Things We Never Knew Came To An End

The church picnic had a couple of crossstitched pillows in the silent auction, and although I did not actually bid on them in the auction, I picked them up later amongst the remnants, paying more than I would have bid on the items.

The woman who had made them had taken them home but brought them to church on Sunday, so I am not sure if the money I gave her went to the church or to her at that point. Probably the church as she’s active in it and a good congregant. If not, well; the amount I gave her was probably enough for the kits (if she bought them retail) plus materials leaving some pre-labor reform wages for her effort. I know how that goes; when thinking about how much my handiwork in woodburning or whatnot could retail for, the cost was generally less than the cost of the materials if I bought them retail and even if I used scrap, the wages for my effort would be below minimum wage.

I told her when I asked about them that my mother had been very creative and sewed/embroidered/creweled a bunch when I was young. She was even a hostess for the Creative Circle organization which had the late 20th century housewife sales parties but for kits for sewing and not home d├ęcor or kitchenwares. So maybe she seemed like she was doing a lot because she was making her sample kits. But I remember latch-hooked pillows and samplers on the wall. But at some point, she just stopped. Maybe it was in the move to Missouri, or maybe it was because she got a full-time job with a two hour daily commute that sapped that energy to do things at home or the later second shifts which tampered with her diurnal cycle. Maybe she spent that time on home maintenance/home improvement when she got houses of her own. Or maybe she continued her whole life but I stopped noticing. Probably not the latter, as I went through her effects after she died and did not see much of that.

As I mentioned, I used to do a lot of handicrafts. Beaded jewelry, woodburning, glass etching, making clocks out of old trays and platters. I guess I was most active with it when I was not full-time or between contracts and when I was hopped up on watching Creative Juice and That’s Clever! and The Joy of Painting with my young children. As I made things, I boxed them up, and honestly thought maybe I would box them up until a silent auction at church rolled around. I thought about a spot in the antique or craft malls, but my work was pretty rudimentary, and I don’t think I would be able to charge enough to cover materials and retail space, much less any effort. And as I got full time work and contracts, I just kind of wandered away from making things for the most part.

And the church didn’t really have many silent auctions over the years. The one at the picnic is only one of a few in the last couple of years, and the auction itself revealed why: Nobody bid on most of the the hand crafts. I picked up a stained glass angel for a Christmas present, but we’re only buying presents for a couple of people these days and don’t need many such articles. So it’s not like I’ve had a place to dump my excess crafting cheaply and for a good cause.

I didn’t share anything anyway. When I unpacked some of the things when the church called for donations, I discovered that the stained glass painting I’d done in 2012 were ruined. I’d wrapped them in old shirts to protect them, and over the years, the paint adhered better to the shirts than the glass. Unwrapping them peeled the paint off of them. So I guess the best way to cast it is that I now have a couple of glass pieces to etch or to paint with the stained glass paint again, but I guess it’s a decade old now. Not that I would have anywhere to go with the completed product.

Ah, this started out as a post about how my mother did cross-stitch until she didn’t. It turned into a how I did crafts until I didn’t. I wonder if reasons were similar, and if my mother ever thought about it.

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