Availability Awareness

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I’m just back from my sojourn in the States, and I can’t help but think about how different crafting in the US is from over here.

Prepping for my wedding, I walked into a number of craft stores. The first time I walked into a crafts shop, I was with my mother, who has been living in the US. She approached the task like hitting the grocery store. Get in, get what you want, and get out.

The second time we went shopping I went with a friend of mine who has been living in Ireland like me for some time. This time, we walked in and it was like we had found Mecca. We poured through the nooks and crannies, delighted in the variety, oohhed and ahhed over the giant selections, and went wild at the prices.

I took crafting for granted when I lived in the US. I didn’t know it then, but I was living in a crafting paradise. I would never say that crafting is easy, but the ability to get into crafting- be it quilting, papercraft, jewelry making, sewing, cosplay, whatever- is so much easier in a place where the basic building blocks of the hobby are plentiful.

I embroider. I quilt. I sew, I’ve made jewelry, created cards, decorated homes, made handmade gifts, done my own flowers. Some of which probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been a culture that supported crafting.

While we complain about the increase in mass-produced costumes, or the genericism of everything, I think its important to acknowledge that while not perfect, the crafting community has supports in the big businesses that are so imperfect.

This might be more of a thankful post than is typically seen in October, but I really am grateful for the opportunities that growing up in America, with its crafting community and supports, gave me.

~ eliste

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