Last night found the Scientist, Wildchild and myself bent over embroidery hoops. Yep, the girls are trying to learn cross-stitch again. It didn't go so well last time, but I got them cute little Disney cross-stitch kits for Christmas, and they are willing to try again. I suggested they get them out yesterday for an art project, as the art curricula I'm using with them is not currently going very well. It's basically a lot of drawing, and the girls are not really interested in drawing, so much. It's far different in our home from when my sisters and I were growing up. We had a steady supply of crayons and paper, and were constantly drawing and coming up with crafts to do. My girls don't have that artistic bent, so I'm going to have to come up with something new for them to do for art classes. Sometimes we do projects that are related to history, like our Israelite house. Or when we were studying Egyptian history, the girls each made a cartouche with their name in hieroglyphics. But our history lesson does not lend itself easily to an art project every time, so I'll have to see what else I can find, that they will enjoy, but that goes beyond "hand turkey" level of projects. What do you all do for art?
Now, what got me thinking about the state of handcrafts in today's society is the closing of the fabric (and crafts) store where my friend Debbie works. Also, the small cross-stitch store near where I used to live has closed. And there seems to be a decrease in the number of quilting stores in the area too. I wonder if this is due to fewer people doing handcrafts, or the increase in Internet purchases of fabric and such. I'd guess that the stores are closing due to the former, although with local options disappearing, I'm glad to have the increased options that Internet shopping provides. I have a bias, doing so much sewing as well as some cross-stitch and embroidery, but I think that a trend away from creative pursuits and making things yourself is not a good one. In a time where manufacturing processes can be increasingly automated, the extra touch of something made by hand means that much more. And I think creativity is something special, something that helps us stand out as people, and that can help us stand out as a country. I suppose I'll simply have to foster my daughters' own creativity, and hope that someone who sees creativity in our family, might be inspired.