Thursday, January 13, 2011

Make-Do Manor: The Land of Misfit Crafts

The other day, Molly and I were talking and, as is often the case, the TV show, Hoarders, came up. Now, Molly and I spend a good bit of time assuring ourselves that, despite our poor housekeeping, we are not hoarders. In this particular conversation, we agreed that we couldn’t possibly be hoarders because we don’t like to shop.

However, as I was talking, I looked around my living room and, in doing so, I had to  remind myself  that I can’t seem to get rid of anything that I have glued, snipped, sewn, or thrown. And the worst news is that I give away or sell the good stuff. It’s the failures that I keep and use in my home décor.

Some examples:

On my kitchen floor sit two bowls I made when I was part of a pottery class. One of the bowls was so ugly, I went back and tried gluing small ceramic tiles to it. The bowls are on the floor because I use them for my cat’s water. My cat has been dead for two years.

Hanging on my living room wall are two purses I created during my obsessive purse-making stage. Apparently they are hanging next to my front entry in case I need an ugly purse in a hurry on my way out the door.

Speaking of purses, I have two that I knitted (in my knitting era) hanging next to my computer desk in case I want to put my computer in a knitted purse, I guess.

Just recently, I’ve discovered the craft of making flowers out of organza circles. The best thing about them is that you burn the edges of the circles with a candle, which gives them somewhat of a last year's prom corsage look. I gave a few away to the very tolerant people with whom I work, but, alas, the others are now adorning a couple of my lamps and one ceiling light fixture.

Oh dear, I almost forgot my pillow-making phase.  About ten years ago, I made pillows out of reclaimed tea towels and table cloths.  I'm proud to say that I sold quite a few of them.  However, the leftovers are with me to this day, still attached to their little tags, in case somebody stops by and wants to buy one.

Finally, there's the wire angel on a shelf near me and the three pound pitcher I made out of clay sitting on my desk.  I remember my pot-throwing instructor telling me that you can tell the worth of pottery by how light it is.  Speaking of the worth of pottery, I also remember offering Molly one of my creations as a gift.  I told her she could choose and she did.  She chose the one piece not made by me.

And so, I make do with what's left, fashioning my own unique style and living in the luxury of my own creation.


MaryB said...

I love your title. I can relate to the whole syndrome. I even take it a bit further. When family or friends are going to throw out some creation -- I say, " Oh no, I'll take it." My house is full of my misfits and their misfits. It is unique.

Bobby Dobbins Title said...

At least you get the items made. My drawers and closets are full of bits and pieces of "stuff" I purchased to use in making particular projects but never got around to it. And the yarn! And the embroidery thread! And oh, the "How to" books sitting untouched on my bookshelf. As the old saying goes, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."

I'm proud of you, Marcia, that you actually MAKE things.

Freda said...

It's the soft toys I can't bear to part with! (Mine and the dog's) said...

One of the benefits of moving every six months for years is that you don't acccumulate much owing to breakage and items going missing. I have, however, managed to keep many of the little treasures my children and grandchildren made. My favorite is the clay bunny my youngest son in first grade who lost his ears. The bunny is a conversation starter at our house. The usual question is "What is that?" followed by "Something a child made." by the visitor. The implication is that the only reason you would keep that thing is because one of your kids made it.

So, you could always blame your kids and grandkids for some of the clutter at your house.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

But , looked at another way , you're curating this magnificent archive of late 20th century craft work ! Future generations will be so grateful .

marciamayo said...

You are right S&S! This will be my children's inheritance. They will, indeed, be grateful.

Olga said...

The hoarders show gives me nightmares. I have pretty much the exact opposite of whatever makes hoarders hoard. Some are horrified by my lack of sentimentality.

Joan Madaglia said...

Haven't seen the flowers you make. I remember all the other stuff. What's your new creative venture?

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh you are truly a woman after me own heart, there Marcia!!
Fugly is the word that comes to mind. I have such experiments dancing around me also.
I was reminded of the mother of a dear friend who was being placed in a home at the age of 85 because of her physical limitations.
When asked what she wanted to take out of her home - framed photos, albums, her lovely lacework, etc. She responded:
"Oh I want none of that crap!".
I kinda understand.
Another phase of life begins, I need no reminders but want to start anew.
But I'm not quite there yet.

Arkansas Patti said...

Cause I am someone who hasn't successfully completed even a paint by number project, I am impressed with your completions.
Except for the dusting involved, they all have use. I say hang on to them. Next of kin can do the sorting.

Friko said...

I have never made anything; hang on, I did, I crocheted a blanket!

When I finished, one end was two metres wide and the other three and a bit. I never tried again.
This blanket is my pride and joy, it covers an unused bed with the big end hidden between the bed and the wall. I am very proud of it.

The mere fact that there are people who can make crafty things well, be they quilts or pots or whatever, brings me out in hives. I admire them tremendously, the people, I mean, not the hives.

As for you, let your humour be your crafty creation, it'll do for me. I liked the idea of laughing my ass off, so I did too.

Jean said...

Boy, do I ever have some misfit crafts to pass on to you. I assume you'd like them?

I Wonder Wye said...

I enjoyed your post. You are creative, misfit keeping or not! Thanks for sharing.

Vagabonde said...

You are quite a craftswoman – I had never heard of organza flowers. My problem is that we have too many books around – in each room, and we don’t want to part with them. I did knit and crochet several baby blankets – for my grandsons and friends and enjoy doing it one month a year – in July when I watch the Tour de France on TV live everyday for 3 weeks, but then I stop for the rest of the year.

Cile said...

At last an idea of where to put that pretty organza flower I was given last year! The lampshade! Being a person who rarely finishes anything I am enlightened by this new awareness of the "Now What? Underbelly" of the creative and crafty! Don't let the leftovers steal your fire. Those creative juices are magnificent! Thanks for making me smile!

LC said...

I loved this post. I'm not a craftsperson, but your post, especially the cat bowl part, reminded me of our preparations for our second child, due to arrive eight years after our firstborn. Didn't have to buy a diaper stacker. The one we used with #1 son had migrated to a closet and was still hanging there, complete with diapers still stacked in it (those were the days of cloth diapers).

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