I’ve been all caught up in crafting the past six months. It began with touring model homes. In addition to five bedrooms and an office, most of them show-cased craft rooms.
I used to “craft”—back when I was a stay-at-home mom in a small city in Minnesota. I sewed cute little outfits, always made the kids’ Halloween costumes, and cross stitched designs on sweaters for each of them one year. I made Renaissance festival costumes for a school event. And needlework Christmas stockings, Christmas hangings, Christmas tree ornaments, etc. I tried tatting once—I managed a few that remain starched and hanging on our tree each year.
For my first apartment, I decoupaged prints of famous French paintings. That was the year I also joined a ceramics class. Every one in our apartment complex had the same décor of bathroom items, ashtrays, ceramic elves and Christmas trees.
I created terrariums when they were popular. (By the way, they’re back). I stabbed my fingers a million times making sequined apples, bananas, pears, grapes and peaches. Hundreds of straight pins attaching colored sequins to fake fruit. I never got the hang of crochet or knitting, but I continued to sew and cross stitch over the years.
My kids never saw this side of me. Once we moved to AZ, I began to work part-time, then full time as a single mom. The side they saw was a stressed out, exhausted mom who worked in education— home after school, on holidays and summers. A mom who kept up the house, made meals, and taxied them to all their activities and sports.
Last year I moved into a 4 bedroom house by myself (don’t ask), I had an extra room with no designation. It called out, Craft room!! I priced craft tables at Pottery Barn and Home Décor and other mail order catalogues. I just couldn’t spend a thousand dollars on a table. Ridiculous! I went to Target and Walmart. Their prices were lower but the quality was too. Finally my son and I spent two hours in Ikea piecing together book shelves and a desk top and he created a wonderful table for me. I hung some of his black and white photography. I found a large metal safety pin for the wall and a cute wrought iron dress form that I draped with a string of pearls. I found cheap metal wall units to hold thread and paint and yarn and brushes. Different shapes, sizes and uses. The room looked great. My son shook his head; my daughter smiled and nodded. Neither of them thought I’d ever sit in the room, let alone use it.
But I surprised them! I got into all kinds of projects using burlap. I copied Pottery Barn pillows and spent days painting designs, sewing on bells and stuffing them. I tried all kinds of metallic paints and made some faux mercury glass vases. Recently I made French pots out of cheap red clay pots using Modge Podge & French designs and words. I just finished sewing a skirt for myself after struggling with the zipper for two days. Sew, rip, sew, rip. But eventually I finished it and wore it to lunch. I’m looking for my next project. I need to get on Etsy or Pinterest and figure out what it will be.
My kids are proud of me. Hey, that’s what retirement is for, right? Doing things we used to do before we had kids and jobs and lives? Oh, sure, I still spend most of my time in my office, writing. But then I wander into my craft room and use my creativity in different ways. I will never admit to them that I figured the same thing they did as I pieced it all together. Figured I’d never sit in there, let alone use it. But I even offered to sew drapes for my daughter’s new house last week. Who would have guessed?

Just call me Ms. Crafty!

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