Crafting is my air. Outside of my Savior Jesus Christ… and my superhero husband Kent… Oh! and my fluffy-fur-baby Meeko… where were we? Ahhh, that’s right. Now that I’ve given proper respect to the first priorities in my life, I can talk about my passion. Crafts are my O2, the thing that gives me energy. Creating little treasures, gifts and home decor fulfills me. It keeps me up at night with the question “how can I make that?” There’s nothing more satisfying than looking down at a project and saying “I made this” and deciding whom I will give it to, because gift giving is my outward love language much like my Mother and Grandmother.
Now obviously everything I have ever made has not been a total gem. I’m sure if you’ve ever picked up a paint brush or a glue stick and glitter you can relate. It’s the humor that keeps us humble. I now actually wish I had saved a picture of past “Pinterest Fails” so you can laugh with me. For instance I saw these adorable little glass vases online, they were recycled glass jars that the artist covered in decorative patterns and swirls with a hot glue gun and then dipped them in cheerful spring colors. They looked adorable and shabby chic on a windowsill. Sounds simple enough, right? I thought so too! But an hour and a half later, I sat staring down at my glass bottles amid glue and paint wondering what on earth I had done wrong. My friend walked in and in a last hopeful attempt and still in total denial I asked her what she thought. Looking back, what a terrible position to put someone in! As a kind person, who didn’t want to hurt my feelings, would do, she examined them and commented on individual aspects rather than the whole result. “They’re hideous”, I admitted. She agreed, as a real friend would, and said they weren’t my best work. And then we proceeded to laugh so hard my sides hurt. So let’s be honest, crafting can be more of an experiment than a calming experience. Fortunately, this is part of the thrill for me! There’s excitement in wondering if the DIY up-cycled EOS lip balm project will glide creamy over my lips and save me a few bucks or if it will melt in a puddle of pink-poo on my counter. Or if the first attempted hand lettered sign for my friends wedding will look just like the artsy photo online or like a second graders first calligraphy lesson. (Relieved to say both were a success by the way).
The first craft I ever remember making was when I was four or five years old. My Mom introduced me to FIMO clay, presumably after all my play dough creatures had crumbled and dried out because I had tried to save them. Often inspired by the dwarf bunnies my family bred as pets, I created little clay creatures with the help of my Mom. Being the totally biased and wonderful Mother she was, she insisted I had a natural gift for my age and encouraged me to make more, which we painted and she gave as Christmas gifts to my Gramma and Aunties. Ever since I can remember, my Mom and Gramma Porter nurtured and encouraged my creativity, and clearly made some hefty financial investments of which they may or may not have seen a return in profit or value. What love and sacrifice! Mom helped me pick out my first beads for jewelry. Gramma opened the wonders which were her fabric bins and let me pick and choose patterns to my hearts content. Mom bought me my first craft table at the old Main Street thrift store and Gramma gave me my first power tools for Christmas, a dremmel and sauntering iron. My passion would not have flourished without these women who were gifted with creativity themselves and with hearts for beauty.
As I start this blog for my crafts I couldn’t stop thinking about those clay creations. August 2013 I spent the last weeks with my dear Gramma Arlene Porter before she went to be with Jesus. The days were full of care and worry for her comfort but also sweet reminiscing. We lay on her bed together, crying and giggling. I can’t count how many times she directed me to look here or there for some odd item I had made as a child, cherished for years in her jewelry box and book shelves. There was a teeny tiny cross stitch of a peach flower put in a gold frame that I had given her, it now sits in my guest room. The last and most treasured items she pointed me to where sitting on top of her jewelry box. My clay creatures. A grey clay bunny and a white clay kitten. Rather the worse for wear after nearly twenty years, but still recognizable. “I thought you’d like to have them, I always thought they were just so cute,” Gramma said from her bed. I teared up, I couldn’t believe she still had them. The love and nurturing of a Gramma is unmatched.
So in honor of my first craft and my dear Gramma in heaven, I dedicate this craft diary to her. I hope she’s enjoying it from heaven, floating on her angel wings.