Friday, February 8, 2008

In Short: The Life and Times of Crafty McCrafterson Part 2 An Odyssey of Craftiness

When I was five my cousin moved two hours away. She is three months younger than I am and, at the time my constant companion and only source of sibling interaction. I was devastated. To console me my grandmother gave me a dollar for the ice cream man and, for the first time let me go outside by myself to purchase my frog pop. This is one of my first clear memories. When I had finished my ice pop she told me we could save the stick and, after we had enough of them, we would build a little box out of all the pieces we had collected. This started my craft as therapy addiction.
A few years later, when I had learned to read, I started to hoard the Rag Shop fliers from my grandmother's newspapers. I would plan how to spend every cent of my five-dollar weekly allowance. On the way home from a weekend spent with her my mother would stop there, and I would fill up on plastic visors and puff paints. This was the eighties remember and puff paint seemed like a craft revolution. This will lead into a long list of crafty business ventures.

1988-I take my little plastic clip board into school and take orders for custom painted visors
batman is my number one request.

1989-I make business cards and pass them out to all my classmates for MirandaTees.
I believe it is a brilliant name as my business is puff painted tee shirts and my middle name starts with a T. I have no sales and give up after moving on to bigger and better things.

1990-My new friend Brett teaches me to make simple friendship bracelets out of a crochet chain. We plan to take them to a local yarn shop for consignment but, we lack follow through and spend the summer on the beach instead.

1992-A friend from down the road and I melt boxes of white tapered candles with bits of crayon and pour them into glass jars and seashells. We then go door to door selling them. We sell two. We are forced to give up on this venture when my mother becomes too afraid we will burn the house down in her absence.

1993-I learn how to do hair wraps and charge anyone who can manage to sit still for three hours four dollars each for the colors of their choice. I put one right in the front of my face it is black and yellow and has an old house key on the front (my own personal tribute to rhythm nation). I give up on this venture when after six months my own wrap becomes moldy and I am forced to cut it off (below the dread that has formed) which leaves me with a little spike of hair stickin out the side of my head.

1994- I make long strands of seed beads and a thousand friendship bracelets. I make no move to sell these but, wear them all at once everyday.

1995- My beading skills have matured and I make necklaces from marbles that I meticulously cover in a peyote stitch. My aunt lists them on eBay for me. She tells me they sell and give me 25 bucks. I later see them in a box of things at her house.(I am tempted to omit this part as I never told her about this and, I am sure she will read it here but, it is an important step)

1996-I tie dye a pair of old nurses pants and wear them everyday for almost a year. One day they tragically tare all the way up the leg and, a class mate informs me in a most untactful way that my underwear are showing. I use duct tape to repair them but I am forced to retire them when a strip of fabric rip offas I am removing the duct tape in an effort to repair them. It is also this year that a make a new watch band for my Shark out of safety pins and over sized seed beads. Although I epoxy the pins closed(after an awful stabbing incident) the ends randomly pop open in class and spray beads every ware. I am forced to retire this one when there are fewer pins with beads then without.

1997- I take up sewing and create a giant hoop skirt out of neon yellow polyester I buy at Woolworth's for two dollars. I never wear it but am totally satisfied with making my first completed piece of clothing.

1998-I spend my year focusing on painting and drawing and building my portfolio for art school.

1999- My bff Genny teaches me how to really use a sewing machine and, I make a giant quilt top with appliqued beta fish all over it. This project remains un-quilted in my closet as I type.
I spend the summer traveling all over the country going to Phish shows and selling my new hand sewn hippy wear along with the old marble necklaces, grilled cheese and various vegetarian burritos, and some beer and cigarettes we by on the cheap down south and sell for gas money.

2000-I quit art school and learn how to juggle after a run in with a performer in Santa Fe who tells me to give him a call when I am ready to become a professional clown.

2001-I ditch the clown idea and move to Portland, Oregon to focus on my art. I then spend two years doing anything but.

2003- I some how marry myself off and have a little baby boy. This inspires me to focus on sewing and I open AdrielBaris Handmade Modern Children's Clothes at the Portland Saturday Market. I am for the first time actually making money and paying the bills off my craft it is exhilarating.

2005- We move to Chicago for my husband's job. We spend some time living with my mother in law. I don't need to say anything further about that.

2006- I stumble upon Etsy and decide to list some of my old AdrielBaris goods. I list everything in one day and sell one dress a month later. I then break my computer monitor and abandon etsy for almost a year.

2007-I see a customer at work wearing a jesus bracelet made of little pieces of wood, pictures of saints, and resin. I oh and ah over it. My mind races. I see little birds and pictures of flowers even some pictures of my friends children swirling around in my head. She tells me she got it at the corner store for two bucks. I go home and make four bracelets for my friends with pictures of their kids or pets on them. The first is large, clunky, and made of dominos. I route through my closet and find an abandoned scrabble game. I burn myself drilling holes in the pieces. I cover them in polyurethane and it takes three days of coating and waiting to dry . We drive to Portland for a visit; I hand out my goodies, and bask in the glory. Oh yes, I am one self-satisfied crafter. My aunt buys me a button press when she needs 1200 buttons for a fundraiser, I discover resin, and ButtonEnvy is born. I open a new shop on Etsy and begin a new.

2008- I finally settle down and start my blog.

In Short: The Life and Times of Crafty McCrafterson Part 1 The Confession

I must admit I am a total slob. My house has forever been littered with bits of paper and glue, sewing machines and fabric, and all others modes of my craft. Growing up, my single mother, always came home to a house that looked not much like it had when she left. I can remember running around the house like a feral child when I heard her car pull into our gravel driveway, trying to put things back into some semblance of order and, usually failing miserably.

In the early days of my marriage, I would do the same. Not that I was trying to be some super house wife or that I felt the need to please my man in that 1950's kind of way but, out of habit. I would work all day making my mess (in those days it was sewing) and then when I started to realize Scott's bus would be arriving I would run around throwing fabric scraps into plastic bins. Trying to hide the fact that, while he was out working two jobs and I stayed home with our then infant son, I had been busy making a third or fourth baby quilt.

After five years of marriage I have pretty much given up on that effort. I try to keep my work area limited to my studio/dining room but, it sometimes spills over into the living room or becomes splayed out across our bed. I clean it up when it becomes uncomfortable to work and I no longer have room to mix and pour resin or drag out my jigsaw to cut pieces for my jewelry.
When we have friends or family over I spend an entire day or two hiding the fact that I am a slob. I have been succesful in doing so. Recently a friend of ours rolled her eyes at my husband when he tried to sympathize with the condition of her apartment. Whatever, she said," your house is always immaculate". I laughed in victory.