Getting Crafty

I’m not a fan of Pinterest. I think it’s a great resource, but I don’t really participate. lilyEvery once in a while I’ll venture onto a certain page and see what’s there.

But I do use Facebook every day, and that’s where I get a lot of ideas for recipes and crafts. I love doing crafts with my grandkids. Not only does it bring out their creative side, but it seems to calm them down.  The other day, seated around a group of ladies I barely knew, I noticed the positive upbeat vibes that surrounded us, as we worked together on a window display for Create Exchange in Czech Village. We talked and laughed and eveyone had a great time, even though I normally have social anxiety in situations like that.

Though it was the first time I noticed the effect crafting had on people, I delightfully surmised from that point on that people who craft are happier people.

But I wasn’t always crafty. I was in First Grade when it became apparent that I was not a natural talent when it came to cutting and pasting. I held my scissors upside-down and made a mess of my paste, smearing it all over the paper instead of where it was supposed to go.

And when my kids were growing up, coloring with them was about the extent of my craftiness. BUT ….

People change and I discovered that I love getting crafty. Just like my recipes, I love taking something and making it my own.

A recent project with my granddaughters developed into a great way to bond and share ideas for future projects. “Wishful Thinking” boards are fairly simple and inexpensive to make, too. (The name comes from making a wish and then creating it on your board to hang in your room or wherever you want.)

I started with boards from a discarded wooden pallet. I used a Sawzall to cut out the planks between the nails, sanded the boards to get rid of the rouch edges, drilled holes for the cords, and stained the boards (which can also be painted).

After we let them dry, we took a board and made it into whatever we wanted. The girls all wanted their boards to be personalized, so instead of messing around with stencils, which I am not very good at, I took wooden letters, painted them, and then hot-glued them to the boards.

We used a variety of different media (purchased from Create Exchange and other inexpensive stores) to decorate the boards including embroidered patches, paper, stickers, wooden shapes, and even buttons.

The boards were a hit! The boards are simple to make and so much fun, too! We talked about what other things we can use to create new boards, and they are already planning gifts for Christmas.

I guess I know what I will be getting them this year. 🙂

Being 9

Something happens to us when we grow up. We forget what it’s like to be a child, because we don’t see life the same way we once did. The wonder of a new world is lost. We may gain wisdom and experience as we age, but we lose the magical perspective we had when we were little.

Everything changes; it’s the natural order. But wouldn’t it be nice to go back in time and look at the world through the eyes of a child?

Photo by Cynthia Petersen

Photo by Cynthia Petersen

We push through the growing pains and awkward moments of childhood, and emerge a more mature version of ourselves. We hit the ground running as we enter adulthood, a little fearful, but determined to make a name for ourselves. We work hard to pay the bills and put food on the table while we raise our families. The older we get, the faster time passes. We lose track of the years, but then the kids finally move out and start families of their own, and we can finally breathe again.

About midlife, we start to think about the past; life didn’t always go the way we planned, so what do we do now? Maybe we feel a little sorry for ourselves, but if we’re lucky, all that dissipates when we have grandchildren.

We love our kids dearly but being a grandparent is so much better (sorry kids). Maybe it is because we don’t have the responsibilities and pressures we did when we were parents, or maybe grandchildren are God’s reward for a job well-done.

We get to spoil our grandchildren, have fun and eat junk food that isn’t normally allowed, and then send them home to mom and dad. And it’s all acceptable because we are Grandparents.

I have 9 grandchildren, with another on the way, and I adore every single one of them. And they love me just because I’m Grandma, which is pretty awesome.

My granddaughter, Isabelle, is an extraordinary child. She was a colicky baby and a naughty toddler, but she has blossomed into a beautiful young lady, with a soul to match. She is thoughtful and caring, and helps me out even when I don’t ask, which is a lot to expect from a 9 year-old.

Isabelle is not perfect. She picks on her little sisters and has an over-whelming amount of energy. She is impulsive and easily distracted, and doesn’t always listen. But Isabelle has the kindest, most generous, heart of anyone I know. She loves animals and wants to be a zookeeper when she grows up. She loves to climb trees and spending time outside. She loves to create anything, which is something we share. In fact, we have a lot in common. When I look at Isabelle, it’s like looking in a mirror. How can I not adore her?

This little girl is giving me a wonderful gift; she is helping me remember what it’s like to be 9 again.

When I was 9, I felt invincible. I wasn’t afraid to take chances. I didn’t second guess anything, because to me, nothing was impossible.

But as we grow up we forget that. But maybe, if we’re lucky, we might get a second chance to see the world like we did when we were 9.

I’m not sure I would want to go back and relive my entire childhood, but it’s nice being able to spend time with your friend; remembering what it’s like being 9.

Let’s make ‘Yea Day’ a national holiday

I was watching my grandchildren the other day when my granddaughter, Lily, turned to me and said, “Know what, Grandma? I think we should have a Yea Day.”party

“Really?” I asked. “What do you do on Yea Day?”

“We exchange presents, eat cake, and everyone is nice to everyone else,” she said. It was obvious that she had been thinking about it quite a while.

“I see,” I said, intrigued with how she came up with such a great idea. “So, does everyone get presents?”

She nodded enthusiastically, with a grin. “Yep, and everyone plays games and is just, well … nice.”

“I love that idea!” I told her, as we pulled into the driveway.

“So when should we have it?” she asked.

“Have what?”

“Yea Day,” Lily said, almost with impatience. “Grandma, were you even listening to me?”

I laughed to myself. “Of course I was, Lily. When do you think we should have it?”

“Well ….” she started. I could tell she was really thinking about it. “How about Sunday?”

“Maybe we should have it when it warms up so we can go outside and play,” I suggested.

“Oh! How about on your birthday?” she blurted out.

“But then it wouldn’t be special,” I said, looking at the calendar. “April 19 is a Sunday. Why don’t we have it then?”

Her eyes lit up, as if I had just given her the best present in the world.

“Oh, Grandma! That sounds perfect!”

So from now on, April 19 will be Yea Day, the day when everyone is nice to everyone else, and we have cake and have fun, and play games. Maybe it will never be a national holiday, but I guarantee it will become a family tradition.