Monday, September 16, 2013

Fabric Scraps, Glitter & Puffy Foam Stickers: What We Leave Behind

Crafting is not my thing.  Well, that's not being completely honest.  It's a bit more than just not my thing. I don't like it.  Have no interest. No desire. No talent. Never have. If I somehow inadvertently find myself having to sew or hot glue something (this happens occasionally against my better judgment and will), you're likely to hear the grouchy under-the-breath mutterings and snappings of a woman most definitely out of her element and comfort zone.

My mother passed away 5 years ago this coming October.  Before my obsessively creative, baking, cooking, crafting, sewing, quilting, embroidering, scrapbooking mom left us after an extended illness, she decided to leave me far more than her vast empire of accumulated supplies.

Sewing lesson at Grammy's house.
She left me with my daughter, Libby.

At that time, a 7 year old child that my mother had guided, shaped and molded for many years - encouraged, inspired and enticed with love, companionship, time, multiple trips to craft and fabric stores, and the allure of an endless supply of fabric scraps, glitter and puffy foam stickers.

Libby and her friend sharing a craft
booth at Market Day.
This middle child of mine (now 12...almost 13) has a deep passion for all things crafting.  Not trite or contrived little arts and crafts projects mind you.  But real, serious, purposeful handicrafts. (No more puffy foam stickers - though glitter still abounds.)

She creates on a daily basis - from the time she wakes up till the time her brain shuts down for the night.  She has researched and explored cake decorating, how to deep fry oreos (the best and worst idea EVER), the best recipes for homemade cookies, cakes and cupcakes. She has made beautiful creations from clay, and recently started her own business designing and selling handmade jewelry. And all of this is just a sampling of the rabbit trails she's ventured down. :) We frequent craft and hobby stores and checking out local thrift stores and antique shops is next on the to-do list.  Pinterest and YouTube are necessary and invaluable resources in her world.

As for me, I find myself looking at things through Libby's eyes...through my mother's eyes. 

With a bit of spray paint, small hors d'oeuvr trays from work have far more potential.  A cork board destined to be tossed in the trash could be re-purposed.  Perhaps covered in fabric and ribbon and used to display necklaces she's made. 

My kitchen table is covered with lumps of clay, scraps of paper and fabric, scissors, a gazillion assorted tiny beads, glue guns, nail polish and glitter.  And when I say covered, I mean covered. We push it all to the side just to be able to eat or do anything else at the table.  I frequently fantasize about having a craft room.  Not for myself, but still...

So while crafting has never been and is most certainly not  "my thing", I find myself facilitating my daughter's interest and talent wholeheartedly and with far more creativity and imagination that I once would have thought possible.

If my mother were here to see what she's created, what she's left me with...well, I guarantee you she'd be laughing.  She knew me well and while she'd be proud, she'd still be laughing. She couldn't possibly have known the extent of the passion she fostered in my young daughter before she left us. On second thought, maybe she did.

Because the truth of the matter is, what she left behind was much more than fabric scraps, glitter and puffy foam stickers.  What she left behind was a bit of herself.  And that is something priceless.