Everyone assumes that, because I run a craft group, I’m crafty. I’ll admit to a modicum of skill, but mostly I see my strengths in bringing people together. Crafts are a great reason to rally around a table and share your time with friends or family. Every time the Denver Craft Ninjas get together, I find this to be true.
My mom has always been crafty. Painting, sewing, and crochet were her modalities and we have a lifetime of her hard work in her home that I look on very fondly. Things, that as a kid, went unnoticed, but now are centerpieces of anchoring my memories and abundant proof of my mother’s talent and drive to create.
It is a legacy. I believe that to be sure. My grandmother, great grandmother, and great great grandmother were all crafters using materials they had on hand and passing on the skills by sharing time and tools.
Now, when we get together over holidays, we find reasons to be creative together. It was not always that way, mind you. Looking back, I’m fully aware of what a handful I was when Mom tried to teach me. Crochet was a battle – one that she inevitably abandoned. I fought with her asserting that I knew how to do it. I’d never done it before. Her expertise was lost on me and I tested her patience. Later, I’d pick crochet up again and make an afghan or two, but I remembered what a pill I had been with Mom.
When she teaches me now, I try to remember to listen – to not let that restless adolescent spirit inside me push back. It’s hard. I don’t know why.
Over Thanksgiving, I tried my hand at a painting project that my Mom has been working on for the past few years. These little Santas and snow people adorn the homes of our friends and family. Some of them personalized with names or attributes, Mom creates these adorable figures with a bit of tongue sticking out of the corner of her mouth while humming Christmas carols.
I’m not a painter. I just don’t get it. I did my best and I found my Mom providing me the same kind of encouragement she did when I was younger – always telling me how good it looks (even if it doesn’t) and reminding me that being a beginner means hurdles and a learning curve. What I thought looked horrible, Mom tittered about. She said she loved my bright pink snowman and claimed she would proudly display it in her home – even if I wouldn’t.
And I realized that this is how we become crafters. This is how we become good at things.
Someone encourages us to try, someone reminds us that even as a beginner we can become better at whatever we try.
There is something powerful in being a beginner.
I share this experience in the hopes that perhaps I can share what I know with you and maybe you can do the same.
I can guarantee my Mom and I will be crafting more over the holidays and I promise to share our adventures!