I do not consider myself to be crafty, in any sense of the word. Not in the sense of a sly fox eating grapes in a fable and not in the sense where I can take some doilies and yarn and make a tiara. I'd like to be, though, which is why I buy buttons by the pound at yard sales, in the hopes that having the buttons will make me do something magical with them.
But I do read blogs of crafty people, which is a dangerous sort of thing to do for an unmarried person my age to do. One thing that I've noticed as I've gotten older and been around young professionals: single people have well-developed hobbies. And it's funny, because all those interests make them really fascinating people. You built your own ukelele? Dude, that's the coolest thing that can ever happen with a ukelele. These people strike you as being really fun, which makes you wonder why they're single. But then, if they had gotten hitched a long time ago, would they be so neat now?
Anyway, that was a theory I came up with when I was twenty-two, and I knew a single guy in his early thirties. He did a lot of cool stuff with his time, like build ukeleles. And then I gathered further evidence when I was twenty-five, and I met a couple of other unmarried thirty-somethings. One was really into nutrition, and the other took pottery classes. The rest of the people at my job...had kids. Sometimes they played poker on Fridays, but mostly they just had kids. Their kids seemed to be involved in a lot of things, though.
Now, I am twenty-seven, and I am starting to get some really good data to back up my theory. Namely, I've started being crafty. I read these blogs and I look at the stuff on etsy, and I think maybe I can do that. And then I do it, and it's terrible, but I do it again and it's better, and pretty soon, I have a hobby.
All jokes about my shrivelling uterus aside (ha! made you cringe!), I brought up this whole thing so that I could show you something I made. If spending time making crap is step 1, then posting it on my blog has got to be step 4 or 5. Where these here steps are even going, I don't know. Lonelytown. Spinsterville. Cat Lady Vegas.
Anyway. Here, a couple of months too late, are our Christmas stockings.
I took them down from the mantle just yesterday so that I could take a picture to show you. I'm very proud of them. They are so obviously homemade, particularly if you start looking at the seams. Josh was really excited about the idea when I mentioned it, less excited when he saw the fabric I'd picked out, and then overcome with mushy gratitude when I finished them.
Here is something I have just this second figured out about being creative: it's just putting stuff together. I know, I wrote a whole thing about that last week, about how writing is just taking memories and ideas and thoughts and putting them together differently to express something new. Making stuff is the same way. Maybe that was obvious to all of you, but it's a seriously great epiphany to me. Sure, being able to use a sewing machine or knowing how to crochet helps, but all that stuff comes with practice. I've been intimidated for a long time by people who seem to just ooze creativity. I'm never going to be a fashion designer, but I can take an embroidered holly branch from here and some felt letters from there and make something that works and that is special in its homemadeness.
I made stockings, and they look darn good. They taught me that even I can create. And they made my boyfriend happy. These are the best stockings in the whole world.