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Southern Girl Academy: Crafting

The one thing that all Southern Girls know is that being with family is essential. There is no replacing the value that Southern Girls place on the Family. The other thing that all Southern Girls know, is that being with family can be rough as h-e-double-hockey-sticks. The other thing Southern Girls know is this – always be prepared.  That is why every Southern Girl needs an Emergency Craft Kit on hand at all family functions. Especially those of the in-law variety.

There is a myth-purported by men of course – that domestic arts such as crochet, embroidery, knitting, paper crafting, baking and such were simply the tools by which women to learned how to keep perfect homes. Unfortunately, for several years the feminist movement bought this tale hook, line, and sinker. Thus, the domestic arts fell out of vogue. Until now. The current resurgence in all things domestic proves what Southern Girls have known all along: If your hands are busy, then your mouth is less so. And the same can be said for your Sister-In-Law.  And your cousin Tilly. And your great-aunt Sue Beth. This is why the Emergency Craft Kit was created.

A few uses for the Emergency Craft Kits are as follows.

  • When you are about to get your husband written out of the will. Example: You are at your in-laws and your MIL wants to tell you exactly how she raised her son better than you are raising yours. Before you tell her exactly how your are still trying to undo all the damage she did, simply break the kit open, get her started on stringing some beads with her grandchildren. This will give you time to fix a stout drink and remember Jesus.
  • As a preventive measure at large family gatherings where everyone has a different political opinion. Example: It’s Christmas, your mother has asked you to please play nice this year for the sake of your father’s blood pressure. At the first sign of complete ignorance and bigotry on the part of your brother-in-law, simply open the kit, break out the glue sticks, ephemera, and scissors and invite everyone to come make collage gift tags. Your brother-in-law will flee the craft scene as it is obviously “women’s work”, and you will get some of your last minute gift wrapping done.
  • As a way to remain polite when you are dragged to a social event that you are dreading. Example: You have been asked to attend the baby shower for your cousin Trixie. While you love Trix, you do not love her husband or her husband’s family. In order to keep this day all about Trixie and to not look bored/pissed off/like a condescending beeatch/ completely horrified, you come prepared with your bag of embroidery supplies ready to work on the baby bib you are embellishing for Trix’s little bundle of joy. This way you remain occupied with your work, distracting yourself sufficiently without looking rude – and you gain brownie points. Since you are making a handmade gift, you must be a saint.

If for some reason you have not yet had the chance to make your very own Emergency Craft Kit, here is brief tutorial on how to make your very own.

1) Find a vessel to hold your crafty arsenal.  Anything will do – mine is a vintage train case.

2) Decorate, Decoupage and Dizzy it up! I added tissue fringe, fun scrapbook papers, and other various embellishments on mine. I attached everything using a Glue Gun (which is the MOST important craft tool.) The purpose of this beautification is so that upon opening your ECK everyone will be immediately drawn to it’s happy splendour and temporarily distracted from whatever family insanity is at hand.

3) Fill your case with a well rounded assortment of crafting supplies and tools, such as:

Things that Cut

Regular scissors, pinking sheers, punches, circle cutter and rotary blades are all very handy to have on hand. Pinking sheers give a nice zig-zag finish to items, while the rotary blades are great for cutting straight lines on long sheets of paper. Also, punches are great tool for releasing anger and aggression. Instead of punching your brother for telling your mother that it was your idea not to come home for Thanksgiving, just punch paper instead.

Things that Glue

Glue is the second most important item in any craft kit. Glue guns are essential, followed by glue sticks, white school glue, YES paste (can be bought at Micheal’s but not Hobby Lobby),  and Modge Podge (not shown.) YES paste is great for adhering paper to things like book covers, cardboard, chipboard and other paper based items.  The rolling tool shown with the YES paste is called a Brayer. It helps smooth out the bubbles in your paper after you have glued it down. Modge Podge is the best product for decoupaging. I prefer the matte finish.

Things that Stamp

Stamps come in so handy for all occasions. If you have never bought a stamp start with an alphabet kit, like the letters in the middle. These are the best stamps to have because you can spell out any word for any occasion and purpose: birthday cards, scrapbook pages, ransom notes, ect. Stamps can be expensive for their size but if you will watch the sales and visit the $1 section at Micheal’s you can find some great deals. Also, there are 2 types of ink that I like to use. One is called Dye Ink (as shown above) and the other is Pigment Ink, which I prefer because it is not so saturated.

Strings and Things

There is no way I can convey the usefulness of having a variety of ribbons, strings, yarns and ball chains around. They can rescue almost any craft project that is going awry and they have been known to save the day for many a wardrobe malfunction.  Clothespins seem to be incredibly handy in all sorts of craft and emergency situations as well. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to stock up on these items, take a trip to your local thrift stores. They are a great place to purchase cool craft supplies as people are always cleaning out Granny’s closet when she has gone on to a better place. Like Tampa.

Other Things that Help

These are what I call the “duh” tools. Things you will forget you need until you sit down to do a project and then it is all “well duh! How did I think I was going to get glue on that paper?” So, next time you find yourself at the Dollar Store stock up on the following items:

  • Silver Glitter – everyone needs glitter in their kit. I promise. You may think you are too refined for it, or too neat freakish for it, but I promise the moment will come when you need it. Like when  your glitter TOM’s suddenly look a little bit like you neighbors shit-zu with the skin problem, and you are on your way to the Heifer International fundraiser and you know that Mary Steenburgen is going to notice your sad state of footwear if you do not act quick. In that moment, you will thank me for the glitter.
  • Sponge Brushes – Perfect for decoupaging, painting and in-a-pinch make-up application.
  • Sharpies – Surely I do not need to explain the importance of Sharpies?
  • School Ruler – Good for measuring, guiding your rotary cutter and for slapping away your husband’s Uncle Ned’s extra friendly hands.
  • Measuring Tape –A great thing to keep in your purse, measuring tapes can be used for more than just measuring. They are useful as emergency belts, dog leashes and when you need to tie someone or something up. Like your children in Anthropolgie.
  • Hole Punch – There are too many uses to list. Just trust me. Buy one. Or 10.
  • Thread
  • Album Binder Rings– One of those random items that you would never think to purchase, but once you do, I promise you will find a dozen ways to use them.

So there you have it. Craft 101 – how to make your own Emergency Craft Kit. The first step in Southern Girl world domination.

And remember this makes a great wedding gift for any Southern Girl. Especially one with a yankee MIL.

Jerusalem Greer comes from a long line of creative and resourceful Southern women, who always managed do a whole lot with just a little. She credits her mother for pulling up her carpet when she was little, so that she could glue-at-will without fear for her current successes  in craftiness. Jerusalem draws her inspiration from most things vintage, Nora Ephron movies, great books and the wide world of creative bloggers. She has been married to her Sweet Man of 14 years, has 2 amazingly creative and very messy boys, 1 Dog, 2 Hamsters, 1 Toad and 1 Hedgehog. She also loves Jesus, coffee and yoga and leaving her clothes on the floor.


11 Responses

  1. Perfect! I’ve been with my husband for almost ten years. This Christmas I decided to crochet baby hats for babies in the NICU. He was flabbergasted. He was shocked that I knew how to crochet. I was like, every Southern girl knows how to do that.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Psycho Crafter and Savannah B, sogirlacademy. sogirlacademy said: Crafting http://wp.me/p1atlE-2L […]

  3. This may be my favorite SGA post to date. Jerusalem = Genius

  4. […] I attached everything using a Glue Gun (which is the MOST important craft tool.) The purpose of this beautification is so that upon opening your ECK everyone will be immediately drawn to it’s happy splendour and temporarily distracted … View full post on glue gun crafts – Google Blog Search […]

  5. I love this so much!! Glitter FTW!

  6. I never realized. THIS is why my mother is always cross stiching!

  7. This post has left me downright ashamed. I am born and bred Southern and I can’t crochet! My grandmother did – she also did those plaster molds and then painted them. Why didn’t I learn when I had the chance? A very active little 4 y/o boy dwindles my energy to learn now.

  8. […] I attached everything using a Glue Gun (which is the MOST important craft tool.) The purpose of this beautification is so that upon opening your ECK everyone will be immediately drawn to it’s happy splendour and temporarily distracted … View full post on glue gun crafts – Google Blog Search […]

  9. as it turns out this kit comes in right handy even when you are not a southern gal. had a few of those moments you described quite recently myself.
    hope all is well J, you could keep me laughing all the day long…..
    keep on totin that kit, it’ll do you proud.
    other J.

  10. […] Adorable fringe lined emergency kit via Southern Girl Academy […]

  11. […] Academywhich is all about how to be a Southern Girl. Today I am the guest lecturer and my topic is Crafting 101. President Kerri told me to bring the sass. All I can say is, I […]

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