I've lived all over the US, born in New York, raised in Southern California, with stays in Illinois, Alabama, Wisconsin, Montana, Georgia and Arkansas...all before I was 5 years old. As an adult I have lived in California, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and Montana. Thru all the moving and changing, one thing has remained constant...crafting. Some crafts I have only done in certain states. Leaded glass in California, wildlife sketching and woodburning in Montana, quilting in Oklahoma. I didn't plan on a single craft/single state concept, it just turned out that way. Now that I have pretty much settled in Southern California, I find I suddenly want to do everything I have ever done again and some things I have never tried. In the dark days before Al Gore connected us, people like you and me would have to gather in shops or living rooms or unused band rooms at high schools to share what we love. Don't get me wrong, gathering with your girlfriends to exchange ideas, eat brownies and gossip is great, but sometimes life gets in the way of the gatherings. Kids get sick, your day job wrings you out, you have too many demands and not enough hours, or you change states and can't find like minded crafty folks. But right this minute, all I have to do is google 'crafting' to open up a world of artistic possibilities. I have been searching out sites that have crafts I have never tried before. Things like making paper or soap, weaving, batiking. As I click thru the sites, I am in awe of our creativity, not just in the crafts we do but in the lovely, complex, completely navigat-able sites thru which we share those crafts. It's like being at the largest, best run, most gorgeous craft show ever! And it's all available to us in our bathrobes while we are eating breakfast, on our couch as we catch up on Days of Our Lives (it's later, that same day), on our phones while waiting for the nurse to take our blood pressure. For those of us who find it difficult to share our love of button collages with others who might possibly find our craft a little odd, the Internet is a mecca of anonymous opportunities. No matter how obscure the craft, I can guarantee there is a site with instructions on how to do it and do it well!
Here are a few from a basic craft google.
http://craftingagreenworld.com/ This site has a ton of eco friendly resources and some great tips on crafting green.
http://www.recyclethis.co.uk/ Tips for up and recycling just about anything
http://www.instructables.com/ How to's for a bunch of cool stuff
http://www.nearseanaturals.com/blog/ I love their tag line "creating the world around us, one stitch at a time"
http://whipup.net/ Quilting and related thready crafts
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/craftybastards/ CraftyBastards...best name ever!
http://www.glueandglitter.com/main/ Eat, Drink, Craft!
http://www.cranberrylane.com/soapmaking.htm Soap making made easy, which is probably a contradiction in terms!
I'd share more, but where's the fun in that? Google-out your own crafty sites and see what you find. You might decide to try your hand at upcycling vitamin bottles or garden hoses, or you might just enjoy a why-in-the-world-would-anyone-want-to-do-that moment.
So, thank you, Internet gurus who created this amazing, all encompassing craft lallapalooza. I salute you with my coffee that I don't have to drink out of a go cup, in my own living room with my two dogs snoozing at my feet. I just love the Internet, don't you?