Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm a Craft Addict

Hi. My name is Deanna and I'm addicted to crafts.

I don't remember the first time I picked up a crayon or held a pair of scissors in my hands. Crafting has just been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I had a Big Sister, Millie. We were matched when I was about 6 yrs old. Before we were matched they asked me what I liked to do. I remember telling them "arts & crafts", so they matched me with someone who liked to do that, too. I spent many an afternoon with Millie, working on one project or another. She taught me how to do plastic canvas (she was obsessed with plastic canvas). Whenever I get a glimpse of a sheet of it at the craft store, it brings back memories. Millie also taught me how to melt plastic cups and add beads to them and then use them as suncatchers. She also taught me to be patient when I was challenged with getting something to stick and the glue wasn't drying fast enough. So for years I spent time crafting with Millie. I guess you could say she was my first craftin' buddy.

Then as I grew older, I ventured out on my own a bit and headed off to summer camp. Ah, the memories of friendship bracelets, braided out of embroidery thread. And, of course I spent hours working on bracelets made of telephone wire, and of course gimp. You know, the plastic cord that is looped and then looped and slipped through the first loop. I also remember decorating a rock in the image of a camp counselor whom I had a serious crush on.

Strangely, I don't remember taking art classes in high school. I guess I earned my max of "art" credits in my music classes. Of course I was later told I was tone deaf by one of my music teachers, but my other (wiser) music teacher begged to differ and cast me in several singing roles throughout my high school years. I'll admit I'm definitely not the next American Idol (and if I auditioned, I'd get laughed out of the room as loud as the next guy) but I ain't tone deaf either.

The first scrapbook I remember creating was for my wedding. I wanted to put together an album with pics of hubby and I during our dating years to show at our wedding. Of course I still have that album, and I look back at it now and think "how cheesey". But that was probably the beginning of when my innocent hobby became a problem. I remember having all my art supplies confined to a shoe box with the exception of a pack of bright colored cardstock.

Then, when I married hubby, I moved to California. And then, I met my next serious craftin' buddy, Jen. Our conversations quickly revolved around scrapbooking and she started holding parties where the focus was on the scrapbooking. That was the whole reason we got together. Of course, we all bonded over those scrapbook pages.

Then, one day I got an official invitation to a crafting party. It was something I had never heard of before, and it came from a friend who I rarely crafted with. She had invited me to a Stampin' Up Party. I ended up hosting my own party, and was immediately sucked into the world of stamping and colorful scrapbook pages, all the ink pads and markers in coordinating colors...and we had more and more parties. And, of course my collection of supplies grew. And, of course, I shared my new love with my friend, Jen.

So, I admit, I've become a bit obssessive about my crafting. I've been consumed by creative thoughts when I should be focused on other things. My shoebox of supplies has grown into an entire room. Well, it's supposed to be half a room. The other half is supposed to be hubby's office. But the 50% that is owned by him is quickly shrinking to about 20%. My patterned paper collection alone could put some small craft stores to shame. And, my interests now include scrapbooking, stamping, sewing, jewelry making, home decor creations and other odds & ends. Really, I do anything that makes me feel good. When Jen recently started knitting, I started browsing the yarn section of stores, looking at knitted projects on-line. But I have forced myself to stay away from the yarn. I have refused to purchase any needles, because I know if I start I won't be able to stop. That's how it is with me and crafts.

Lately, my thoughts have been focused on fabric scrapbooking. Imagine that! Combining a love of fabric and sewing with a love of scrapbooking and photography! I want to move to North Carolina (no joke) and become friends with Donna Downey! Don't worry, Jen, I'll be sure to invite you to our parties!

I don't know when my crafting became such a problem. I have a very hard time driving past the scrapbook store. I obsessively check the mail near the end & the middle of the month for my Jo Anns coupons. I nearly burst into tears when I discovered the Michael's coupons were only being delivered to people who subscribe to the local newspaper. Fortunately (or unfortunately) they've reverted back to offering e-mail coupons. The other day I went to Jo Ann's in the afternoon and when I walked outside it was dark! I was in there for 3 hours!!! I had no idea that much time had passed. And there were no clocks. It's like Vegas. I think they do that on purpose.

Sometimes, I find that all that gets me through the week is my knowledge, that come Friday, I'll have 2 days filled with crafting. Coffee & crafting. That's what gets me through the rough patches. Of course there's T. And on the days when we spend all day in our pajamas sitting side by side and crafting, when I think for a minute what a neglectful mom I am, I remember that she's my best creation (OK, I guess John gets some of the credit) and that I'm teaching her a love of creativity and she's learning how to cut, paint, sew and make jewelry. So, is this really such a problem?

I admit it. I am addicted to crafts. But is it a problem? I don't think so. Maybe I'm just still in denial.