Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Crafts




I will be the first to admit that I’m not crafty. I pretty much have to as my mother or Jim will be quick to point it out. I’ve never been artistic, I never really enjoyed colouring and I still haven’t managed to master the stick figure.

However, when my friend Kara invited me and Bennett over for a Christmas craft, I couldn’t refuse. I did take the time to warn her about my pathetic craft skills and she kindly agreed to start mine for me. Now this could have been out of kindness or more likely the fact that she’s a bit of a control freak and was worried about the end result if I was left on my own. We emailed back and forth for a few weeks about this project which I affectionately referred to as “The Glitter Craft”. This was entirely my own invention and revealed my raven-like tendency to be entranced by shiny objects. Although Kara was reluctant to give in to the glitter, my persistence finally paid off and she too began to refer to “The Glitter Craft.”

All of this craft talk brought back memories of my last crafting experience which took place approximately 17 years ago. At the time I was in university and overwhelmed with essays, exams, etc. My mother thought crafting would be a good way to relieve my stress. I should mention that I come from an artistic family many of whom can quilt, cross stitch, paint, sing, write poetry, carve, etc. I, however, have inherited none of these talents. Despite my wariness, I agreed to my mother’s suggestion and we proceeded to make Christmas centrepieces for candles. I worked hard on my project as it was a welcome respite from spending hours squinting at a microfiche looking at local immigration records from the late 1800s. I was quite pleased with my centrepiece and my mother had nothing but compliments. Later in the day my aunt came over and my mother proceeded to show her what I had made. My aunt looked at it with admiring eyes and then looked down at me and asked “It’s lovely…what grade were you in when you made it?” Oh, how I was crushed! I refused to put it out and to this day I have no idea where it ended up. Hopefully the pine cones were returned to nature where they should have stayed.

So, as much as I looked forward to today’s craft session with Kara, I must admit I was a bit nervous as well. As it turns out, I had little to worry about. The craft was very straightforward and left little room for me to screw up. Being the wonderful host she is, Kara provided and let me use as much glitter as I wanted. However, I couldn’t help but notice the worried looks she threw my way as I added more and more glitter.

I’m more than pleased with the end result and would proudly show it to my aunt. Has this changed my outlook on crafting? I would have to say no. I agree to craft on special occasions but other than that, I’m afraid that Bennett will have to rely on others for artistic projects. The scars run deep my friends.....

10 comments:

Popcorn House said...

OH that is the best story! Your crafts turned out great.

therextras said...

Au contraire! Barbara! You are a marvelous storyteller - a craft if ever I defined one.

I clicked on your images to get a closer look. Santa's beard is so well-done, with perfect glitter on the stripes of the candy cane and letters. The words are the bottom are so sweet, too.

Merry Christmas to all of Bennett's family!

(Oooh! - reading immigration records for the 1800's - caught my interest as I am fascinated with genealogy. Well, at least I used to be, before I started blogging. Sigh.)
(that other) Barbara

Lisa said...

OH MY!!!!!

The question I have to ask now is, 'Was I the aunt who created this debilitating scar on your artistic soul?' I'm afraid that my addled old brain does not remember. Being art and craft obsessed myself, I cannot imagine that I would have purposefully discouraged anyone, especially my own precious niece, by knowingly making such an innappropriate comment! If it was me,I do sincerely apologize!

As a follow-up to your comments about your lack of artistic talents however,(I may be doing a little sucking up here!) I do remember you making very beautiful beaded Christmas Ornaments that I continue to drool over to this day. And your glitter project - it is absolutely perfect!!!!!

Big hug,
Auntie Gates

Kara said...

Personally, I think that you are in the closet about your craftiness. I came to that conclusion after watching you zig zag glitter on Santa's hat with sheer abandon.

Today I dug a little deeper into my craft drawer and found (gasp) sequins! Although I'm not sure how you could have incorporated them into your already sparkle-a-rific- masterpiece, I'm absolutely positive that you would have found a way!

Kiera Beth said...

The crafts look great! I love all of the glitter!! Thanks for the great story about the centerpiece! That had me laughing! You are too hard on yourself, I am sure it was beautiful!!

* ~ *Jessica* ~ * said...

I think the crafts turned out uber-cute!!! You did very well. You don't give yourself enough credit dear!!!!

Barbara said...

Thank you so much for all the compliments on my craft - especially the glitter portion. What kind of craft doesn't have glitter? :)

Auntie Gates: NO - it wasn't you who made that comment so many years ago! Thanks for the sucking up anyway:)

Kara: I had a feeling you might be holding out on me. Sequins!!! I can't wait until our Valentine's Day craft!

Ellen said...

I think those cards are great! My "craft" is trying to crochet a granny square blanket. I think I am going to blog about the saga of that, come to think of it!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
what can I say. THAT'S MY GIRL! Auntie Gates is right about the beaded ornaments that you made while in university. You sold quite a few that you made for a pretty penny, if I remember correctly. They are exquisite. I wish that I could put a picture of the ones you and I have left on your blog. Maybe you should show them off. That way Bennett will have a pretty good idea of how talented and creative his mommy was. To be honest, though, I never suspected that she had THAT degree of creativity in her bones. I had made some, what I thought, were BEAUTIFUL ornaments. Until I saw the ones that she made. What a come down!!! Here I thoght that mine were sooooooo wonderful. WRONG. I was even going to sell mine at a craft show! Needless to say, I saved myself the embaressment and quickly took mine apart, never to see the light of day again. Barbara's hand beaded Victorian ornaments are the most gorgeous that I have ever seen.
As a matter of fact, I will be teaching a class to guild members how to make them. Barbara showed me how. Anyways, Barbara is a lot more talented than even she realizes.
Lots of love, hugs and kisses
Mom.....ake Mikey...Bennett's grandma

Bonnie said...

Your crafts are beautiful! Thank you for sharing them - and I pray that this Christmas is blessed with hope, peace and joy for you, Jim and Bennett. Love, Auntie Bonnie