Wednesday, June 21, 2006

To Craft...

My latest creation
I came to craft fairly late in life. Of course like everyone, I had my share of childhood popsicle stick creations, expressionist playdoh ash trays and macaroni sculpture. And although I am sure I enjoyed all of these projects, none were done for the reasons I craft today.

I came to craft in the weeks following my mother’s death; a beautiful woman with an infectious laugh, kind manner, optimistic outlook and the ability to create anything with barely any resources or supplies. For years I watched her transform; found junk into high end home décor, inexpensive generic clothes into runway fashions and simple everyday items into one of a kind masterpieces. Not exactly your traditional crafter, her tools of choice were a stapler, glue gun and a keen eye for style. When she passed on, the world crashed down around me and everything went dark. Suffice to say , we all take the death of a loved one hard… but I did not want to take it at all. If not for the love of family, friends and an amazing partner, I am not sure where I would be.

In the beginning, the first things to penetrate my darkness were colors. I had taken many of my mother’s things with me and I often fixated on the colors as I stared blankly at a vase, pillow or item of clothing. From there pictures, my mother had hundreds and I thought it important to share them with others. The problem, I didn’t want to part with any of them, and thought it pretty cold to just send my grandmother pages of scanned duplicates.

I found a scrap book and began to create a funny book of pictures and sayings. It took well over 100 hours and with each cut of the scissors, and swipe of the glue, I found myself smiling and laughing. And when I imagined how happy my grandmother would be to receive this, I felt even better.

Over the next 3 years, I fell in love with colors, textures, paper, cloth, yarn and glue. My partner and I opened a store and created a business. I learned to knit. I learned Photoshop. I started wearing bright colors. I took flower arranging classes. And I started to sketch. But most importantly, I found my mother again. She laughed with me while I created, she smiled at me when I wore a new creation, applauded me when I learned a new skill and hugged me when I gave a handmade gift.

We all come to craft for some reason. Maybe it is a desire for some thing we can’t afford a quest for some item that can’t be purchased or a need to work with our hands. Or maybe, like me it is a need to frame our sorrows and loss with a handmade gilded creation, to lift the darkness with a coat of fresh paint, wrap our aching spirits in a knitted shawl, to adorn our souls with buttons and glitter and to not only wear our hearts for all to see, but to also trim them with ribbons

4 comments:

suttonhoo said...

thank you for posting this -- I'm going to take it with me into my day, and see what my ghosts have in store for me.

this is absolutely beautiful.

anne said...

what wonderful sentiments pamela!
my inspirations for crafting are my grandmother and mom, both who were very creative in their own unique ways.
speaking of crafting, i have a couple new 'ferns' for you...
:)

Anali said...

This is a really beautiful post. I'm at a loss for words. My eyes keep tearing up, but I can hear your mom's laughter. I think she would like this...

enyasi said...

Thanks for all the kind feedback. This post has been bubbling inside me for sometime. I am learning so many things about creativty and the healing power of craft and creation... stay tuned for more post...

Warmest of Thoughts...
LittleBrownGirl20