Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Name is Laurie... and I'm a Hoarder

Okay, maybe that's a little extreme. I'm not really a hoarder in the true, psychological sense of the word. But I have realized that I could very easily get there if I don't start USING some of the great things I've been buying and putting aside to make awesome stuff with.

Here's how it works...
1. I stop by a thrift store/yard sale/estate auction during lunch/after work/on a weekend.
2. I find a Sweet Treasure that others have passed up and I know is a brilliant piece of awesomeness.
3. I take it home and stash it in my craft room, after staring at it for a bit and doing a happy dance about the amazing things I know I can make with it.

Here's where the problem comes in...

That Sweet Treasure will sit in a basket, languish in a drawer, or just remain piled on a shelf... taunting me. It says "I thought you loved me! I thought you boasted about finding me on Twitter! I thought you commented on images on Pinterest about how you were going to make Amazing Creations with me! What happened??"

I am a hoarder of Sweet Treasures that have the potential to be Amazing Creations... and which I am afraid to use.

I love the thrill of the hunt. I love the excitement of finding something and watching a dozen awesome ideas scroll through my mind's eye. But then I freeze up. I am afraid that when I cut into that sheet music, or use that vintage photo, or restyle that vintage pom-pom fringe, the Sweet Treasure will be gone. I wonder if I will ever find one like it again.

What I think needs to happen is that I need to just jump in and get busy... when I get some creations made I'll feel better about using the treasures I find. I have to remember that there will always be Sweet Treasures to be found. I have had a good eye thus far, so what's keeping me from thinking that the luck will continue, you know?

And, if I only get a few items made out of each Sweet Treasure, well that makes them more valuable. Everyone loves a one-of-a-kind! And I am an easily distracted creator anyway... so having a need to find new things to create won't be a bad thing. I'm sure that if I just get started I can be cranking out stuff as cute as Miss Mustard Seed in no time! (Look at that garland on her tree!!)

I'm going to have many days over the holiday break to spend organizing my vintage and craft stash, and I plan to get some creating done as well. I'll report on the results.

Happy holidays everyone!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday time!

It's December 1st, so it seems appropriate to turn the talk to things that sparkle and smell like cinnamon and evergreens. Or, if you're me, the things I keep in that storage closet in my house that has never lost the New Carpet Smell. I look forward to digging out the things that I or my family have made over the years to decorate for Christmas... something about the season just makes me more sentimental than, say, July 4th.

One of my favorite things to put up is a advent calendar that my mom made for me when my first child was small, a replica (mostly) of the one she made when I was little and which hung in our house during December every year. My siblings and I eagerly awaited our turn to pick an ornament from the selection and put it on the tree each day, counting down to Christmas eve. Except for Erin... she was practically an only child by the time she was 7 since the rest of us were "all grown up", so she got to put ALL the ornaments on. Lucky. She also got to design the Halloween Jack-O-Lantern all by herself... unlike we Original Three, who had to actually compete to see who got to have their brilliant artistic stylings carved into the gourd. I believe it's due to the emotional scarring those Halloween contests left on my psyche that I buy all three of my kids pumpkins at Halloween... I mean, they're only $4.00 each, right???

Oh, sorry... got off track a little... breathe...

So, back to the calendar... each little ornament is made from several colors of felt, and adorned with sequins and beads and tiny little woven trims. So tedious detailed! There are wise men and angels and snowmen, candy canes, stockings, a candle... pretty much anything you would associate with the season. You can imagine how excited I was when, while sorting through mom's belongings after she died, I found a plastic bag full of felt scraps, trims, and tiny little patterns for the advent tree ornaments! My oldest daughter has a little girl now, and it won't be long before I'll have to make time to create a calendar for her. I'm not sure if I'll recreate it exactly, or put my own spin on it by using some vintage fabrics... I guess I'll ask her what she prefers.

Along with the holiday decorating traditions, I'm also trying to "shop small" this year. I purchased a couple of things online, but from small independent companies, and I have been making lists of things I want to get for others that can be found locally and (hopefully) from small businesses. A perfect opportunity to get some things knocked off my list will be at the many holiday markets happening near me this weekend.

I'm a vendor at a new craft show, The Little Craft Show, happening at Vintage Fellowship in Fayetteville on Saturday, so you know I'll be checking out the awesomeness there. It's a small event with 25 local folks selling handmade goodies, vintage treasures, and also some yummy treats and music. Come out and help make it an annual affair! If you can't be there this weekend, take a short trip over to Tulsa on the 17th to The Alliday Show. There will be more handmade and vintage vendors there, and I'm thrilled to be able to be a part of it this year.

There is also the annual Holiday Market at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks happening Saturday, which features crafters and others from the Fayetteville Farmers' Market. There will be fresh greenery for decorating, handmade pottery, soaps, and more for giving, and probably a few things that you may need to just stick under the tree for yourself.

Take some time to get your hands busy this year and make something special to decorate your home, or for the people on your gift list. Or, support local folks by buying what they made instead. The handmade things you pull out of the closet each year will become your favorite things to put on the entry table or mantle, I promise.