Crafty Manolo » Quickie Question: Who Got You Started?

Quickie Question: Who Got You Started?

By Twistie

(Admin: Sorry this is so late in the day, and for the delay in approving comments. I had some connectivity issues which have finally been sorted out. Now back to our regularly scheduled post… at a less than regularly scheduled time.)

Back in my demonstrating days, my partner and I were often asked… well, that’s not quite right. It’s not so much we were asked as people assumed that we had both been taught bobbin lace by some female relative. My partner actually did learn it from her grandmother, but I didn’t learn it from a family member. In point of fact, I taught myself with a mail order kit. The package arrived at my house one fine day filled with a basic pillow, two dozen bobbins, two reels of tatting cotton, a box of pins, a piece of pricking card, and a beginner’s book. By the end of the evening, I had finished the first project in said book and was on my way.

But I know that I would never have ordered that kit if it hadn’t been for my mother, ironically enough since she died just a few months before I ordered the kit. She taught me to do so many handcrafts over the years, always hoping this would be the one to really stick and be my ‘thing.’ Well, Mom, I finally found my craft. It wasn’t one you did, and you didn’t get to see me in action, but without you always showing me by example how fun it is to make things by hand, I would have assumed it was too complicated for me to learn on my own.

I find that most people I know who do handcrafts have someone they can point to who got them started down the path. It might be a parent, a teacher, a sibling, a friend, or a counsellor at summer camp, but somebody taught them something that led to years of crafting.

So who was your mentor? Who pointed you at your first craft efforts? Do you still do that craft?

5 Responses to “Quickie Question: Who Got You Started?”

  1. ktbuffy Says:

    My mom has always been pretty crafty — from quilting to paper crafts like handmade cards, stamps, and when I was a child, clay miniatures for my dollhouse. When she gave me a sewing machine for my bridal shower, I think I was happier than if she’d given me crystal!

    I love that the skills she taught me have helped me make Halloween costumes for my little munchkin, and that I know how to recover pillows to tie a room together.

    One of my favorite other skills of a different crafty type is photography, which is another thing I picked up from my mom. Going through her family’s old photo albums — black pages, photo corners, each image carefully labeled — is what inspires me to this day.

  2. ZaftigWendy Says:

    It would be easy to say that it was my mom, since she taught me to crochet at the age of 8, and to sew around the same time, but that would be too simplistic. My dad also taught me the value of making things, and had me helping in his woodshop as soon as I was old enough to know the difference between hammer and a screwdriver (I’m a very good sander!). My grandmothers both encouraged me in being a maker-of-things – or really a maker-of-beauty, since our family also made our own music and our own food and believed in the value of creating.

    So, I must really give the honor to my entire family, for instilling in me the value in beauty and creativity and history that led me to investigate further and find my own art.

  3. Suze Says:

    I’ve learned mostly through books and trial and error, but my grandmother was my biggest inspiration. Though she didn’t teach me much hands-on, I can remember being fascinated by her crafts closet and all the different things that she made.

  4. dinazad Says:

    Crafts were always there when I was young. My mother used to make stuffed animals for sale to make a little money for the small luxuries of life. My grandmother taught me to crochet. My godmother was a weaver. And “crafting/handiwork” was on the school curriculum for girls in my time – this meant sewing, knitting, embroidery etc. (the boys would do woodworking and such. Later on these skills disappeared from the curriculum, but these days the trend seems to be teaching basic crafts to boys AND girls). And I had a teacher who would make batik scarves or enamel jewelry with the entire class before Christmas. So crafting was just a normal part of life – I just grew into it!

  5. Kimmer Says:

    Yep, Mom. I did beading and cross stitch when I was very young, but fell away from crafting in my teens. Once I had kids, my mom started to show me all the cute things I could make for them (starting with flannel jammies), and that was all she wrote. I still call my mom for sewing advice on a regular basis.

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