How Did You Get Started doing Arts & Crafts?

Going Upwind

My love for art & craft started very young however, it wasn’t because anyone in my immediate family was either of those! My grandmother was a gardener, a quilter and she did some sewing. Only 1 of her six children (and not my mother) did anything crafty. My Auntie Irene was an AMAZING seamstress whipping up a pattern from either a combination of several commercial patterns … “Oh I like the sleeve of that dress with the skirt of that dress….”  or she just made it up out of her head. I really didn’t understand her gift until much later in life and it was too late for me to obtain her expertise. I especially remember one creation she made that she later donated to my “dressing up” closet. It was a sheath red brocade dress with simple quarter length sleeves, round neckline, structured bodice with front and side darts and a side zipper ACCENTED by a red chiffon, removable overskirt. (That part she “just made up and whipped together”). Sigh. My mom apparently did some knitting at one point but I do not remember anything other than a pair of mittens that were 10 times too big for me. Sigh. My mom’s best friend was also an amazing seamstress making bridesmaid dresses for me when my sister was married and she made all three Mother of the Bride dresses for my mom. Simple, elegant sophisticated was her style. All around me was colour, pattern and textures that excited me but I had no idea what to do with all that information. My first attempt at crafting was more directing my parents at what THEY should do! I wanted to create a Santa Claus wooden cut out that was covered with red velvet and white fur that could be hung on the door to greet people who came to our house for the holiday season. I got the picture I wanted to use from a colouring book, my dad dutifully cut out the wooden outline while I directed my mom on the decoration of the Santa image. It looked beautiful! So beautiful in fact, that a couple of days later it was stolen from our door! I was devastated and when I enthusiastically said “Well let’s make another”,  my dad said “no”, and that was the end of that. It wasn’t until I was twelve and taking summer swimming lessons, that I knew that someday I was going to learn ALL OF THIS STUFF! One of the lifeguards there, Joanne, brought her embroidery project with her to work and everyday on her breaks, she sat on the pool deck, in her black staff swimsuit embroidering away on her breaks… I was transfixed! Again, who would teach me? I knew no one!!! I begged and pleaded … and begged and pleaded to no avail. Sigh. But I didn’t give up and one day many years later, I went to Lewiscraft (remember them?) and bought my first kit. There were no YouTube videos back then. I got a book on embroidery, taught myself and made my first project.

Stitchery book

From there I went on to Needle Point, Cross Stitch, Candlewicking, sewing and on and on! I love learning new techniques and I have crafting OCD… everything interests me! And while I love crafting, I am not an expert on any one “thing”! You know what the saying is those that can’t teach… in my case it’s own a store!!! When I get time I love to sit down and play with all my supplies. I am inspired by all the fabulous Canadian artists we have here at Cornerstone and I often wonder how they got started. (Hence the artist series of blog posts). That’s how I got started crafting and owning a store! Let me know how you got started crafting or painting or whatever your medium is! Everyone has to start somewhere. Everyone’s journey is unique. Whether you are a seasoned professional artist or a closet crafter, you can tell your story here and inspire others to get on out there… you are never too young or too old!

 

Sunset Sailing

Penny Knapp

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