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Craft revival

Created date

February 28th, 2009

Whether it s the desire to get back to basics or simply the search for something unique, handmade items are more popular than ever. From jewelry-making to customized greeting cards, a do-it-yourself fever is spreading across the country. Craft and chat The Chatterboxes a group at Charlestown, a community by Erickson in Catonsville have found that crafts are not only a great creative outlet but also a wonderful way to stay connected with friends. "We re just a group of women who enjoy working on crafts and talking, which explains our name," says organizer Ruth Style. The Chatterboxes work on a variety of crafts including needlepoint, decorative pins, and plastic canvas, which involves weaving yarn through a plastic template to create jewelry boxes, handbags, and other decorative objects. Oak Crest, Charlestown s sister community in Parkville, has its own version of the Chatterboxes called the Busy Bees. "You name it, we do it!" says Busy Bee Peggy Davis, who moved to Oak Crest from Ocean City five years ago. "We make stuffed animals, decorative pillows, flower arrangements, dolls, handmade cards, Christmas ornaments, knitted and crocheted items we re open to any kind of crafts." Delicate hobby Jean McNab has enjoyed the more solitary pursuit of stained glass since moving to Charlestown more than 18 years ago. McNab estimates she s made well over 50 stained glass projects. Now she even teaches other residents who are interested in learning the art. "Typically, I start beginners on a small piece like a boat or a star," she says. "They can usually finish it in one 3-hour period and take it home with them." Calling all crafters As millions celebrate National Craft Month this March, there s never been a better time to try your hand at a new hobby or craft. The famous Sugarloaf Festival will make its way to Timonium and Gaithersburg in April, and several arts and crafts shows are scheduled throughout Maryland in the coming months. For more information and a complete list of craft shows, log onto