Wednesday, April 10, 2019

There Is A Difference Between Arts And Crafts And Being A DIY Enthusiast

For a little over 20 years, my Mom ran a professional daycare out of our family home. She was fully licensed and was a leader in the Professional Childcare Association. She put her heart and soul into her daycare and made a name for herself within our community. When she received her college degree in Early Childhood Development, she closed her childcare and ventured onto another successful career path.

During those 20 years of running a professional licensed daycare, I remember the myriad of stuff that used to frustrate and irritate her. At the top of the list is when people referred to her as a babysitter.

I could tell that made her blood boil. 

There is a big difference between babysitting and owning a professional licensed daycare business.

I've been thinking a lot about that as of late.

Over the past couple of years as we have shifted focus more towards this blog, sharing homemade dog treats that we've created, making cool DIY Dog Mom Projects, etc., I have thought more and more about what my Mom experienced when people simply referred to her as a "babysitter."

This sort of surfaced a couple of weeks ago when I was talking to a friend of mine. We hadn't talked in a while so our conversation revolved around catching up. Out of the blue, she asked me a question.

"How is the arts and crafts going for you?"

I knew what she was referring to. I also knew she wasn't intentionally trying to downgrade what we actually do.

At the same time, there was a sudden case of clarity in what my Mom went through every time someone referred to her profession as "babysitting."

Although I was tempted to give my friend a condensed version of the difference between Arts and Crafts and being a DIY Enthusiast, I refrained.

That's another thing I remember when my Mom had her professional licensed daycare. She'd try to explain the difference, but most people just didn't get it.

And while I'm not going to get into the in depth logistics, there is a difference between Arts and Crafts and being a DIY Enthusiast.

This may vary from person to person, but...

When I think of Arts and Crafts, I think along the lines of something you do as a hobby. Leisure. When you have time. Those Wine and Paint events. Scrapbooking or making seasonal wreaths with friends. You're not necessarily making something to sell.

A DIY Enthusiast is a whole other world. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes and there is a woodshop and/or a workshop usually involved.

Not only do we frequent places like Home Depot and Lowe's, but we're also out there at the yard sales and flea markets to grab items that we can either repurpose or makeover.

Instead of buying an unfinished birdhouse to decorate, we actually make the birdhouse. 

At the end of the day, we sell most of what we make.

I'm aware that people will dispute the terms and what each entails and such.

I get that.

But also, at the end of the day, I don't want people implying that I sit around and do Arts and Crafts all day.

What I do, what we do, isn't a hobby.

It's a way of life.

Although we sell most of what we make, our home is filled with DIY pieces and stuff that we've repurposed or have given a makeover to.

The photo at the beginning of this blog column is a photo I also posted on my personal Facebook page.

To accompany the photo, I wrote...

"I do not indulge in professional manicures and pedicures and haircuts. Or designer clothes, shoes, or purses. I also do not wear makeup. My hair is almost always in a sloppy bun. I display smears of paint on my hands, arms, and hair. I'm proud of that. 

Art and writing feeds my soul. I am a DIY Enthusiast. Creator. Artist. I adore the smell of fresh cut wood. Burning metal. Paint. Varnish. I embrace the date nights that include a trip to Home Depot. Yep. 

What I write. What I create. What I cook and bake. What you eat at our table. What you see. You're getting a piece of me. That. Is. All."

I mean every single word of that.

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