Monday, November 13, 2006

the crafty gene :: second installment

Continued from a couple days ago. That's my grandmother, Irma, around the time she got married (1930).

When I got older, my grandmother gave me her old sewing machine. I don't know exactly how old it was, but can you picture the ones that were black metal with gilt floral painting on them? One of those. It must have been one of the very first electric models. Anyway, my college roommate and I got inspired by an adorable, expensive dress in a boutique window and whipped up copies on Grammy's old machine. They turned out pretty well. Afterwards, of course, we had to be careful not to wear our matching dresses at the same time. With our footless tights. Which are back in style now, along with my entire wardrobe from 1989. But I digress!

In my 20s, I seemed to have all kinds of time for making things, probably related to my drifter’s approach to employment. I took classes in stained glass and carpentry. I started printing fabric and painting furniture. When I left for Japan, I cast off my grandmother's old sewing machine (more regret!), but I managed to borrow one now and then. Among other things, I made a kajillion cloth napkins that I still use daily.

Eventually I went to graduate school and after that, life became very full. I now had a career taking up a lot more time and energy than a job. I got married and traded my maintenance-free apartment for this cracked, creaking old fixer-upper of a house. It's the ultimate craft project, really, and it has been the recipient of plenty of J’s and my creative energies. But perversely, my crafty gene reasserted itself with a vengeance after my daughter was born, when my free time had diminished almost to the vanishing point.

On the edge of your seat? Tune in tomorrow for the final installment of this epic post!


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