Monday, September 28, 2009

Crafting An Unconventional Date Night

What's your idea of a good time on a Saturday night? For old married folk like Shane and me, it was spending the evening working on crafts.

Shane has a couple of hobbies he enjoys, and I have a couple or twelve of them myself. The problem is, we rarely take time to enjoy them. It seems there is always yard work or housework to be done, errands to run or even TV shows to watch that keep us separated from our hobbies. I'm a stay-at-home wife, but rare is the day that I will "allow" myself to just sit down for an hour or two and enjoy working on a craft.

Shane's craft of choice is leather work. It's a skill he learned in high school and has recently picked up again. I don't have a craft of choice; I like so many of them. It depends on my mood, but I usually prefer crocheting, knitting, cake decorating, cross stitching, or sewing. I dabble in a few others, but those five are the ones I'm best at and enjoy most.

After dropping Kat off to her mom on Saturday morning, we browsed a thrift store, at a nice lunch, and then Shane dropped me off at Hobby Lobby, while he went a couple of blocks away to the Tandy Leather Factory store. We did a little more shopping Saturday afternoon, then went home, put away our purchases, and each did a few chores that had to be done.

Then without discussion, we each sat down in the living room with our craft supplies. That was about 7:00 or so in the evening. We worked on our respective crafts -- without turning on the television or even the stereo -- for more than five hours! Sometimes we were quiet, but sometimes we chatted, and our conversations were all over the board from serious to mundane to comical. At about 12:30 a.m., we decided we'd better pack it up and head to bed.

It was a wonderful evening! We spent some quiet, quality time together, had a chance to enjoy our hobbies, and didn't miss the TV one bit. I have to admit I thought it would be too quiet without some music in the background (I always want music on), but was surprised to find I didn't even miss that.

We enjoyed our evening so much that we're going to have a somewhat regular craft night. It won't be set in stone, but we're going to try to decide on the weekend what night would work best for the upcoming week, then plan for a TV-free evening of doing crafts and teaching crafts to Kat (who is already good, for her age, at leather work). To change things up, we might instead plan an evening of board games or even video games. We're going to try to avoid being sidetracked by household responsibilities. We've also decided not to feel guilty if craft night can't happen every week because of chores that need to be done...or if it happens twice in a week and some chores go by the wayside.

Here are some of the fruits of our labor fun:

A tri-fold billfold Shane made for my dad. He had already done the tooling, so he stained it, assembled it and stitched it on Saturday evening (and a little while on Sunday morning).

A pair of moccasins for my mom to wear as house shoes. Shane assembled these (from a kit) while he was waiting for the stain on the wallet to dry.

Some medallions I made that will become the afghan I am making for my daughter and son-in-law. This isn't a surprise gift (my daughter picked out the yarn), so it's alright for me to post a picture. I still have a long way to go, but I'm learning the pattern by heart and the medallions are going more quickly now.

I also worked on some gifts for my "Pay It Forward" recipients, but I don't want to spoil the surprise with a picture.

And finally, I spent a little time teaching myself to finger knit (thanks, Leanne, for the great suggestion), and plan to teach this easy craft to Kat on one of our craft nights. If you don't know how to finger knit, I found these directions to be the easiest to understand.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful date night. I think that sounds like a great thing to do on a Saturday night. I agree with you that most of our time is never for ourselves. Maybe more people would stay together if they made time for themselves.And you both have talent.WOW!

Leanne said...

What a brilliant idea for a night together. The way I see it you need to be in the mood for crafting, so if the mood takes you go right ahead. Personally I've never once found myself "in the mood" to do the dishes or ironing and they'll still be there in the morning:) That's a great tute for the finger knitting, its one of those things that would take an hour to explain to someone but only two minutes to show them.

And I'm just completely blown away by the wallet Shane made. Its really beautiful!

Tug said...

Sounds like a perfect Saturday night to me! You're both so very good at what you do, just beautiful!

Does Shane have a brother? ;-)

Annie Jones said...

Thanks ladies! I think Shane has most of the talent; I know for sure that he gives more attention to detail than I do.

Sorry, Tug, he has only sisters. ;)

Miranda said...

Beautiful work! What wonderful gifts and a great night together!

Annie Jones said...

Thanks, Miranda!

Frances said...

I finally got a chance to scroll down this far. (I should be working, but needed a break.) What a wonderful evening you two had! And your crafts are lovely! You are both so talented!

Annie Jones said...

Frances: We've had three more craft nights since this post. One planned and two impromptu. We're having a great time with it. :)