The Hip Mom Meets Some Crafty Women

Tulsa mom's use crafts to add beauty to their lives

It wasn’t until I had my first daughter that I realized what a liability my total ineptitude with anything remotely crafty was. With my boys, I could throw them some markers and Play Doh, and they’d be happy. But my daughter? She’d want to do intricate crafts with glue, pipe cleaners, ribbons and yarn. AAAAAH! It was at times like these that I thought my four years in college might have been better served in some community education craft classes. I’ve since made peace with my two left hands. I’ll never be one of those moms who knits or crochets in front of the TV; all I’m capable of is nursing my Pinot and surfing Facebook. But I truly appreciate moms who use their limited downtime to create something beautiful. And I’ve found some moms whose talent is truly breathtaking — so if you’re crafty, here’s some inspiration! And if, like me, you break out into hives at the sight of a glue gun, you can just sigh wistfully and get back to your People magazine. 

I first stumble upon my friend and neighbor’s hobby when I knock on her front door — it is festooned with a breathtaking wreath. Apparently, my friend Samantha Whelan has just started making these. A “craft night” at her friend Jessica’s this past fall started it all. Jessica, a talented crafting goddess, got a group of friends together to make decorative wreaths. Samantha attended the party and found herself amazed by the exquisite creations that Jessica made. A fun night filled with deco mesh, glue guns and really, really strong glue that stuck to the ladies’ fingers (a trickster husband suggested they use peanut butter or olive oil to get the glue off; don’t try this at home!) turned into a engrossing hobby for Samantha.

While Samantha now makes wreaths effortlessly, she notes that Jessica was really hands-on helping her with the first couple of wreaths. But now Sam has the process down. To make a wreath, she starts with a wire mesh floral circle (a mere $2.99 at Hobby Lobby, which is Sam’s preferred supply store). She also purchases 2-3 rolls of deco mesh (if you are craft illiterate like me, those are the fluffy bow-type things that cover the wreath), and then various embellishments such as ribbons or ornaments, depending on the theme of the wreath. Colored pipe cleaners that match the wreath colors are also necessary to hold everything down. Then, all Sam needs is a glue gun, some pictures for inspiration, patience and friends to share the fun (and maybe swap some gossip). 

Samantha says if she concentrates and has few interruptions, she can make a wreath in about two hours, although usually life intervenes and it takes a lot longer. Sam has started selling these whimsical creations; the price depends on the size and intricacy of the wreath. They start around $65. So if you are looking for a new craft or hobby, or just want one of these gorgeous baubles to add to your seasonal decor, look no further than Sam’s wreaths — just contact Samantha at swhelan1@cox.net.

Kristen Redmond De Les Dernier is a longtime preschool art teacher at Riverfield Country Day School, and mother of a blended family of nine. She has always nurtured an artistic bent, and enjoyed “doodling” while listening to her husband’s band. Leanne Taylor, from News on 6, commissioned Kristen to make her a personalized “doodle” that included relevant pictures from her life, including her successful battle with breast cancer. Leanne  loved her doodle, and now Kristen makes custom doodles for many. She plans on eventually selling more generic doodles on Etsy, including stationery and cards. You can get your own personal doodle by emailing kristen at kirz10red@gmail.com.

Traci Jones is a Broken Arrow mother of three. When she saw attractive bracelet cuffs at a local store, she resolved to learn how to make them herself. After some YouTube tutorials, Traci now makes these classic yet hipster “Your Words Cuffs.” She upcycles belts that she’s bought from Salvation Army or eBay, and then buys little metallic pieces from a website called “Lima Beads.”  She then takes little letter stamps (I am not sure how; this is where the magic sorcery must come in), and emblazons words onto the metal pieces. She attaches the metal plate onto the belt, and voila! a beautiful, custom-made cuff. No two pieces she has made are identical. And she really likes some of the stories behind her cuffs: she made one for a friend that proclaimed “Never Lose Yourself,” which was her friend’s dying mother’s motto. I plan to get one with all of my kids’ names stamped on! At just about $24-$35, these cuffs make a beautiful, unique and inexpensive gift. Traci will be at Vintage Market Days from September 26-28 in Sapulpa. You can also reach Traci at yourwordscuffs@gmail.com. Or check out her etsy store:  www.yourwordscuffs.etsy.com.

Finally, I spoke with Lesley Zellers, a graphic designer who took a sabbatical to stay home with her two little girls, ages 2 and 4. Lesley creates entrancing drawings and sketches, which she draws by hand and then scans into the computer to enhance colors and textures. She gets her inspiration from bible verses or requests from friends – or sometimes just life itself. Ironically, even though she quit her graphics design job to stay home, she actually has built up a bona fide stay-at-home business. She has a thriving etsy store, and the uber-chic furniture store West Elm – coming to Utica Square this fall – will carry some of her work.

Leslie works hard, but tries to limit her work to when her girls are asleep or late at night. She has found she has had to turn some work away to keep balance in her life and her main focus on her children.

Whether you find these moms inspiring, intimidating, or a little of both, let’s applaud moms who find the time to add beauty to their  – and others’ – lives.

Categories: Hip Mom

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