Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crafting saves lives

I admit that I am a craft book junkie. I am truly tortured by all the new craft books coming out that I cannot afford, so when this book arrived on my doorstep a few days ago I'm pretty sure I squealed. I'd forgotten that I preordered it several months ago from Amazon. Oh man, it was worth the wait. It completely reaffirmed how much I love Hillary's style and I enjoy making softies probably above all else (kids' clothes run a tight second). Every single pattern is adorable. I think Olive and Archie was the first doll I ever made. After that, I was hooked.
Here are just a few of our favorites. I absolutely love her ideas for hair in this book. I've thought of using fabric scraps and of course felt and yarn, but check out the ribbon hair below or the absolutely adorable little boy doll with faux fur hair (my 8-year-old son who is a bit beyond stuffed toys asked me to make the 'naughty boy' for him...notice the crayon scribbles on the wall next to him?!). My daughter cannot stop talking about the sleepover dollies. I am quite in love with the Little Miss Storybook with her appliqued cape. Recently, I started making capes for my dolls, but this one with the hood is beyond adorable.

Many years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that said "Art saves lives." I thought about it for a long time and did not know exactly what that meant. When I was looking through this new book with my kids (trying to negotiate which one I would make first with them), I suddenly thought of that bumper sticker and knew exactly what it meant. When I began sewing 5 years ago while pregnant with my second child, it really marked a new beginning for me and, as silly as it sounds, making things really has saved my life. It has made me a little more excited to get up each day (so many projects to finish or start or both!) and has certainlymade me think of 'things' in a whole new way. I look at mass produced clothing, toys, furniture with a more critical eye. Whenever I talk to a friend who is down, I suggest trying to embark on a creative task to help get out of their funk. I know creativity means different things for different people, but there is something downright therapeutic about making something with your hands. Oh, I just love it so.

And the love that my children bestow on the softies I've made over the years has made me so incredibly proud. I know they will remember this about me ("mama and her sewing" they sometimes say) and hopefully carry a little bit of craftiness with them throughout their lives as well.

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