Thursday, February 26, 2009

Crafty Beginnings

Okay, I'll admit it. I do dabble all around the craft world! I've tried most, even sold quite a few but I do keep going back to the painting end of the realm. For laughs today, I took a pic of everything crafty within 20 feet of where I was sitting. Now, should I admit I was in the living room and not my craft room?

So, how did all this start?

A few months back, someone asked how I got started “crafting” and, ultimately, selling my craftwork. I came across the answer I’d written for her the other day and thought I’d share it with all of you. This is how it all began for me:

I think it was inbred. Like a bird just knowing it has to fly. I grew up in a crafty and artistically talented family surrounded by various art supplies. My mom's supplies resembled a well-stocked craft store. As far back as I can remember, I was painting, drawing, sewing, crocheting, modeling something from clay, gluing, pasting etc.

When we were bored, Mom gave us a handful of supplies and glue or such and we went to work creating. My mother was always involved in making craft items to sell at the church bazaar (Back then the profits all went to the church from such events - space rentals had not come into fashion. People simply volunteered time and donated the creations.) As soon as I was capable, I helped in those endeavors.

By junior high, I was making bouquets of tissue paper roses with wrapped stems and silk leaves, arranged with baby's breath and wrapped in green tissue. I think that may have been my first effort at earning money from my crafts. By high school, I was sewing clothes for friends. Once I started driving, I was doing my own booth at craft shows. I always seemed to be selling something I'd made.

After college, I opened my own gift shop featuring all handmade merchandise - both my own and others on consignment. I continued doing craft shows throughout those years. After a few years, economics and the need for a steady paycheck and benefits forced me to give up my shop but I continued doing shows and personal sales.

I've always made most of the gifts I've given. In the midst of a busy career, I needed to give up doing shows but I continued to craft and design for myself and friends. I “retired” two years ago and am again selling. Over the years, the merchandise has evolved. the particular craft has changed a number of times but it has always involved designing my own creations.

So, if you are “into crafts,” what got you started?


Mulchandmore said...

Like you I grew up making crafts (our flowers were crepe paper) and learned to spin (from mom) before taking my first job as a museum demonstrator of spinning and weaving at 16. The years have passed and many crafts later I now demo spinning at the craft shows.

iluvlucy8 said...

Very inspiring, I guess we crafty folks just can't ever get it out of our system.
My momma taught me crafting also.

Also, wanted to let you know I'm hosting a blog giveaway, so if you feel so inclined enter to win more *crafty* stuff. ;)

Anji Gallanos said...

We share the same story. I just closed my "crafty" store after 3 short years. But the benefit of owning a store was the daily inspiration and the way it filled my creative the ability to purchase supplies wholesale. Now i have more time to dedicate to my own work. Love what you found in your living room...

bye for now


thecraftbegins said...

I can't stop making stuff, and my space usually is that crowded with craft "stuff"