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2009-11-25 / Loose Ends

Crafty obsessions

Susan Nienow

First it was cross-stitch. When the kids were young, we spent a fair amount of time in waiting rooms at the doctor’s, dentist’s or orthodontist’s office. I would tote my sewing bag and pull out my latest project as soon as we sat down.

I collected books of cross-stitch designs like they were going to be taken off the market the next week. I bought thread each time it went on sale and stored it on little cards so if I couldn’t sleep, at least I could start any new project and have enough colors to last until my next trip to the craft shop.

The books take up 2 feet of bookshelf space and the boxes of thread another foot. I haven’t done any since I stopped mid-rocking horse that was supposed to be a pillow for my daughter. I made the mistake of showing it to her as I worked on the mane. It still isn’t finished, and every Christmas she asks me about it.

After that mania I got into decoupage. I am still collecting fascinating pictures to use, though I haven’t actually done any decoupage in years. The boxes, plaques and glassware are stored on the top shelves in my craft room. I have enough to keep me busy for six months. I even saved shoeboxes, but I had to stop when I got the “It’s the boxes or me” word from my other half.

I have every color of tissue paper ever made stored in one of those under-the-bed boxes except it’s on a closet shelf – there’s too much dust under the bed. Even my daughter will ask me to bring a few sheets in a certain color for her gift bags when I go visit. She said I don’t need to buy any more for the next 10 years.

Done with that, I turned to rubber stamping. I even bought two today – they were only 99 cents each. My last turn at stamping was Christmas 2001 when I embossed all of my Christmas cards. No wonder I quit. I shortened my list after that.

I have amassed an incredible collection of stamps – pumpkins, candy canes, Santas and flowers along with a variety of inks and embossing powders. Of course, I had to have paper to stamp, so when it was on sale, I bought card stock and cards and envelopes. The goal must have been to give every female on my Christmas list notecards for the next five years. All of those materials are still in storage in my craft closet.

I should have had therapy. Along came beading and off I went to the craft store, combing the displays for sale beads and containers to store them all. At the moment they are lined up at the back of my desk – those clear, stackable boxes filled with red seed beads, black jet beads, glass and pearls – waiting for me to finish this and start stringing.

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