Saturday 29 December 2007

365 / 132 - scrapbooks and some crafty gifts

First up, here are the cherry blossoms I failed to photograph yesterday:
There were a couple more but one was given to my MIL for Christmas and another is pinned to one of my blouses (the start of a collection of my work that I'm keeping for myself - astonishingly all I had so far was my own moustache disguise!).

Yesterday during all the rain I did lots of tidying up, pottering about the house doing odd chores, filing this, re-organising that. Finding a HUGE pile of old cuttings from magazines and newspapers I made a start on sorting through them but got a bit distracted and ended up sticking things in my scrapbooks instead.

I am a terrible hoarder of a lot of things, but I particularly find it hard to throw away images or patterns that interest me. Many of them get turned into cards and letters to friends, but some of them just demand to be kept and so I have a series of scrapbooks full of things that have interested me, or things that are too beautiful to throw away. My sister says that this makes me like the old woman on the Simpsons who cuts out pictures of cakes from magazines but I like to think of them as my own resource books full of inspiration. Here for your viewing pleasure are some pages from the most recently filled scrapbook (click on the images for a larger view)

And simply because I was on a photo-taking roll this morning, here's a picture of the cute-as-a-button pincushion I got for Christmas...
... and an excellent crafty book I was given:
Rather a delicious cover (the reason the boyfriend bought it for me - he is a sucker for a nice-looking book) but the contents are pretty extensive:
Reading the introduction is interesting, too. Published in 1960 it is obviously very dated but in feeling it reminds me of recent articles about the craft resurgence and the interviews with Etsy sellers and buyers about "why buy handmade?"

"As a reaction against so much ready-made entertainment and so many mass-produced goods, more and more people are turning to handcrafts for relaxation and pleasure" ... ""The satisfaction resulting from such creative work is something that we could find in no other way" ... "In a world of machine-made goods and standardization, it is a relief to be able to produce something that is an individual expression of personal taste, and cannot be found by the dozen, let alone by the hundred or the thousand in any shop"

My favourite passage has to be this one though - "The practice of hand-crafts, which was in the Middle Ages so much a part of the life of every man and woman is today often looked upon as a sort of occupational therapy or a harmless hobby. But how wrong-headed this view is! To do something well with one's hands is to achieve more than the mere doing. The practice of any craft or any art so heighten's one's perception, that new and rewarding delights are revealed. Making things well and in the appreciation of the fine work of others are among the finer pleasures in life."