I love craft fairs. Ever since my mother brought home a melted LP festooned with plastic flowers and sprayed with gold paint, I have been awestruck by the wonder of it all. So many people gathered in one place to hawk their creations of love. For me, I love the old school grammas who knit socks and mittens and I love the new generation of 20 -30 somethings that are reinventing the world of crafts…like the one we attended today, City of Craft .
When I was a young mom, my sister-in-law Kim and I spent fashioning bread dough creatures into walnut shells to hang on Christmas trees. We became experts at assembly line construction. Everything was hand-painted then dipped in shellac and hung on a thin line to dry. My mother would take dozens of our NUT BABIES to the bank where she worked and flogged them for us. Without her, we would have been swimming in excess inventory. We cleverly tucked them inside of egg cartons and wrapped them in bows. The sales and marketing part of crafts is always the tricky part of the equation. We called ourselves the Domestic Engineers and still laugh at the hours of fun we had together with our little kids, creating along side of us.
If I were not so lazy I would dig some of these ancient things out of the basement boxes, but just in case you missed it the first go round, I am too lazy, and tired , and it’s late. Most of them have long crumbled away but there are a few sole survivors almost 30 years later.
I also have a number of my “home-made padded photograph binders” around the house that are worse for wear and the snapshots inside are melting away under the acidic sheets of clinging plastic and glue.
Long gone are the macrame plant holders of my youth and the wire-framed fabric flowers sitting in wicker baskets on the back of my toilet.
I used to walk around craft fairs thinking, I CAN DO THAT, I CAN DO THAT! Now , more than ever I am awestruck by the artistry, sophistication, creativity and sheer beauty of these crafter’s wares…but most of all, I love some of simpler creations that hold childlike wonder and love, and exclaim to the world, I AM MADE BY A HUMAN HAND !
SOME REAL LIFE EXAMPLES OF CRAFTING GONE WRONG OVER THE YEARS….
PADDED FABRIC EXTRAVAGANZA
Fabric padded photo frame–made from the left over fabric of a baby dress I had sewn for my eldest daughter. If you look closely you can see the HAND SMOCKED dresses my girls were wearing. These are actually still beautiful items that have been passed down to their babies now.
Fabric photo/sticker albums
THE NAKED MAN–aka, the reason I know longer delude myself into thinking that ONE DAY I will be a great painter….France 2007