Thursday, February 5, 2015

Simple Suggestion #226... Craft wisely

These little handmade cotton dishcloths are my favourite ones, better than any storebought ones I've found. They were crafted by my cousin, Dallas, as a little surprise that came in the mail one day. My girlfriend Cathy sent me some knitted ones, too, and I've been known to make my own on occasion.

I wouldn't call myself a particularly crafty person, but I admire people who are -- if what they craft is useful. The thing is, our world is already too full of useless stuff, so I'm afraid it's not easy for me to appreciate pom pom leprechauns or yarn wrapped antlers or other cute, crafty things -- unless they serve a purpose. Otherwise, it's all contributing to the state of "stuffocation" in my previous Simple Suggestion.

Of course, there are thousands of websites that suggest crafting possibilities, even "cool new items" you can make by reusing recycled items, but I always have to ask:

1. Is the item being made really practical and helpful in daily life?
2. If I'm making something for someone else, is it actually something I would use myself? or
3. Is it cute clutter that's likely to end up in a landfill when its owner gets tired of it?

Better to make a usable quilt, like my cousin Cyla.

Or something like my friend Nicola's cute clock (she of of fame)
 that hangs over my hubby's desk.

 My sister made this gorgeous christening gown for my babies, and I consider it an heirloom -- 

I'll pass it on to somebody special for their baby someday...  

and if I walk around my house, I'm sure to find a few dozen other examples of useful things made by people I love.

Used to be that people crafted items all the time because that was the only way they could have what they needed. Knowing how to make things from scratch, in a sustainable manner, is a useful skill. It could be argued that old-fashioned activities like sewing, knitting, canning and woodwork have been essential to the survival of the human race, but these days we have the market economy to provide things we can't make ourselves. I'm thinking now, with markets failing all over the place, that it would be really good to start brushing up on basic skills to do with clothing, feeding and furnishing our own homes...

The twin baby daughters of a friend at work recently moved me into action. I've enjoyed the process of relearning to crochet, and the thought of the little ones falling asleep holding onto these super-soft, fleece-like, non-identical snuggle blankets makes me happy. But I'm not about to go wild with my projects. I'm meeting a need, and that's enough until somebody else has a baby, maybe.

There are other things to be done... like crocheting feet for my kitchen chairs, and making a cover for Lee's weights so they don't scratch the floor when he sets them down. And I have a sewing machine downstairs that should be repairing clothing items -- though I tend to think of that more as a chore than as a craft...

Creating/crafting can be fun, but it's always better when it serves a need rather than a want... Of course, needs and wants are best when they're one and the same.

What's your favourite wise and crafty creative thing to do?

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Click here.

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