Meet my friend Jessie, a true crafting fanatic, who like many of us dream of being Craft Queen someday. – Pam Elcik

Jessie, Princess of Crafts

I have ten projects piled in the closet (the important ones I can’t risk losing). Four are in the dining room (I’m going to tackle those this weekend). Another is on the kitchen table (the pressure of moving it every time we eat is going to spur me into action). And that doesn’t even count the dozens of half-finished and never-begun projects stored in the basement.

Sound familiar? What is it about crafters that make us simultaneously work on a truckload of projects? All the while, we continue collecting the wares for future projects ad infinitum. I’d like to think, for myself, it’s my incredibly proficient multi-tasking skills as a mother—but alas, I think I’m just crazy for crafting.

I can’t thumb through the pages of Crafts Magazine or stroll the aisles of the local craft store without buying supplies to create the latest project that’s inspired me. I’m like a chocoholic in an M&M factory, and I just can’t stop myself. It may be weeks, months, or (gulp) even years before I sit down to transform those supplies for their intended purpose. But, simply knowing the supplies are there gives me comfort.

In fact, those accumulated craft supplies are often a source of great pride. I love it when a desperate crafting compadre calls because she’s run out of the perfect “something,” and she knows I’ll have it in my stash to help her out. It’s so nice to be needed. I view my role in the neighborhood as the Princess Of Crafts—stockpiling the materials necessary for a complete six-month “craft-in” should the need arise. (I’d aspire to be the Craft Queen, but propriety demands the Queen be able to lay her hands on the item with some degree of precision, knowing exactly which tub in the basement to look in.)

But, lest we all get lost in a sea of guilt over purchasing supplies we just might own already if we only knew where we put them, take heart. This pearl of wisdom from a crafting teacher has become my philosophy. She said, “Stamp collectors don’t feel the need to lick their stamps and mail them. Coin collectors don’t feel compelled to spend their coins. Why then should you feel compelled to consume the craft supplies you’re collecting?” A breath of fresh air, eh?

So, collect away my fellow crafters! If it’s one more bottle of paint, two more skeins of thread, a handful of beautiful silk flowers, another year’s subscription, a gross of little wood spools; whatever your heart’s desire, consume conspicuously. Sure, a few of the supplies may find their way into completed projects. But for those that don’t, feel no guilt… Remember the coin and stamp collectors of the world and tell your friends you collect craft supplies!

And what about those “soon-to-begin, must-do projects” piling up in various corners of your home? I implore you to take a fresh look at what those projects say about you.

They say you’re a wonderfully creative person with incredible talents—so much so that you can’t even begin to choose which project you’ll work on next. You’re in gridlock because creativity exudes from every pore and you haven’t perfected in your mind how those can best be combined. It’s not that you’re too busy washing socks and looking for the crock pot lid!

Tell the naysayers that beginning one project often inspires you to start another, rather than finish the last. Who wants to risk losing the initial burst of creative juices by finishing a project your mind has already completed? There, now don’t you feel better?

As I survey the projects I’ve not yet completed and the ones I have yet to begin, I know I need to start another project like a turtle needs a hairbrush. But begin I will, for the thrill is in the creating…not always in the completing!

– Jessie Whitby –