Am I Crafty?

I am not a big-time crafter, but I have my moments. My longest-lasting craft interest was always cross-stitch. I have done a few substantial pieces and had them framed.

This cutie is enough to make me break out the floss!

When I was a kid, my grandmother taught me traditional embroidery. In the past few years, I’ve seen nostalgic iron-on embroidery transfers back in the stores, so you can now “ironically” embroider your tea towels with smiling cupcakes or dancing strawberries.  Or maybe a skull and crossbones, just to update things!

Just what my Nan’s generation would have made (except they could iron better than this!)

I’ve tried needlepoint, but not crewel. One of my friends, impressively, does Hardanger embroidery. (You actually have to cut holes in the piece you just spent hundreds of hours on!)

Hardanger embroidery: stitch and snip!

I know how to knit and purl on 2 needles, but not 4 (or round needles) and I’ve never knit anything from a pattern. My skills probably end at a square or a scarf! I never quite got the hang of crochet. Maybe I was intimidated because my mom is a genius crocheter. She has made me two gorgeous crocheted tablecloths with fine cotton.

My mom knows her way around pineapples like these!

I have never shied away from hand sewing – I can darn and hem and take things in, if they’re uncomplicated. I’ve always fought with sewing machines, and there is no love lost between us. I can cut and follow a simple pattern, but machine stitching is not something I enjoy. As a result, even though I love quilts and especially art quilts, I never got into quilting. But if someone made me a quilt, I wouldn’t mind quilting it by hand!

My sewing is utilitarian

I’m a lot more inclined toward paper crafts. I have enjoyed card making and journal making and a little bit of scrapbooking – although I bought WAY too many supplies! I even have some patterns hanging around for scherenschnitte!

In my dreams!

My kid, Link, got into origami in a big way and impressively made 1000 miniature paper cranes. I learned a few techniques so I could make these:

I know 3 or 4 origami patterns

Some of the crafts I’ve enjoyed over the years were trends that have come and gone, like fabric paints that were applied in dots, and ribbon braiding, and quilling, and rubber stamping (I loved using embossing powder!)

Embossing is playing with glitter!

Why am I writing about this? Alas, the time has come to clean out my crafts room and “face the music.” There are supplies in there I haven’t used for 20 years. They all enjoyed a second life because Link and I did every kid craft under the sun. I don’t feel terribly sentimental when I look at a cross-stitch pattern I wanted to do in 1992 and never got around to! I don’t want to be one of those people whose idea of themselves is 20 years out of date, or worse yet, still has a country kitchen decorated with a goose motif, LOL!

One of those ubiquitous goose wallpaper borders (1980s?)

There’s no chance I will go out and buy supplies to start 20 new crafts, and fail to get around to them either. Although lately I’m thinking that working with mosaic tile would be cool…

I could get into this…

Are you crafty? What is the average age of your craft and sewing supplies?


  1. Mel

    Ah yes, mosaic tile does look like fun. Maybe sometime down the road…

  2. Average age, I take the 5th. I have been clearing out my art supplies for years. I have another purge going on right now. It’s so hard to get rid of supplies for silk screen, etching, batik, silk painting and so much more. I want to focus more on my calligraphy, bookbinding and paste papers.

    • That reminds me, I have some nice calligraphy stuff I plan to keep! Some art supplies are such an investment, you always hope you’ll get back to it. For me, drawing and lettering and most paper crafts are on my “lifelong” list that I think I’ll keep doing.

  3. SarahN

    Wow, you’ve done a bit! At least you’re not nostalgic with it, so should be easy enough for you to purge!

  4. Can’t knit for toffee, planning on learning to crochet in 2013. Been cross stitching since the early 80’s. Been quilting since the early 2000. Been sewing albeit not great since high school.

    Tried scrapbooking wasn’t for me, don’t do bead work, or painting, other than the walls on the house!!

    Have enough supplies to sink a ship though!!


  5. Yes, you’re crafty! These are beautiful. I make origami and book-binding, and paper cutting too, but not quite cross-stitching yet.

    I’ve also got into card making too, so I’ve got too many ink pads, cardstock of every colour and shade, ribbons and brads….even a pair of very special crafty scissors only I’m allowed to touch in this house.

    So overwhelming! You know that feeling.

    • anexactinglife

      Hi Janet, I worked hard on decluttering this weekend and I was delighted that none of my ink pads have dried up 🙂

  6. Pingback: Am I Optimistic? | An Exacting Life

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