March is National Craft Month, and boy oh boy does that sound exciting. Ok, I admit that for me, every month is Craft Month. I always have something going, and the continual mess to prove it. But this here is all official like, and ain’t that grand? I’ll be sharing some of my crafts throughout the month, maybe even some tutorials if I get my act together (I rarely do, so don’t hold your breath!), and I’d love to see and hear about what other people are making, too.
I get excited about making things and always have ideas for more. I ran across this quote recently:
It’s so true! I often get asked “where do your ideas come from?” and while I am tempted to give a flippant answer along the lines of, “A desk I keep on my jar,” or “I find them in the couch cushions,” the truth is much simpler. I get one idea, play around with it, and it spurs another. Next thing I know, rabbits everywhere.
I don’t limit my creations to one medium, either. I prefer paper and upcycling, but I also use wood and fabric and yarn and paint (acrylic and watercolor). I also like to have what I make serve a purpose, a function, and not just be ‘for pretty.’ Decor has its place and it makes a house feel like a home, but there’s only so much decor my walls can hold, and all too often I see those types of crafts find their way to the shelves of a thrift store. When I make something, it is with the hope it gets used and hangs around a while.
There’s also something intrinsically satisfying about making something, it adds (perceived) value to the item. It’s why Ikea is so successful. It’s why as parents we proudly wear the beaded necklaces our preschoolers string together or the tie-dye shirts made at summer camp, because labor leads to love. Plus, it can be a lot of fun.
Recently, I helped out a friend who needed some square envelopes on a short notice. She couldn’t find any in local stores (they were a rather specific size) and didn’t want to have to pay rush delivery for this one time need, so she asked me if I knew where she could get some. Get some? Ha! Howza about we make some? My craft-challenged friend got a little wide-eyed and fearful at the mention of *gulp* making envelopes. Could such a thing be done? You bet your sweet bippy! I had all the tools, all she had to do was pick up the paper that was needed. She brought over the paper, I got out all my tools, and in no time we had those envelopes made. She even enjoyed herself, and went away quite proud of what she was able to make.
So, if there’s something that appeals to you and maybe you don’t have the tools or the scale of the project seems intimidating, grab your craftiest friend and give it a go. They might have just what you need.
Now, if that seems a bit much, (“What a nice idea, Michele. You’re out of your mind.” *pats me on the head*), and you need to set your sights just a tiny bit lower to feel comfortable, you’re in luck. It’s also National Peanut Month. Eat some peanuts. Sing the song “Found a Peanut.” Or if you have a peanut allergy or can’t sing, why not check out all the uses for peanuts discovered by my fellow Missourian, George Washington Carver? He’s credited with over 300 uses for the peanut. Or how about reading about former peanut farmer and President, Jimmy Carter? A tenuous connection to peanuts, sure, but no matter what you feel about Carter’s politics, he’s done a lot in and out of public office to help people domestically and abroad, from his work with Habitat for Humanity to his humanitarian efforts abroad. I just love these “National Such and Such” month dedications, because there’s so much more to them than the name and a few bits of trivia. I see it as an opportunity to dig into a new idea or explore a subject about which I know little or to celebrate something I already hold dear. Best of all, it’s fun. I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little more fun. Go nuts and get crafting!