However, we all had to start somewhere. I remember being around 4 or 5 years old, sitting on the screened in front porch of my great-grandmother's house in Iowa as she taught me to cross- stitch. I was lucky as a child to have many beautiful hand-made dresses in gingham checked fabric that had designs cross-stitched into the skirts and bodices. This is called Chicken Scratch and it's a wonderful art.
It is summertime and I can vividly see myself sitting in my little shorts and crop top, head bent down over my beginning cross-stitch stretched tight in a small embroidery hoop. I'm pretty sure I had my tongue out, because we all know that helps you concentrate, and a frown creasing my forehead. Boy, has that crease gotten deeper over the years -- great reason to wear bangs!
I had the embroidery hoop balanced on my lap and I completed several stitches. And, with great excitement, when I lifted the hoop to show great-grandma my work, we realized I had stitched the fabric to my shorts. I stood up and it just hung there off my leg. I know she had a huge laugh over that. I'm sure this began my long history of making something and having to tear it out and start over again. You know, some things you can fudge on and little mistakes are acceptable. Walking around with an embroidery hoop sewn to your shorts just doesn't cut it.
I am fortunate enough to have a few things made by my great-grandmother (who passed away in the 1970s), including the Chicken Scratch Apron shown above. When you look at the stitches up close, they appear to have 8 points, like a snowflake. I wish I had learned to crochet from her -- she was a master crocheter -- but I am left-handed and she tried and I simply couldn't grasp the concept at a young age.
This is a thank you to all of the people who have taught me crafting and cooking over the years from great-grandma to mom to my home economics teachers in school. We need to get all the young'uns with their elders, learning these things to keep them alive through the generations. My granddaughter had an amazing teacher last year that held a weekly knitting class after school. That room was always full of both girls and boys, happily making hats and scarves for the homeless. They learned a craft as well as how good it felt to do something nice for someone in need.
My granddaughter and I have done a lot together -- knitting, cooking, decorating cakes and cookies, painting, making Christmas ornaments, latch hook and, most recently, tie-dye. When I picture myself sitting on the porch with my great-grandma and realize how loving those memories feel, it makes me cherish these moments so much more!
Keep the flow of creativity going ... teach someone today!