I’ve been busy making bags, fixing bags, embellishing bags, and working on my sewing skills. Mother’s day is tomorrow and I have gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law. I’ve always believed that giving something handmade is far better than giving something purchased.
When I was a kid I would draw on tissues with washable marker, then either splash them with or quickly dunk them in water. The ink would run all over the place, the colors would mix, and I’d end up with a multicolored tissue that could double as abstract art. I called these things “gleeches” (Why? Because I was 7.) and I’d use them to wrap gifts or stuff into gift bags. In case you were wondering, tissues don’t make good wrapping paper, even if they’re beautiful. And by beautiful, I mean beautiful through the eyes of a 7-year-old child, which could actually mean ugly.
As a pre-teen, I would make and give friendship bracelets to everyone I knew. That evolved into anklets, necklaces, headbands, chokers, rings – basically knotted string or gimp for every appendage possible. Keychains, too. I loved making keychains. I would take apart jewelry that I got from a kiosk my aunt owned and use the pieces to make new things to give as gifts.
When I reached high school, I took up photography. I would spend hours in the dark room burning and dodging to get the perfect exposure, layering negatives to get abstract imagery. I took meticulous notes, and had great pride in my work. Again, photos that I worked very hard on became gifts for my friends and family.
In college, I took glassblowing classes, among other things. Let me tell you, people are seriously impressed with handmade glass as gifts, even if it’s warped and too thick and full of air bubbles. I adored glassblowing. I took extra classes, got as much workshop time as I could. If I could still afford to take college classes just for fun, I’d be back in that glass studio tomorrow.
It seems that sewing is my new thing. I’m really enjoying making these bags. I have a feeling that the people who receive them will be happy, even though the materials only cost me a few dollars. I had a show at a gallery when I was 21, for my photography. I sold a few pieces, mostly to my family. Besides that, I’ve never tried to sell anything I’ve created. I just might set up an Etsy store, and see how it goes.