family, knitting, living

Posts tagged “friends

C is for Crafting Our Lives

Craft is both a noun and a verb.  The noun craft means, among other things, a skill or ability, especially in handwork.  The verb craft means, among other things, to make or fashion with skill.
In college while working on my BFA, majoring in metalsmithing and minoring in sculpture, I had a tenuous and stressful relationship with the notion of “craft.”  In the academic context, “craft” was second tier due to the utilitarian implications of a craft, such as jewelry making, ceramics, fabric arts, etc.  It seemed the only way to legitimize that kind of handwork was to turn it on its head.  Even then, irony reigned supreme when dealing with “crafts.”  On the other hand, my sculpture professor railed about the lack of craftsmanship in some of my peers work.  Craft has forever been a word loaded with meaning for me.
Today, I have allowed myself a little more freedom and take a little more comfort in using the word craft.  I think I prefer craft as a verb and the definition of “to make something with skill.”  Arguably, not everything I do is with the skill of an expert, some may say none of what I do is expert.
Here are some of the thins I have been crafting this week.  not all of them were perfect, but they were done with love and a sincere commitment to doing the best I could at the time.
This is a wall organizer I hacked for my husband.  Henry looses his keys, his wallet and his phone on a daily basis.  I decided that he needed a place to charge his phone, stash his wallet, camera and keys that could live at the front door.  I knew I wanted it to hang on the wall so it was not more clutter on the table.  So, I found these Real Simple wall pouches.  I really liked them other than the bland canvas.  I jazzed them up a bit with some Anna Marie Horner fabric   http://store.annamariahorner.com/  .  (Nashvillan, by the way)  The little pocket is for his cell phone and enables him to plug it in for charging and hang it!  He really likes it and i am really happy I have crafted up some piece for me and him…now I don’t have to nag and he doesn’t have to stomp around looking for his phone!
These are lotion bars I crafted with my friend Aziza.  We are trying to get a little cottage business started.  we are currently focusing on finding the best organic ingredients, perfecting our methods and packaging these little jewels.  They are beeswax, cocoa butter and shea butter.  They smell so good and have no fragrance at all.  Our little lotion bars are more than just lotion bars, they are the product of a couple of women crafting a friendship.
This little picture is terribly hard to see, I know.  But, trust me, it is one of my most favorite things I am currently crafting at the moment.  This is an apron for one of Mycah’s teachers.  Another mom, my friend Camille, is making one just like it for the other teacher in the class.  Mycah is in a mixed age kindergarten.  They are 4, 5 and 6 year olds.  We had them write their own names on a piece of paper and then laid them out in a pleasing composition and transferred them tot he aprons.  We are now embroidering each child’s name.  Each little name I embroider causes me to think of that little person.  The handwriting even looks like each child.  Mycah’s teachers are amazing women and I hope that the little imprint each child left on this apron will remind them of the love those children feel for them.  Camille adapted this idea from Amanda Soule’s book, the Creative Family.  http://www.soulemama.com/  Amanda embroidered her children’s drawings onto linen for simple, beautiful bookmarks.  I thought this was a great adaptation that Camille thought up and cannot wait to finish it so the teachers can enjoy them.
The last set of pictures is from my most important and ongoing project…my family.  Henry and I spend a good deal of time crafting our lives and those of our girls’.  Growing a family is a craft, a skill on is not born with and one that no one tells you how to do.  This was Saturday night a tour first neighborhood movie in the park night.  We walked the 2ish blocks to the park dragging our trusty and dilapidated red wagon filled with a blanket, bug spray, glow sticks and snacks.  The movie of the night was The Goonies.  It was an amazing night, one well worth the effort, just like any fine craft!
Whoops…forgot my little ironic song……….. http://youtu.be/hbjOEnxTF8c
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Randomness and Catch-up, again, again, again

I am determined to post tonight.  In all honesty I have wanted to post a number of times over the last month and have just become too irritated with the Mac to do it.  See, I have been a PC user until this past Christmas>  I needed a new computer, so Henry bought me the one I wanted terribly… MacBook Pro.  It is awesome, but I did not take a clas…I am not that kind of person, I like to figure things out on my own.  Unfortunately, the thing that would have helped me the most is what I need to post easily.  I need a simple explanation as to where to store things and how to access them easily so that I can load the photos into my post.  Agggghhhhh, I will beat this!

Anyway, onto the blog.  We are in the middle of renovation land at the moment.  The new house has had much work done to her and will have much more work to come.  Henry and I have painted the living room, the dining room, the guest room downstairs, and the girls playroom.  Now, while this may sound like no big deal, let me explain…..our gal is tall!  She has 12ft ceilings which required the purchase of a baker scaffold.  We have not turned on the air as we want the house to air out both the paint fumes and the order that she has acquired before our purchase.  Anyway, it is hot in TN.  It takes me and Henry 2 days per room to lay on two coats of paint.  The dining room took three days because we had to paint the poop-BROWN ceiling.  We still have the girls room, our room, two bathrooms and the yet to be completed kitchen to paint.

In addition to the painting, we will be ripping out the master bath due to some hidden water damage and not hidden hideousness and the kitchen will be finished by the contractor and a library will be built in the other guest room downstairs.   All of this is supposed to be complete by the end of July so that we can move in and get settled before the girls start school.  We are crazy!  We will make it.  Here are a couple of pictures for your enjoyment>>>

That’s the kitchen before.

Above is the before of the dining room.

In news unrelated to the house, I have been doing a bit of sewing, knitting and hand sewing.  I took a class with Lori at Textile Fabrics http://www.textilefabricstore.com/public_html/  .   The class was on reverse applique and was with Natalie Chanin.  http://alabamachanin.com/   It really got me excited about working on ANYTHING again.  I have barely knit in the last couple of months because of the house and because I had gone back to work temping for my old company.  I have been so busy and so tired, I have not felt like doing anything.  It was great to get my hands busy making something again.  The creating bug bit hard, so I took advantage of having Lori at hand and dug out two old unfinished sewing projects.  Last summer I attempted a dress for each girl and made some fatal errors in the construction.  This was before my week long sewing lesson with Lori.  I sheepishly dug them out to show her.  She said it was salvageable and we began to rip.  We ripped out most of my sewing, ironed and repaired.  Now, my girls each have the dresses I promised them last year.  I also cut out another dress for Grey last night and sewed it.  She was pretty pleased with it as well!

I would love to tell you more, but I will save it for later as this stupid post has taken an hour!!!!