Thursday, December 20, 2007

Out of My (Today’s) Element

I did something today that is possibly a nonevent for some of my fellow bloggers: I visited a Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts store. I was both impressed and overwhelmed! As well as nostalgic, and maybe even a little sad.

I went there today because we have relatives visiting, and one asked if we had a Knit Picker. That’s a little gadget that helps pull a snag back through sweaters and other knits so it doesn’t show on the surface. We couldn’t find our gadget, and the Jo-Ann shop was in the direction we were heading for another errand. The visit worked out well--we found what we were after--and I had an opportunity to look around. And sigh... at least a bit.

Now, years ago, I was absolutely handy when it came to at least some of the crafts represented at Jo-Ann’s. As a teenager, I sewed a lot of my own clothes, just for the enjoyment of it. I knew how to knit, crochet and embroider--not adeptly, perhaps, but not too awfully, either.

No more. The total extent of my creativity is channeled these days into my writing, which I utterly enjoy. But there are days, like today, that I wish I’d kept up with the rest. I don’t even indulge in hooking rugs, the creative pastime I’ve mentioned before that I used to enjoy while vegging out in front of the TV at the end of the day when too tired to think of what to write. Even if I got inspired today, they didn’t have rug-hooking fixings at Jo-Ann and suggested I try Michael’s. Which I might... or not. These days, I spend my vegging time doing crossword puzzles, since I still don’t generally want to concentrate fully on the shows.

So, I’ll probably just remember the good old days, and let others sew and knit and create handcrafted stuff.

Me? I’ll just sit at my computer with Lexie on my lap and create books. Preferably with pets.



Kathryn Lilley said...

Well that kind of makes me feel better, Linda, because I never could do crafts! I survived Studio Art at Wellesley only because the professor took pity on me, I think.

Sheila Connolly said...

I love visiting Jo-Ann's, but it's like a foreign country these days. What are all these gadgets and what do they do? When did quilting squares take over the world?

But I confess I still love to try out new crafts (when I have the time). This week I tackled my first faux finishing project, with great glee. The result looks like: cheap plywood/anemic tortoise-shell/something the cat shouldn't have done. But it was fun.

Camille Minichino said...

If it was one of JoAnn's Super Stores, I can see why it might be overwhelming. It's one of the three places I'd loved to be locked into for a couple of nights, the others being a museum and a bookstore.
Okay, maybe a bakery, too.

Doing crafts can be very relaxing. When I'm working on them, I feel like I'm letting my writing side work on a different level so that when I come back to the computer I'm refreshed, with new ideas.

Ellen said...

Lotsa stores I wouldn't mind being locked in (though I'd prefer the local Hancock Fabrics to JoAnn). I've had a great many crafts over the years, but have settled pretty much on the book arts these days. But I still keep the old tools, and a lot of the motor memories.

Camille Minichino said...

Hard to find those little gems of fabric-only stores these days!
Keep working on your books Ellen ... we need them and love them!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I find that when I'm being crafty-creative, I lose some of the urge to be writing-creative. So I guess I only have a certain amount of creative juice.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Interesting that some writers' creative juices are spurred by creativity in other directions, and others do better when working only on one kind of creative endeavor at a time!