Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Craft Nerd July 9, 2011

Filed under: Fun Stuff — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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raycannonfeltet.jpgI am a craft nerd, or maybe a more accurate description is “craft groupie,” as I don’t really participate, I just collect and admire.

I jumped on the scrapbooking bandwagon a few years ago, bought a bunch of paper and funny scissors and made three stunning pages of scrapbooked photos. The rest sat in my closet for years until Mr. Fab finally convinced me that perhaps someone else might enjoy them more than me.

My friend Roberta is an ace stamper. She makes and sells cards, teaches classes, and writes for craft magazine. She has an excellent blog called Creative (Un)block, packed with creative ideas and she inspired me to try a little stamping of my own. I made all my Christmas and birthday cards one year, half the next year, and three the year after that. Last year I ran to Target at the last minute when I realized there was no way I was going to get around to making my cards.

I have three unwearable sweaters that I knitted, and another three or four in various stages of completion. I own colored pencils, paints, and have a burning to desire to grow and can my own food, learn to make cheese, make a mosaic fountain for my patio, and learn to draw the human form.

Somewhere inside me is a creative bug dying to get out, but somehow time, priorities, or passion get in the way of my aspirations.

Which doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate and even envy creative talent when I see it.

I stumbled across The Smallest Forest blog recently and got such a kick out of her post Embroidery: the tear away transfer method. I thought, “I could do that.” But honestly, I don’t have a talent for drawing or the patience for embroidery. I loved her Secret Message Ninja, too, but I wanted to have the idea, not necessarily copy it to get my own Secret Message Ninja.

I’m becoming more realistic about my desire and intentions regarding craftiness, but I still love to browse a good magazine, website or blog and dream about what my crafting life might be.

My local knitting shop, Cast Away, has a great blog with links to other projects.  Personal favorites include Ray Cannon’s miniatures.

Organic Gardening Magazine makes me want to tear up my yard and start a small farm.

Roberta’s blog reminds me that I could make cards if I wanted to.

The Cheese Queen has everything I’ll ever need to know when my desire to make artisanal cheddar gets the better of me.

Do you have a creative talent? Please share your passions, your projects and your favorite places for inspiration.

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8 Responses to “Craft Nerd”

  1. Carolyne Says:

    Yes. I am also a craft faddist. My house is littered with abandoned craft tools. I have an entire set of darkroom equipment, and two vintage cameras. I have the chemicals and some furs in my freezer to tan. I have gardening equipment and heritage seeds that doesn’t get used on my tiny property. I have everything one could need to make cheese. ecetera ecetera. My longest hobby where I actually made stuff and kept it up was sewing — I made something like 50 gaments in three years, but I haven’t turned on my industrial sewing machine all year. Sigh… Maybe I should have a craft tools garage sale…

  2. Kelly Says:

    Uh ya, this is the side of me I generally try to hide from people; I get all excited about working on an artful project, purchase the necessary tools, and then it sits on the closet shelf. I could knit or crochet several blankets, create a beautiful rose garden or do some formal French landscaping, press flowers, refurbish some small antiques, make a regular sized or miniature sized quilt, paint, practice calligraphy, learn origami, draw with watercolour pencils…and I don’t think that exhausts the list. I have knit and crochet several scarves, but none that I look at the following year and think ‘wow, I’d sure like to wear that again’ because I still kinda suck at it. I keep telling myself I’ll use up all that yarn by knitting blankets for the hospital or local hospice – buuuuut, so far it’s all still in rubbermaid bins in the basement and I’m not even sure it’s a good idea to knit with arthritic hands now anyway. I am determined to make that quilt though. I’m starting to look at my projects differently, like maybe I can give the yarn to someone else who actually knits and donates things, and maybe I can bring my materials and plan in to a craft store and pay to have someone make the quilt for me (that way at least I contributed towards the final item). I’m always working on my green thumb, because I’m inconsistent and that means I’ve often got a brown thumb, my poor plants.
    Oh! And I do have lots of that paper crafty stuff, but I added lots of stickers and glitter glue to that box and let my nephew create a little book with it. Whenever he comes over he adds a page to that book about what is currently exciting in his life, and so far we’ve got about 4 years worth of art that we worked on together 🙂 It’s the best project I’ve worked on by far!

  3. Jodi Says:

    Wow… did this post speak to my heart! I love it. Motivates me to give away my stamping supplies that haven’t seen the light of day for YEARS. Surely someone would enjoy them. We have a walk in closet devoted to crafting fads. Stained glass? Check. Stamping? Yes. Counted cross stitch? Certainly. Fly tying? You wouldn’t think so, but yes.

  4. Kira Says:

    Last year I hit my “craft overload wall” and sold most of it at a garage sale.

    Every time I ran across my half finished or short lived projects collected over the years I would get a twinge of interest with a side of guilt! Crafts are so much fun but there are only so many hours in the day…..

    I got rid of all but my sewing and soap making supplies and now I have guilt free shelf space again 🙂 I figure if I want to pick something up, I’ll get the stuff and commit to it for a period of time, and really decide if I have time for it. I’m doing the same with my sports gear too.

    Along these lines I’ve been TV free for 14 months, and now I realize what a habit it was! Now that its gone I don’t think about it or miss it a bit, and I seem to actually make time for my garden and sewing projects.

    Cheers

  5. loribeth Says:

    i am a scrapbooker too. : ) Although I am wondering whether I can still call myself one because I haven’t touched my stuff (and I have a LOT of it!) in more than a year. :p It’s such a mommy-dominated hobby, it seems like a strange choice for a childless woman — & when I used to go to crops, I would get funny looks from the other women when I told them I didn’t have kids (some of them would then proceed to ignore me for the rest of the day while they chatted nonstop about their kids to their friends). But I have always loved taking photos, writing, using pretty pens & paper, listening to & recording family stories. Scrapbooking brings all these things together in a really neat way. : )

    I have done albums for my two nephews — the older one has two albums, one for his first year & one for ages 1-5, & the younger has one for his first year. I’d like to keep working on theirs. I also started an album for me & dh, but haven’t gotten very far with it. :p

  6. Kate B Says:

    I knit. Knitting is one of the things that has helped me cope with my childless state. I can create things with my knitting. I may not want to see the pictures of my new niece yet, but I can knit her a blanket. I have found a new community – the knitting community – with people to whom I can relate, share things and it’s happy things. (Okay, there are the occasional knitting projects that bomb, but it’s mostly happy.) I feel productive. I can focus on something other than my childless state.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Ladies! My craft nerd soul sisters!! I am so glad I’m not alone.

      Kira, I am tempted to follow your lead, but I’m from Yorkshire and Yorkshiremen are second only to the Scots for frugality, so I don’t know if I can part with something I might one day need!

      Kate B: So interesting. I also went crazy knitting baby clothes for other people’s babies. In my case, it was partly the creative outlet, but also, in my family, grandmas an aunt traditionally knit for new babies, so knitting helped me move into a different, almost senior role and helped put the “mother” chapter behind me. I didn’t realize this until I read your comment, so thanks for that. 🙂

  7. […] to go out and start digging my lawn up immediately, but knowing myself as I do (see last week’s Craft Nerd post) I know I’d get complaints, and well-deserved, about my half-finished […]


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