Thursday, November 20, 2008

Practical Crafting

Well, I had my year end review yesterday at the Cube Farm. The good news is that I am still employed because as luck (or constant effort shall have it) I'm indispensable. The bad news is that management cannot reward me for my efforts with anything other than praise. Yep, salary is flat and bonus is down. Hell, at least my wages did not decrease and I'll receive a bonus! Nonetheless, I am mired in disappointment. As the sole breadwinner at Chez Linoleum, my finances are really stretched. No matter how unrealistic the thought, I was really hoping for a bit of monetary relief. No such luck. Oh well, I'll just have to quell my anxiety about my current state of affairs with an extra dose of crafting.

As such, my penchant for making has taken a turn for the practical. Whereas turkeys and bacon will always have their place in my creative pantheon, what I could really use right about now is a special pair of socks to comfort my tosies as I witness my 401K lose all of it's value in a tanking stock market...


Likin' those Holly Berry Jaywalkers!

Needless to say, thoughts of my Depression Era grandmother have become omnipresent lately. She was the master of frugality, saving pieces stale bread to make breadcrumbs later, forever mending holes in articles of clothing that had seen better days, throwing all of her aging foodstuffs into her world famous "Garbage Soup" and she pretty much made every single pair of pants that she wore. Literally, a rainbow of gabardine to be had in her closet. My Nana could stretch a dollar better than anyone I knew/know. So, in honor of my maternal grandmother I've taken up needle and thread. I don't know that I'll save any money by turning to my Singer in my time of woe, but my wardrobe will surely benefit by the addition of a few hand sewn necessities such as drawstring pajama bottoms. Here's one of the Halloween-themed pair that I recently worked up...



I've got stacks of fabric in my stash waiting to be transformed. You can be sure that the whole family will be sporting pj pants for the holidays before I'm through. And who knows, I may even try my hand at a bit of quilting...

But wait, there's more! My practical crafting also extends beyond the borders of hooks, needles, looms, spinning wheel(s) and sewing machine. Oh yes, let's not forget the artful, yet practical culinary crafts. 'Tis the season for cooking and baking and trying my hand at all sorts of magical kitchen delights. For example, last summer I acquired these handy attachments for my Kitchen Aid Mixer that I've yet to test drive...



Because nothing brightens my poverty-stricken day more than handmade tube steak!

Ahem.

So, even though my wallet is a lot thinner these days and the world a lot messier, I can take heart in the fact that I've got a roof over the clan, food in the fridge, fuel in the car...um, just a wee bit of yarn in my stash (okay, I'm understating...whatever) and few fundamental skills that will allow me to occupy my mind and fingers while riding out the tough times we currently face. Stay positive kids...We're chicks (and dudes) with myriad tools and we ALL know how to use 'em.

Big hugs all around!

9 comments:

Ellen Bloom said...

Depression Days Redux: My Great Aunt Rita used to save the waxed paper from Saltine crackers. She would wrap leftovers in the waxed paper, secured with a rubber-band from her huge rubber-band ball. Oy!

woolanthropy said...

Damn straight. Time to get creative with the stash in all kinds of ways. We just got the pasta maker attachment for our kitchen Aid. Homemade pasta...oh boy.

Miz K said...

What a lovely and encouraging post (though I'm sorry the news from your review wasn't what you had hoped.) You're inspiring as always!

Lisa said...

Your sense of humor is the best gift of all! Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. :)

Sarah said...

I think before this coming Christmas, many more people are about to get verrrrry crafty as far as gifts go.

Treasure Ann said...

I'm already crafting and crocheting Christmas gifts. There much more funner and sentimental than a bought gift anyway. Keep your head up though, things will get better.

FinnyKnits said...

Times like these make me glad I started crafting before I *had* to, you know?

I'm grateful to know how to bake a loaf of bread, sew a skirt, knit a scarf or some socks, plant a garden from seed and can tomatoes.

We'll just have to see how flexible the 'ol creativity muscle really is...

Good luck around the farm. I'm with ya.

Lynne E. said...

You are probably familiar already with the old Depression era mantra: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." I always wonder who authored that marvelous piece of advice.

Glad to hear that your job is not on the line. It's a bitch, isn't it, watching what the economic crisis is doing to everyone's retirement funds.

Michelle said...

I have been crocheting doily sofa cover bits for a friend and knitting washcloths to go with home-made soap (that I bought from friend who makes it) for holiday presents. Not only does it calm the nerves but it reduces the bad habits. (Beer and cigarettes) I cannot smoke while knitting/crocheting/sewing as I have not had that third arm installed and if I knit/crochet/sew after too many beers I will just have to frog project the following day anyway, negating any gain in presents.