Monday, February 4, 2013

For the Love of Crafts

It's First Monday for Designer Crafts Connection bloggers and our theme this month is "Love is Handmade".  Instead of a project, I thought I'd share a little about me and my love of crafts.

Decorative painting, sewing, card making, knitting, cake decorating, gardening, scrapbooking and jewelry making. These are just a few of the many creative things people do; not to be creative necessarily, but simply for the pure enjoyment of the process and the great feeling of accomplishment when, whatever you have made, is finished.

I have always loved making things. My father taught me to draw and paint and my mum taught me how to sew, tat (with a shuttle), smock, bake and decorate cakes. I learned to knit and crochet from my grandmothers and the importance of fallen leaves and manure for the roses my grandfather lovingly tended in his garden.  One of my earliest crafting memories is sitting at a card table with my mum in front of a roaring fire making Christmas cards with old brown stencils and only 3 colors of paint. I also remember helping my parents make the most beautiful crêpe paper flowers, but most of all I remember the FUN we used to have together.

The best thing about crafting is that there are no rules. There are tools to master and techniques to learn, to be sure, but creativity is a very personal thing and there is always something very special about anything that someone has made themselves – it’s all about the main ingredient – the LOVE that went into it.  If you’re already a mother, or grandmother, you’ll know how special it is when you’re presented with something your children have lovingly created, just for you, no matter what it may be.  My daughter made this dish from clay when she was about 8 yrs old.  For the past 30 years it has had a special place on either my kitchen desk or the windowsill, where I can see it every day.  The most special thing about the dish, other than the fact that she made it, is the way she created the roses.  We had watched a TV program a few weeks earlier about the artists who made exquisite china flowers for Royal Dalton.  Later we made some bread dough and tried the techniques ourselves.  Jennie had obviously remembered these techniques when she fashioned the clay roses that decorate the top of the dish.

Mum passed away a few years ago so my sister and I went home to England to take care of the house, etc.  Mum treasured everything, but we were still surprised to find a virtual treasure trove of the gifts we had made for her over the years.  I keep everything my children and grand children have made me too......   the love and thoughtfulness that comes with each and every piece is PRICELESS.  Take time to be creative with family and friends; you'll be glad you did. Y'all come back now!

Yours truly,
Julie  :)