Arts, Crafts, and Ancestors

So I’ve made a decision: I’m not doing any[1] craft fairs this winter.

I know, I know. It’s not actually all that monumental. But I figure I don’t have a lot of new stock, the last couple of (Spring) craft shows I did were… not remotely lucrative[2], and I’m not actually hurting for money right now (which is usually why I do these things), so I’m not feeling a deep and hungry need to spend my Saturday sitting in a community centre for the bargain price of $30/table.

I figure I’m better off hanging onto the soaps and candles I’ve already made and using them as gifts for various family/phamily members come Solstice and Xmas; better off quietly sorting the jewelry I’ve already made into collections, then getting the different groups fancied up and photographed so that I can (re-)launch my Etsy store come January and see if I can’t be a professional crafter that way.

Other than its relationship to honey pots and other come-hither money spells, this post doesn’t have much to do with magic, let alone Pagan Goddessry or Animism. But I think it’s worth posting here, none the less.

“Arts and Crafts” – all the gals who do fibre arts, who do their own canning[3], who DIY their own clothes; all the “hobby” stuff that gets dismissed as “fooling around”; all the “work” stuff that gets shifted to factories where it makes money for someone who isn’t the people doing the doing – it’s all links to our ancestors.

When I write to my grandparents and talk about my balcony garden, talk about putting up preserves, talk about knitting this or that item for somebody’s xmas present; when I make soap that we actually use, or that I sell to cover the bills, when I make preserves that we actually eat or that I trade for other groceries… When I do this, I’m linking the work of my hands to the work of theirs and saying – to myself, to them, to anyone who sees me doing it and taking pride in it – this work has value. This work is work, and it’s real, and it matters, and it’s not just a quaint Thing that people did in The Olden Days.

So, yeah. I think these are important skills to know – regardless of whether or not I’m using them to pay the bills. But I also think it’s worth noting that I can use those skills to keep the roof over our heads or the larder stocked. That the work of my hands is something I can turn to when I need it to make rent.

So that’s where my head is at today.

Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] Probably. I can think of one that I might do, but even that’s unlikely at this point.

[2] Granted, I at least always managed to break even, and one was outdoors during a thunder storm, so…

[3] And it is, by and large, women who do this stuff. Most, if not all, of the men I know who do this stuff grew up either trying to fit into girl world when it was never going to fit them, or grew up as hippy feminists and were honourary granola dykes before they’d finished puberty. Either way, they grew up in women’s culture, whether they wanted to (the latter) or not (the former).

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