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The girl’s first childhood project was a latch-hook rug with a panda printed on it. And even though she finished it, she knew her mother thought latch-hook was tacky, so it was never made into a pillow like the ones that adorned her paternal grandmother’s living room sofa. It was merely folded and stored in its original box until her mother disposed of it when the family moved.

Then she moved on to a bigger project – a needlepoint rainbow, cloud and sun, using a plastic canvas. Her mother now worked in a needlework shop, and the shop owner wanted to display the girl’s work – with the caveat that the girl would get to keep her finished project. She worked diligently for several weeks and was quite proud of the result which hung from the ceiling of the shop and was never returned to her. The girl was older now and ready to try more difficult projects. Despite her mother’s passion for knitting, she did not share it.

She turned instead to cross-stitch, choosing bright colors of embroidery floss and stitching her monogram everywhere she could. She cross-stitched Christmas tree ornaments and stitched a mallard duck onto loosely woven fabric and made it into a pillow. The ornaments grace her aunt’s tree each year, and the duck pillow still remains on her aunt’s sofa. The girl chooses to believe that her aunt keeps these treasures because she does consider them treasures, not just because her aunt keeps EVERYTHING.

For several years, the girl created nothing but chaos – and sadly, no embroidery floss was involved. She dismissed herself as having no creativity, and considering that she wore a blue shirt and blue pants (or blue skirt, for a little variety) five days a week, it’s safe to say that her creativity did wane somewhat. But then she and her husband created a little girl. And then another one. And the girl – who was now undeniably a woman – began to sense a change in herself. She found that she cared whether there were crumbs on the floor. She emptied the trash cans before they overflowed. She oohed and aahed over little girl clothes and took great pains to dress her children beautifully.

She had been domesticated.

And with that domestication came a resurgence of her creativity. She began to write. And people actually enjoyed reading what she wrote. So she wrote more.

But she also began to create again. She pulled out her knitting needles – the long-forgotten tools and her dusty reference book (Vogue Knitting) – and made a scarf. Then a hat. Then more scarves and more hats.

She met another local mother who made barrettes. And because the woman couldn’t stand for someone else to know how to do something that she herself didn’t know how to do, she started making barrettes too.

The woman’s house is now filled with unfinished projects. She’ll finish them. Someday.

In the meantime, she’s satisfied that once again – she’s crafty.


Welcome to this month’s Blog Exchange! Thanks to Jennifer for allowing me to put a whole new spin on the classic Beastie Boys song “She’s Crafty”. Please go see what she’s written today over at my place – mothergoosemouse. I’ve got an almost-kindergartener who’s destined for a career as a lawyer, a toddler who speaks only in high-pitched shrieks, a husband who can drink his weight in Natty Light, and all I really want in life is a clean kitchen floor.