After posting pictures of the food I’ve cooked and the stocking I handmade for my hubby while we were dating, I’ve received several emails from fans asking if there’s anything I can’t do LOL. The answer is yes. There are lots and lots of things I can’t do- such as walk across a level floor without tripping. I can back up a dump truck without flinching, but can’t back up a car worth a flip (never figured that one out). I can’t park straight. Somehow the car always ends up sideways in the space, yet I parallel park with an ease that makes my hubby seethe (and I can get the cars in and out of spots he always swears they won’t fit into). And I have hundreds of other examples of things I can’t do- like swim with my face in the water. Or paint worth a dang. I keep trying, but other than landscapes, I can’t do squat with my hand- and that’s after having been an art major who got into art school on a scholarship.

But I am a very crafty person and always have been. It’s that creative gene that I have the touches everything in my life. I have to create every moment of the day, with everything I do. Whether it’s jewelry that I make, clothes that I design and sew, the food I cook, to… everything.

My hubby jokes that I can’t leave anything alone and to a degree he’s right. I always see the potential. I’ll never forget the look on his face when I pulled a paring knife out and went to work on a cake.

“What are you doing?”

I smiled. “I see a bunny.” And I proceeded to cut the cake into an Easter bunny for his birthday- complete with ears and a bow tie. And yes, I sculpt with things other than food :)

I owe a lot of it to the women in my life. When I was a kid, they were crafty too. My mom with her cooking and flowers, my sister with everything and my sister-in-law Lynn with macrame, rugs and needlepoint. Lynn is the one who taught me how to embroider and latch hook (I don’t do macrame well). My sister taught me how to sew and decoupage (she once took my favorite dress apart to make a pattern to make me a new dress which was great- but she forgot to put my favorite one back together- still not happy about that). My grandmother taught me how to crochet (as well as cook absolutely everything from scratch) and my mother how to look at ingredients, throw them in a pot and make something delicious (Cathe taught me this too and best of all, how to cheat by cutting corners and having it still taste great). Then there were things such as quilting, knitting, tatting, and blackwork that I taught myself.

I still remember the way my mother’s fingers could take a handful of ribbon and twist it into the most amazing bows and flowers. She was unbelievably talented when it came to floral arranging. There’s also my Aunt Linda who would take me to fabric stores and show me how to pick out patterns and fabrics for my dresses (as a girl, I would cut up old pillow cases, rags and towels to make things for me and my dolls). And my Aunt Anna who had a painting studio in her basement where I spent the summers pouring molds and painting all manner of things. She taught me how to sew teddy bears and her daughter Lisa taught me to crochet stuffed animals. I learned to paint ceramics and models (after we built them) from my brother Buddy.

So the way I see it is that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants who taught me well. They all added ingredients to my life that have made the whole of me. And over the years, especially when we were really poor, all those talents came in really handy. Such as the fact that I used to sell baby quilts, crocheted blankets and baby wreaths to specialty stores for extra cash (I also handmade all the ornaments for our first Christmas tree as a married couple from scraps). If you bought some of those items in Columbus or Starkville, MS in the mid 1990’s, you might very well own one of the things I made to pay rent :) Likewise, I worked as a seamstress in college and made everything from choral and bridesmaid dresses to business suits for fellow students to job interview in. There was a time when I even made jeans :)

My psychologist bud (Red Kim) and I were talking the other night about it. She made the comment that truly creative people are seldom creative with just one thing. That it’s the thrill of discovery and the ever-quest to make something new (or make it our own) that we live for and that we have a hard time turning it off. She’s right. At night, I have to decompress before I go to bed or I can’t sleep. Likewise, if I go a day or two without doing anything creative, I have weird, weird dreams. It’s like it has to come out of me or my body rebels.

And now my creative juices are flowing and are calling for me to… actually they want me to make more candy LOL, but I’m putting that on hold. I have a hero to torture first and a tight situation to get him out of :)