I would really like to be a crafty mom. My own mother sews in the majority of her free time. She has made us countless dresses, quilts, and wall-hangings over the year. She knits. She crochets. She knows how to repair braided rugs, and can cross-stitch too. She has created a beautiful legacy of skilled artwork that will be treasured by family members for years to come.
Just look at some of the beautiful work she has done! (My poor photography doesn’t really do these justice… you’ll just have to peek at them up close in person sometime.)
(A gorgeous wall-hanging in our hallway.)
I, on the other hand, come up with projects that look like an inexperienced 6th grader made them. Sigh.
(A cartoon-ish flower I made for V out of leftover fleece, stuffed with scraps of old clothing.)
I can’t do edging to save my life. I’d much rather hot-glue on accents than deal with actual needle and thread. I have countless unfinished projects, almost all of them stopped midway because of some challenge or discouragement I was facing.
I really want to be a crafter. I drool over Pinterest projects. I can spend a long time dreaming while walking through the fabric store. I’ve got so many ideas. So many things I want to try. In fact, our third “bedroom” (it’s only 7 x 7) is devoted to my non-existent crafting habit.
Actually, maybe we shouldn’t talk about how little I use this room.
BUT, every once in a while, I actually get inspired and go do a project from start to finish in a couple of hours. They don’t usually look great. My seams are uneven in my sewing, my glue gets messy in my scrapbooking, and there’s usually little ugly details to my shabby work that are relatively noticeable- even to the novice eye.
(Now, to be fair, before I had kids, my projects came out looking a lot nicer. I was just more careful and could take my sweet old time correcting my mistakes. No longer.)
If I can get over my embarrassment and perfectionism, I actually do enjoy the process. And I think there are things I can glean from it, even if it’s not really “my thing”- or an area I’m remotely gifted in.
1) Creating something with your own hands is rewarding. It doesn’t have to be crafting, but there is something lovely about making your own art, regardless of the form you choose. It fosters that inner creativity that we all tend to lose as we grow up. It’s a good time to decompress. It’s a time to break the rules, figure out solutions to a problem, and find satisfaction as your ideas come to fruition. It’s the process, not the product, right?!?
2) It can meet a need. Sometimes basic stitching skills can be used to repair an article of clothing. Sometimes it allows you to make something instead of buying it (provided you have the materials on hand). Sometimes it can create something fun, beautiful, or useful out of materials that would otherwise go to waste.
3) Crafting produces something unique. Even though that funny wilted-looking felt flower that I made my daughter doesn’t quite look like the popular versions for sale elsewhere, I made it, doggone it, and there’s not another one like it. My son and I made this peculiar stuffed monster together last year when the winter days were giving us cabin fever, and he is proud of the fact he designed it and helped cut it out. Not at all like those boring uniformly shaped stuffed animals you buy in the store. 😉
4) It’s something I can do with my kids. Kids love creating. They are proud of what they make. They don’t have the same self-consciousness that adults do. I think that by continuing to participate in arts and crafts in some small way, I encourage and allow my children to do the same. If I make something and enjoy it regardless of how I think it looks, I teach them to take satisfaction in their work too. (But if I model self-criticism, they will learn that as well.)
5) Not everybody can do everything. My craft failings have taught me that not everyone can do everything well. And that’s okay! But that doesn’t mean that we have to completely avoid things that aren’t our strong point. Dabbling in various disciplines is good for the mind and soul!
So, even though I’m not very skilled at crafting, and even though I don’t often get a lot of time to do it, I still maintain that there’s good in creating. One can still learn from the experience, regardless of the outcome.
I think this holds true in a lot of areas of life- artwork, music, cooking, hiking, etc. Sometimes trying your hand at something is more important than how you do at it.
Are you a crafter? What’s an area that you’d like to get better at?