In an attempt to find local craft groups a few months ago, I happened upon a local chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of American. I found out when the next meeting would be, but I ended up forgetting about it until this month. I finally attended one this morning, and am still trying to decide whether I’ll become an official member or not.
The good stuff: The other members were all very welcoming to me, and were eager to share information about the group. The projects they work on seem to be fairly varied, including different types of needlework (Bargello and Hardanger were mentioned a few times), beading, and even some quilting. They have regular stitch-ins, where members get together to just work on a project. They also offer regular workshops and correspondence courses, and there are also opportunities to buy kits and attend shows. Oh, and they have their monthly meeting both in the morning one day and at night on another day, so everyone can make at least one, if not both.
The not-so-good stuff: I was the youngest person there, and probably by quite a bit, with the majority of members being in the late 40s to early 60s range, I’d guess. There were a good number of women talking about their grandkids, so it is definitely not my close peer group, like the Campbell craft group is. Also, the meeting I attended was held in a church hall, and the night meeting tomorrow will be at a retirement home, neither of which is a particularly comfortable location for me, even if they’re close by. And, finally, a good percentage of the projects shown, either as possible kits or classes, or even as show and tell from the members, were really not my thing. Not all of them were the super cutesy stuff I ranted about previously, but it was just not the kind of thing that caught my interest.
I guess the age thing is what sticks out most right now, since I’m very much in need of some contact with my crafty peers right now. Unfortunately, the San Jose area just doesn’t seem to be a haven for these types, with most artsy crafty types living up in San Francisco proper, which is not a place I get up to all that often these days. I don’t have problems being around an older crowd (though the occasional talk of ailments is really not my favorite topic), but it would be nice to meet people who can more easily relate to me.
I think I’ll mull this one over a bit, and see if there’s anything else out there to check out. I doubt I’ll find much more in this area, so maybe I’ll just give this group a chance. I don’t have to work on everything the group offers, and who knows, maybe some of my interests will give the other members ideas for new projects of their own.