This Crafty Life

I started my art and crafts career at age eight. I was mentored by my grandmother who had a veritable craft store in her basement. I was allowed free reign to pursue any and every type of art there was.  Both my mother and grandmother nurtured that creative gift in me. I was very blessed to have two patient women in my life cheering me on!

 

Now in this basement of my grandmother was stored every type of natural material and craft supply known to man.  My grandmother collected supplies and my accountant grandfather organized it all for her. I lived in that basement all summer, every summer.

There was nothing in the world like that musty, cool, creative mecca.  I suppose I've always been a bit hobbit-like as I preferred her subterranean art-cave to playing in the summer sun with friends. I only surfaced occasionally for a walk in her raspberry patch and a bite of her buttery cookies.

Patiently, they taught me all the usual crafting and art skills. I probably ruined more of my grandmother's paintbrushes than I care to remember. I messed up my mom's sewing machine regularly but they never scolded,  only encouraged. 

 

One of my favorite memories was when the women of the family got together for marathon crafting weekends where we all gathered around the table and crafted until we dropped (about 14 hours a day). It was a messy affair: fabric flung on every chair, dried flowers debris crunch underfoot, and microscopic beads that roll about and hide from the eyes that lost them. But we laughed and talked and encouraged each other to new creative heights.

By the time I was in high school, I  had developed my own artistic style and enjoyed making money with them at the craft shows.  After graduation, I attended a floral design/horticulture school and then managed a flower shop and worked as a floral designer for years.  When my babies started coming I left the flower shop and it's demanding holiday hours to run a fresh flower wedding business out of my home (also demanding!).


But my all-time favorite adventure was the partnership with my mom in owning a craft boutique. We had over 50 artists, designers and crafters all displaying in our shop. This was in the crafting hey-days of the 80's and early  90's (before China stole our designs AND our thunder). We were very successful until my second child became a toddler and I couldn't maintain the pace. Thus began my years of hiatus from the world of design and crafting. 

Fast forward to my life today, three of my four children have flown the nest and I have begun to create once again!  My mother and I are still partners in creativity and now my daughters have joined us. I now have grandchildren and am in absolute wonderment in seeing their artistic giftings!  It is truly amazing to watch each person bloom in their own area of creative endeavor. 

I started this blog and authored books to share my designs, creations and sage crafting wisdom with others.  My grandmother taught her craft classes in the church fellowship hall - she would be so excited to know that I have a much wider audience.  .  After high school and  a quick debacle into the world of secretarial life, I enrolled in a horticulture school and quickly realized that a designers life was what I wanted.  I then became a floral designer and then a shop owner but one of my passions was to teach.  I taught crafts of all kinds in schools, prisons, elder care homes and of course in craft and flower shops.