Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about people who have helped shape my creative life. And it is quite a list! I was very fortunate to grow up with people who enjoy making things! Aunt Laura’s house was wall-to-wall crafts and her family owned a craft store. Dad has always dabbled in photography. Ma taught me every craft under the sun as a kid. I had some fabulous art teachers in high school, like Miss Davis. When I told her I was going to major in music in college, she said, “and art!”. “No, Miss Davis, the plan is to do music.” “And art!”, she insisted! I don’t know where Miss Davis is now, but she would be tickled pink with how life’s turned out for me!
But, when it comes down to it, one of my most influential people was Grandma Schafer. Grandma was a retired home economics teacher and I remember thinking she could do it all! It was like her hands just knew what to do – no matter the technique! And she was forever working on something. Have you ever met a person who can’t just sit? That was her! If she was watching the news, she was doing her embroidery or cross stitch or hand quilting or crocheting or any number of things!
Now, as much as I loved Grandma, I learned early that I couldn’t always trust her to choose colors I would enjoy. And I don’t know if her color selections stemmed from her personal choices or her ongoing goal to never waste anything. There are times it felt like she’d look through her stash and think, “it’s not that pretty, but I’ll just use it up!”So, the rule of thumb was, if Grandma was making something for you, send her the yarn!
Grandma created original pieces until her eyesight dimmed and then, she just switched to something she could do without reading a pattern! We knew her time was near when her granny squares no longer had 4 sides (more like 5-6!). What a life-long passion for arts and crafts!
Whether it is functional or decorative, our family is so lucky to still have many pieces Grandma created! I love not only her crazy need to make things, but also the personal connection those things bring us! She definitely was a major player in shaping the weaver I am today! Thank you, Grandma!!
Who has influenced you?
Such a nice post! It’s very cool that you still have so many things your grandmother made–and that you’re enjoying them. I have a number of things around my house, too, made by grandparents, mother, etc.–you and I are both lucky to have had so many creative people to learn from!
Thank you so much! Yes, we are definitely fortunate to have the family/creativity connection!
It is wonderful to still have things from beloved ones who are no longer with us. I still have a few things my mother made. It’s still a “living” connection.
They’re all beautiful, my favourite one is the armchair – is it needle stitched?
I think that in the past people were used not to waste anything, so perhaps that could be a reason why your Grandmother would sometimes use material that was not the favourite one?
Judith, you are so right! Grandma wouldn’t waste a thing! Thus, some of our crazy-colored blankets & quilts were born! I’m glad you like the chair! Yes, it is hand-stitched. There’s a name for that style of stitching, but I can’t recall what it is. I should look it up! Thanks so much for the message!!!
Thank you, it would be interesting to learn what stitch that is. Thank you for sharing your story!