What better way to spend a rainy morning than at the Hudson Library and Historical Society with the Hudson Handicrafters. Never heard of them? Well, you're missing a lot. They are a fun group of woman -- I'm sure men are welcome, there just didn't happen to be any at the meeting I went to -- who meet once a month for snacks, friendship and a craft project.
A couple years ago, Hudson Monthly (the December 2011 issue) did a story on the Hudson Handicrafters. I remember thinking that this would be the kind of group I'd like to join. So when I got a recent press release, I figured it was time to check them out.
Armed with a list of supplies from President Donna Bendycki and some encouragement from member Trish Hickey, I headed to the Flood room at the library for the group's Oct. 16 meeting. They were making wool felt bookmarks, a project proposed by club Vice President/Craft chairperson Meg Bartman.
Bartman was prepared. She made an example of the project and had a printout with other ideas. She had purchased wool felt and coordinating thread when she visited her daughter in Colorado. Everything was neatly laid out on the table, and she explained how the project worked.
The 20-some Hudson Handicrafters at the meeting made me feel welcome from the minute I stepped into the room.
The Club, which originally began on April 9, 1954 under the Ohio State Extension Service, first focused on child care, nutrition and sewing. A craft group was added later and that quickly became the focus.
Conversations swirled around me as members teased each other about color choices and asked about sons, daughters and grandchildren. I stitched away at my bookmark, taking everything in.
I had settled in at a table with long-time members Bendycki, Anne DiGiacomo and Sandy Glasscock. They passed buttons back and forth and talked about plans for future meetings. DiGiacomo has been a member for almost 20 years. She remembers when they used to meet at the Barlow Community Center.
The crafters know each other well. Bartman picked out red and black wool felt for DiGiacomo and purple for Bendycki.
DiGiacomo added some yellow to the mix.
"I'm really going outside my comfort zone," she said.
Glasscock was in charge of the September craft -- button bracelets. Some members wore theirs to the most recent meeting. They were beautiful and each one unique.
The Hudson Handicrafters meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. in the Flood Room of the Hudson Library and Historical Society. Projects are different each time and include painting, card making, needlework and jewelry. No artistic talent is needed, and snacks, coffee and tea are provided.
At the Nov. 20 meeting, member Mariko Kitutani will lead the group in making beaded necklaces. Everyone had a preview of the beautiful necklaces at the October meeting.
Other upcoming projects include a bird feeder by member Lynn Schmidt at the Jan. 15 meeting; greeting cards by Marilyn Pearce at the Feb. 19 meeting; a patriotic wreath by DiGiacomo at the March 19 meeting, and a solar-powered garden lantern by Faye Duber at the April 16 meeting.
The group is not just about making crafts. During the business portion of the October meeting, members were already discussing an upcoming service project. At its December meeting, the group collects items to donate to charities like Newborns in Need and to those in the Armed Forces.
The December and June meetings are open to members only. In December, they celebrate the holidays at a member's house and the June meeting is when they plan for the following year's craft projects.
I enjoy a good project. I'm not the neatest crafter -- my stitches are often not straight or even -- but I still had fun.
If you're looking for something to do, come check out the group. They are very friendly. I guarantee it.
For more information, call Donna Bendycki at 330-650-4225.