I grew up surrounded by hot glue guns, felt, styrofoam balls and tole paint. I went around town with my mother to fabric stores buying lace and fabric — at wholesale prices — and my job was to seek out the notions listed on the back of patterns. Our enormous dining room table would be covered in craft materials and my mother would be putting together Christmas ornaments, Halloween decorations, hair bows… anything that could be sold at holiday boutiques. Boutiques actually featured handmade items when I was a child. They weren’t like they often are now — booths filled with vendors selling products that could be found in any store or people who sold for other companies. My mom was — is –very talented in her ability to conjure up something cute and creative from almost any everyday items.
And I loved watching all her craftiness, so imagine my delight when I realized that I was blessed with her talent. Not nearly as much, but some. Unfortunately, because I worked full-time I wasn’t ever able to really nurture it so this crafting ability, along with many other things, tucked itself away in the back of my mind and stayed out of the way. Every once in a while I used it — my son and his friends made an ornament at every birthday, and we made fun things when he had friends over to play — but this was about the extent of it.
However, 2012 was the year of crafting. It was time for me to let my glue gun out of the closet along with my creativity. I no longer work full time and I have friends with kids who are the best crafting age. I began to organize my craft room (yes, I have a whole room) in just the way I want it. I felt rusty. I felt like I had lost my creativity. I would try to think of creative projects to do and nothing would come out of my head.
At the same time, I didn’t realize that I was creating without realizing it. By finding interesting things in thrift stores and turning them into other things, I was doing what my mother had done but on a larger scale. I loved discovering new ways to create, of looking for parts at the dollar stores and using them in different capacities. All of a sudden I had so many projects I couldn’t keep up with them all.
I soon decided that it was time for me to learn what I jokingly refer to as The Domestic Arts: sewing, knitting, and crocheting. These are all arts I have long desired to know. I sought out sewing lessons and have successfully made a pillowcase. I am halfway through a tote bag. Its success is to be determined. I plan on continuing my quest in The Domestic Arts through the next year and will add baking bread to the list.
I am a simple woman.
With a glue gun.