I have come to realize that many of my closest friends and relatives actively participate in the local crafting community and I had absolutely NO IDEA about many of them until just recently. For example, one of my dearest friends, Alex Daly, waitresses as a primary source of income, but I have discovered that she also makes and sells a variety of handmade goods in her free time. I have known Alex for a few years now, and I knew she dabbled in a variety of arts. She enjoys making jewelry, specifically hair accessories, typically utilizing a variety of feathers and fabrics to create vivid textural intricacies. I even enlisted her help this past summer, with creating a unique hair accessory to compliment my personality on my wedding day. It was beautiful, with rich, gold and chocolate colored pheasant feathers and naturalistic white orchid blossoms. It elegantly mirrored the hand-made feather and orchid bouquet I had made, and was the perfect final touch to my ensemble. It was the very last item I adorned myself with before walking down the aisle; everything felt complete, and I was absolutely struck by the fact that such a small item could make such a huge impact on how I felt that day. Many people take crafting (and those who share this hobby) for granted. I was no different, until that one special item triggered some deep emotion in me. I could not thank Alex enough for the way I felt about myself when I pinned that beautiful piece of art into my hair.
It seems awfully silly to care so much about something like that, but I still can’t explain everything it meant to me…certainly more personal than buying a mass-produced, unoriginal piece of jewelry from some big-chain bridal store. To me, it was sentimental, charming, and absolutely perfect. Some seek crafting as an outlet for their creativity, or even just a quick way to make some extra money, but others see it as an opportunity to create something truly meaningful to someone else. The items these people create may range from simple to extraordinarily complex, but the impact they may have on someone is certainly not something that can be replicated in a factory by machine arms and computer programs, which is a direction we seem to be headed in for the sake of convenience and profit.
I think it's about time to make crafting popular again, stop considering it a romantic notion and put our hands and imaginations to work! Humans have the most complex skill-sets and thought-processes, and the widest range of emotions of any creature on the planet. We should show our appreciation and pride, and use those aspects of ourselves to embrace our individuality, strengthen our community, and preserve our culture - an opportunity limited to humans - something that sets us apart - should not be wasted for sheer convenience. I've got to say...lately I've been feeling very motivated and even excited to start a crafting venture of my own! I would love the opportunity to make someone feel as good as my dear friend, Alex, made me feel! I encourage everyone else to do the same! :)