December 19: Favorite things: Crafting Advent with SusieJ


As a latchkey Gen Xer whose mom did not have the option of not working summers if we wanted to eat, I spent every summer in elementary and middle school at YMCA day camp. As a stereotypical nerd, it was Not My Thing, but Mom couldn't afford any specialty camps. The best part of Y camp was arts and crafts. At day camp, arts and crafts is much more crafty than artsy, which I'm going to say is making something decorative (useful or not) as a quick project.

My extended family loves creating: Mom's side is very DIY, and on Dad's they become bankers or artists. In my pre-teen years, Mom and I painted ceramics together on Friday evenings. She exhibited at the Philadelphia Flower Show, and showed me how to arrange flowers. We both adored Martha Stewart Magazine.

Creating is one of humanity's basic urges, and crafting is an easy way to satisfy that. Crafting is more about the process than the final project. Craft projects for kids was a favorite part of my kid's childhood. Did it hold their attention for hours? No, they would eventually be running and shouting through the house that was now covered in glitter.


The name of this more sophisticated version of a forgotten cookie means "little kiss" in the Bavarian dialect. The basic recipe is simple, and can be varied with any flavor you like with chocolate.

Close up of a small embroidery sampler, with others out of focus in the back.

My quarantine hobby is embroidery. I love the small samplers from Kiriki Press. Embroidering soothes my nerves in the evening.