HELLO, MY NAME IS: Old School Crafter

May 13, 2008 10:15 by ehouston

I was a child of the 70’s and 80’s, and I am an Old School Crafter.  I use this term to distinguish those of us out there that grew up doing craft projects using random items and tools from around the house and yard.  Craft paper cut into shapes, glued to another full sheet of craft paper; squares turned into houses with a triangle for the roof; homemade play dough rolled into big-headed sculptures of family members and later found embedded in the carpet.  My mom was always coming up with ways to occupy my time and keep me out of her hair.  Being an Old School Crafter is a distinction I am making because, and I am going to sound so old when I say this, I find the new craft supply stores completely overwhelming.  Don’t get me wrong, when I am working on a sewing project the plethora of fabrics can be a joy to dig through (I am a completely textile-obsessed) and sometimes I will just walk through the aisles to get some crafty inspiration, but it is all a bit much these days.

I can remember when the first Michael’s Craft store opened up near our home and it was like the Wal-mart of the crafter’s world.  Originally, it seemed this was a place to purchase supplies and source those odd things, like hardcore fabric dyes that worked better than the grocery store Rit, jewelry clasps and Indian beads, creamy canvas and wooden stretchers, print-making linoleum blocks and inks.  Sometimes they would have a kit of all the tools and supplies needed for a specific project, but most of the time you went there to get the missing piece or tool you needed to help complete a task you had started.  At this time you could not go in and find aisle after aisle of creativity, well, already created.  You had to figure out what you wanted to make, scrap, paint, sew, weave, etc, and this store was a source for the pieces and tools to get you to your end product.  Now, when you go in to shop just about everything you can think of is already created, packaged and hanging on a shelf ready to be purchased.  All you have to do is take it home and glue it to whatever you want to embellish, fill in the color to “paint” the painting, iron it on to finish the T-shirt, slap it on a glossy 4 X6 and you have scrapbooked a picture.  I could go on and on, but I will spare you the drama.  It just seems that the thinking part of the process has been lost along the way.  The time spent mulling over an idea or design and trying to figure out the execution is no longer needed.  You can buy a product for that now.  I get a little sad every time I go to the craft store and see something I thought was my idea, pre-packaged next to the check-out… 

I miss those good ol’ days of the Old School Crafter.   Like the time you almost cut off your finger tips because you used a razorblade for that straight edge since the perfect cutting contraption did not yet exist.  Or, the time Barbie had to wear dresses reminiscent of a potato sack because your machine could only barely run a straight stitch and there were no classes to show you how to cut or fit a pattern.  And, oh yes, when you finally broke down and bought a glue gun…all the hilarity that ensued with the third degree burns, endured just to get that hand-tied, grosgrain ribbon bow to stay on the Godforsaken banana clip!  Ahhhh, those are the days…..

Yep, bringin' back, Old-School-Style!

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August 30. 2008 11:43

Linda Crispell

Styrofoam, pins and sequin equalled a full day of fun! How about the old school crafting projects that gave off deadly toxic fumes? Melting plastic to make stained glass ornaments?

Linda Crispell

April 16. 2010 02:55


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