Growing up I was always around arts and crafts. I come from a family full of creative people.
We would mostly craft and bake around the holidays. Even though both of my parents worked money was usually tight. We had what we needed and some of what we wanted. And even though money was at times tight Christmas never disappointed.
My mother sews she does amazing work. I did not have store-bought clothes until I was about 6 years old. Along with crafting and sewing, she is an amazing cook!
Both of my grandmothers were crafters as well. Both crocheted and needlepoint. I’m so lucky to have pieces of their work as keepsakes.
My Granny, keeping with our Chickasaw culture also did beadwork. I remember watching her slide the beads on the needle and making daisy chains or little Indian dolls to wear on necklaces.
My Mema did her crafting in her “doodle room” (which was a spare bedroom with a couch, coffee table, and a closet full of all kinds of fabric, yarn, old greeting cards, thread for cross stitching – it seemed to hold everything that was needed to start and complete a craft.
I have other family members that are talented in the field of arts and crafts. I had two uncles that beaded keychains and other cultural related pieces. I have another uncle that is an oil painter. He never had lessons – just a natural talent.
So, why am I telling you this? In the times we are living in, being creative is the outlet that is getting my family through this crazy time and possibly getting us through with our sanity.
The crafting my kids and I do is for fun. We love creating and making things for each other and, we especially love gifting what we make to those we love.
When I was young, we crafted and baked to pass out to others as gifts because the extra money just wasn’t there for us to buy gifts for everyone wished to. So, we crafted and baked.
I remember the excitement of baking cookies and banana bread. I remember getting sacks or boxes ready with red and green tissue paper to make the goodies presentable and nice looking. I remember one year we made so much that we had to get platters –like the large cheese platters that deli stores use).
My hope in writing this specific post is to encourage you to craft either for yourself or with your little ones. A few of the items we crafted that I remember I intend on making with my daughter for teacher gifts. I hope they inspire you to be creative with your family, and if you make one of the items below, I hope you enjoy it.
My mother brought these wooden vintage clothes pins (this is where I learned how to “envision” to see what she was seeing) and placed them before me, and said we were going to make pins out of them. Then she brought out the paint. As my mother made the first pin by painting it to look like Santa Clause and then painting the next one to look like Rudolph, I was on board. When crafting you have to look at objects and see what the possibilities are and make something unique. I found the clothes pins I used on Amazon
So, when you search for “clothespin Santa Clause” or other holiday names you will see they make them into ornaments. However, we put stick pins on the backs of the clothespins so that people could wear them. I remember handing these pins out to my mother’s co-workers, friends, and family members. I still have mine from many years ago.
We also made ornaments for the tree. My mom would buy styrofoam balls ( about 3″ in diameter) along with straight pins, sequins, and sparkly beads. We would pick up these embellishments and stick the pin into the ball. The styrofoam ball would be covered with sequins and beads and it would sparkle! Such an easy craft.
As a young girl, I loved to bake but, now, as an adult, I like to bake; I don’t like the clean-up.
One of the first things I can remember baking was a cookie we called the Reese cup cookie. I’m sure my mother allowed us to make this cookie because there was a low chance of getting burned. She handled the cookie dough then my siblings and I unwrapped all the Resse’s cups. In 12 minutes, we knew we would get to push these chocolate cups into the middle of the cookies. These specific cookies are special to my family and, we only make them at Christmas. Maybe because it was a time we baked with my mother and made memories of sharing them with friends and family.
Along with these cookies, we would add banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and my mom’s fudge. And you know, we did not use a secret family recipe to make these sweets, we simply made them from the recipes found on the back of the packages. I believe it was the love these sweets were made with that made them very tasty and had people asking for more.
Today, I still craft but I like to think it’s a few steps above “craftwork”. I have probably done every craft there is out there or pretty close to it. I taught myself to crochet, I am recognized for my beadwork, I write, I work with Chalk Couture, paint, and well, the list goes on and on.
Tell me, do you have a craft that you love, and you have passed it down to your little ones? Do you have a favorite holiday treat that you only make on the holidays?