Where does your craftiness come from?

I'm curious, you other crafty people out there, whether you had a crafty influence in your life from a parent or grandparent, or other important person in your life?

My mother is a machinist, and growing up she would make all our clothes and costumes, bedding, cushions, etc. She also knits, crochets and embroiders, so all around her house (and ours) and in our drawers, are all manner of special things she has made over the years. In recent years she has added quilting to her repotoire, so all our beds are adorned with gorgeous handmade quilts.

She has always had a craft room, and as well as being allowed to play in her room as a child, I remember many hours spent visiting fabric shops and staring up in awe at endless canisters of buttons. Mum used to spend forever pouring over the pattern books, which we found SO boring, so we would hide amongst all the bolts of fabric, and drape ourselves with the prettiest fabrics.

The sewing gene has pretty much passed me by, but I do wonder if my creativity and love of paper and designs, patterns and colours has come from my many hours spent watching Mum be creative.

Once as a kid, I guess I was about 7 or 8, I complained to Dad of not feeling well and he thought I was just trying to get the day off school and shipped me off. A trip to the doctors later that day revealed tonsilitis, and such was dads guilt that he bought me home a blue stationery set with seagulls on it to say sorry for not believing me. I loved it because it was BLUE and had BIRDS on it. Up until then most of my experience with paper was of the plain white, ruled variety. From there I started writing letters to my Nanna and I got a few penpals as well, and my love of stationery blossomed.

Some days I used to go with Dad to his office on the weekends. He would unlock the door to the stationery room for me, and I would lose myself for the entire day sifting through the pads and reams of paper, boxes of pens and paper-clips and erasers. He would go away on business trips to Wellington, and bring us back lollies from the plane, and he would always choose me something from the bookshop at the airport, a writing pad or a pen or some other trinket.

Therefore, I now feel that it is my job as a parent to let my kids indulge in crafts as well and hopefully grow a love for creativity of their own. My girls are only small, so for now I prefer to leave the messy painting and stuff for kindy. But I do have a few jars of buttons on my shelf, which they joyfully spread out on the floor and arrange into piles and patterns. They love to sit down with me with their own special pens and do drawings and make cards for people. We have scrapbooks that we work on together, and their Nanna buys them things like pipe-cleaners and pompoms and coloured ice-cream sticks to add to their craft collection.

As I mentioned in my last post, my oldest daughter turned 4 this week, and she and one of her little friends (who had his birthday the same day) had a joint birthday party yesterday with a Neverland theme. My girls went as Tinkerbell fairies and Mum made their costumes, even down to the t-shirts and the garlands for their hair. My contribution was the birthday cake, which I must say was very yummy and a big hit. Aren't we clever??!

(this one would not wear her garland! Or her shoes, but that is another story)

Amongst her presents she received at the party were a make-your-own-doll kit, a make-your-own-picture-frame kit, a make-your-own beading kit and an activity backpack. I see that my friends have all got the same idea as me, and we shall have much fun making stuff together!

So, do you have a similar story to tell, of growing up with crafts? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Also, I am working on Fathers Day cards at the moment, there are only 5 weeks to go, so don't forget to show your dad you love him, and head on over to Tiny Kiwi on Facebook to check out the gift card album.


  1. I am definately NOT crafty, but your post reminded me of similar happy memories as a child. I don't think my Mum was particularly crafty either, but she was thrifty, and before deregulation made everything cheap, she still hand sewed some of our clothes. I also have memories of going to fabric shops and looking at pattern books. As for buttons...I loved Mum's button collection. I have it now, and its still in the brown lidded Greggs coffee jar on which it is still lovingly recorded in my maybe 5yo scrawl that it is a jar of 'bUttOnS.' Mum's sewing box was red and white gingham, and was a treasure trove of interesting things. I could use the heavy old Brother sewing machine, and we completed a few little projects like sewing a rag doll and making her some clothes. I also remember going to Dad's work and being in stationery heaven in his company's stationery room!!!

    So no, not crafty at all...but thanks for the little walk down memory lane!!!


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