I had the pleasure of a fun playdate with Isha of Knoxville Mamabelle today at a local park. It was so nice to relax, spend some time enjoying the lovely weather, and to talk with a kindred spirit on everything from parenting to couponing. She surprised me with a beautiful pair of earrings and told me that she had made them.
Now folks, I’m not all that crafty. It runs in my genes. My grandmother, whom I adored, was the one sister out of 8 who didn’t really sew or craft regularly. My mother once famously threw away a sewing machine because she became so frustrated with trying to sew. Yet, they both appreciated beautiful things and true craftsmanship. I have quilt that my mother made when she was young, and I treasure the embroidery work that my grandmother sewed for me.
Their love-hate relationship with crafting rubbed off on me. My great aunts and cousins took time to teach me how to smock and crochet. I opted to take home economics in high school so that I would know how to sew and use a sewing machine. (I even brought my sewing machine with me to my college dorm room!) I took quilting with one of my best friends after I was married, and I’ve made a few quilts since then. I feel very happy when I accomplish a craft. I have that, “I am woman hear me roar” kind of feeling that wells up in me, and I sort of feel like I can conquer the world. In spite of my pride of accomplishment…well….the truth is…I’m not that good at crafting or sewing.
What? You don’t believe me? Let me give you some examples. Remember how I said that I brought my sewing machine to my college dorm room? A friend needed a dress out of a certain material for a sorority event. She asked me to make the dress for her, and I did. The dress held up well through the evening up until she was getting ready to go home—rip went the seam. A few years ago I made coasters for Christmas gifts for just about everyone I knew. I followed the directions from a website down to the last detail. A few weeks after Christmas I was at one of my friend’s houses and I saw her coaster. It was a mess. The heat from her tea cup essentially melted the paint and it was coming off. Talk about embarrassing!
Today, though, Isha inspired me. She told me about how much money she saves through crafting. “You can make a pair of earrings for 50cts!” She told me how she stocks up when she catches a sale and uses Hobby Lobby coupons to score great deals. She even offered to teach me how to make jewelry, starting with what she said are very easy earrings. Other friends have been encouraging me to get back into crocheting and to learn how to knit. (I know, I’m about the only woman in the US who hasn’t learned how to knit yet.) There’s even a free knitting class at our local public library.
So, I’m going to give it a try. By this time next year, I’m hoping that I will have learned more about crafting, sewing, and such. I want to learn so that I can begin teaching our daughter these skills. I don’t want to continue the intergenerational trend of not being crafty. I need to get out of the habit of saying, “I can’t” and instead saying, “Teach me please.” I might have to invest in a bottle of Ibuprofen, and I could definitely use your prayers for patience. ;)
What about you? Do you craft? What are your best tips for saving money when crafting and sewing? What are your favorite resources for a newbie like me? If you want to get inspired, check out Knoxville Mamabelle’s post on crafting here.