This hobby, this addiction, this compulsion? My friend Jenn Buck posed a question Monday on our Unity forum in SCS. She asked "Why?" I read every response, and boy, did I love the stories! So, let me go a little deeper (yes, Jimmi, just for you).
From the beginning, women have been the backbone of society (no male bashing, just facts). They stayed in their community, raised the kids, cooked the meals, cleaned, leaned on one another, passed on techniques and recipes, and shared all the work together. They also established most of the "polite" society rules. You can still see vestiges of that societal rule in the stay-at-home moms of the first half of the 1900s. Now, women yearn to be able to stay at home. We've grown more technological and machine dependent. The work of being a woman has changed dramatically.
So have the social constructs. Look around - do you see quilting bees? Days of outdoor canning sessions where everyone pitches in to put up the garden crops? Women who know the struggles of their neighbors for more than just gossip fodder? A place where a newlywed can ask a sensitive question about sex without being thought of as a harlot? Yet, each and every one of us acknowledge the most important aspect of this craft - connectivity.
When I first began teaching scrapbooking, I discovered this eroded female community. Our days sap our energies, our commutes and workloads fragment our home lives, and many of us don't know our neighbors names. I found, through the crops I hosted, that there was a dire hunger for a past-time that could be shared among the young and old alike. A chance to come together, share stories, conquer demons, pick each other up, solve bedwetting issues and the like. It was an Aha! moment for me.
I began a crusade...you are all living in my test lab and are wonderful examples - even you silent lurkers! I made it my passion to find and bring groups of ladies together. No, I don't really make that obvious, conscious effort, but I find this common thread running through us all. Even the silent lurkers crave the community of peers, the warm wishes of a friend, the knowledge that no one really has to be alone. Paper crafting solves that need to keep our hands busy and our hearts light. It is the "new" quilting bee.
And so, it is with great delight that I thank each and every one of you for touching my lives, for recognizing the true need for this hobby, the extra fulfillment it brings that goes beyond the tangible, and the deepest answer to the question "Why". We may build a paper house, but we touch the world. Sleep well my friends.
Peace be the journey... cool runnings.
Ta for now. ~ky