I’m trying to remember the first handmade thing I created, in response to today’s “craft” prompt (which could be interpreted as boat or beer, but I’m not going in those directions). It was probably one of those ridiculous summer camp pencil holders made out of a frozen OJ can with glued-on popsicle sticks and covered with paint and glitter. Did anyone ever use these things, or just dump them right in the trash? This would have been when I was 6 or 7 years old, when we lived in Sleepy Hollow,  NY. We were there two years and both my parents worked full-time. One summer I went to camp with mean girls and the other I stayed with a grumpy old lady and her idiot grandsons. Both were horrible experiences. But I digress.

When we moved to Longuyland my new friends were into beads, so I made a ton of beady necklaces and bracelets. My mom saved some of them and possibly one of my daughters kept a few for sentimental value. This would have been when I was 8-9.

When we moved to New Jersey my mom made a giant house for my Barbies out of moving boxes and wallpapered it to match my room. We shopped for accessories to make rooms for the dolls, and she taught me how to knit and crochet so I could make teensy blankets and rugs for them. Later I turned it into a harem, but that’s beside the point. Well, there’s like one Ken for every 20 Barbies ~ Mattel must have foreseen this. Anyway, creating little dollhouse items was my crafty obsession around age 10.

In Jersey, my mom got very into DIY and sewing, so I tagged along and ended up learning some too. I embroidered a denim shirt for home ec and put together an outfit to model at the end of the semester (that I secretly took home at night for my mom to fix up on her sewing machine). I enjoyed that a lot and continued doing needlework after the class ended, buying kits and learning new stitches, making pillows and pictures. Mom and I made candles for a while too.

I stuck with the sewing type crafts for many years. When my girls were little I painted tee shirts. That was a lot of fun and the shirts came out great… I was thinking of starting a biz, until I overdid it and could no longer move my thumb without excruciating pain. Nixed my cake decorating career also. I switched to creating fancy photo scrapbooks, which became my obsession for the next several years. All along I still did the needlework, but as I aged I found I had less patience for it and nowadays have no interest in the detailed “art” type pictures, though I still would like to learn to knit and crochet (I’ve forgotten how). I know there are a million vids ~ maybe I’m not motivated enough yet.

One of the main problem with crafts is that they’re expensive. I priced out how much it would cost to knit a poncho (my ultimate goal)… and depending on the style it might be about 3x more than just buying one! I may do it anyway. And going down the bead path again (occasionally tempting)… yikes! I spent a ton of money back in my scrapbook days… and my tee shirt biz would no doubt have been a tax write-off. 🙂

Yesterday I wanted to go to an antique crafty show near my apt, but there was nowhere to park and I was trapped in the lot for few minutes, which was super stressful. ACK DRIVING ISSUES AGAIN. Anyway, I was happy to escape with my life and car intact. Will try again another time, another place.

The Daily Prompt: Craft


8 responses to “Crafty

  1. I love this posty. I especially loved the part about your mom and you creating a house for your Barbies. What a special memory that is.

    And I think you should take up knitting again. So what if your handmade poncho will cost more than store-bought, it will be special! made with your own hands!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, this is a fun poast! I love the Barbie harem! Have you ever seen the play “Six Women With Brain Death”? They have a memorable scene involving Barbie dolls.

    I remember some Xmas wreath thingie involving magazines – folding the pages thus and so and spray-painting gold and all that. Stupid green and red construction paper chains, too.

    I really remember a summer camp thing where we got into making stuff with those tiny seed beads — headbands were in style, whether tribal/native motif or psychedelic peace’n’lurve. So I made a TON of jewelry with those things – chokers, rings, headbands, lanyards, yada.

    I took crafts in middle school instead of some other class. We did leather stuff, stamping patterns into cow hide and cutting and stitching to make belts, wallets, purses.

    Little houses for my troll dolls and later for tiny dolls I’d make by rolling small tubes of paper and providing with hair (fuzzed up chunks of fat yarn) and facs and clothing. The houses were made from thin cardboard and paper. Later I turned those into homes for wayward lizards — lizards that made the mistake of letting me catch them.

    Embroidery, yes. Hankies, framed thingies, and I started the ambitious project of embroidering my jeans. Never finished that. Crewel work, too.

    Remember the purses you’d make out of an old pair of denim shorts? Yeah, made those and embroidered/fringed/embellished with beads etc.

    Brief exploration with candles. Making some cloisonné beads with my best friend’s aunt. And rolling little colorful bits of paper, like cut from a magazine, into beads that you’d soak in some kind of resin to harden. Then stringing them into interesting jewelry.

    Macrame. Mom did hodge-podge for a while but I decided I didn’t like that.

    Sewing. Knitting! Crocheting and tatting. I loved crocheting. In fact, recently I’ve been trying to take it up again and bought some yarn and hooks and a book that shows me the shorthand they use so I can read instructions on how to make adorable baby hats just in case.

    For the sewing, I would make actual clothing I would wear to work, and made my bridesmaids’ dresses and my mother’s Mother Of The Bride outfit, and my veil. I made Halloween costumes for the kids and for the then-spousal unit and myself.

    Back to beading, only using the larger stuff to make jewelry that looked more jewelry-like. I still have a black onyx with Swarovski crystal thing I started and never finished. I did finish a nice turquoise and bali silver necklace that went well with some outfit or other. I try to use real stones rather than glass and I defs avoid using plastic!

    Little bit of scrapbooking, just when the kids were graduating HS and needed something plus when my daughter got married the first time. Nothing serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I vaguely remember making a purse out of something, not sure what. There was a craze to put patches on jeans and shorts. Ironing things on things. I did the lanyards with my kids… somehow skipped over that section when I grew up. Fun! And ironing again, this time doing melty bead things, putting beads into patterns, heating ’em, then you’d have all these shapes to do… stuff with.

    I remember your jewelry! It looked really good. Professional quality.


  4. I think kid’s crafts are just for the memories anyway!!! And the memories are grand!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It used to be easy. You’d try to make something, screw it up, then put a couple of notches in it and call it an ashtray. Now, no one smokes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I always go overboard with crafts and buy a TON of supplies that I end up not using. I swore I would NOT do that with knitting/crochet, but I’ve slowed down quite a bit and my yarn stash is huge. Yarn doesn’t “go bad” though, so I’ll just keep working on the stash and making gifts, since I already have hats and scarves galore.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Author Interview – Vijaya Gowrisankar – “Explore”, “Inspire” & Reflect (Poetry Author) | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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