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Friday, July 3, 2009

Delusions of craftiness

I want to be crafty, but I am not. A friend taught me to knit and I never finished my first scarf. I took a quilting class and never got around to piecing the quilt together. I did once make a slip-cover for our old couch. That involved draping the fabric over the couch, pinning it and then sewing it together and cutting off the excess fabric.

I think my problem is that I am lazy. I don't have the patience for the precision and attention to detail that is involved in crafting. All the measuring once, twice and three times. I prefer to just wing it. The results are usually not pretty.

Usually "crafts" in our house involve construction paper, crayons and scissors. That sounds more impressive than it actually is. The girl draws on the paper with crayons and then cuts the paper with her scissors. Craft done. But in my search for activities to do with the girl I thought some sewing might be fun. What? Is that the sound of you laughing?

The girl likes the sewing machine. The first time we used it she wanted to sit on my lap and help feed the fabric through. That was fun. Since then she still wants me to sew but she doesn't want to go anywhere near the sewing machine.

Last week we did two projects. The first was a doll sling for a friend of the girl's who will be a big sister soon. I figured this was the perfect thing for me to make because it draws on my strength, sewing straight lines. The sling turned out okay but was a bit wide because I couldn't be bothered to measure and cut the fabric smaller. That is my laziness rearing it's head.

The other project was a crown for the girl. I had seen some at the farmer's market a few weeks ago and thought "I can make that!". Of course I can, I just shouldn't. I cut out some batting and got to work pinning it to some gold fabric left over from the curtains in our bedroom (those were a success because of straight lines and my mother-in-law doing the measuring). Once I started to sew things went downhill. The problem with a crown is that it is pointy and you have to change directions. Lesson learnt. In the end it didn't matter because when the girl saw the half finished gold crown she freaked out and started yelling about how she only wanted the white crown. Yes, the batting is her new crown.

I am beginning to accept that I am not crafty, as much as I want to be. But I like the idea of having handmade things and not just things made in a factory in China. My compromise is to have handmade things that are not handmade by me. The best of both worlds.

Since discovering Etsy last year it has become my go-to place for shopping. Only if I can't find something there will I go to the mall or shop online. I have bought wooden teethers for the boy, jewelry for my sister and mother-in-law, face cream for me, a cape as a birthday gift and tote bags for the girl's teachers. I am currently debating about a wooden dollhouse as a birthday gift for the girl. The paper dollhouse she has is quickly being torn apart.

My last purchase from Etsy was a cupcake hat for the girl (the hat isn't an actual cupcake but it does have cupcakes on it). I bought it from Stephanie at A Pocket Full Of Buttons. Back when the only "mommy" blogs I knew about were giveaway blogs I would often read the other comments after I had submitted my entries and check out blogs based on their names. That was how I found Stephanie. She was one of the first blogs I followed, largely because I liked the post she wrote on blog etiquette and envied her amazing sewing skills. I am currently drooling over her backyard blues garden dress.

(For any giveaway lovers reading Stephanie has started a new giveaway blog with a friend called Mama's Empty Pockets and is giving away your choice of a hat like the one the girl has, a monogrammed bib with two burp cloths or custom embroidered wipes case. I would personally recommend the hat!)

Nope, I am not crafty. But I can bake. Luckily the girl also likes to bake and no precision or attention to detail is required. In fact, I am just happy if some to most of the ingredients make it in the bowl.


  1. I am SO addicted to Etsy. I think my husband wishes he had some sort of blocker on the computer that would stop me from going there. So many pretty things, so many things I can't resist!

    Love the cupcake hat, it's adorable :).

  2. Etsy can be dangerous. I try to only look when I am looking for something. If I just browse I want everything!

  3. Etsy is WAAAY dangerous.

    CHeck out craftycrow and makeandtakes for some great kiddy craft ideas. All Margo wants to do when she's home from school is CRAFTS. i'm usually balancing Maude on one hip trying to make dinner so markers, foam peel and stickers I picked up at value village and paper is the extent of it . . .i have aspirations of being mroe crafty with her . .but in reality I'm too busy plotting my next quilt . . after years of failed attempts of finding my "thing" i've found it!! yay. Margo enjoys playing with the scrap bin . . .