9.14.2010

My Crafty Beginnings

Hello blog followers!  It's a beautiful sunny day here in Oklahoma.  My girls are watching Sesame street right now.  Yesterday I bought some new music - downloaded MP3's.  Uncle Kracker - Smile, Kelly Clarkson - Already Gone, Colbie Caillat - I Never Told You & Realize, and Dido - White Flag.  Such great music!  I've been enjoying listening to them, and did so last night while I was stitching on a project.  But that's not the point of this post. 

I am beginning a series of posts.  This first one is on "My Crafty Beginnings".  I am going to show you some of my various craft projects from several years ago.  In the next few days/weeks I am going to do some posts on my crafty heritage, and my crafty legacy.  I am not going digging through all of my old boxes to find every last project that I could show you, afterall, I've got lots of crafting to do and limited time, but I am going to show you a sampling of projects for each post.  So, here goes:

MY CRAFTY BEGINNINGS

When I was around 10 or 11, my oldest sister taught me to crochet.  I loved it from the beginning!  Previous to that however, I had watched my mom sew clothes and quilts and cross-stitch. 
This is the earliest project of mine that I have out at my house.  This is the second afghan I made.  The first one was made of squares that started with a crocheted pansy in the middle.  I used teal, pink, purple, and burgundy for the flowers, I think.  The squares were ecru.  This was the sort of craft project only a mother could love, so I gave it to my mom when I finished it.  My tension was very uneven way back then, so the squares are all different sizes.  It is therefore not very rectangular.

The afghan pictured above was made in strips.  It is also very eneven.  It looks there like I just didn't fold it very neatly so the bottom edges look uneven...but the edges are uneven.  It is impossible to fold this afghan neatly, because it is also not very rectangular.  As you can imagine, it was difficult to count accurately when making those long strips.
On strip in the middle of this picture you can see a rather bumpy spot a few inches from the end.  That is where I concluded that I hadn't made this strip long enough and crocheted a little extra strip onto the end.  Who knows if I was right or not, I may have wound up making it too long.  Anyway, practice makes perfect, right?  

I also remember my other older sister getting a hold of some thread crochet patterns for vintage-style Barbie dresses.  They were gorgeous!  I don't know who designed them, but kudos to them for making some beautiful designs.  I was very ambitious (always have been, still am) and decided to make one of these dresses.  The very full skirt was made of rows and rows of dc with lots of increases.  Well, about 1/3 of the way through that skirt I lost steam and didn't finish it, but it was still finished enough for Barbie to wear.

I also made a small throw quilt when I was 13 or so - a project that my mom wanted each of us (myself and my 3 sisters) to accomplish so we could learn quilting basics.  Mine was made of four large maple leaf blocks, each probably 2' x 2'.

Well, I won't chronicle every project in between, but here is another project:


This, of course is painted.  I really enjoyed drawing and painting when I was young, though I don't do it a lot anymore (except when creating logos apparently ;) ).  I played the trumpet and the french horn in band from 6-12 grades and into my first couple years of college.  Blue was my favorite color for a long time.  I made this painting as a birthday present for my boyfriend at the time for his 16th birthday.  Talking on the phone one night I told him that I was making him something for his birthday.  Now, he did not grow up with crafting in his home, so his reaction was a very negative sounding, "You're making me something?..."  I definitely got the impression that he was not impressed.  I think he might have been if he had ever seen it, but he never did.  I broke up with him a very short time later, before his birthday, and kept this painting for myself.  It hung in my room/home until our last move.  I've gotten a little burned out on blue, so it doesn't match any part of our home right now.
This painting was one I did during my college years before I was married.  A couple of my friends organized a very fun painting night for all of the girls in the student branch of our church at OU (The University of Oklahoma).  It was a blast!  They had gathered up several things to paint on, including a few squares of plywood like this one.  I painted this very casually and had a marvelous time doing it.  I also painted a little wooden chest, but I'm not sure where it is now.  Another friend painted another plywood square and it was also a marvelous painting.  This painting hangs in our dining room and was the inspiration for our current decorating scheme.
This is a cross-stitch that I made during my college years.  I worked on it off and on for about 6 years I think.  When I finished it my mom had it framed for me.  It was on a very small gauge cross-stitch fabric and is very detailed.  It turned out really beautifully.  It hangs in our hallway now.  I have very fond memories of watching my mom cross-stitch when I was little.  I was mesmorized by how the picture would come together just little bits at a time.  I loved seeing how a few little stitches gradually grew, color by color, into an animal, a landscape, a building, or whatever it was she was making.  It's like painting in thread and fabric.

I hope that you enjoyed seeing some of my early projects.  I would LOVE to see some of yours and hear about your crafty beginnings.  You can leave comments to this post, or you can post pictures and stories on my Facebook Fan page.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy crafting!

April :)

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