Lately I’ve found myself with a little extra time on my hands. Even an inveterate couch potato such as me can only watch so much TV. For me, crafting is a fun way to fill my time, and it (usually) results in the creation of something useful. I enjoy sewing and crocheting. You know what else I enjoy? Seeing what other people create.
You don’t have to be an expert to experience joy in crafting. Consider my dad. He was the kind of guy who was always busy, even when he was relaxing at the end of the day. In his fifties he took up whittling and woodcarving. You won’t find his work in the Louvre, but a few of his pieces have made their way into my home gallery.
Dad was fascinated by totem poles and he carved several in his lifetime. The biggest was over 4 feet tall, and carved from a piece of driftwood. It stood sentry over the homestead for many years, but the elements eventually took their toll and it finally went the way of the dodo. Lucky for me, he collaborated with my mother on a smaller totem representing him (the eagle) and my mom (the bear). Moving into the mobile market, Dad whittled walking sticks with made-to order totems using fallen branches he discovered on his daily hikes. He gifted these to family and friends, much to their delight.
Eventually Dad branched out to carve people. The farmer, which I think looks a lot like his father, provides a glimpse into his hardscrabble childhood on a Pennsylvania farm in the 1930s and ’40s. The whimsical cowboy whom he dubbed “Slow Draw” illustrates Dad’s wry humor and his love of all things Western.
So, what are you doing to keep busy? Please share with us in the comments below. Meanwhile, if you’d like to get started with whittling and carving, check out this list of digital titles you can access from home.