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Topic: CraftiLineage - your own family's vintage crafts  (Read 3674 times)
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alicia_policia
« on: May 08, 2008 11:22:33 PM »

I'm planning on writing a blog post in honor of my mom and grandmother for Mother's Day, specifically about how their own crafty skills, DIY projects, and talent shaped my love for arts, crafts, and making things myself.  It's such a huge part of who I am, and I know that, for me, it's an inherited thing.  I mean, my mom and grandmother made everything for us -- clothes, toys, cakes, costumes, quilts, piatas... you name it.  So, I decided to invent a word for inherited craft ability and interest - craftilineage.

So that got me thinking -- how many other modern crafters got hooked on crafts and DIY because it's a part of their family character, their childhoods, and their personal history as a crafter?   What kind of crafts did your family members make when you were growing up, and how did it affect or influence you?

I looked around some and found that while there's a lot of blogs out there showing what crafters make with their own children and families now-a-days, there doesn't seem to be much when it comes to folk's own 'vintage' crafty childhood (as opposed to children today and their crafty folks).  I'm sure that some great projects, ingenuity, vintage style, and inspiration can come from looking at these past family craft connections, and I for one would love to hear other folks share their family's craft experience.

Anyway, I just thought that this weekend might be a good time to start up a discussion about how our families - mothers, fathers, aunts, cousins, grandparents and all, influence our techniques, tastes, skills and overall crafty creativity. 

Oh, and I started a fledgling flickr group today, http://www.flickr.com/groups/craftilineage/ as an easy space to show, share, and browse family projects from the past should you like. : )
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Weddy_in_Paris
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008 07:37:36 AM »

Your project is great ! It's a beautiful idea and a wonderful tribute to your family.
I agree with you. I'm pretty sure I am crafty because they taught me to ! My mom is an artist, she studied in an art school and then worked all her life drawing and painting (sh's an enameller on copper, if you know this peculier technique), ans now that she is retired, she teaches quilting classes in a community centre. Her mother was a tailor (yes, for men's clothes, not that common at that time) and could sew, embroider, crochet everything you can imagine. We treasure her notebooks of projects, patterns and precious things she made (like a pair of crocheted gloves which coton is so thin it seems to be thread), she taught me to sew and knit when I was 3. My dad's mum was passionate with sewing, even she never made a living out of it. She sew absolutely everyday, made tons of clothes for everybody, couldn't resist buying tons of fabric "just in case".
I am very grateful they taught me all this. I' m sure it helped me a lot to discover my "own crafts", pottery and spinning.
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alicia_policia
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008 10:14:41 AM »

Thanks for sharing, Weddy_in Paris! Wow, learning to sew and knit at three is very impressive.  I think I was around five when my grandmother taught me how to sew. She wasn't a professional tailor (that's so cool about your grandmother), but she sewed everyone in the family's clothes, or just about all of them, anyway. 

Those crochet gloves sound lovely.  I can't imagine working with such fine materials. : )

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Weddy_in_Paris
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2008 02:31:23 PM »

Thanks Alicia_Policia ! I'll try to take a picture of these glove next time I'll go to my mom's. I must say that I wasn't able to sew something more complicated than two pieces of fabric together before the age of 6 or 7 but knitting has always been my stuff, even now ! And I can't crochet to save my life, nor doing cross-stich ! 
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Zelda2
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008 12:04:40 PM »

This is really cool! My mom is an artist as well! I suppose I got started crafting because of her. She made my cakes, clothes and toys also and I always wanted to be like her. I think that its neat how our ancestors often crafted out of nescessity, and we have taken it above and byond.  They would be proud of all of us!
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angeltreats
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2008 12:40:11 PM »

My parents weren't really crafty in a traditional sense but they were in other ways. 

My mum knitted - only ever aran sweaters and only ever in kiddy sizes, but they were beautiful.  She taught me to knit when I was very small, although a few years ago I had to re-teach myself as I hadn't done it in so long.

My dad was the artist of the family.  He painted in watercolour, oil and gouache, landscapes mostly but a few other things like nature studies.  He hasn't painted pictures in a long time but he was fantastic.  We don't have many of his paintings left as most of them he sold or gave away, which is an awful shame.  He was incredibly encouraging of anything vaguely artistic or crafty that I wanted to do.  Unfortunately I didn't inherit his skill at drawing or painting but when I was a kid I was always making things.  Doll house furniture, Barbie clothes, knitted finger puppets, terrible drawings, you name it.  My dad bought, collected or found me supplies for anything I wanted to try, and has kept everything I made that he could get his hands on and refuses to ever throw it away!  One of my earliest knitting attempts was a snail and he still keeps it in his car to keep him company.  He is awesome.  He's 73 now and has more energy than most people I know.  He has just finished a huge mural on the wall of an environmental education centre, I keep bugging him for a photo so I can post it here.
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alicia_policia
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2008 05:23:59 PM »

zelda2 Sounds a lot like my family craft history, or CraftiLineage, if you will. : )  Cakes, toys, clothes, and just about anything that could be made, my mom and grandmother made it, and both of them were artists.  Even my grandfather was into carpentry - he made chaise lounges, a record cabinet, his bed, and even toys for the grandkids.

I know that my grandparents and mom were always happy to know that I shared in interest in being creative and artistic, and then there's the whole 'problem solving' aspect to crafting that I think is really cool.  All of them encouraged me to be inventive and creative as much as possible, and I'm so thankful for that. I think they all would be proud to see what we've all done with our family history and traditions.

angeltreats That's so cool that your dad is 73 and still at it painting murals!  And it's so cute that he keeps your snail in his car to keep him company.  I love that.  Do you remember how old you were when you started knitting?  I've had to reteach myself, too, as I didn't pay as good attention to when my grandmtoher was teachign me as I should've (but I was young).  

Totally post your dad's mural if you get a chance -- we would love to see it!  That's an impressive feat no matter what age you are. : )

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sukigirl74
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2008 12:34:48 PM »

I really enjoyed the pics you posted at Flickr!
You were so lucky to have such wonderful women in your family!
You mentioned writing a blog...do you have a link to it?
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alicia_policia
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2008 04:11:28 PM »

Hi <b>serendipitycrafter/<b>!

Thanks for your comment on the flickr group!  Yes, I have a blog planned (and temporarily parked), but I haven't gotten it up just yet.  I am hoping to include more photos, some tutorials, and hopefully to recruit more folks from the crafting community with DIY in their blood to contribute.

 I've ended up pushing the blog launch back for now in order for me to get some more R&D done when I pay a visit back home this summer.  I'll let you know once it's all up and running! I'm excited about it. : )
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lucylost
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2008 03:07:23 PM »

I love this term and have greatly enjoyed looking through the Flickr photos. I was born in 1977, so a lot of those look like my own family photos Smiley

I taught myself to knit and crochet, but craftiness in general definitely runs in the family.

My mom: woodcarving (especially realistic miniature ducks), woodworking (boxes, toys), painting, quilting, applique, stained glass, paper quilling, clay/fimo, paper crafts in general, and anything she is curious about.

My dad: leatherwork (moccasins and purses), tatting, gadget-building (model planes, electronics, magnetizing boxes, etc.), rock polishing, paper and wood crafts in general.

My aunts all sewed, quilted, or embroidered. My grandfather painted. My grandmother (who passed away before I was born) knitted and crocheted. I have since inherited her supplies.

We always had a ton of random supplies laying around my house. My parents took me camping a lot and we also did a lot of "nature crafts" - building stone "forts", whittling marshmallow sticks, collecting plant pods, etc. We even dug and built an outhouse once!

I think the craftilineage is definitely evident in both sides of my family. My father's family handbuilt two log cabins and my mother's family primarily did textiles and painting.

Thanks for starting this topic - I have enjoyed reading about everyone's lineages.
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