Monday, January 30, 2012

Crafting a future!

I had a vision of the future and it was not good. I caught a glimpse of me in old age if I continue down my latest path. It was shocking. Imagine (or remember) the shock of  finding that first grey hair (not on your head) and then times it ten fold. It was such a reality check that I have vowed to change my ways before it is too late. And no! I didn’t see an old drunk, pissed on the sidewalk at midday. I drink too much but don’t connect my one or two glasses of vino with out of control alcoholism or rotting liver in later life. What I saw would make being a down and out lush a preferable alternative in old age. If ever I become what I saw – someone please put me out of my misery.
I was stood in the queue at Hobby Lobby. This is bad enough in itself. I have been very bored and thought I should do something creative with my time. I don't think this was quite what I had envisioned for the new year! When I was in the Cotswolds at Christmas (doesn’t that have a beautiful ring to it? Where better in the world to be at Christmas?!) I saw these lovely (for lovely read as any old tat that that reminds me of home!) Union Jack felt cushions and little felt bags.  They were really eye wateringly expensive and probably aimed at the American market. Most of the little tourist shops in the Coltswolds had union Jack stuff with ‘London’ written on it so the Yanks could be sure they were in the right place. (‘what do you mean, we’re not in London anymore? Does Great Kingdom of the United Britain have anywhere else?’) In my wisdom I thought I could make my own union jack felt lavender filled hearts and purchased most of the ingredients from Hobby Lobby here in Texas! I couldn’t get lavender there. Too European!
I made my own pattern using clip art and auto shapes! I was impressed with the paper version. I haven’t sewed since I was around 12 years old and I wasn’t very keen then. I don’t know why I thought my sewing would have improved in the 30 intervening years without any practice or refresher stitches!  Added to my general lack of skill, since having my eyes lasered I cant see close up and nearly made myself sick trying to focus to thread the f**king needle. I made two hearts and my efforts were sweet …for a 12 year old.
The over all cost was something akin to me buying the real thing in the Cotswolds. I spent a silly amount of money on felt and threads, even with my ‘40% off one item’ coupon. I hate those coupons. There are certain shops over here that have these featured coupons on their websites EVERY week. If you can get 40% off something all the time, it means everything is overpriced by 40% all of the time. Stop it! It is silly. Just charge the proper amount. I’m sure some people are taken in by it and feel they are getting a bargain. They fill their baskets with things overpriced by 40% but as long as they get 40% off that one expensive item, they feel like winners! I almost fell for it! I almost brought a sewing machine!
Craft shops over here are vast and virtually devoid of customers. They are filled with things I don’t believe make the world a better place. If all the craft shops in the world got sucked into a black hole only a very special group of people would notice. The ‘crafters’ who go to these shops spend hours in there. They look for that next special project that will result in something someone would actually want or use. The Holy Grail! They look in your basket to see if you have found the next big idea. They looked into my basket and gave me a wide birth! They spend a fortune! $13.3 million in 2010 on cross stitch alone! $1.040 BILLION on card making!
I almost became one of those special people. Buoyed by my early successes I decided to branch out into other designs. I decided I would make some other felt shit using the Texan flag as the design basis. I returned to the Hobby Lobby to purchase more essential ingredients and that is when I realized I was on a dangerous path that few escape from. It starts off as a harmless whim ‘oh I know what I’ll do today; I’ll make pointless lavender filled felt hearts, without the lavender, reflecting a flag theme’. It grows and takes on an entity of its own. One day a little heart, the next I’ll be attending national quilting conventions in Georgia, making furniture fashioned out of wine corks, and turning old jhorts in to quirky handbags. It doesn’t stop there though.
Does anyone remember Candlewick bedspreads? Anyone ever wondered what happened to all those old bedspreads with the advent of quilts and central heating? I discovered what happened to one fuchsia pink one. A old crafter had made it into a jacket. She was proudly wearing it in the queue. She was getting one or two curious glances from other crafty candlewick bedspread owners who had not considered the possibility of a clothing line and had, thus far, only made cushions and quirky stuffed animals out of their candlewick. I also looked, disbelievingly. I saw my years stretch ahead and realized if I don’t stop now I will reach the pinnacle of ‘handmade, home made’. I will find myself, years from now standing in a queue in Hobby Lobby, clutching my 40% off coupon to buy components that would be cheaper and better purchased whole and complete, wearing old crap cunningly recrafted to still look shit in a new form.


  1. The Hobby Lobby, lol. This blog is one of your best yet! lol, Texan Lavender Bags, what next, stars & stripes tea cosies? Candlewick Texan beer cooler covers?, excellent, keep em comin x

  2. Oh - why didn't I think of tea cosies and beer cooler covers! I lack the imagination of a true crafter! I look at some raw materials like buttons, ribbon and glue guns and think - rubbish! they look and can imagine some gloriously fashioned household object!I wonder if the vision ever matches the reality. I wonder f their finished product ever looks like the free Hobby lobby glossy project leaflets?!

  3. If you carry on in that strain you could turn out like your mother. You must admit my artie craftie stuff does come in useful at times. xxxx

  4. OMG! you do decoupage! I hope it isn't genetic!

  5. go to the quilt show, you will see them wearing quilt style jackets hats, all wearing the same colour t shirts, sequins abound, worth a trip.