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Life, Law & Libros

Discussion: Getting Crafty

I've been working on sewing a totepack over the last week. (Fingers crossed it will finally end today.) It's had me thinking about the role of handcrafts in our society. My mom crochets baby blankets and does a little hand-sewing repair work here and there, and my dad strings tennis rackets, but other than that, we're not a super crafty family. I learned how to crochet and embroider and use a sewing machine in a high school class, but I didn't do much after. Which is part of why this bag is taking so long. :P

The fact is, at least in the U.S., we don't need to make most things for ourselves. We go to the store. Food, clothes, accessories, tools--it's easy, it's cheap(er) and it's so much faster. Especially if your skill set isn't all that great.

I read somewhere that a bunch of millennials are adopting as hobbies what were, essentially, chores to their grandparents. I guess I kind of fall into that group. I like learning how to make things. But it's definitely a process, like anything, learning the skills and getting better and faster.

I like that learning to sew and crochet and stuff lets you make customized creations, but I'm not about to eschew all manufactured products and take up residence in an off-the-grid cabin or anything. I love how precise and convenient machine-made products are. I like having both options. Machine-made when it's cheaper, faster, and suits my needs, and handmade when what I want either isn't available or is way too expensive. :)

Do you do any handcrafts or other "old-time" hobbies like gardening, woodwork, etc.? How do you choose what items to make and what to buy?


  1. I sew sometimes, but the machine and I hate each other, so whenever I undertake a sewing project it's by hand and that takes a looooong time. But I do like making my own jewelry. No better way to ensure that you have that unique jewelry signature piece for a party! ;)

    1. I feel your pain with the sewing machine. Granted, I'm working with some extra heavy material, but getting stuck every five seconds is no fun. Although, surprisingly, the straps went down really easily. I was expecting to have the most trouble with them.

      That's awesome that you make your own jewelry! I'm not a big jewelry person, but I love seeing what other people make. :)

  2. I quilt with my mom but I am horrible when she is no around!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. I know what you mean. It seems so much easier when you have someone who knows what s/he's doing on hand to smooth out the rough spots and answer questions as you go. :)

  3. Could have sworn I left a comment on this... *laughs* I love crocheting stuff. Mostly I make scarves and full-sized blankets, but I have patterns for shawls and hats and all kinds of other things. I know how to knit and hand-sew as well, but I hate hand-sewing so avoid it as much as possible. And knitting takes forever compared to crochet, I can have an inch or maybe two in an hour of knitting, whereas I can have nearly half a scarf in the same time if I crochet.

    I also love painting ceramics. A lot of the knick-knack type of things around the house are ones I've painted. I love fantasy stuff so that's mostly what I buy to paint.

    Dad loves sculpting stuff. He wants to start a garden statue and fountain business. He sculpts things in clay, then makes a mould and casts it in concrete. He's been doing lots of fantasy things, he has a satry head that's the size of a human head, did a griffin the size of a sheltie, and before we moved to the island, he had a dragon statue that was big enough for me to ride on! (Not sturdy enough though, it was cement and wire and his first try at something that size.)

    I love your tote! I don't think I could have stuck with it to make one for myself, but I love the pattern and all on it. Hope it does what you want it to for BEA!

    1. You sound really crafty! It's true though; while I like the look and feel of knitting, it does seem to take forever (especially since I'm super slow). And it sounds like your dad has made some amazing pieces!

      I'm half expecting the tote to burst at the seams as soon as I fill it, just to spite me, but we'll see. ;)