- Sophie &Friends
Social Media is an interesting beast. "Social” is really what it’s all about. As you probably know, I have had a YouTube Channel for a few years now. Other that time, I've learned you just don't put up a video about how to make a cute little fluff ball animal. You have to be digitally present at all times. You’ve got viewers commenting, asking questions, and demanding a more personal connection. Which is how I found myself filming Question and Answer videos and how I have now worked my way up to webisode number 22. You read correctly, number 22. 22 different videos of 8-12 questions each. Trust me, it shocks me how much my viewers want to know. How they even come up with more probing questions time after time is beyond me.
A few weeks ago I received a question that gave me pause:
“What are your 5 all time favorite crafts?”
I mean...where do I begin? I have this habit of discovering a new crafting material or technique every 3 or 4 months. When I do crafts made from that material become my new favorites. So, having to look back over 3 years of published crafts and choose just five? That was a daunting task. In creating my answer for the video, I realized that it would also be fun to share those crafts here and explain a bit about why they are my favorites. So, without further ado, I give you my five favorite all time Sophie crafts...starting with number five.
Pool Noodle Crafts
I am not sure it is fair to group these all together. As I explained above, pool noodles are my current obsession. I love them. I love turning them into rockets, animals, flowers, organizers, pokemon...They are just plain awesome. I wrote my first blog extolling their virtues a long time ago. Just like fashion from the 80’s, things have a way of returning to the top with a new spin.
As a kid, I always loved pop up puppets. I’m not sure why, but those little clowns and fairies who would emerge from their cone shaped puppet booth to twist and dance on a stick always delighted me. I think there’s also something very cute about turning a sock into a critter. It just makes my heart sing.
I had seen a picture of these little guys in Family Fun Magazine (along with an unbelievably cute underwater scuba diver) and fell in love. There were no instructions, so I actually spent long hours experimenting with cooked and blown eggs to figure out the best way to make these little cuties come to life. I’m not sure if it’s just my penchant for round creatures with tiny little eyes, or that each one takes on it’s own personality no matter how hard you try to make them look the same, or that they remind me of Shaun the Sheep, but I love these little fluffy dudes.
I had seen these years and years ago in an American Girls Magazine and always wanted to make them. When I had a Kawaii (Cute) party I knew I had to incorporate them somehow. I don’t know which I loved more, watching the girls make their donuts or eating them (in tiny little nibbly bites that reminded me of the image of Tom Hanks in Big eating the mini ears of corn from the salad bar).
I’m not sure if this is because it holds so many wonderful memories from my childhood, or if it’s just the endless possibilities that the basic project presents, but making a house out of cardboard is something that every child, male or female, should experience. I had one that my Grammy and I worked on for years and years. We would use wrapping paper for the walls, make pots and pans out of bottle caps, create curtains out of leftover sewing projects or tissue paper. Everything took on a new life when you looked at it as a base for decorating your mini house. Making a dollhouse allows you to view the possibilities and potential in inanimate objects, to deconstruct and reuse them. Whenever I do dollhouse making parties I find that the kids never want to leave. We literally have to drag them away from the workshop for cake, only to have them come racing back the minute the candles have been extinguished. It’s definitely my favorite craft.
It’s funny how this simple question caused me not only to look back at all the crafts we’ve created over the years, but uncovered all the memories that went along with each one. Therein, I think, lies the real reason why I craft. It’s the experiences, the shared creativity, and the moments of exploration that are important, not the actual finished product. Sure it’s nice to have a bouquet of button flowers to place in your mod podged flower vase, but it goes deeper than that. It’s the fact that every time you look at those flowers, you remember what fun it was sorting through the buttons, finding the right colors, trying the combinations. It’s laughing over the memory of the cat jumping on the table and scattering the tissue papers like snowflakes. It’s time spent with someone making something special. That’s what crafting really is - a time to be together in a state of shared creativity. Which is why I think it’s so important to take my workshops on the road so people can actually experience this for themselves, because no matter how “social” social media is, it can’t take the place of true one on one contact.