I think?) taught Mom to crochet. We all learned how to make those zig-zag afghans. I don't have the first one I made anymore, but I do have one I started, oh, four or five years ago. It's long enough to keep me warm while I crochet, but I haven't worked on it in probably 2 years.
Many of you may not know that my dad was kind of artistic. I have some award-winning drawings he did in elementary and Jr. High. I don't recall that he ever "created" art or crafts as an adult, but that doesn't mean he didn't. I do remember he told me he really didn't care for construction. The man was a mechanic. Perhaps that was his creative outlet?

Grandma Regier sewed. I have a pieced quilt she made for my High School graduation. Some of the fabrics in the quilt I remember from her clothing when I was a small child. My kids each have a quilt she made and gave them when they were born, as well as a knitted blanket. When they were a little older, she used polyester fabric scraps to make them "TV blankets". Just lap quilts for them to snuggle up on the couch with when they watched TV. Again, I recognized some of those fabrics from my childhood.
Grandma told me once that she didn't really like to sew. I don't know that she meant the creative part of making a quilt, I'm thinking she meant more the mending. She had a husband and three sons on a farm. She mended a LOT of denim! My mom used to take Dad's jeans to her to fix, and I was always impressed with how nice they looked for someone who didn't enjoy what they were doing. :o) She also embroidered a set of "Weekday" tea towels for my 7th grade graduation. I used those puppies for years, and I still have them. I'd like to frame the embroidery for the kitchen, but they're so stained and ragged, they wouldn't even be charming. Yet, I'm glad I used them. I thought of Grandma every time I picked one up.

Grandma and Grandpa also gave us handmade gifts for Christmas sometimes. I still have a shadowbox from the mid-70's. I think Grandpa built the box, and Grandma filled it. Then they sealed it with a piece of glass. Grandpa also built a knitting "thing" using a board and nails, and Grandma made scarves one year. Mine was a deep red. I don't know where it is, but I wish I still had it... Grandpa liked to do woodcrafts. In his later years he built birdhouses, that I think he then sold.

My Grandma Adams was the person who taught me to embroider. I still have my first piece. For our wedding gift, she made Greg and I goosedown bed pillows and embroidered pillow cases she had done. I've never used the pillow cases because I didn't want to ruin them. I know, I know. They won't have meaning for anyone unless there are memories connected to them, and that means using them. I'll get them out of the closet and see what I can do...

Me, I like lots of kinds of crafting, but especially cross-stitch and paper crafts. Yes, I can sew, but I'm not neat, and I don't like tailoring (my sister has set the bar REAL HIGH on that one - she loves to tailor and does a great job!). I love things with texture and have done indoor, outdoor, and even concrete crafts.

Lucky for me, I married a man who enjoys building and creating. I don't think I knew this about him the whole three years we dated. The first year we were married, his mom gave him a latch hook rug kit. He worked on it awhile, til I asked him to show me, then I finished it. :o)

(Okay, I know I need to show photos, and I will. It might take some digging in the photo boxes and scanning, so just keep an eye on future posts.)


Peaceful Valley said...

No wonder you are so creative - you come from a long line of artistic, creative people! Susan in SC

Barbara Allen Moore said...

No I didn't teach your mom to crochet I think it was her friend Jane (?). There was a group of gals and they'd all get together and crochet over coffee and conversation. She really loved it. I have a set of kitchen towels embroidered by great grandma Gifford given to me by gr. Elsie. She told me to be sure and use them thats what they were for. I never have tho I may display them someday.