let's craft

Lets Craft – A day of mother-daughter bonding

“Let’s craft, Mom!” My daughter and I love to craft together and can spend hours tucked away in our craft room puttering with paint, crayons, paper, stamps and other artist’s tools. I cherish our time together and loving seeing how creative my daughter is. Today that time was even more special as my mother is here visiting and we had the chance to craft together. My love of art and creativity comes partly from my mom’s side of the family but my Dad is pretty creative, too. I can’t not create! And I love exploring new medium and types of crafts.

My grandmother always had a drawer full of dress-up clothes for her grandchildren to play with. My aunt was a weaver and quilter who’s house was a riot of color and texture. I loved helping her with her weaving and watching her work. My mother has an MFA in Sculpture but even before she went to school she was always painting, drawing, sewing or making something. My Dad made jewelry for a while and he and his father made carnival rides for a living. My job one summer was painting merry-go-round horses. That was a fun summer!

Once I went off to college and grad school, started working and got busy raising my family, I forgot how important it is to be creative. I would do fun little projects for the holidays or end-of-year teacher gifts but I didn’t make regular time for creativity until a few years ago. Now I wonder why I wasted so much time! Well, I can tell you why and I am sure many of you share similar stories. I took a few art classes in high school and college and even grad school and never did well. I was pretty much assured that I wasn’t ever going to be an Artist with a capital A. So I quit trying. It didn’t help having a mother with an MFA in Sculpture.

Every few years I would pull out my pastels or paints and try my hand at being artistic. While I had fun doing it, I never shared my work with anyone except my husband or other members of the family. No one in my work circles even knew that I liked making art. Until a few years ago, my craftiness was kept in the closet where I felt it belonged. Then suddenly, I realized that I was hiding in the closet with it and I was so done hiding.

Once I realized that I was okay with being crafty and creative without trying to make Art, I relaxed into the process and fell in love with creativity all over again. Now you can’t stop me. I love creating for the sake of creating. I don’t worry about the end product or at least try not to. I have kissed my inner critic goodbye and face the blank page of my journal or a blank canvas with the perspective of a three old. I see nothing but opportunity and joy in converting the blank page into a work of art that I made. Yes, me, the artist, the creative, the crafty one. It has taken me most of my life to make peace with myself and say out loud that I am an artist. I have also realized that being creative is a spiritual practice for me, it’s how I connect to source, meditate and celebrate my relationship to God.felt crafts


But back to today. There is a new shop in Santa Barbara called Knit Fit and it is a crafter’s paradise. You can walk in most any day of the week and sit down and create something. You can paint pottery, felt, decoupage, collage, sew, knit…. it’s a bit overwhelming the first time you visit. Today I chose to play with paper and ModPodge as you can see in the image above. I am such a geek and was gleefully excited by the gorgeous stack of handmade paper in a rainbow of colors and patterns. It was hard not to buy one of each! I had fun with stencils, glue, scissors and ModPodge on canvas. I don’t think it’s  finished but grandma and granddaughter ran out of steam before I did. That’s okay, I can’t wait to sit down and play again.

We spent two peaceful hours at a large table covered in white butcher paper, each focused on our project but loving the time spent together. My mom spent the time coloring a beautiful image of a dragonfly on a branch and enjoying working with Copic markers. My daughter is addicted to flat felting and created a beautiful image of butterflies that represented earth, air, fire and water. Wow! I love that my eleven year old is conscious of the four elements and working it into her crafts. For this crafty artist, it was a picture perfect afternoon.

How do you spend time bonding with your mother or daughter?