penelope and bumblebee

Good grammar costs nothing.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

she's crafty

My mother is a champion knitter. Scarves, hats, mitts, afghans, slippers, shawls, bags, socks, doll clothes, bear clothes, baby clothes, pet clothes and sweaters, sweaters, sweaters. She does it all, and she does it all beautifully. Trust me, none of us kids have ever complained that we are cold. She used to do ceramics. Plates, mugs, platters, vases, figures, Judaica, christmas stuff, you name it, she painted it. Many of my favorite family heirlooms began by being cooked by my mum.

My big sis is an unbelievable artist. She can draw, she can paint, she can pot, she can sew, she can felt, she can crochet, she can quilt, she can make gorgeous picture frames out of bits of paper, and she can do fine bead work that’ll make your head spin. Truly gifted, she eekes out a living doing something she loves and something that makes other people very happy. She is the macgyver of the craft world, and she is generous with her wares. I am very lucky to have been on the receiving end of some of her finest work, and bumblebee is already amassing an impressive, irreplaceable collection of aunty art.

Surely some of that artful instinct has rubbed off on me, right?

Not a bleedin’ chance in hades.

Oh, don’t get me wrong; I have the appreciation, the enthusiasm, the dreams, the hopes and the desire to be crafty. I lack only two things – talent and vision. Oh, and patience. And staying power. And concentration. But I wish, oh, how I wish I were crafty.

I do enjoy jolts of craftiness every now and then. I come across something that inspires me, spend $30 on a needlepoint kit, or $20 on fancy wool, or $15 on seed beads, or $25 on iron-on transfers, or $45 on mosaic tiles, and then I get down to it. Here I go! Look at me! I’m stitching! I’m crocheting! I’m beading! I’m getting distracted! I’m checking my email! I’m watching OC reruns!

It’s quite sad, but the collection of half-finished, abandoned craft projects piling up in the closet in the basement (where they can’t mock me) far outweighs the crafts that actually turned into finished product, and are actually being used.

A short history of some of my half-baked ideas:

- 2 and a half out of 6 beaded napkin holders, mother-in-law’s birthday, 2004
- half a hula girl needlepointed onto a tie, hubby’s christmukkah present, 2005
- 1 red crocheted baby bootie, birth of friend’s child, June 2005
- yarmulke-sized toque of knit organic wool, my b-day present, Jan 2004
- doll-sized crocheted baby blanket, started right after my big sis announced her pregnancy – 1997!

Even the projects I do finish turn out woeful and sad. Like the mugs I made at the clay room for my mum and mother-in-law for the holidays this year. Oh, they started out nice enough; painted them a jaunty lime green, inside and out. The trouble started when I decided to put bumblebee’s handprints on them. At the time she was almost 7 months. Ever try to get a 7-month old to stretch out her little hand and hold it on a wet, round, delicate surface, palm down, and then, lift! For a beautiful, sentimental hand-print present? Well, I can tell you from experience – don’t bother.
The purple smudges on the mugs look more like insane monkey paws or random rorschach blotches, I got purple paint all over the both of us, and I have never seen my mother or mother-in-law take one little sip out of the mugs.

Crafting. Hrmph.

The problem really, is that I always have more bitch than stitch; more yawn than yarn.

Then again, my mum and my sister can’t spell for shit. But how much fun is spelling with your daughter on a rainy day? Anyway, I gotta go; I bought a corker the other day, and I’m going to start on the rug I want to make for bumblebee’s room. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


  • At 7:58 AM, Blogger metro mama said…

    You finished a set of booties for Cakes (they're lovely).

    What do don't have in crafty talent you make up for in writing talent.

  • At 10:00 AM, Blogger Village Mama said…

    and bum-bum also was the recipient of some lovely red booties that looked impecable with his red coming home sweater - so that's two finished and MUCH appreciated projects. That's two more than I can give myself credit for in the last 3 years!

  • At 1:38 AM, Blogger KILROY_60 said…

    I'm afraid you have missed the mark here, Penolope. You have been blessed with the ability to engage in one of the greatest artistic pursuits...that of being a wordsmith.

    Visiting you is quite enjoyable....but you must already know that from my ongong commentary

  • At 9:45 AM, Anonymous krista said…

    " The problem really, is that I always have more bitch than stitch; more yawn than yarn. "

    That is freaking hilarious.

    And you know what- I feel the same way about my own crafting. Somehow I have managed to fool you otherwise on my blog, but it's true. I completely relate to your crafting antithesis.


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