Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Mad Crafter

This is Ew.

So is this.

Daisy  loves to kiss on the lips. Come down our walkway and if you are not a stranger to her, she will jump the full length of your body, stretching her neck out as far as it can go to reach her little tongue out and meet your lips. We call her our "french kissing dog" since nothing but kissing on the lips will do. Ew. She will also piddle out of excitement too, so you just might be treated to wet shoes as you wipe the dog kiss off your mouth. Double, Ew. You are forewarned.
 Dogs. huh.
It's a good thing she's so darned cute.

This week has been a fog. I just can't shake November off my back. I swear, my cells hold a memory as a seasonal reminder that makes me struggle through these months. They still hold that pain, the kind that makes your feet slow and your chest ache to the deepest part of you, even after all these years gone by. It doesn't help that there are only precious few hours of daylight now.  It's cold, and today was that crisp, cool sunshine with that bite of winter wind, and I only cared to look blankly at it through the window instead of heading outside to enjoy it. Sigh.
 One thing that has gotten me through these kinds of days throughout the years is Crafting. For some reason, crafting and sadness for me go together like a hand in a glove. After Vanessa passed, I made baby blanket, after baby blanket, after baby blanket. I sewed them. I crochet them. I cut up some of her clothes and made a blanket for each of our families. I started a pillowcase out of her clothes for myself, but suddenly stopped one day, when it became clear in my muddled mind that "hey, I was cutting up her clothes.", and I haven't picked up the project since. One of the blankets I made those many years ago is now Gracie's most coveted thing ever, a blanket she has named DeeDee. It is her most treasured possession, and it was made before I knew her and somehow it links that time in my life with this time in my life which is therapeutic somehow.  When my niece Miley passed, for two weeks straight all I did was cut out recipes and paste them into a scrapbook. I searched high and low, furiously ripping out pages of food in magazines that looked appetizing, organizing them and madly gluing them down until one day I put the scissors down and stopped, and haven't picked up the scrapbook since. For reasons unknown, these crafts feed from my pain. They are an outlet, a productive sorrow, something I have control over that is tactile and something I don't have to think about while I'm doing it. It allows my mind to silence, and my heart to bleed, and gives the message to anyone around me: I am busy, and in my own head. So don't bother me.
Last year on Vanessa's November anniversary, I came down with a virus similar to chicken pox. It wasn't as severe, but just as itchy and lasted for almost six weeks. Worst timing ever. Since I was sad, and down, I started to craft, and made these:

Mitten garlands. I made three sets, one for each of the windows in our living room. This November, I made Daisy's paw stocking that was in the last post, and made a few holiday hair clips and an ornament:

Grace has become a crafter too, and is now learning to sew. I do hope she will learn to love crafting for the simple love of making something and not for solemn reasons like mine. I suppose not all my crafting is sad, though. Today we decorated the gingerbread house, happily, and with smiles. The sun even joined in, caressing the table top with light and a gentle warmth that made the afternoon softer, and sweeter.

So I will continue to craft out of sadness. The upside is making something beautiful out of something that is not, and feeling a sense of accomplishment for finishing something. Maybe each project is a bucket of water meant to douse the fire within, and maybe someday it will put that fire out for good so I can craft out of happiness instead.  For now, though, onward to the next project. And, the next. And, the next. And, the next.

A portrait I took over the weekend. Thought I'd share. : )


  1. Beautiful post! Beautiful images. I adore the butterfly portrait. Maybe someday your words can be the therapy and you can craft happily? Until the, craft on, crafty lady!