22 March 2011

A Creative Family - Mum

Hi there,

I'm back this week with Mum's list of creative crafts and whatnots. And some of them are whatnots, for sure.

That is, "What?" and then (surely) "Not!"

Two words - gold books. Ha ha.

My mother is a very creative person. It's more than obvious she needs creativity in her life. It's fun for her to make things, challenge herself and just see what happens. It's also therapy. We all know that!

I have her typed list of crafts sitting in front of me. A while ago I asked her to write down all the things she's tried over the years. Some crafts stayed around for years, some were tried once and flicked, some have stayed her whole life. It's quite interesting actually.

Here's Mum today. Okay, not today, it was actually last Sunday. She and Dad came over for dinner and she brought her new blanket to show me.

She made it to use up some of Grandma's wool.

Being the avid crocheter that she was, Grandma had a lot of wool at her house when she moved into the retirement home, so Mum and I acquired some extra. I like having a wool stash. I dipped into it to make last year's not-yet-finished flower cushion.

Here's a receipt of Grandma's that I found in one of the bags of wool. Just a bit of ephemera I'll be keeping.

According to Wikipedia - Ephemera is 'transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved.' 

Well, this bit will be preserved by me. Ephemera is just the coolest. I need one of those Smash Journals and I need one now. I've been saving bits to put in it. I found an old piece of paper with Scrabble scores on it the other day too. Pappa and Granny played as well as a couple of other people. Worth keeping, considering we now use their Scrabble board. The pieces are wooden and uneven, I love it.

Back to the blanket. Pretty, hey? Mum said she made all the squares individually and it didn't really come together until she put them together in blocks of four. And as you do, she tweaked it as she went along and added the blocks of white, so the flowers would stand out.


Yep, cute.

And colourful. The colourful ones are always my favourite.

She's making another rug now. Got the crochet bug again hey, Mum?

She's been crafting longer than me (obviously), but one thing I noticed while looking at her list of crafts is that she's tried so, so many over the years and I just haven't. I'm either not that adventurous, or that skilled. I think it's a bit of both. I definitely got the papercrafting gene, while Mum and Sue got the sewing gene. And Mum got the "I'll try anything once" gene too.

Actually, it's the same with our scrapbooking. We've been scrapping for the same amount of time (about 10 years) and she's tried a lot of different techniques that I haven't. That's a whole other blog post series, that is!

We were looking at one of her albums recently and I saw a beach page with windows cut in it. The windows were raised on foam tape, had real shells in them and I think there was actual sand on the page somewhere! I've never done anything like that in my scrapbooks. We chuckled while looking at her pages. Fun.

Anyway, onto her list.

Prepare yourself...seriously.

I'll put an asterisk next to the ones I've done and you'll see what I mean by me not doing nearly as much as her. I'll double the asterisk if I've really done enough of it to warrant me calling it a craft of mine.

She's also written the list chronologically (thereabouts). I did a lot of these crafts with her when I was growing up (note the clump of asterisks).

Here goes...

Mum's list of crafts

Plaster of Paris Craft (moulds and painting) *
Knitting *
Sewing (doll's clothes)
Pressed Flowers *
Applique *

Crochet **
Ceramics *
Hobbytex *
Clay Pot Craft - decorating etc *
Cake decorating
String and Nail Pictures
Latch Hook
Cross Stitch
More sewing craft - Barbie Doll outfits etc
Doll House Decorating (wall papering, rug making, mini-furniture making)

Macreme (she made Barbie sized ones for us too!)
Fabric and Lace Covered Photo Frames/Journals/Notebooks etc

(we're moving into the very productive 'empty nest' period here)

Hot Gun Glue craft
Old Gold Books (remind me to mention these at the end)
Dried Flower Arranging
Folk Art
Crazy Patchwork
Long Stitch *
Paper Making

Soft Toys (sewn, kitted, crocheted etc)
Teddy Bears
Christmas Decoration Making (Sequin balls, foam covered baubles, stick trees etc)
Ribbon Flowers
Silk Flower Arranging
Card Making **
Punch Art **
Scrapbooking **
Papercraft **

And here's the list of General Crafts (can you believe it?) that she did by the dozens. These have ebbed back into the recesses of her mind and she'd have to completely live her life again to remember them all...

Fake Lead Lighting
Cellophane Pics
Copper Pics
Leaf Rubbing
Sand/Pebble Mosaic pics (I remember those! The pebbles were coloured)
Rock Painting (rock painting??)
Pipe Cleaner Art
Clay Figures
Pencil Case Making

Other things she did:
~ Made a lot of her own clothes.
~ Made most of our clothes. Flary shorts. Did you make those, Mum? The ones from the 80s.
~ Wallpapered three houses.
~ Curtained four houses.
~ Recovered the divan three times.
~ Made fun birthday cakes.
~ Made the best crumbed chops ever!

Yes, cheers to you, Mum!

I'm going to do other posts with photos of things she's made, but I thought it was worth seeing the whole list first. It's pretty impressive, don't you think?

Points to note about the list:

1. I don't even know what some of the crafts are. Heard of them, don't know 'em.

2. She had to make up names for some of the crafts, ie. Clay Pot Craft. You know, you get a terracotta pot and stick stones to it with grout. Clay Pot Craft sounds way better than Sticking Stones to Pots.

3. Can you totally see how adventurous she's been with crafting throughout her life? And no, Mum and Dad aren't rich. She's done a lot of this on a budget. She's made things for us, her, them, as gifts - all that. And she's created her whole life because she's needed to. It's that simple.

4. One craft that I've done that I don't know if Mum's done is Felties. That's what they're called now, but back in the day they weren't. I just sewed with felt because it was more workable than fabric and I made up my own toys. Have you made Felties, Mum? Or Softies, as they're sometimes called.

5. Old Gold Books - I've gotta talk about these...oh my word. Back in the 90's Mum did a lot of crafts with the ladies at her church. One of them was Gold Books. I totally do not get this craft. You take an old book and antique it somehow and make the pages stiff, yet open, and then you put a plaque/message on it and then you spray it gold and then, get this, you spray this stringy stuff on it that dries to look like cobwebs!!!! The whole thing is meant to look like an old book that you might find open on a pulpit in a centuries old church in the middle of England! We (Mum, Sue and I) all laugh about it now...so funny. Didn't understand them then, don't understand them now!

6. Sometimes crafting is about the process, not the result. Mum always says that different crafts give you different skills that then allow you to move onto something else because you've learnt new skills. All I've gotta say is, Mum, you've amassed some rad skillz by now!

And that's all I have to say today - except that maybe making the Old Gold Books was all about the process and not the result... :o)

Be back soon with some photos of her stuff.



  1. You have given me a good laugh for today Deb. No, no felties, you made that one up. Can I put in a photo of your Mr Men pen holder, it's a classic, I still have it after 30 years. And no to Gold Books, that was not a favourite.

  2. Yes, can you email me a photo of the Mr Men thing - do you have one? Ha ha to the gold books - I knew that'd make you laugh. Got a picture of one at all?

  3. Matchy Sister SuziMarch 23, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Those gold books ... pffft! The whole reason we don't like using the hot glue gun is coz the glue gets stringy and 'cobweb' like. Then someone has a bright idea to make that into a craft!!! Oi! You are definitely the chief chooker Mum and yes post the Mr Men thingo, I thought of it when reading that bit!! It hangs proudly on mum's noticeboard in her office still to this day. :o)

  4. Sue, did you make a Gold Book????


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