In doing my weekly grocery shopping, I picked up a copy of Mothering magazine for two articles; one concerning how you could work at home, and the other reporting on crafty mamas. Casually browsing the crafty mama article, I saw some familiar faces from blogs I've visited. These mamas sew and knit their way through life and parenting, kinda like me. Only, I have been walking the line between mom and artist for nearly 18 years now. I worked as a seamstress when my first was 18 months old. We made all of our Christmas ornaments every year. I didn't knit then, but I sewed a LOT and got into heirloom sewing and I will to this day pick up a smocking project every once in awhile. Now, I am grateful for my job as a Waldorf handwork teacher, which has considerably broadened my skillset to include spinning, plant dyeing, knitting, crochet, and embroidery.
Now, none of this compares to my friend Leslie. Leslie was just the most creative person I knew. I loved going over to her house. The merengue music was cranked thanks to her Dominican husband, something delicious was cooking in the kitchen, she maybe had her pajamas on but she was making something all the time. She might have been working on a painting (and her work is incredible- so imaginative) or a sewing project. We would spend our days together, most often at her house because I was always avoiding cleaning mine. The children would play and we would get to talk and I just loved being with her. Leslie inspired me and I learned so much from her as a mother, as a creative being, as a person, as a friend.
Sixteen or seventeen years later, our lives have taken twists and turns no one could have predicted. We lost touch and found it again. She still paints, I still make stuff. I always thought Leslie was cool and could do anything, and now that another generation is coming into the art of home and the balance of craft, and the balance of art and family, it is time to give her credit and to give myself credit.
Because Leslie and me? We are not the only ones who have paved the way for these young whippersnappers to make money off their books and blogs. There are other moms who have been doing this a LONG time. And you know what? We were not only crafty when crafty wasn't cool, we are STILL crafty.