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Here is our first blog by one of our WONDERFUL artist!

The Importance of Knowing Things and The Utilitarianism of Craft

by:  Caitlin Montague-W.

Long-gone are the days of saving scraps, mending, and reworking; so much so that the entire idea of crafting or perhaps the idea of being a craftsman is no longer looked upon with a sense of utilitarian, homemaking longing. Long winter evenings are rarely spent on handiworks, and a rainy day is more often an excuse to watch television than start and finish a project. I often wonder if the ability to create, fix and make-do even a treasured value in this day of Blackberries and Wal-Mart.

It is part of the human condition to create, it has been a matter of necessity to make things for a household, and it is a luxury to take time to craft a beautiful thing for a gift. What we make as craftsmen is an extension of our soul, it is part of our heart, passed through our hands and into a garment, onto canvas, or through a tool to a turning lathe. As craftsmen, we call upon a long line of talent before us, and as we use modern conveniences to make our crafting lives easier, one wonders if the crafter is allowing the technology to take over the technique.

We live in a world where baskets and blankets can be made in factories, in a fully automated way devoid of human hands, human hearts, and stories. The stitches and weavings and carvings passed down and developed through generations have been infringed upon by mechanisms. This not only degrades the crafts, but the craftsmen themselves. We should not be ashamed if we can only create simple, plain things, we should not be ashamed if we are able create beautiful things, what we should be ashamed of is the lack of want to learn, and the impulse to buy something crafted by machine.

Perhaps we are too busy in this life to craft, especially to craft simple things for the home, or to mend. Where have all the homemakers gone? For those with no time, I hope they find comfort in a quilt stitched without a human touch. For me, I hope to be surrounded by things with a story, made by a craftsman who takes pride in their work.

It is strange to think that the same mechanisms that provided the western world with the luxuries of free time, would then devoid us of the wont of crafting expression. As a society we must relearn and take back those skills that help make a home a home. Crafting should not become obsolete, it is important to know how to make things, and it is equally important to make them, allow others to see you making them, and to teach those others to make their own. It is in this way that we connect with each other, enriching our own lives and the lives of others with things that you cannot get on the Internet, and making bonds that go beyond the TV.

If you would like to see more of Caitlin’s work, come by the shop!


Unbelievable…

My friend Jennifer sent me the link to her new blog!  Jen is one of the artists in the shop, does wonderful mixed media work, and will be helping Jolie refinish her desk (at a snail’s pace).  We have talked at length about The Stash while she is refinishing Hilda.  What a neat process to watch an artist work on something from begining to end.  But this little zinger was news to me today!

Jennifer started a blog, and we were her first entry called: Paradise Found 🙂

I can’t tell you how unbelievably touched by this.  And, well, the write up is pretty amazing too.  I think that so much of my day (and probably Robyn & Rachael’s too) is spent just getting the job done.  We are working full steam ahead to just keep up with this momentum at the shop, and I don’t know that we have realized the magnitude of The Stash.

If you can, please join and read her blog entry!  I would love to hear your comments & feedback as to if this has been your thoughts/experience as well.

I will be holding my breath until I hear back from you…  🙂

Who would have thought that blogging would be so, so, so….  competitive!  🙂 

I am smiling as I say this.  Since I started blogging, there seems to be an edge of competitiveness in the house.  Whose blog is getting more hits, why, etc? 

Yesterday, Thane had his all-time best day (thanks to me) in visitors to his blog.  You see I happened to be reading another blog & left a comment with his blog link.  🙂 

So, now we have to decide who REALLY gets the points for those blog statistics?  I am guessing it would be me, his loving & dear wife! 

I have been cruising along with Etsy today.  Got photos of all my bags done & loaded! 

Check it out if you can. 

Don’t forget that we are having a Name Contest too!  🙂  What is in it for you????  Maybe a new tote bag if you win. 

Thank you all for the emails & comments about Etsy, my blog & my ‘hopeful’ venture into my own business.  You are all dear to my heart!   

   Okay I am officially cool now, I think…    

   For some unknown reason, this blog seemed like a lifeline of sorts to me!  There are so many things going on in my head and life that putting them down (not on paper anymore) looked like the only way I could start to sleep at night!    

   To kick things off, I am NOT a writer, at all!  I actually despise trying to be creative in my wording.  My husband, Thane, however is very good at it.  I tend to write like I talk, so please forgive the grammar, italics, CAPS, comma’s, hyphens, etc.   I will get him to proof-read when he can.  Thane started blogging a few months ago.  He just took off (exploded really), and the thoughts, words, letters just seem to ooze out of him at times.  I am envious.  So THAT is the reason for me to, give it a spin!  Plus I am curious if there are others out there with the same concerns, ideas, and thoughts as myself.  

   This last few months, 5 to be exact, have been a whirlwind.  Thane & I both turned 36 this Fall and seemed to have hit a mid-life change.  Fortunately for us, we are on the same page! 

   He resigned from his long term (10 year) job and is now working from home, I went back to work (after 8 years of being a stay home mom), we put our house on the market, we have agreed to start downsizing our un-needed/wanted possessions, we both want to start our own business’, the list can go on and on and on…  We are at a crux right now.  How do we get to where we WANT to go?  We would like to be our own boss’ so to speak, as well as be creative in our lives and still be able to financially provide for our family.  Whew, no small task I think.    

   Back to blogging…  The name, Threads in my Stash, came to me last night when I should have been sleeping.  The Stash (me) and the threads (my interests) are varied.  I absolutely LOVE to sew!  Actually I came across the term craftivists a few weeks back, and that pretty much fits.  Any type of craft I am curious about, some more than others. Some areas of interest to me that I will include on this blog: reading, children, parenting, my husband, jobs, ideas, patterns, art, etc.    

   From this point on Thread in my Stash will be a blog on all of the above and so much more!  I hope you take the time to read, comment and fill my box with suggestions and ideas!   

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

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