AIBU unwanted craft

(33 Posts)
StillYummy Sat 21-Nov-15 20:55:31

I am not arty as such but I use my home and my cloths to express myself. My mil is a prolific crafter- cross stitch, knitting, scrap books, needle craft, felting. Since my little boy was born and see retired a few years ago she has made hundreds of gifts. First Christmas decorations, quilted advent calendar, scrap book of his first year, cross stitch of birth details (framed a3 size designed to be hung on the wall). She tried to decorate his bedroom (with craft) but I put my foot down as I wanted to, because I was excited too!

The things she makes and very nice if you like that kind of thing. The problem is I don't! They are far more fussy than anything I would pick myself and they don't go with my colour schemes.

I told her it wasn't really my thing so now she tells everyone I am not crafty (not true as I make things like cushion covers when I want them) and not into craft. Yet, she hasn't got the message and is still filling my house with stuff. I don't want to display this stuff, I don't have room to store it. I am starting to dread land mark events...

Am I being unreasonable? And if not- what can I do that won't cause her massive offence?

TwoTwoOneBravo Sat 21-Nov-15 21:06:30

I feel your pain. My ex MIL was crafty too. I only had to express brief, polite interest in her latest project and it would end up as my next birthday/Christmas/whatever present. I got a cross stitched cushion of a lion cub for my 30th!

She was a lovely woman who meant well, and while I didn't prominently display everything, I kept a few of the least objectionable pieces around. The rest is in storage. Eventually, I hit on the idea of directing her a bit. She was a keen knitter and loved making things for the DCs. So if I mentioned DC1 could do with a cardigan, she was more than happy to make something. That cut down the random stuff a bit and I think I did say at one point that we didn't need anything else for the walls as there was no more space. Depends on the kind of relationship you have with her really as to whether she'd take offence.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sat 21-Nov-15 22:06:09

I would agree with 'directioning'

Ask for a nice, complicated cable jumper/cardi for ds.

Should take a while to make...

And it would be a shame not to pass on such a nice thing for another kid to enjoy (keep the first one).

StillYummy Sat 21-Nov-15 22:06:45

I thought that my husband and I had made it clear we wanted to do our own stuff and I am a bit miffed that she has chosen to ignore our wishes to be honest. There is also a large bit of me that wants to take up a revenge craft... Like taking photos and having them printed huge and framed for her.

StillYummy Sat 21-Nov-15 22:08:31

I tried directing, the request for a quilt for ds's bed has been ignored :/. Maybe I should have brought the material.

TwoTwoOneBravo Sat 21-Nov-15 22:09:45

Also, what about pointing her in the direction of knitting for good causes? My local SCBU has knitters that make and donate hats and blankets for premature babies. When my friend had twins at 30 weeks she was enormously touched that someone had made beautiful little hats for them to wear in their incubators.

Fluffyears Sat 21-Nov-15 22:31:27

Try a mil that volunteers in a charity shop. She buys books about cars for dp but he grew out of them at 12. I had to refuse a framed photo of a random dog as we already don't have wall space for the stuff she has bought us.

hearthwitch Sat 21-Nov-15 22:42:33

Ohhh revenge crafting. It's so wrong and shouldn't be condoned. But please please do it

EnglishWeddingGuest Sat 21-Nov-15 22:49:39

Chuckling at "Revenge Crafting"

Totally support what TwoTwoOneBravo suggests - saying that you are grateful but it would mean so much more to you and teach your DS a much better lesson / morals / character if she would make x for [insert good cause of choice] and donate in DS name

SmallLegsOrSmallEggs Sat 21-Nov-15 22:53:03

I don't revenge craft I am the crafter of posdibly unwanted crafts
But I do fet the kids to put as much glitter as possible into exp's cards and encourage them to make sure he opens them as soon as he gets in the car. wink

pluck Sun 22-Nov-15 08:50:00

You're going to have to make a duvet cover for DS (basically a big cushion cover, innit?), to stand in for the quilt that Granny wouldn't make. Be sure to hit all his buttons with it, talk up how it will keep him warm in bed because you love him, and let her understand from his reaction what it is like to produce something someone wants!

Minisoksmakehardwork Sun 22-Nov-15 09:04:12

Are there any craft fairs near you? Maybe suggest she gets a table and sells her wares to other people. You could offer to let her have back some examples items you're not so fond of to fill her table. Re the quilt, I'd go with 'oh I got this fabric to make a quilt for dc but am running out of time' hand over pile of fabric and let her go crazy. That way you've chosen the colour scheme but she gets to do the crafting she loves?

MrsDeVere Sun 22-Nov-15 09:12:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IWasHereBeforeTheHack Sun 22-Nov-15 09:42:38

My MIL used to crochet mats - little round things like coasters for putting under vases and ornaments to protect your furniture and windowsills. Every time we decorated a room she would present us with a bundle in a vaguely suitable colour (there's a limited range of colours of crochet cotton). We are in our 3rd house, so that's a lot of crochet mats over the years.

I have given most of them away. She's no longer able to crochet so I may hang on to a few as a keepsake.

I don't recall her ever checking that we even liked/wanted crochet mats in the first place, or whether she had got the colours right.

OTOH, my DM did a cross-stitch picture with my DD's birth details and a Winnie the Pooh design. I'm so glad she did, because DM died before DD was 1 year old. Now that's something worth keeping.

I agree with those who say buy the materials for something you would use, in colours that work for you, and praise her skills as a maker. Win win.

Foslady Sun 22-Nov-15 09:53:58

I craft but I also feel your pain! I currently have a pile of Papercuts in frames that will probably stay there unless anyone genuinely takes an interest then they are offered it.

weaselwords Sun 22-Nov-15 09:56:40

My MIL is a prolific maker of the most dreadful crafts. I have to put on such a performance whenever we get something but she's seen through my poor acting skills and I'm sure thinks I'm horrible to her on purpose. I keep one or two things out to appease her and bin the rest when I get chance. Poor woman spends hours on the stuff too. I am so ungrateful

Hygge Sun 22-Nov-15 10:00:30

I worry about this.

I like to sew things, and people have been quite complimentary, although one of my recent makes was a halloween thing that included Stephen King's Carrie covered in blood and a half human half spider boy with different coloured eyeballs.

People were a bit more reserved about that one. But I love it.

But now I've started on the Christmas decorations I've had a few friends saying I should sell what I make. I won't for two reasons. I'm not sure I'm good enough at the actual sewing to sell anything, and it takes me so long to make something that charging for my time would make the price to high, not charging for my time would mean I was working for nothing and there'd be no point.

Every so often I have the urge to make something for somebody. And then I'm in agonies worrying about if they liked it or hated it, and did I just spend hours and hours making them something they put in the bin or the back of the wardrobe (so they could feel guilty and miserable every time they remembered it was in there).

I think you are going to have to be honest with her, and by you I mean your DH wink.

He's going to have to tell her that you don't have the room for all this stuff, and although it's lovely it's not really what either of you really want.

Then you can point her in the direction of a local charity that could benefit from her talents.

And correct her when she says you are not crafty. Remind her that you can and do make the things you like when you want to, but that your style and hers are different.

I think that's the thing with the new interest in crafts now, some of it takes a lot of work and skill but sadly looks very dated and isn't wanted or appreciated, as the style of what people want and like has changed. And there's nothing wrong with that.

kerbs Sun 22-Nov-15 10:57:26

I used to make cards, but making a card for someone in particular was very stressful, and I realised I wasn't enjoying it any more. Hugely expensive too.

People now tell me that they loved getting my cards and miss them.

I'm decorating the house now, much more relaxing.

DoreenLethal Sun 22-Nov-15 11:01:28

'Gosh you shouldn't be giving this stuff away - why aren't you selling it. Have you heard of Etsy? Ebay? Come on lets set you up an account and take some photos now'.

MrsCrimshaw Sun 22-Nov-15 11:18:31

My parents go to the crafting manor in Okehampton every year. My dad plays golf and my Mum does some craft workshops, the products of which are always given to my brother and I for Christmas. My mum likes to have a go, but it doesn't come naturally to her. She has made terrible mugs and bags with poorly shot photos on them, jewellery, candles, glass ornaments, you name it (they have been going for a number of years). I now am well practised at the kind of "that's lovely darling" face you would use for a toddler who has done finger painting! The crafts do seem to get mysteriously lost each year, not sure how....

Hatethis22 Sun 22-Nov-15 11:42:37

You know those vacuum storage bags? They'd fit an awful lot of craft in. You've tried to be subtle and it hasn't worked. I think you need to put away all the gifts.

In the run up to last Christmas the ILs requested we pick out some good photos of the DC so they could buy us a massive, canvas photo print. We said they could have as many photos as they liked but I hate those things we didn't have space for one and we prefer photos in frames. Cue two months of but why don't you want one? You could take down some of those things in the kitchen (the stuff we've chosen for our own walls) then you'd have room. They're much more modern than frames. The ILs don't have any photo canvases or any art, furniture or music made after 1900 in their house. Now if we're ever in the house of a relative who has one on display MIL feels she has to announce that, "We offered to buy one for Hate and Hate's DH but they said no! They really don't like them!"

Ratarse Sun 22-Nov-15 11:48:45

Revenge crafting! gringringrin

StillYummy Sun 22-Nov-15 13:26:26

Dh said he has spoken to his mum and I am stressing him out mentioning it. The problem with mil is she doesn't listen to/remember anything he says, unless her feelings are hurt... Then she won't shut up about it.

So basically the last time we spoke to her she held onto "nothing for ds's room" meaning that the rest of the house was fair game. The time before that she held onto "yummy doesn't like craft" so she held onto that and decided I can't do it as opposed to I choose not to make stuff that looks shit.

Ultimately I think dh needs to man up and have a word but I know he won't do it. I seriously don't know how to be greatfull for the latest thing as I had decided to make one myself, put loads of thought into what I would do etc. Then she got there first and intends to present us with one I hate (I know cos I saw it by mistake). It makes me want to avoid her, witch fills me with guilt but I can't keep faking enthusiasm for this stuff. Hell, I am struggling not to be out right rude!

Hatethis22 Sun 22-Nov-15 13:28:52

Seriously, smile, say thank you and then (once she's gone!) put it into a bag and forget about it.

32ndfloorandabitdizzy Sun 22-Nov-15 13:59:54

Just bag up anything she has made for your son and stick it in the loft- he can then chose if he wants it when he grows up.

Send anything that has been made for you or DH to the charity shop. Simple

I hate gifts that come with obligation. They are unfair (like pictures of other peoples children etc).

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