Friday, June 09, 2006

I've always been…

A crafter.

Pumpkin Man

Plus a huge fan of Halloween, but that's besides the point right now, anyways.

During the summer while I was younger, I used to spend summers with my grandparents in a small town (300 people) in Wisconsin. They felt like entire summers, but my mom keeps telling me it was only a week (which I don't believe, it had to be at least two). My grandparents owned a woodworking shop, and I would spend my summer there with them or riding around town on my bike or checking out all the books in their dank little library. We would wake up early and eat our Cheerios and then go to the shop. We'd have our mid morning snack of fruit or crackers, and eventually eat our sandwiches for lunch before heading home for the day. My grandparents had a very strict schedule in that sense, but I guess old people do in general. They have their routines, and there was no reason to change two people's routines for the addition of one, so I changed for them.

I digress though. The neat thing about having a woodworking grandfather was he made me a lot of cool things. From a wooden barn yard set to a doll bunk bed to trinket boxes to a wobbly (on purpose) cane to jewelry boxes to my treasured small bookcase. The neater thing about spending time there in the summer was getting to make (or at least design - since grandpa wouldn't let me as a 8 year old use the jigsaw) my own toys and crafts.

Little Pumpkin Man Child here is a great example of what I used to do during the hours at the shop. I no longer remember whether I found the idea in a library book, one of grandma's Good Housekeeping magazines or drew it myself, but I would draw/trace my idea on wood and grandpa would cut it out for me, then I would merrily paint away. Or I would take wood scraps and wood glue and create things from those and then paint away. Sadly I don't have any pictures of those, but mom still has them so I may have to photograph my work.

I often spent my time coming up with and making presents for my family. Three of those projects really stand out in my mind, I made a napkin holder (which later became a bill holder), a southwest mountain scene (for our southwest style living room) and a Halloween wreath. Oh the Halloween wreath was my favorite, I know my mom still has it, I just wonder if she uses it still. It may be romanticized in my mind, but it was great! I made the wreath out of grapevines collected from the wooded hills of my grandparents' property and then had Halloween figures like a witch cut from thin wood and I painted them. For the past few years I've had this idea that I wanted to make another one. But I only got as far as buying and painting a bat, cat and pumpkin thin wooden shapes from Michael's.

Nothing can replace that handmade grapevine wreath.

So like so many other projects, this one too remains up in the air.

I guess I dream to big, kinda like having eyes too big for your mouth.

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