To Amuse and Delight

Monday, February 20, 2012

Making Things

I think it's important to always have a stash of good quality art/craft supplies around for whenever the mood strikes you to make something. Good quality supplies for my children, not just for me. Children are more free with their creativity, so why should they be relegated to the poor quality kid's art supplies? My husband and I met while in art school,  we still have a lot of our "real" art supplies. We are lucky now to only have to replace colors and brushes as they are used up. I have been collecting fabric, buttons and notions for a very long time, so I have a pretty good stash. I am blessed to have all of my grandmother's sewing, knitting and crocheting tools. If you don't have such collections already, it's best to buy decent quality items a little at a time, as you need them. I am not saying the top tier, but not junk. If it's good, it will last and you will not have to replace it quickly. With good materials a little can go a long way. One gorgeous bit of fabric can make more impact that yards of stuff that is not only unattractive, but no fun to work with. The fun of creating is the process. Handling quality supplies, from paints to yarn, not only feels good, but it also gives the finished product more worth.  

My daughter wanted to practice using decorative stitches on my sewing machine. She picked some golden wool felt and vintage pale green thread from my grandma's old stash. She made kind of a square spiral (if there is such a thing) of a delicate leaf pattern. She did it by eye with no guide lines and spaced it so nicely. She had to keep stopping to turn all those corners. I was proud of her and asked if I could have it.  I pinked the edges and now it is my special coaster. If I had only allowed her a junky old scrap to "practice" on, if I had denied her using the "good" thread, I probably wouldn't love the finished product as I do.

"First, the children would not be "employed in making futilities such as pea and stick work, paper mats and the like." In other words, the work must not be accomplished in vain. It was not what we identify as macaroni-and-refrigerator art, but involved hands touching varied mediums in expressions of self. As always, it was "the book, the knowledge, the clay, the bird or blossom he thinks of, not his own place in the class or his own progress." Handwork was to be appreciated and useful, following lines of form, beauty and order."

-From When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper, regarding Charlotte Mason's philosophy.