...the tough get crafty.

A wonderful way to kill time when you suddenly have loads of it, is to make stuff. This I learned in kindergarten, from whence was born a slew of macaroni pictures and finger paintings.

I come from a family of women who, when the going gets tough, get crafty. Divorce, financial woe, misfortune of all kinds, is merely fodder for our creative juices. My grandmother, may she rest in peace, left behind a treasure trove of her creations and craft supplies. She was a brilliant seamstress, but her primary inspiration was hats and hat pins. An incredibly fashion-conscious woman (a trait I did not inherit), she loved all things sparkly and pretty. Her hats were big, glamorous fedoras and stetsons, extravagantly decorated with hundreds of tiny Swarovski crystals.

For a brief time, I worked with JR (we were not to call her "Grandma" but by her initials,) helping her to assemble these awesome hats. The thing I loved the most was using the small tweezers to delicately place the crystals on the hat brim with a dot of glue. I loved looking at JR's hands as she worked, her carefully manicured nails and fingers moving so expertly. I was always glad that I inherited, if not her sense of style, her small hands.

My sister, in addition to being talented musically, has always had a special genius for what I like to call "mental patient projects," such as making lamp shades out of chop sticks and drawing fairies. She also inherited the sewing gene, another attribute that passed me over. (Let us not forget that she was the only one in our family capable of programming a VCR.)

My mother has only recently realized her immense talents as an artist, and is in the process of putting together pieces for her first art show.

She recently drew a tree that is blowing everyone's mind, and it will soon be for sale in my Etsy shop, which brings me to my original point:

I have an Etsy shop! Etsy, for those of you who are not familiar, is basically a store front for artists and crafters. It's a venue for people to sell their hand-made goods, and the amount of talent showcased there is completely overwhelming.

My store, Legion Creative, features my latest creative distractions: polymer pendants, small heads, illustrated books and small 'zines. Over time I am going to feature my mother's art prints as well as other creative projects conjured up by the talented people I know and love. It's been a great excuse to use those tools that JR left behind.

Have a browse, drop me a note, get a gift for your sister or a pal who isn't speaking to you. And if you're feeling blue, go play with clay. It's pure therapy.