No, not a post about Betz's new book, although it looks fabulous and has been garnering great reviews so far and is definitely on The List, but her blog tour post over at Craft Sanity got me thinking about crafting green and how it relates to crafting, for me, in general.
I remember China and how much it changed my life, to peel back this side of me that loved creativity and narratives and humanity and watching people, after a long 16 year sludge through schooling and all sorts of achievements that were oriented towards larger society's definitions of success and value - things like money, prestige, the number of letters behind your name, your occupation - and my subsequent return to the US and falling in love with the crafting blogosphere.
The love stemmed in part, I think, because of the beautiful photographs and the personalities of the women behind those beautiful handmade objects, in part because of the beautiful handmade objects themselves, and in part because they represented a continuity in my life of those values and joys and beauties, the ability to take a small moment and savor humanity.
Smorgasbord of handmade napkins.
The beauty drew me in. But what has kept me has been the way that crafting intersects with numerous values I hold dear. For me, crafting is an expression of creativity and my personal aesthetic, it is a way of connecting with my inner child and my inner world, a way to connect to friends through craft or to give handmade as a way of expressing to my friends that I am thinking of them, even if we are separated by oceans or by the thin walls of apartments and floors between us. It is also about making do and remaking old into new, about reducing my impact on this planet through reuse and creation of reusables, about innovation and ingenuity and new ways of seeing old or familiar objects, about stepping out of a monetized value system that holds short-term profits over long-term well being for ourself, our societies, our planet, and all the other creatures who coinhabit this planet with us.
And, through sharing handmade, to share these values with others.
As mentioned before, I do need an apron. But really, I don't absolutely need an apron. I can make do.
Just tuck one of 'em napkins into the waistband, and there you go! Of course, this doesn't help my top half so its only a partial solution, but really, I should've stumbled upon this a long time ago. That's OK though, I'm content with this solution for now. Napkins that are eco-friendly, have multiple uses, are pretty, increase small joys of meals ... and best of all, its just the tip of the iceburg. In so many ways.