Art As Heirloom

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Today Gracie had the day off from school and we decided to work on crafts. As we perused the shelves of my craft closet she didn’t seem very enthused. I showed her fabrics, and yarns and little looms….no, no, no… “How about embroidery?” I asked. “What’s that?” she replied. So I showed her a book on one of my favorite art forms, redwork. She brightened a little as we paged through my pattern book. “Yup, that’s what I want to try.” So I transferred a simple cherry pattern onto a flour sack towel and showed her a basic satin stitch. She was instantly hooked! We listened to the radio and she stitched while I knitted. She kept telling me how much fun she was having and how she wants to create some of her own embroidery designs! That’s my girl. So very creative.

Gracie’s first completed redwork piece

I think it’s extremely important to pass basic homemaking skills to our children. Things like preparing a special meal, cooking easy, nutritious recipes, saving money at the supermarket, and washing a load of laundry. Passing down a few fun art and craft skills is important too. In a world where people are being over-entertained and way over-stimulated, it’s no wonder there is an epidemic of children and adult ADD. I seriously wonder how many of these cases were caused, not fromΒ  a pre-existing chemical imbalance, but from too much “screen” time. On that same note, I wonder how many of these maladies could be prevented and even cured by simply turning off the television, video games and computers? Would an injection of creativity, fresh air and good books be a panacea?

We need to awaken our children’s (and our own) imaginations with creative pursuits. Not only will we all be healthier, our connection will be more meaningful when we learn to relax, play and create together.

Just a thought.


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  7 comments for “Art As Heirloom

  1. Rachel
    January 25, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Have you ever seen the American Handy Boys & Girls books from the early 1900s? I think you’d like them … very Anne of Green Gables-ish. The girls title has projects like putting on a “fair”, china painting, and how to make a hammock from a ball of twine. The boys tends towards things like raising wild baby birds and building a boat (from raw materials!).

  2. admin
    January 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I have seen those but we don’t own any. I may have to buy those. They remind me of the “Daring Book for Girls” and the “Dangerous Book for Boys.” Thanks for commenting! You gave me an idea of what to get Gracie for Valentine’s πŸ˜‰

  3. Kimber Dunn
    January 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Tell your Angel that her work is beautiful. I remember learning to stitch like that from my grandmother, and then those basic stitching lessons in 7th grade home-ec got me hooked. I ended up sticking with cross-stitch. I still have some of my work on my walls. I miss stitching…

  4. admin
    January 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Kimber,
    I use to do cross stitch and petit point. Haven’t worked on one of these for years. Most of the pieces I made I gave away πŸ™‚

    My friend, Mary Parks, just did a really cute one (go to her skrapyram blog site if you want to see … She got me thinking about possibly re-living this craft. But, like you and I have talked about before…I really don’t know how I could possible fit another craft into my schedule! LOL…we’ll see.

  5. admin
    January 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    ps…I’ll pass the sweet compliment onto Gracie πŸ™‚

  6. Sandy
    January 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

    You are correct to have Gracie concentrate and focus on something of interest other then the screen. No matter if it is a girl or a boy I think they all need to get a hands on education of the past from needlework to cooking. This can be a fun history lesson.

  7. admin
    January 26, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Thanks Sandy! I agree. I love Rachel’s book suggestions. πŸ˜‰

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