Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Crafty Roots

I've decided to change my blog to include the other crafts, aside from cross-stitch, that I like to do. And some that other people do too. So here is the relaunch of my totally revamped blog.

Crafting is something I've been involved in as far back as I can remember. As a child, I loved to color, draw and paint, and a new box of crayons was always cause for celebration. When I got older, my mom let me use her paint-on tube paints to color designs onto pillowcases. I doubt if they make these things anymore. It was a chemical-smelling product in a tube and you drew over a transfer. It probably wouldn't sound so interesting to many people, but it was truly fun to my crafty little self. And what about the paint-by-number sets which didn't look good no matter who did them. Didn't matter, it was lots of fun!

Later on, Mom taught me to actually cross stitch and do crewel embroidery on the pillowcase transfers. That's what started my love for cross-stitch and the world of floss and fabric. Soon I got into sewing and someone gave me a bunch of Barbie clothes patterns. My Auntie Helen was a avid seamstress and she'd pack up her remnants for me. I'd gladly trek all four blocks to her house for a bag of doll clothes fabric. And no sewing machine for me! I was probably about eight years old, so all sewing was done by hand. I remember making Skipper a really cute black and white print summer dress and Barbie was decked out in a thoroughly mod Palazzo pants sleeveless jumpsuit outfit. I ended up making lots of clothes for my dolls, using my tiny hand stitches and plenty of sew-on snaps. I was about 10 when I finally got to learn to use the sewing machine. As a teenager, I became pretty good at sewing clothes for myself, sometimes choosing patterns that were way beyond the scope of my knowledge just to see what I could learn.

There were other crafty adventures too: Crochet -- stylish drawstring purses! And beading -- who can forget those fun beaded choker necklaces we made in the early 70's? And all you needed was a little tube of beads and some elastic cord. We decorated blown-out eggs with sequins and glitter for our Easter egg tree, and when Christmas came around, we stuck pins full of beads and sequins into styrofoam balls for ornaments. One Easter I was totally enthralled with making little Easter baskets out of plastic butter containers and pipe cleaners. It seems like I was always doing something.

As I look back, I realize how much these early craft projects influenced the kind of crafts I do today. I also can't ever remember being bored as a kid. I'm glad that my mom encouraged the artistic sides of both my sister and me. Sheila shared many of my craft endeavors, and then some.

In future posts I'll be talking about my current crafty adventures, along with those of other crafters. I plan to include lots of photos and other info about my projects. So stay tuned. I think this is going to be fun!