Longtime readers know that I am kind of schizophrenic when it comes to my making. I create (what I hope to be) deep thinking art quilts and textiles. But I am also enamored of all things cute and crafty and have a hard time resisting a handbag pattern or fabric with mushrooms on it. I’ve tried to separate these two sides online, and for a brief moment determined to reserve this blog for the art stuff and keep the craft side on Flickr. Yeah, that didn’t last. I had a brainstorm this week though, and decided that I will devote Saturday posts to my crafty side. It doesn’t re-define me or what I do, it just organizes it a bit. I’m not sure there’s any benefit to designated “Crafturday” posts, but it seems like a fine idea to me right now.
So, on to the craftiness!
Though I’d hardly qualify as an environmentalist or one with a small footprint, I try to incorporate small earth friendly things into my life when possible. Right now, that’s re-usable wrapping for gifts. I thought cloth wraps would be classier than the newspaper I used last year.
Thanks to the Thanksgiving weekend sale at Pink Chalk Fabrics, I stocked up on festive fabric and set to making bags and furoshiki style wraps. These are just the first wave. I’ve made more since last week. And then I realized the problems inherent in this kind of wrapping.
The first, and relatively minor, issue is that I wrap things up and send them off to their recipients and, duh, the wrap is gone. I have to start fresh the next year. However, given the pretty embellishments on the tops of presents that have been circulating between family members for a decade, I fully suspect that sooner or later a wrap or bag will find it’s way back to me. This last summer I also had the pleasure of seeing a fabric envelope pouch from last year’s Christmas gift being used to carry my niece and nephew’s portable DVD player and headphones on our road trip.
No, the real issue is the re-usableness of reusable wrapping and it’s relationship to kids. I realized (after making about a dozen bags and filling them with lovely gifts) that it would be VERY easy for curious eyes and fingers to simply open up a bag, check inside, and tie it (or button, or velcro, or whatever!) back up. And my kids are exactly the age that would do that. Now I can’t put the pretty pressies under the tree to admire and intrigue as we wait for the special day. I guess we’ll have to start a new tradition at our house — presents don’t appear until Christmas Eve. Or, it’s back to newspaper and tape for next year.
BTW, the lovely gift tags are downloadable from Paperseed, here. The wraps above are hemmed squares of fabric and the bags were just made up on the spot.