How to be thrifty and cultural in a superpower…

November 7, 2019

I’ve been thinking about being crafty more, because I’ve been crafty my whole life.  So I recently joined a meetup craft group a couple towns over.  Most of the ones I looked at were knitting, wouldn’t you know, but this one was open to any craft.  So I’ve been two times and people do a variety of crafts like scrapbooking, beadwork, some sort of sequin cross stitch, and me, regular cross stitch.  Now I try not to buy a lot of the stuff at the big craft stores because it just seems like a waste, but I’ve done crafts that don’t really use plastic, and are somewhat environmentally friendly.  In the past 20 years I’ve made Ukranian eggs, a variety of cross stitch, decoupage (glueing shells, or pieces of paper on boxes), making earrings from porcupine quills I collected, basket weaving, and a variety of little things like fixing crafts or projects.

Now I’ve been thinking of Native Americans some and how they would use materials they had on hand to make things.  Isn’t that how we should do it with crafts today?  I know some people recycle items to make crafts, but it just seems that if women want to be called real craftspeople (as opposed to men who do a specific craft like woodworking, metal working, or bigger things), then shouldn’t we work we what’s around us?

I mean, isn’t that what America used to be about, especially during the Great Depression?  Just because we’re a superpower now doesn’t mean we have the excuse to waste things.  I say if you use a certain amount of plastic, you should work it off like take the train, bike, walk to places that you can do that.

I watched this episode on PBS streaming last weekend about crafts in California and my Mom and I particularly liked a Native American woman who made baskets out of grass.  I see a lot of different ethnic groups around the world struggling to make ends meet, yet it seems like we focus on them when we want to show an example of what is the right way to live, and how cultural they still manage to be.  I know America gets a lot of negativity for pollution, politics, the way we eat, etc…  but if we are truly a melting pot, we should adapt to other cultures if we hold them to the light in many other ways.  America should not have a distinct American culture, like we do in terms of media or commercialism.  We should create a space for other cultures who come here to thrive and prosper, like we did when times were hard.


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