Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Craft Cupboard

I have a wooden cabinet in my family room. It is close to the dining table where my family not only eats meals and shares the day's news; it is also where we read books, write letters, do puzzles and craft. It is very conveniently located!
It used to be the library cupboard until the number of books we owned far exceeded the three shelves the cabinet holds. The cupboard stored china for a short time when the house was re-tiled. With the interior home renovations almost complete and the kitchen reinstalled, my cabinet became what it was always destined to be - my family craft cupboard!
It holds a good selection of craft materials and some of my favourite gadgets, my hot glue gun (hint - hide from husbands!) and my Brother P-Touch labeler. Love my labeler! When I first got a hold of this wonderful device I labeled every jar in the pantry, every paper file I could possibly lay my hands on and I even labeled the kids in case I forgot their names! Only joking, I do remember their names, though I admit to occasionally mixing up the twins - they are very alike!
Of course, I did use the labeler to identify the contents of the clear storage boxes I use to hold our crafting materials. Would you like to peek inside?

Much of my current stock of card, paper, ribbon, lace and embellishments came from one garage sale. Yes, one garage sale! A lady with a garage full of crafting and scrap booking supplies; I couldn't believe it was all owned by one woman, there was enough to open a craft store, which I suppose is what she was doing by holding a garage sale or maybe her husband needed somewhere to park the car!
I came home a happy woman, I spent about $40, probably the most I have ever spent in one hit at a garage sale but when I added up the cost of the materials I had purchased, many of them new and unopened in their packets, I realized I had hundreds of dollars worth of materials. I had been running low on crafting goods especially ribbon which needed replenishing in time for Christmas. Christmas is the season when all my creativity is unleashed. I make my own bon bons and I love to wrap gifts in unique ways, so the ribbon and embellishments were truly appreciated.

I am not a sewer even though I do own a sewing machine and I have been known to to make the occasional cot cover, roman blind or girl's dress but as I find lovely children's clothes (often designer labels in excellent condition or brand new clothes with their sale tags attached) at garage sales for a fraction of the cost of buying patterns and fabric, the sewing machine only gets an occasional workout.

I'm not a scrapbooker either, though I do love the look of some of the heritage style scrapbooks but I have always felt that the actual photos are lost in the clutter of some scrapbook pages I have seen. (Not all I must say! Some are fantastic and a real expression of the creativity of those who love to scrap.) I use my scrap paper to create gift tags and to make special collage cards and folders to hold children's work.

I'm much more of a crafter and my favourite materials are silk flowers, shells, cinnamon sticks, seed pods and other natural items that are arranged and secured into place on the wreaths, garlands and table centrepieces that I design.

'A Glimpse of a Garland' This adorns my craft cupboard at Christmas time and apologies for the daddy long-legs in the picture! Didn't notice that when I took the photo!

My cupboard also holds my craft books - lots on Christmas and designing with natural materials. My all-time favourite book and the one book I would choose if I was allowed to own only one homemaking/design book is 'Home Living Life Beautifully' by Sandra Kaminski. She is a NZ stylist who creates the most sumptuous table settings you have ever seen. Her 'entertaining' ideas feature in NZ House and Garden magazine and when she bought out her own book I was overjoyed! I used to buy this magazine just to see and savour her work. It has inspired me for many years and I often adapt her ideas to suit my own home and tastes. I've just done a quick search and found she has a website. As she is a southern hemisphere gal, it's in sync with our seasons, so at the moment, it features ideas for autumn.

The pictures on the website are from her book, so if you like what you see, you'll have to buy the book; it's divided into seasons with a section dedicated to Christmas. You will not be disappointed, she is simply a most talented designer who is passionate about creating memories, family gatherings and living in harmony with nature - someone after my own heart! Her ideas are simple but stunning and she uses everyday materials - fruit, nuts, candles, fabric, ribbon, jam jars and they are easy to recreate. Nuts surrounding votive candles on a platter, a ribbon tied onto a pear at a place setting. Go and visit her website but please come back to me! If this results in more sales of her book I'll be pleased, it will be my way of thanking someone who has inspired me to live life beautifully.

I love this definition of creativity by the author and speaker Emilie Barnes.
'Creativity is a God-given ability to take something ordinary and make it into something special. It is a openness to doing old things in new ways and a willingness to adapt other people's good ideas to suit our personal needs. And creativity is an ability we all possess.'

In my next post, I want to share an idea for a craft that can be easily adapted. You can use this idea to dress up your table at Easter or to give as a gift to children or friends, it's a lovely alternative to heavily packaged Easter eggs. It is simple to make and uses recycled materials. I've written out the instructions and taken the photos ready to upload, so check back soon.

With love and joy,
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1 comment:

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Fantastic litle or actually not so little treasure trove.
I love garage sales and so often found just what I needed .
I do miss them as where we now live they are a rariety.
I have a couple of 100 ltr tubs of crafting supplies for the kids and a few more for me.
One day I would love a old caravan on our property for use as a craft room.
Dream....about that ...It''d be great!
Look forward to the craft post soon to come:0


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