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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why do I craft?

Why do I make things myself instead of simply going to a cheap big box store to buy what I need? Sure, I could follow what the advertisers of the world want me to do and buy, buy, buy.  I could toss things away so I can buy again.  

 I craft partly because I like quality over quantity and partly because I realize our ancestors had it right but we messed it up.

What do I mean? Well think about it. Our ancestors didn't have weekly garbage pick ups or cheap big box stores conveniently down every street. If they had garbage to dispose of they had to do it on their own property.  Buying items back then was done out of need, not as a weekend shopping hobby.  Recycling items instead of disposing of them was done because people knew it as a way of life.
Our ancestors had recycling down pat and we didn't listen. The foods bought in the store came in reusable jars. Jars that could be used again and again for canning foods grown in a home garden. Milk came in glass jugs that could be washed and used again. Have you seen any food sold in glass containers lately?  Yes, there are a few but it's rare.  The glass jars you do see are not made to be reused.

Flour, cornmeal, coffee, chicken feed and stuff like that came in pretty fabric bags. The bags could be saved and made into all kinds of fabric craft items. Everything from undies to coats to rugs to curtains to quilts were made from what is now called feed sacks.  When I was young they were called flour sacks or coffee sacks or corn meal sacks as well as feed sacks.  Oh my, there sure were some pretty fabrics given away free back then.  Women would often trade their fabric sacks with other women so there was a better chance of getting matching fabrics.

I craft is for the quality of the item and save money while I'm creating.  Do I need undies? I make them from something I have. You might say.... but undies can be bought at the cheap big box store. Sure, but instead of paying $2 a pair for something made in China that might last a couple of washes, mine will last for years. AND they fit me perfectly.  No sagging bottom and no too tight elastic when I make them myself.

My grand daughter needs a dress? I make it from something I already have. Instead of paying $25 for a name brand, made in a far off country, dress that she will probably only wear for a few times before outgrowing it; I prefer to make her one that costs me nothing but my time and a fraction of electricity.

I need a rug to wipe dirty shoes on at the door? I make one from some scrap fabris that would otherwise be tossed or donated.  It may not be as fancy as a store bought rug but I will have saved the costs and had fun in the process.

For me, crafting is not just a hobby to fill my idle time. I think of crafting in a way I imagine our ancestors did. I make things because I have a need. I heard a phrase once (can't remember where) that goes "let need be the reason to purchase". Well for me, I hear it as "let need be the reason to craft".


Angela Huffman said...

Okay, Anita- how the heck did you make that rug? (Yep, I'm requesting a tutorial) :)

Anita Estes said...

If you look on the list of postings on the side bar, go down to the tutorials you will see the one for paper clip rug weaving. There is a video of how it's made.