Perspectives

Celebrate

Dear Fellow Crafters,

In these trying times, we are all doing our best to take of ourselves and others. We have been inspired by the selfless acts of love shown by first responders, teachers, fire and police officials and ordinary folks just stepping up to do their part.

You may not think you have anything to share to make someone’s life easier but if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you do. You have a gift of creativity. A simple card, a gift of handmade bread or a plate of cookies can make a lonely person’s day. If you know someone whose life has been shattered by the death of a loved one, or loss of a paycheck reach out with any type of social media you can. Hallmark has great e-cards you can send.

The phrase “We’re all in this together” is not trite, it’s true. Celebrate yourself and others.  This is my birthday month along with it being my granddaughter. I plan on making my own cake and decorating it too! I have no idea what to buy myself yet, probably something crafty…

As we wait for the new normal to begin I’d like to share a quote I recently found that I plan on using in my next fan fiction Story:

“Your future self is watching you right now through memories.”

Do what you can, when you can for  those around you. You’ll be glad you did.

~Sallie

 

Adventures in Card-Making · Creativity · Perspectives

5 Benefits of Crafting

 

Dear Fellow Crafters,

After all these years, (25!) of crafting starting with painting fabrics to die-cutting I have always maintained that my hobby kept me sane. Between balancing being a wife, Mon and Sr. Customer Service Representative for two large corporations I carved out weekend time for my ever-evolving craft life. I remember when I started rubber stamping and someone told me that “it was a fad and wouldn’t last!” Well!!! Anyway, if you’re a beginner crafter there are some very distinctive benefits to any type of craft pursuits. Here are 5 of them:

  1. Mental and Health Benefits.

Getting lost in the making of a craft item helps you forget a stressful day or an on-going problem in your life. Completing a make gives you a sense of achievement and if the item is a gift, then you get the satisfaction of giving a gift from your heart and hands. One other similar benefit is that it helps in improving hand-eye coordination and brain productivity.

2. Allows you to gain a new skill. Each crafting project requires a different technique. When I was first introduced to die-cutting, I was intrigued but wondered if I could master it. Even though I have a spatial disorder, I decided to talk the plunge and now couldn’t be happier. In fact, I think my crafting is better.

3.Crafting gets you off your phone or tablet.

If you create in a group you get to communicate with people. We are all “addicted” in some ways to our devices which not only robs us of time but real social interaction. Concentrating on our “masterpiece” gives us an avenue to achieving something tangible.

4. Crafting saves money.

Instead of spending money you can create a thing of value.that will be treasured. In the early days of my card crafting I wondered if my creations meant something to the people (family, friends and co-workers),I gave them to. A card is a card after all. Well, I found out one day, by accident, that a o-worker kept all the cards I made for him in a desk drawer at work. And finally,

5. Crafting is a social activity. Just like there are a knitting circles there are crafting clubs. Join or start one!

~Happy Crafting,

Sallie

Adventures in Card-Making · craft stores · Perspectives

The Disappearing Act

Dear fellow Crafters,

Over the holidays, a disturbing force came over the land. It was the announcement that two craft stores in our state were closing their doors. (A.C.Moore and Joanne’s Fabric Store) Then, amidst the hue and cry came the news that these closings were national!

According to news reports the 145 stores failed to adapt to the changing marketplace.Some of A.C. Moore stores were to merge with Michael’s. Then on the heels of that news came another bombshell -Joanne’s was closing nationwide also. Now it seems that both of these retailers failed to realize the changing dynamic of today’s consumers. The target crafter with the most disposable income was either not interested in making something from scratch -wanting to buy items already made or simply did not have the time to pursue the craft.The other thing was that the core dynamic of both stores stayed much the same. Oh, some new vendors were added  but mostly both the layout of the stores and the merchandise (seasonal and trending) remained the same. Discounts were routinely offered in print and on-line but we’re ever changing and so many items were excluded. From a corporate point of view closing made sense as apparently a fair to middling number of stores were not meeting their quotas.

To the crafter though -you and me – our crafting world just became more complicated.We were faced with the dilemma of shopping online directly from the manufacturer or Amazon or Wal-Mart.

Here’s my question for you – if you’re an American crafter where are you going to shop for your supplies?

Please share your comments below. We are all in this together!

Adventures in Card-Making · Perspectives

Are you an artist or a craftsman?

Dear Fellow Crafters,

There is a weekly TV show that is aired on our public tv station called A Craftsman’s Legacy”. The host Eric Gorges travels around the US in search of those artisans who practice and teach unique arts such as blacksmith, needle artist, glass blower, boot maker, hatter and many more.

Under the watchful eye of the master craftsman, Eric becomes an apprentice and tries his hand at making the particular item featured on that particular show. He always asks insightful questions and the audience learns more about the craft. Two of the questions asked usually are: “Do you consider yourself a craftsman or an artist?” And “How do you want to be remembered?”

More often than not, the answers always feature the love of the craftsman for their particular craft. They talk about their struggles to learn and adapt. They talk about the different schools they went to or the country they traveled to and the years it took to get to this place in time. They  have a reverence for their tools and talent  and the joy they get when sharing with others. They love to see their own designs being born of the materials they work with, and they hope that they are remembered not just for their art they made but for the traditions they passed on to future generations.

In an interview a few years ago, Eric said that “we are all creative. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to take a concept (say  greeting card or clay bowl) and get the materials and ultimately loose ourselves in the creative process. When we are done, we can’t wait to give it to our love one”.  I have been saying that for years!

Follow the show on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/craftsmanslegacy.

~Sallie