Thursday, March 24, 2011

Easy Hospitality :: Craft Nights

from Carrie

Looking for a way to connect with other women but aren't really sure how to conveniently do that?

It's hard work being a mom and trying to find time out to get together with friends for fellowship. Time out with friends is a valuable and valued thing - but it's hard to reconcile sometimes against the idea of family priorities and productivity levels.

One thing you might consider, should you be a craft person, is hosting a Ladies Craft Night with members from your community or church.



For the record, I am NOT a crafty person. But I do like to scrapbook and I have trouble finding the time to do it! Inviting ladies over to my home in the evening, closer to my kids bedtime, has proved a fantastic way to get to spend a few quiet hours talking with other women while keeping the hands busy and occupied, accomplishing something that I wanted to get done and just couldn't find the time or the excuse to do! (Hosting an event such as this after dinner hours is typically more convenient for most women who want to be able to put supper on the table and get their kids headed for bed before they head out the door!)

A few months ago I started hosting a ladies craft night for the women at my church. The first month we had 14 women enthusiastic women there and it was a lot of fun! There was a lot of talking, a lot of laughter and we each accomplished the better part of our goals. One lady sewed a zipper onto some pants, another lady brought and set up her sewing machine, another did some beadwork, a few knitted and I finished several pages in my scrap book. Not everyone has to do the same thing - and not everyone will want to! The point is: fellowship. The additional bonus is, of course, that we can share creatively with one another and feel like we were spending truly worthwhile time with one another.

The second craft night I hosted was much different. Only two ladies were able to come but that was also a delight because it enabled the three of us to get to know one another much better!

The great thing about such a set up is that you can determine how many people you can accommodate (you do need table space!) and go from there. Maybe you just want to invite over 2-3 people. That's fine! Have those few people over. You might have space for more and that's awesome as well!

Here are some things to think about:

1. Determine how much space you have to accommodate people whose craft projects might take up more room. Are there quilters among you? Will someone want to bring their sewing machine? Scrap bookers? Or knitters who just need a comfy chair to sit in?

2. By hosting an event later in the evening, I've discovered that ladies are less likely to indulge in great quantities of food. If you have a budget issue, a craft night is a great event to host because just having a yummy beverage on hand is easier on the calorie counter's conscious. The first craft night I hosted, I made a small snack and had drinks available. The second, I just had drinks. It worked well.

3. People are coming for the fellowship, and for the chance to get something done. You really don't need to come up with entertainment. Consider your crowd and maybe select some light music to play in the background if you want.

4. Check in with people whom you think would be interested in coming. Try to find an evening that accommodates the majority.

5. I make a point of stressing to non-crafters that they are also welcome to come just for the fellowship! You can't put a bunch of ladies in a room and expect silence. Everyone (and their personalities) are welcome for a very fun evening out.

Other than these things, not much preparation is necessary!

My husband totally doesn't mind my taking one night a month to fellowship with other ladies. (He actually doesn't mind a few nights out a month because he's great that way! I'm just referencing craft nights here.) The added benefit is that I'm scratching something off my "to do" list. Not that my personal projects should be my primary motivation in hosting - but it sure makes the "to do" item much more fun!

10 comments:

  1. My church has a craft night too...we live far enough away that I don't get there too often, but love it when I do.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fun idea! Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been thinking about doing this. Thanks for the reminder about how easy it can be. Too often it's easy to make something bigger in your mind.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A few ladies in my church have done similar fellowship get togethers, but since most of our church homeschools, they schedule it during the day and have the older kids entertain the younger ones while the moms get to work on their projects.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In one town we lived in there were a handle of ladies, friends who went to different churches, who got together in the afternoons to craft. It eventually fell by the wayside but I really enjoyed and missed it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love to do something similar...do you ask attendees to respond if they are/are not coming?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Angie - The first time I did, the second time I didn't. (I should have though and probably would again.) It's helpful to know how many tables to set up, etc. (I set up the same amount the second time because I wasn't sure and since there were only two others in attendance, I didn't need to "work" so much to set things up.)

    At the same time though, I wanted to keep it casual. There's an odd thing I've discovered in moving from the South to the NW - RSVPs are not really observed around these parts. People here in Oregon seem to prefer the freedom of coming or going without giving the hostess much of a heads up. Being from the South originally, this has been something I have had to MAJORLY adjust to. So sometimes I do not ask for RSVPs because I know they aren't in vogue around here. =) I wanted to know for the first one though to know whether people were interested and it was worth my blocking a day on the calendar off to set aside the special time.

    And, for the record, it was worth my time twice. =) I liked both sized groups. I'm just not sure how to answer that RSVP question because it's so different in Oregon and I'm STILL learning the ropes (or so it feels) . . . 5 years later!

    ReplyDelete
  8. My women's group just started doing this as well, and I really enjoy it. One thing you might want to add to your things to consider is lighting: the woman who hosted last time had a pretty dimly light living room in the evening, and it was somewhat difficult to see my cross-stitch. (You could move lamps around to combat this.)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Carrie,

    Our MOPS group is actually having one of these tonight at a local church. I haven't decided yet what I'm going to bring to work on. I may just sit and chat!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've done this same sort of thing several times and have had great fun doing it. For quite a while, I had a group of ladies and girls who came to my house to work on their individual patchwork quilts once a week. It was great fun and a great opportunity to fellowship.

    When I was very young, the church my family attended had something they called "Agape Handmaidens", which was basically just a morning to work on handwork at the church while a babysitter watched the children. My mom says she often just brought loads of laundry to fold!

    ReplyDelete