I have been crafting for as long as I can remember. As a little kid, I would take my mother’s sewing scraps and orphaned socks from the laundry and make puppets. Every birthday deserved a hand-crafted card from moi, which often included a very poorly rhyming poem.
My sisters were not far behind me when it came to making things, and really, our whole family had at least something in the works at any one time, even if it often was done from necessity such as my mother sewing us clothes to wear or my dad making furniture for the house.
Lately, though, I’ve been wondering: Has the enjoyment of crafting (or even the need to I suppose) skipped a generation? Clothes are now very inexpensively available from Wal-mart. Even furniture can be found pretty darn cheap. Video games, cable TV, and the Internet seem to be much more compelling then playing with a strand of beads or a skein of yarn.
Recently, we had relatives down, which meant my parents’ house was full of teenagers and toddlers. I came as well to meet, greet, and craft. I had food and beads and yarn, all items I thought would lure maybe at least one youngster into crafting. The food, of course, went over well, but alas, it was just the old folks who were making jewelry and hanging out. The rest were off watching videos, or if they were there physically, they were text messaging with friends or surfing the net on their laptops.
Now, I realize that when I look back on my own sporadic meetings with aunts and uncles I wasn’t glued to their sides hanging on every word, but I do have some wonderful memories of us all making stuff together. One summer in Colorado we were all on a tie-dye kick, and if you stepped into my aunt’s house with anything white (socks, t-shirts, canvas shoes), you left much more colorfully attired.
Can I really blame this change on the digital age? Maybe I’m totally off and it just happens that our own little group have not inherited the crafting gene? How do you urge young people to craft without making it into some kind of chore (turn off the video games and get to those earrings!)?