My mom always made crafts when I was a kid. She was a stay-at-home mom and money was tight, but her crafts I think helped a little and she always enjoyed working on them. As a result of this, and the fact that she always began the Christmas season immediately after Labor Day, crafts became a small but inextricable part of my life. On many occasions my sister and I ended up accompanying her to a craft fair, and on several as an adult I ended up driving her there. I did a lot of reading on those occasions, and as I got older I got to immerse myself in computing books. (Somehow the joys of discovering what Windows 3.1 could do are still embedded in my mind as a part of all that.) And yes there was a lot of boredom involved, but I still remember the craft shows fondly.
But I might miss craft stores even more. As an adult I ended up going to those with my mother more often than to craft shows, and often enough it was just for things like scrapbooking, since nowadays she doesn’t really do a lot of craft shows. Even further back, we used to make regular pilgrimages to Switz’s, possibly the greatest craft store that ever existed (especially at Halloween), which funnily enough isn’t that far from where I live now, even though Switz’s itself is long gone.
I was thinking about craft stores today because I ended up passing a couple of them: JoAnn’s Fabrics and AC Moore, which somehow coexist in the same plaza. We used to end up going to AC Moore together quite a lot back when I still lived with my parents, and occasionally JoAnn’s or Michaels. This time of year especially, my soul feels drawn to these places and I wish I was crafty.
I’m not crafty, though, and my wife isn’t either. I am somewhat creative, and enjoy crafting videos on YouTube—really!—but I’ve never made the leap to trying a craft project. The thing is, anything I did craft-wise would result in a net increase in clutter and that’s a very bad thing. I can’t think of any kind of project I could do that wouldn’t end up getting in the way.
At least these days my sister has taken up the crafting spirit, mostly in the vein of creative furniture restoration/alteration which she’s been doing for years. A couple of times I’ve taken her to Michaels, and every time I go there I feel like a little voice is calling me to do something, anything, with the vast wealth of options in front of me.
That little voice is the same one that puts me into Bad Idea Mode for cooking projects, but at least I can justify cooking projects in that they go away when they’re done.