I think at some time in life, most of us have participated in some form of arts and crafts – from childhood, right on up to adulthood. Kids (even adults) colour, glue, paste, paint, create and generally have messy fun with a variety of crafty tools, from crayons to pastels and pencils. In my lifetime I’ve tried … well more hobbies than most people I guess.
As a youngster, I designed funky posters for my room on large cardboard chunks (whatever I could find!) pieces cut out of boxes, posterboards, shirt cardboards (back then, when you bought a shirt it came folded of a strong sheet of cardboard). My “tools of the trade” were pretty simple since I was a kid and we were … well, not dirt poor, but definitely not wealthy. I used ordinary white glue in a squeeze bottle, and traced out my designs with thick glue (seems like it was a lot thicker then, than now). A few days later when it was dry, I added paints (poster paints, oil paints, wall paints … whatever I could get my hands on) to complete the design and my dad would scrounge frames from friends and family (or the neighbours garbage) and if the glass was broken, he’d pull the rest out with his plyers. A number of these hung in my room for several years.
Later, I took up making coasters and table mats using a little round knitting loom made from an old wooden thread spool with small nails hammered into the top. My dad made me several of them, including one from a square chunk of wood with a hole cut in the center to make larger “ropes”. Similar looms can still be bought for kids in many shops. The older I got, the more I tried … string art, pastel art, painting (still do some of that) in a variety of styles from abstract, to tole, to stenciling and finally acrylics and oils. My mother taught me to sew, my grandmother taught me to knit and crochet, my mother-in-law brought lots of crafty ideas back from her winters in florida, including plastic canvas (that didn’t last very long for me). Then I made lamps, scrounging pieces and parts from old or vintage lamps that didn’t work, large candlesticks that could be drilled out to insert wiring, buying boxes of electrical fittings at garage sales and creating custom lamps; then I started sewing new fabric shades to cover old shade frames (tough work), then went on to learning stained glass to make new vintage style shades for the old lamps I created, then stained glass windows. I’ve done woodworking, furniture restoration and …good grief… when did I find time to work and raise my kids?
And during all of that time, there was photography. My dad got me going on that when I was still pretty young. That’s something that’s never gone away, and is always part of my daily life, and for a while was my full time career. Now, I freelance or take photos to share with others, like I do here, on this site.