When did you get bit by the sewing (crafting, knitting, insert-your-obsession-here) bug?
That's something I've been thinking about lately because of a book I recently read - Handmade Nation, the Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design, by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl.
I picked it up because I've been doing a lot of pre-season craft show work and I was thinking about much more interesting craft shows are recently than they were when I was a kid and got dragged to them by my mom or a relative. A lot of the time these days, there's plenty of stuff I'd like to buy, and quite a bit I can't afford - which isn't what craft shows used to be either. But then again, I'd rather see something I want that I can't afford than a whole room fully of crafty goodness that I wouldn't give house room to.
The book contains short profiles of about 25 crafters of all kinds, but what interested me the most was that almost all of them, when asked where desire came from to make things, said that they grew up around someone (a mother or a relative) who made something. It didn't have to be the kind of thing they grew up to make; it was enough to be raised around creativity that it sunk in.
My mom could draw, and while she didn't much like to sew, she could. There was a machine in the house, and every once in a while lightning would strike and she'd want to make something. It usually ended badly, with much swearing and a wadder in the trash can, but that's another story. My aunts sewed; my grandmother sewed. They embroidered, they knitted, they tatted.
They made stuff.
I remember being a little kid and always having some kind of project going, whether it was painting, making furniture for my doll house, sewing clothes for random dolls, trying to build a Barbie-scale log cabin in the back yard out of sticks (too much Little House reading, I'm sure). Many, many projects involved Elmer's glue, which I thought was the greatest thing ever created. What else could you mix with torn-up white bread to get clay? What else could be painted on fabric to get a waterproof effect for Barbie's raincoat? What else . . . well, you get the idea. I was in love with a glue that you couldn't sniff. (I sniffed Crayolas instead - the ambrosia of a fresh 64-box of crayons!)
There were beads, sequins, yarn, fabric, glue, paints, crayons, etc. in my room, and something was always in the midst of turning into something else. I guess it's not surprising that I still have the urge to make stuff, almost all the time.
What about you? Is it nature or nuture? Were you surrounded by creative women growing up, or did you catch the bug all by yourself?