Crafting Memories

I like to think of myself as the crafty sort (see crochet projects, magnet Christmas gifts and a "head board"). It's not an adult-onset craftiness, and I think fondness for crafting may be in my genes.

Image of VA Apartment bedroom w/ wonky "headboard" made of foam core, batting and fabric.

Growing up I spent many days with my Great Aunt Norma Lee, a queen crafter. She sewed us Barbie clothes, baby accessories and entertained us with craft projects featuring puff paint, glitter and beads. (This was the 80s/early 90s!)

There are a couple crafty times I remember at Gran's house -- creating a colorful fan and recycling crayons.

To make the fan, we colored each line of a piece of college-ruled notebook paper a different color ... on both sides. So we ended up with a striped piece of paper, which we then folded accordion-style along each stripe. Then we bunched up one end and folded it to make a beautiful (in our eyes) fan.

We always had a box of broken old crayons, and at some point we decided to make something with them. I remember making multi-color crayons by putting a bunch of (unwrapped) broken pieces together in a muffin-tin, then melting the crayons in a low oven. When they cooled we had these wild crayons (surprisingly the colors don't "run" together). The results weren't exactly ergonomic, although I suppose we could have used a corn pone pan or similar to better approximate a crayon.

Writing this reminds me of another crayon craft. We used the shavings from sharpening the crayons. First we'd draw an outline on a piece of waxed paper -- or lay waxed paper over an outline drawing. Then we'd take crayon shavings and fill in the outline. Then we'd cover with more waxed paper, a towel and iron it. The colored shavings would melt together and create a picture (for some reason I'm thinking of a butterfly). Then when it cooled we could peel off the paper and stick (tape?) the results to the window so the light would shine through. I'm fairly certain I'm not making this up, but either way it sounds like a good idea.

I was also a Girl Scout, which could account for some of my crafting tendencies. However my strongest GS craft-related memory involves blood. Specifically me slicing my thumb open when we were carving potatoes to make vegetable stamps. I was probably the least likely to do something like that (i.e. I was old enough to have knife skills), but sure enough WHACK and I was gushing blood everywhere. I have a feeling I didn't finish that craft project. Geez.

Do you have any crafty childhood memories?

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