Saturday, September 06, 2008

Making Something

Truly. I am not a deeply crafty person. My mom and sisters quilt and sew things like dresses and Halloween costumes. I know how to run a sewing machine. I've dabbled in knitting, beading, clip-making, even stained glass. But I lack the conviction and patience (I try not to think I lack the talent, though that may also be true) to excel in the creative arts.

Once in awhile the creative bug gets to me - "creative" as in to create something, not as in coming up with something original and clever. It's usually satisfied through baking - oh, what therapy those sweet aromas bring! But once in a very long while I want to make something else. It happened today. Maybe it was the cozy-day-at-home thing with Hanna pouring and whirling around outside. Maybe it's all the amazingly crafty blogs and Etsy shops I've visited lately. Just a little something simple, but unbelievably satisfying.

I pulled out the big bag of scraps unearthed from the back of Mom's sewing closet - adorable but small pieces of vintage and retro fabrics - and made two little drawstring bags for the girls' rock collection. My kids LOVE their rocks and sometimes play all day just clicking them together and putting them in and out of containers. Hazel pretends they are the eggs of her rubber lizards or whatever other animal is handy. Ginger never leaves the house without one in each hand. They're just simple colorful rocks bought at a beach souvenir shop, and recently replenished at the Natural History Museum gem shop. But they're all over the house and car with no assigned storage place, so I made these little bags:
Reverse side:
When Ginger woke up from her nap I gave them to her, full of rocks. She played all afternoon with them. Talk about satisfying.
Then, wow, how the creative bug feeds itself! In the same bag of fabric scraps was a smaller bag of buttons scored out of the depths of Mom's sewing drawers, mostly from the 60's and still in original packaging. I got one of Ginger's onesies and sewed a few on.
Not much, I know. Anyone could do it. But a sense of accomplishment and loving domesticity came over me and lingered for the rest of the day. It just felt good to make something.


tona said...

Adorable, adorable. And you're so right, the satisfaction is really not related to the size of the project. Just those teensy buttons embellishing something and the fact that you licked the thread to get it through the needle and sewed them on yourself, it means something, somehow. Those bags are super cute.

One of the best things about creating something is that you do it to fill a need, usually a really concrete need. Earlier this summer I was researching in an archives and they had these nifty lead chains-in-fabric "snakes" to hold the book open. I got to thinking about how I needed one at home, and how I didn't want to buy a leather bookweight from Levenger but I wanted to make it myself. A castoff plaid wool skirt, some brass chain from the hardware store, some Korean rice, my sewing machine hauled out and the dust blown off, and one afternoon later I have the world's coolest and most useful object, and part of why I love it is because I MADE IT. (Who do I have for Christmas again? Does that person need a bookweight?) I use it all the time! It's just what I needed!

To me, that's what being "creative" (in the sense of crafting something now and then)can do.

Lindsay said...

I love feeling creatively productive, even if it's just something small. Cute bags! Now you'll need to post the instructions. :)

Also, look how big Ginger is! Holy cow! She looks so much like Hazel these days.

Candace E. Salima said...

Oh, I don't think anyone could do it. Very creative, very smart. I linked you to one of my blogs Mormon Bloggers Speak Out.

I was cruising the internet looking for Mormon Bloggers and found you. The purpose of this blog is to share with the world what Mormons are like in our many facets. What we believe, what we do, how we play, what we do for fun, our thoughts on family, Church, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, life, standing for truth and righteousness, missionary work, doctrine, our countries, etc.

Each day, I, or a guest blogger, will post a blog here so that there will be something new and wonderful on a regular basis. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, please drop me an email and let me know who you are.We also have a Hot Topics category below, something interesting bloggers can write about if they are stumped for the day.

I'm very excited to launch this and hope that Mormon Bloggers across the globe will be willing to be included, and it is my fondest hope our friends of others faiths will drop by and see what we're really all about. These are Mormons blogging about being Mormons and just plain ol' people. Welcome!

Maren said...

Hear, hear! (Or is it here, here?) Anyway, I agree. I sew much less than I used to, although I have big plans and usually have at least one unfinished project on my sewing table at all times. Those bags are darling (I love the reverse side!) and rock collections just plain rock.

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