Did you craft as a child?

Share your photos and stories 

I am admiring the results of my experiments of applying mashed berries to scraps of cloth.


My sister Julia (left) and our friend Francine joined in the fun.

We went to press yesterday with the Fall 2010 issue of Spin-Off (it'll take a few weeks for it to be printed and mailed). I've had so much fun working on this issue because of the focus on natural dyes. I realized that I have been interested in natural dyes since I was little—and I started composing my editor's page remembering photos my mom took of me dyeing scraps of cloth with berries from the bushes around our home. I mentioned this to my mom and, amazingly, she was able to find the photos. It made me wonder how many of you started crafting when you were children and if you have photos and stories you'd like to share?

I guess I'm curious because my five-year-old daughter starts Kindergarten next week and how she learns has been greatly on my mind. I recently demonstrated spinning in her preschool class and was delighted at how eagerly and effortlessly the kids picked it up—many of them wearing home the necklaces and bracelets that they made with their handspun yarn.

My own love of crafting was nurtured at a young age—as you can see here in this photo of me in September of 1976 when I was seven years old happily squishing berries onto bits of cloth in my yellow smock. My sister Julia and our friend Francine were also in on the project. Of course, we had no concept of permanence at that point—we weren't worried about colorfastness or mordants. We were just happy to mash up berries and see what happened when we put the mixture on the cloth. My interest was sustained long enough so that by the time I was in college, I was still happily experimenting and exploring the effects of color extracted from plants and applied to fiber.

You can share your stories in the comments and upload photos in our photo gallery. Once it's uploaded on the site, it is really easy to share on facebook and other social media sites.


P.S. We're working on compiling back issues of Spin-Off onto CDs—right now the 2008 collection is available and we're working on 2006-2007 next. Eventually we plan on making all thirty-four years of Spin-Off available in this format. I find that the CDs are great for saving room as well as quick searches of back issues.


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