I have been crafting now for about 47 years, since I was 7 years old, or at least that’s when I can first remember really crafting. When I say crafting, I mean sewing, woodworking, painting, etc. Making things that were either useful or decorative in some form.
As I grew older, around the age of 14 or 15, I also started refinishing and building furniture. These things were a way of life in my family. With 5 children, my parents had to be creative. Our Christmases and birthdays were filled with lots of homemade gifts. Some of our early gifts that I can remember were: wooden boats and battleships, banks, and toy guns for my brothers, and doll furniture, rocking chairs and jewelry for me and my sister. My mother was still making me dresses when I was in high school. She made clothes for all of us, including my father.
My Grandmother, Gram, was also creative. As a young girl, my Mother would go through catalogs and find a picture of a dress or outfit she wanted and show it to Gram and she would make it. She didn’t even need a pattern! She had some serious sewing skills. Anyway… I had a daughter, and during her youth I would get her to help me with some of my painting projects. Even though, at the time, she complained about it, she learned to paint, and I’m not talking about just painting something like a box or base coating something, I’m talking about real painting, landscapes and faces and tole painting. She also helped me during shows and with other creative endeavors. In all fairness, at the time, she probably would have rather been off with her friends or snuggled up in a chair with a book, but she pitched in to help a lot! Today, she has a successful handmade jewelry business called Greyweather, https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShopGreyweather?ref=pr_faveshops. She travels to Gem Shows to hand pick the finest gems for her pieces. She goes to artist retreats, and is constantly learning and developing new skills. And… She has a 3 year old daughter of her own, that loves painting and doing other creative projects with her mother.
My family has what I call “Generational Creativity”. From our Grandparents, to our parents, then to our generation, and on to our sons and daughters and grandchildren. Whether it was just for fun, out of necessity, or for profit, our creativity was handed down, And it was learned. It shows our individuality, it makes our lives full and fun and sometimes frantic! For some people, creativity isn’t handed down, it comes from desire – a desire to duplicate something they have seen or want or need. Some people get their creativity from someone in their life like a friend or a neighbor or a first grade teacher – someone in their life that sparks that interest in them.
I used to think that crafting had really changed. However, now, when I look at the big picture, crafting really hasn’t changed all that much. What they used to make and do back in my Mother’s and Grandmother’s day we now mostly call “Green” crafting, re-purposing, or up-cycling. What has changed however, is our resources. My Mother had the “Pack-O-Fun” scrap-craft magazine, Better Homes and Gardens and a few others I can’t recall right now, (I don’t know what all my Grandmother had), but we have those plus a gazillion more. We also have the internet, which as you know, provides us with ideas, and it makes it easy to find out about different crafts. It offers tutorials for learning about how to do anything. It is an information sharing space, and a place to search out resources, classes and gatherings of like-minded people. What the internet does not do, is tell you what you will be drawn to. Like the rest of us, you will have to find your own creative voice.
It really does not matter where you get your creativity as long as you use it! You are only limited by your own imagination, and if you don’t think you have a very good one, get together with others who do! Get involved in classes and watch tutorials to learn skills. And don’t stop challenging yourself.
I, myself, offer a live, Tuesday workshop. Anyone can come to learn and develop their skills. Painting, woodworking, refinishing, sewing and so forth, there’s not much that we don’t do here. I, from my years of experience, am able to teach them tips and tricks they they will use forever. They are unsure about what they can or can’t do when they start, but find with each new endeavor that they just needed a little help. Here, on Tuesdays, creativity runs amok.
Don’t forget to check out Greyweather at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShopGreyweather?ref=pr_faveshops
Don’t forget to check out Autumn Aire at www.autumnaire.com
And you can visit me here anytime.
Nurture your creativity!
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