Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas in Crafty Land

Okay this is the story, when Christmas time rolls around I have a renewed interest in being crafty about the house. How you may ask is this different than any other time of year? Well let me tell you my children, it is. The rest of the year I just make things based on either whatever whim I feel like following (for example this past summer I did a lot of collage and made soul collage cards) or I work on whatever quilt project seems fun, or sometimes I even try and finish an older project or make something for someone else. I am terrible with deadlines. I have tons of projects in the works, and love (like many crafters) to start something new, often in response to whatever cool magazine I'm reading, or book I've checked out of the library.
Recently the things I've been finishing have been crocheted prayer shawls that I work on a lot when I'm at work. The nice thing about simple crochet patterns (and usually by about row 8 of a shawl I have the stitch pattern mostly memorized) is that your hands can be doing, but since its a repetitive action and one I practice a lot I do it without having to engage my whole brain. Also, since I make simple projects with simple stitch patterns for the most part, I can set my work down whenever I need to do something else or work with one of my clients. So, in this season of televised cheer and news reports about economic doom, I feel compelled to stray from my normal way of doing things and throw myself into making handmade things for the holidays. If nothing else, my focus turns a little bit rapid when thinking about all the cool decorations I could deck my halls with if only I made a few more things. Of course, I also have increased need to bake cookies from scratch, make fudge, and fill the house with home-made goodies. In fact for the most part, my dreams for all the stuff I could make would require a lot more money, time, and space than I really have and it wouldn't hurt to have the staff at the craft studios of Martha Stewart Living, or HGTV's various craft mavens to help me out. So I start off with big dreams, and then have to scale them back.
So this year I decided I would try and finish a project I worked on about say, six or seven Christmas seasons ago.
I was going to make a bunch of these.  
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It involved printing out a lot of Victorian Scrap clip-art, which I had already finished. Then came the part where I was to assemble the pictures of Victorian girls with bits of ribbon to made them into fancy paper dolls to be hung as ornaments on the tree. So I knew I had all the supplies(ribbon, fabric scraps, glitter, glue), the paper bits were all cut out already, I just had to find the Martha Stewart magazine with the directions to make the dollies. Thusly, I was this past week digging through boxes of my magazines looking for one particular issue. . .which of course I could not find. Of course, I decide to start this search for this magazine at midnight, while my husband is sensibly asleep so I couldn't search the bedroom. Then I think, oh, I'll bet I can find in online from the Martha Stewart website. Many hours later, after looking through lots of other cool Christmas craft ideas, I still had come up empty. So I gave in and went to bed. It wasn't until the next day that I finally tracked down the issue I needed. Next step, was to get the paper cutouts and gather all the other materials. So of course even though I was sure I knew exactly where I stored said partly done project, it wasn't there. I then looked other places, still no luck. Finally, I was forced to come to realize the following things:
1. My house is really messy, in part not helped by my pulling things out looking for the missing items.
2. I'm not as in love with idea of a Victorian styled Christmas tree and so starting over from scratch to do this project (should I never find the original paper cutouts) was not terribly appealing.
3. My crafting space is in need of some serious straightening and re-organization.
4. I have a lot of supplies, lots I've never even used. Some I don't remember how long ago I bought them or exactly what I planned on making.

And lastly, Why am I making myself so crazy about this now? So while I do want to make some handmade Christmas Tree ornaments, I am not going to try and complete all the different ideas or projects that I feel like I should get done to decorate my house or that I should finish to give as presents. After, if I'm feeling driven or stressed out by crafting, I'm missing the point. It is a hobby. Something to do to relax, to work with my hands, to enjoy being creative. So in that spirit I say unto you, make what you have the time and resources for. The rest can wait for another year.

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