DIY & Crafts

A Tribute to My Crafty Family

Canadian Living
DIY & Crafts

A Tribute to My Crafty Family

I’ve been thinking how lucky I am to come from a family that values the work one does with one’s hands. My grandmothers and great-grandmothers sewed, knitted and crocheted, of course, because that’s just what women did in their generations. You made, and you made do. And often you created special things for people just for the pleasure of giving them something they couldn’t get ready-made.

[caption id="attachment_4996" align="aligncenter" width="368" caption="Mittens made by my Mom's mom"] Mittens made by my Mom's mom[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4997" align="aligncenter" width="368" caption="Crocheted bedspread made by my Great-Great-Aunt May"] crochet-bedspread[/caption]

But I’ve been very lucky that the subsequent generations of my family have carried on the tradition. My aunties collectively sew, paint and make pottery. My uncles have built everything from houses to furniture, revived broken car engines, and fixed anything and everything that was on the fritz. My cousins do all sorts of fascinating things, from knitting to bonsai to carpentry to welding. The family crafting tradition is alive and well.

[caption id="attachment_5000" align="aligncenter" width="368" caption="Bowl made by my Aunt Peggy"] Bowl made by my Aunt Peggy[/caption] My parents have always kept their hands busy. My mom sewed me a beautiful Halloween costume every year, and tops and skirts whenever I requested something specific. (She was nice about not forcing me into Mom-made.) My dad built everything around our house, including sheds, fences and decks. His best invention was a crazy Rube Goldberg contraption that attached to his lawn tractor and sucked up fall leaves and whizzed them into mulch – all in one step. Mom and Dad have carried on the “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” philosophy that their predecessors handed down to them. [caption id="attachment_4999" align="aligncenter" width="368" caption="Scarf woven by my mom"] moms-scarf[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4998" align="aligncenter" width="368" caption="Cutting board made by my dad"] Cutting board made by my dad[/caption] Soon my whole family will be gathering – from near and far – to celebrate the life of my Grandma Shirley, who passed on recently at the ripe old age of 94. Despite some hardships, she lived a rich life, full of joy in the simple things life afforded her. She taught us to play cribbage, made us batch after batch of her famous fudge and treated each of us as if we were her favourite person. She encouraged us all to do our best, to stand by one another and to enjoy the people around us. When the formalities of her memorial are done, we’ll trade stories, catch up on one another’s lives, and share the triumphs and failures of our daily existences. I’ll ask my aunts, uncles and cousins what they’re working on, and we’ll find solace in our shared experiences and the joy of our handiwork. I’m sure Gram would have wanted it that way.

[caption id="attachment_5014" align="aligncenter" width="377" caption="Gram and me at my wedding (the veil was made by my Auntie Avis)"] Gram and me at my wedding (the veil was made by my Auntie Avis)[/caption]
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DIY & Crafts

A Tribute to My Crafty Family

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