Another focus. Crafty, ain’t I?

Pardon me while I sweep the tumbleweed from ye ole blog.

Sometimes, though, there’s little to say adoption-wise, at least as far as The Big Picture goes. And recently, there’s been so much nastiness being spewed about in Adoption Bloggerville that it’s painful to read, exhausting and frustrating, and well, it simply squelches the urge to write. At least for now.

Besides, there’s been another focus in my lil world these days as my mother and I have deemed ourselves totally certifiable, sometimes even laughing at our own silly and surreal tenacity, and have jumped in headfirst to a new shared venture.

She and I have shared creative interests over the years, despite me swearing up and down to her as a child that I (not yet having seen the feminist light), would never, never have to do anything myself when I grew up because I would marry someone so rich that I would simply pay people to do whatever needed doing. She’d try to explain that she enjoyed the challenge, enjoyed the creating. I would scoff.

Such disdain at my mother’s knack for knocking down walls to expand the living room on a random day while I was at school — or her handpainting around windows, making benches and painting various items, launching a craft business with her friend that turned out to be quite successful, or her and my dad hanging beams on ceilings, building my sister and I a loft in our bedroom, and … well, the list goes on.

I can almost hear my indignant child voice, hating the fact that my parents were do-it-yourselfers. I wanted no part of it and swore that not only would I marry rich, but I’d always buy new! new! new!, I’d never sit down to glue something, paint something or create something and in the grocery line there was no reason to ever pick up a craft magazine. Ugh!

Ah, the irony.

Years ago Thomas and I bought an old Dutch Colonial that had been vacant a decade or so — unless you count the family of raccoons that had become quite comfortable inside. (When he and I went to see it — at our urging, not our realtor’s — she actually waited downstairs while we went up to investigate, sure we would come face-to-face with squatters.) We made an offer that same day. She thought we were crazy.

And we were. We were, and still are, crazy in love with our 1927 house. Raccoons could be gently shooed out, mildew could be cleaned, old and broken furnishings could be hauled away as could the rusted radiators dumped in the backyard and overgrown with ivy. The roof had a hole in it, leaking water into the attic and second floor. The missing kitchen ceiling (we could see the bottom of the bathtub upstairs!) could be replaced, the heating system fixed (we hoped!). None of it mattered because we loved the age of the house, its original tile floors in the bathroom and foyer, the large rooms, the side porches, the original hardwood floors.

And darned if we didn’t fix it ourselves. (And with many helping hands from both our families, as the job was a lot bigger than some paint and spackle.)

From furniture painting to invitation crafting, I’ve long become a regular at the local craft shops, and even had a studio at home for several years.

Then, in the last year or so, my husband decided to leave teaching to become a contractor. (Talk about tools, sawdust and projects. The child in me would be apoplectic.)

So, further opening mouth, inserting foot, and taking back all I ever said about despising crafting, creating and do-it-yourselfing, I hereby announce that my mother and I are in business. We’ve registered with the state, applied for the tax ID number, signed up for some shows, are working on our etsy shop, the business cards ordered, the white tent for outdoor shows has arrived, and we’re working on product (after scavenging for authentic Scrabble tiles in need of a good home and repurposing, and buttons of any shape, age and color).

All in all, it’s an adventure, and we’ve only just begun. Our first show is next month in Red Bank, NJ.

Our whimsical items are focused on children and include handpainted furniture, fun handcrafted beaded jewelry, a unique safety bracelet we’re especially excited about, canvases for children’s rooms, hair clip holders and more.

Once the etsy shop is open, I’ll post a button here. (Soon, soon!) Right now it’s about getting a large enough inventory for the upcoming show.

(Notice I haven’t let the company name out of the bag yet?)

In the meantime, I’m continuing to hope for a nicer adoption blogosphere anytime now.



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4 responses to “Another focus. Crafty, ain’t I?

  1. Glad you found your “niche”! I, too, resisted being crafty (like my mom) for a long time. I was sucked in by growing up in the 80’s and becoming mesmerized by PRODUCT, NEW, TECHNOLOGY. Why make anything when you could buy it? Duh!

    Yeah. Now I scrapbook, paint, make wall hangings, am a photo hobbyist, etc. My mom just smiles.

    I can’t wait to see your esty store. What show in Red Bank will you be at? Can you post a link? I’m always open for craft fairs!

    And, I have to tell you, again, that as my AFTH wait goes on I re-read your “dear pre adoptive self” entry as needed. It does help, thank you so much for writing it.

  2. JoAnn in NJ

    What a lovely post! 🙂

    Mamagigi is a lovely crafter and her jewelry is booty-ful to quote my girl.

    And the water is always fine and fair, and friendly over at

  3. jessica

    Hey Gretchen, I’m so excited for you to begin this new adventure. I know you will do great since you are so artistic! Good Luck!

  4. COOL! More details about the show in Red Bank, please….or did it already happen??? 🙂

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