Getting crafty

When anyone asks about my interests or hobbies, I hesitate to mention crafts. Typically I say “reading and hanging out with friends” or “music and movies” — anything that makes me sound more like an interesting person and less like the type who spraypaints bear-shaped honey bottles to use as pen holders.

The whole arts and crafts thing seemed embarrassing to me because it isn’t fine art. Pinterest-level DIY projects felt like the stuff of kindergarten classrooms. Sure, it’s fun to paint with a foam brush and pour glitter all over something, but it isn’t quite the same as using charcoal or oils to create a stirring piece for a gallery show. I would make fine art if I could, but instead I’m left with crafts.

Art requires dedicated practice and devotion to technique. There are schools for art. Doctoral candidates are studying art history in major universities. This is not the case for crafting.

But if artists are the educated, seasoned architects who design masterpieces, then crafters are the spunky, thrifty hosts on HGTV shows who manage to redecorate a house in 48 hours with $500.

Crafting takes a different set of skills. I realize now that when I’m working on a project, I am constantly problem solving, experimenting and taking chances. There aren’t rules or classic techniques when you’re hot-gluing buttons on a pumpkin or striping a berry basket. I’ve learned about things like design and composition by creating mantlepiece displays and making banners for my friends.

So I can’t use watercolors or draw to save my life. But I am pretty crafty. And my hot-glue gun and I aren’t so embarrassed about it anymore.

Today I decorated some pumpkins with two friends from work. I used glitter, buttons and ribbon — talk about embracing the craft cliche 🙂

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xo, Mallory

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