Thursday, October 6, 2016

Crafty #WingWritingChallenge Day 20

Am I crafty? Oh, you bet I am.

I get it from my mom. Come to think about it, I get it from my dad, too.

My mom was young - not even twenty - when I was born. She had very little money for extras while I was young, but what she lacked in cash she made up for in creativity. Every Christmas the two of us made gifts for friends and family. I painted magnets, braided spice ropes and glued dried flowers to wooden spoons. She was constantly coming up with the most wonderful ideas, and we were always surprising everyone with our handmade gifts.

That tradition continued for me after I moved out on my own. I still do that now. I've made apple butter and cookies as gifts for my neighbors, and a variety of spice rubs, hand painted frames and stenciled sweatshirts for grandparents.

Some of my favorite crafts have been cross stitch and making fabric covered photo albums. Mimi and I had our own booth at Coomer's Craft Mall before I was married. I made a lot of photo albums back then, as well as Christmas ornaments and all sorts of other things. I'm also a huge rubber stamper and have created countless greeting cards and scrapbook pages.

Just a few of the hundreds of stamps I own
I made birth announcements for both my kids, and stamped 50+ Christmas cards every holiday for many, many years. I was even a Stampin' Up demonstrator for awhile. I was able to keep myself in stamps and other supplies even if I had very little of my paycheck left over. It's amazing the things you can make with rubber stamps. If it sits still, you can stamp it. I stamped bees on my daughter's wall, I stamped t-shirts and candles. Whatever you might be able to think of, I've probably stamped on it.

A few of the cards I have in my stockpile
I don't stamp so much anymore ... every so often I'll get the urge and do a bunch of cards, but it doesn't happen very often. For one thing, I am way too busy. I homeschool two kids in high school, I run my own editing company, and I write novels. I have very little time to stamp. Another reason is that my wrist bothers me a lot still. It hurts to do a lot of stamping.

My mom is a phenomenal seamstress. She has been since she was a young girl. She made nearly all of my clothes while I was growing up. She made a lot of my kids' clothes, too - especially my daughter's. Oh, the dresses that child wore! She made all of their Halloween costumes, and has knitted so many wonderful sweaters. She wanted me to learn to sew. She even bought me a machine ... but I didn't have the desire. I tried to sew a ladybug costume for my daughter when she was two. I was a disaster and had to have Mom rescue me. I guess I've always figured that we only needed one seamstress in the family. My mom is amazing. There's never been any reason for me to sew. Knitting, though ... I need her to teach me how to do that.

All of this is in my office. There's scrapbooking supplies, card stock, cross stitch stuff, ribbon and a gazillion rubber stamps in these bins. If you look closely, there's even a drawing project I've got going on. That's a birthday gift for a friend. Shhh ... don't tell.

I get the drawing thing from my dad. That man had some serious artistic talent. Not only was he a musician, but he could draw like crazy. I remember one Halloween, he decided last minute that he was going to dress up as Mighty Mouse. I watched him as he stood in front of the bathroom mirror and drew a picture of Mighty Mouse with a marker on his sweatshirt. He watched his reflection and just sketched it out in about ten minutes. I was a kid - but I remember how floored I was that he could do that, and do it so well. 

He had this big chalkboard at his house. He built an easel for it and once in a while we'd draw together. He wasn't interested in putting in a lot of personal time, but I did love those occasions when he'd draw with me. I'm not nearly as good at drawing as he was, but I'm grateful that he shared a little bit of his talent.

I've designed all four of my book covers, and just did one for one of my author friends. I love taking pictures, so I've gotten away with not having to pay for photos, and putting covers together is much like scrapbooking in a way. 

I'm not a master of any specific craft, but I do love the art of being crafty. I'm an expert with a glue gun, I'm a sparkly glitter queen, and I can make a perfect bow. I'll let you know what my friend thinks of my latest drawing project.