What does a newly retired elementary school teacher from Buffalo, New York DO with all her time? Why, she returns to her roots, and revels in the new-found freedom to do those things that were previously too time-consuming for a working wife and mother! There were other priorities at that time.

I come from a family of creative, talented, and giving individuals who always felt compelled to produce things which were useful and beautiful at the same time. The men were skilled builders, the women more fine detail oriented. For example, anyone with a passing acquaintance with my mother was sure to be gifted with one of her legendary afghans. My mother-in-law crocheted items that were beyond belief. (Can you say, “American eagle?”) My sister has made over 100 different quilts for charity, many in patterns she has designed herself. My daughter Krista regularly brings elaborately decorated cakes or desserts to office celebrations and creates amazing floral bouquets out of baby clothes to gift to expectant mothers.

I have been sewing since I was a child, made my own clothes in high school, made display garments for a fabric store, worked through college in bridal alterations and tailoring at a department store, and had a small sewing business at home while my two children were young. Once I began working full time outside the home, I was limited to small projects like an occasional baby quilt, a unique Halloween costume or Christmas gift item.

Another trait that we women in the family share is the need to organize well and use what we already have at home. (You may have heard of Krista’s annual “Try to use up only supplies from my pantry to make a different Christmas treat every day in December.”) Thus, my quest now is to learn about new and interesting ways to craft my existing stash into useful items that others would enjoy. Last winter it was knitting infinity scarves for everyone I knew.

But now I have been introduced to Pinterest, and a new world has been opened up to me! I am amazed at the creative, clever minds that come up with some of the ingenious ideas found there! I am now obsessively compelled to try to recreate/improve on/simplify/embellish the things I see! But, perhaps even more importantly, I must also at the same time reduce the size of my “treasure trove” of sewing and craft supplies! From laces to calicos, from velvets to silks, from buttons to appliques, it all simply has to go!

Krista, who lives in San Diego, encourages me to share what I know, share what I’ve learned, and share what I’ve made. Hence, Coast to Coast Crafts.


Comments? Questions?