Value~

There’s a church somewhere, probably down the road and around the corner from your house, that has a slew of ladies.  Among those ladies, are half a dozen who sew on a regular basis, a few beginners, and one professional seamstress.  There is always one or two that can’t sew to save their lives and frankly, don’t care to learn.  Those who don’t sew at all are usually not the ones who undervalue the work of the professional.  The clueless woman appreciates the skills that the professional has spent years honing, the time invested in her products, and the value of her work.

Why is this?  Why is it that the one who has no experience to help appreciate what the seamstress is able to accomplish is the one who shows that appreciation?

Often (and of course I’m generalizing here!), the others with some or much sewing experience are the ones who undervalue the work.  You hear things like, “Oh, I could do that” and, “Oh, that’s no big deal” as if the time and skill is nothing.  Do they not realize that as they undervalue their sister’s work with words like that, they also denigrate their own knowledge.  Why is it that the people who should support the seamstress the most (if not financially, at least verbally), are usually the ones she gets the most criticism from?

Why isn’t there support for the professional?  Why aren’t her sisters saying, “You are worth every penny that you charge?”  The novices should realize just how much they have to learn and appreciate the knowledge and skill that the professional has developed.  Those who have perfected their skills to the equivalent of a professional should know, more than anyone, how much time and effort goes into a well -crafted product.  Why do they often show so much animosity and criticism for others?

Have you ever been to a craft show?  I used to run booths at them locally, and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard someone walk around a booth, sniff disgustedly at the price of something or the apparent “simplicity” of it, and sneer, “I could make that.”  Well, yeah, ya could.  Anyone could.  The question is, would you and if you did, would it really be as nice as the one in your unimpressed fingers?  I used to have a sign in my booth.  “I know you can make it, but will you?”

I’ve seen this over the years– hey, I was the obnoxious person sniffing superciliously at the “overpriced” products at different places when I was younger, but the older I get, the more it grieves me.  We, as Christian sisters, are supposed to have a graciousness that I often see lacking.  A woman gives a friend a handmade card at church.  Someone asks where she got it, and she confesses that she made it.  When the admirer asks what it’d cost to have one made and is told $5.00, there’s nothing wrong with the admirer admitting that they can’t afford it.  It’s a little tacky to tell the knitter that Wal-Mart carries them for $2.00 before clearance, though.  Just sayin’.  However, the problem doesn’t usually come with the admirer.  It’s the other crafter across the aisle.  Whether she’s an expert or a novice, invariably she pipes up (either to the crafter and her admirer or to another woman nearby), “That’s just too much.  There’s only $1 dollar in materials there.”  Let’s forget the hours and hours and hours in actual crafting time and the tools that were used with those little bits of paper!

I see it with so many things.  Sewing, knitting, beading, paper crafting, pottery, organization, house cleaning, photography, art of all kinds.  I think it’s high time that we start supporting our skilled sisters and spend less of our leisure time criticizing them.

God In the Little Things…

Have you ever found the perfect something and then discovered that perfect or not, you can’t have it?  We did that this week while looking for fabric for dresses for the girls to wear to a wedding next month (pick yourself up off the floor,  I know it’s not tomorrow and I already have fabric… sometimes I work ahead… sometimes).  I found this at Fabric.com, and instantly, we all loved it.  However, when I went to put it in my cart, there were only 3 yards.  Enough for one dress, but then what about the other girls?  I wasn’t sure.  So, I kept looking.

Today, I woke up and knew I had to go down to the Quilted Quail and find something.  Now normally, I love going into that store and perusing the beautiful fabrics that they have available.  Let’s face it, nothing gets your creative juices flowing like a store FULL of raw materials.  Pun intended.

I wandered around the room, its nooks, the crannies, and paused before several prints, but none of them said, “This’ll be GREAT!”   Then, as I was explaining to the owner Cindy what I was making, I saw it.   THE FABRIC.  Sitting on a shelf, and with enough for two of the dresses.  With it,  coordinating fabrics that would work to make up the loss (and now don’t I wish I’d bought what fabric.com had while they had it.  Drat!)  I found a nice print that reads as a solid and voila.  We’ve got DRESSES!  I am so stinkin’ excited!

You know, I know  that God cares about the little things.  I mean, if He keeps tabs on the number of hairs I have on any given days, He cares about little girls and their clothing.  So, for what it’s worth, God blessed us with fabric today.  I’m so thankful that if I was a crier, I’d be weeping!  Thank you, Lord, for the little things.

Lovin’ My Nook and Cranny~

Well, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve made a concentrated effort to create a craft nook in my bedroom.  Without one, I’m kind of stuck for sewing options.  I don’t like taking up living room space and I really don’t like not sewing.  The alternative was removing the piano, which we gave to a friend’s mother, and rearranging my room.  After many hours of work, this is what I have.

Here I show my little plant.  I decided that I needed some greenery so I bought a little plant and repotted it.  I might put a ribbon around it… or not.

I had to put these pictures on the little corner shelf I had left over from when we had bookshelves in this corner.  I kept a shelf here in order to keep things from falling down the corner.

Kaylene immediately asked why I “had” to put her and Nolan’s watermelon picture on the shelf.  She kind of has issues with things like that, but I love that picture and had absolutely ZERO intention of not displaying it where I can look and smile at my little “non-existent” children.  Well, at least until the State of California decides to recognize them.

One of the first things I wanted to do was put up a peg board for easy access to my things.  I eventually want to create a “cupboard” door to cover it so it’s not so ugly and utilitarian, but until then, I’ll just be satisfied.

Note to self:  See if the Quilted Quail has my 6×24″ Omnigrid ruler in stock yet.  This replacement for my broken ruler is not my idea of a good ruler.  I miss the yellow and black lines.

You also can’t see it, but there is also my little Ikea metal pail that used to be in the kitchen.  I love it in here and now there’s actually something in it!  I have my seam rippers, fray check, and measuring tapes in there.

My cupboards!  These are just simple little crate cupboards from Target.  In this one I have two distinct things.

1.  The upper shelf holds the fabric I intend to sew up “this week” (it’ll change per week or two depending on how much I sew up.  My goal is that as I clear the shelf, I’ll go out to my totes, pull in another stack of fabric, stitch it up, and voila!  Another week or two’s worth of work.  In this shelf there are several t-shirts for appliqueing.  I may have to bring in matching fabrics from elsewhere, but we’ll see.  I see Jenna’s skort and t-shirt, Creed’s jon-jons, Jenna’s skirt/skort and t-shirt.  Lorna’s t-shirt and then fabric for bottoms.  I’m thinking about cutting a very short pair of shorts and adding tiers to them to give it the appearance of a skirt.  I see the gingham for skirt/skort and shirt… some vintage pillowcase fabric for a vintagey dress… I’m thinking something apronish.  My Amy Butler bag fabric…  some corduroy for a fall skirt.. some daisies that I have no idea what to do with, a dress to cut into a skirt, and who knows what else!

2.  My plastic drawers.  In these are zippers, spools of thread and bobbins that don’t fit in my thread drawers (eventually I’ll only have thread in my thread drawers but for now, this is ok), and an empty one.   On top is a vintage embroidered pillowcase to sew into something cool, a blank linen dress to embellish, and to the right, canned air and the “trap” for the serger.

In the left cabinet, the top shelf holds my smocking pleater… and four little tins.  Those tins hold hardware and other trinkets for paper crafting/card making.  I can now find my brads, charms, and other metal works easy peasy!

Below that are four photo boxes that hold paper craft supplies.  In the boxes are…

1. Adhesives
2. Rubber Stamps
3. Stamp pads and markers
4. Punches and scissors

Of course, as you can see, I also keep my iron and ironing sprays in here.  (Sprays are behind the iron… kind of hard to see.)

I’ve been in and out of those boxes several times already and it really wasn’t a big deal.  Easy to get in and out and once I make the labels, I won’t have to guess which box I need.

Note to self: get on that label making!

See!  My punches and scissors from one of those boxes.  I just reach in, and voila!

Seeing them makes me want to start creating.  Let’s see… which font should I use….

Name that movie!

Below that  shelf, is the paper part of my crafting supplies.  The top box I know has sticker sheets, scraps of paper from other projects and such.  I’m not sure what’s in the others… I’m thinking stamps are in one…

Below that is a plastic set of drawers.  I have different things in each set… patterned papers, solids, etc.

Two of my paper packs didn’t fit in the drawers (they are slightly too wide for some reason, so I just set them on top.

Again, I plan to label it all.

To the left are my Stampin’ Up! catalogs and if you look very very carefully, to the left of those are my two paper cutters.  I love my paper cutters and I LOVE how they slide in there so easily.  They stay nicely out of the way, but I’ve already pulled them out twice and it was so easy to take them out and then put them away again.

A close up view of the drawers opened and ready for use.  It’s so easy to sit at the counter, reach down, flip through the drawers until I find what I want, and then close it up again.  I’m amazed at how easy it is to keep everything clean.

Note to self:  MAKE LABELS!

To the right of those cabinets, is the other wall.  On that wall I have one long shelf that holds four blue canvas baskets.  In those baskets are projects in progress, trims, sewing machine parts and accessories, and… um… I don’t remember.

Note to self:  Are you ever going to make said labels?

Below that is my peg board.

To the right of that, a nice metal strip that holds pins, needles, and safety pins.  I have two empty ones for the future.

My trusty Bernina is waiting there for me.  I can’t wat to clean her up and use her!

Below the counter on the right is a cubby that supports the counter and holds the fabrics for my bedroom and the boy’s room.    As soon as I’m done sewing those projects, I’ll put other things I’m working on down there.  That’s kind of exciting for me.

I will eventually buy a white chair for that corner and pad it.

This is what the other side looks like!

The shelf above them holds my pretty cans. In the cans there are buttons, grommets and eyelets, and I can’t remember what else. On the left of that shelf is a new white 12×12 box for whatever I need in the future with my Tiffany’s box on top for fun. I know, I’m a nerd. I kept the box my gift came in. Sue me. It’s probably the only thing I’ll ever get from Tiffany’s and is one of my most treasured possessions because of who sent it and why. (you know who you are and I think of you and thank the Lord for you every time I see it). To the right of the cans are 2 plastic handled metal latching boxes. One has all my Wrights packages. Bias tape, rick rack, piping etc. Anything still in a package. I have a second one next to it and when I find the REST of my packages, I’ll need it. I want to decoupage something on them but I haven’t decided what yet.

The brown drawers have already been moved to the left of the counter on the book case under my windows.  The metal basket was going to be my trash can for the room before I decided to go “craft” in here.  Now I’m going to get a regular trash can and get rid of that.

On the right at the bottom are two shelves. The upper holds serger thread and patterns currently in use. The lower holds the same.

And here is the corner look… just because I can show it.

Now, my serger is in place of my “oh Brother” back up machine.  I have to find a home for that thing.  It did its job while I needed it, but I’m very happy to have my Bernina back and a part of my sewing life.

All in all, I think it’s a very nice little corner.  It has everything I need on a day-to-day basis, and anything else I need, I can get from the garage and return there when I’m done.

I can do pretty much anything I need to in this corner but

1.  Iron

2.  Cut

3.  Quilt anything of any significant size.

So there she is… my pretty little craft nook.  I’m so excited about it!!