Today I have three pictures. I know, I'm getting carried away! However, I want to show you the gifts I've received in the past couple of days. One of my friends knitted me the pretty hanger cover. I've seen covers of course, but this is the first knitted one I've come across. Isn't it pretty?
The other two gifts are from another friend. The little pillow is pretty self-explanatory. The christmas tree object is actually a little sleigh which I've filled with antique VERY fragile ornaments which were from my mother-in-law. It is sitting in the centre of my dining room table and looks quite festive.
Slow Crafting - what's that you ask? Well, there's a discussion right now on SharonB's site (http://sharonb.wordpress.com ) about doing crafts slowly as opposed to the quickest means possible to get the end result. I thought I'd weigh in with my two cents on the subject here rather than taking up room in Sharon's comments. There is a decided difference of opinion concerning which is better/more artistic - the use of machines as opposed to doing everything by hand. I will focus on embroidery, since that is what I'm most familiar with. There are wonderful machines out there now where you basically can just push a button and turn out exquisite pieces with a minimal of fuss. Now before you machine people get upset with me, I do know there's more to it than that and it's just not as simple as pushing a button! I, however, am a lover of hand work as much as possible. That's just me and I can certainly appreciate the other viewpoint too.
I will admit that I use my plain ol' sewing machine for the actual piecing of crazy quilt blocks. I'm not THAT gung-ho with hand work that I would spend my time doing my piecing that way. However, when it comes to the embroidery, that's when I love working with my hands. I love being able to sit down and relax with my work. I like the quiet moments to be able to think, perhaps even meditate. I like the fact that it's portable. Not having to be tied to a machine means I can work pretty much anywhere. I like the slightly uneven look of handwork as opposed to the perfection that a machine provides. I like the history of it - my ancestors worked by hand and it's something that makes me feel a certain kinship with them.
I'm not really interested in being able to produce 'numbers' of projects, because I get much more pleasure from the process. Not that I have anything against finishing something! I love to make gifts for people and, to me, it means much more if the time (which is equal to love) goes into it. On the other hand, there are times when I need to do things assembly line in order to meet a deadline and therefore I must go for speed and the use of machines.
I'm the same way with knitting. I once had a knitting machine and gave up on it very quickly. I very much prefer the slower process of hand knitting (and I am an extremely SLOW knitter!). There are beautiful things being done on the machines and I am one of the first to admit it, but I still like the hand work. Just my opinion!