amandajocrafts

August 30, 2012

On Loving an Etsy Purchase.

Filed under: On Etsy Loving. — Tags: , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 10:02 am

This is not a post about date night, but you’ll have to get around it first.

Last week, my fiance and I had a “date night.” We try to do this at least once a month: pick a fancy restaurant, dress up, and pretend like he wears snazzy ties and I wear stiletto heels all the time. I’d strongly recommend this for any couple–it keeps it fresh and reminds us that being with each other is a privledge, and we’re so grateful to have such loving company. It takes us out of the habit of plotzing down on the couch after a day’s work and watching Frasier reruns (although don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan), of exercising and complaining about eating too many cupcakes (me) or only completing 300 of the 500 self-prescribed sit-ups that day (him).

So, we went to a little Italian restaurant quite close by. It’s one of my new favorite places, because it is Italian. The cook rivals (but does not beat) my grandmother’s cooking; the waiters all look like they could be Godfather extras, there are pictures of 50’s crooners on all the walls, and there is the most fascinating employee who, as our waiter says, is there to “tell good stories.” He has leathered skin, an easy smile, perpetual shades on, and talks to us about his many past girlfriends and his time spent working in a lounge in Vegas. I really don’t want to know what his position was there.

The other fun part of this evening was being given the opportunity to use a new Etsy purchase of mine from ChatterBlossom *wave to ChatterBlossom*. (See, I told you this wasn’t about date night!) I purchased her “Tickle Me Pink” bow early last week (see, I told you I would!) and she was super-duper kind and awesome and generous and added in a set of her bobby pins to say thank you for the feature. Well, I had a difficult time deciding which hair accessory to wear first, but since I had a new nice dress burning a hole in my closet for the last week, I had to go with the item that matched best: the bobby pins. They looked so pretty with my french twist! (Pardon the strands of hair that didn’t make it in the twist; I have a LOT of hair.)

So, thank you again to ChatterBlossom, and if you want to read about how cool she is, head on over to her feature here.

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August 20, 2012

On Braiding.

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 11:45 am

This morning on the bus, a woman pulled her hair to the side of her face and began braiding it while reading a book. Her hair was thick and dark and straightened. (Having curly hair myself, I can always tell when curly hair is straighted.) My first reaction was disappointment: she had clearly spent some considerable time making her hair perfectly straight, no bumps or ridges, no frizz.

Then I thought again. The braid was beautiful too–even more so was the way in which she did it. Swept it from her neck with one stroke, firmly divided the thousands of strands into three, and while she was doing something else–while her concentration was on the book in front of her–she created something entirely new.

I can braid; I do the same thing she does. When it’s raining or humid or hot, my hair doesn’t stay trailing on the back of my neck like some woolen blanket; it goes into a braid. I guess I just never realized how graceful and commanding the act was, how skilled one had to be to change the structure of your hair in fifteen seconds. Do I look that powerful when I do it, too?

Like braiding, crocheting takes strands and makes them into a context. Any project does this: sewing, knitting, beading, felting. We are changing the very structure of these items. We have the power to alter their makeup and how people perceive them. Yarn is just yarn until you, essentially, tie it in a million knots. Then it’s craft, or art, or a blanket, or a doll. We don’t personify yarn, but we do give faces and voices and personality to a teddy bear, or an octopus, or a rabbit. We make them matter.

That’s a daring thought.

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