My paternal grandmother, who had once been a "professional crafter" died today at 91. She'd been hospitalized 2 weeks ago with pneumonia, had a heart attack last week. For a while, it looked like she might recover from both, but as she desperately wanted to not have to be in a care center but could never have gone back home, we're grateful she was able to go fairly peacefully.
Both my grandmothers were crafters, but this was the "professional." She and my grandfather used to travel around the west selling Grandma's "tin-can crafts," which I will have to post pictures of as soon as I dig mine out. It used to be quite popular in the 1960s and 1970s, but I can't even find pictures on the internet (this is as close as I can find). My parents have a big peacock that she made using different colored tin soda cans for the feathers. My sister and I each have the miniatures--a little couch from (I think) a Band-aid box, rocking chairs made from larger tin cans, a baby buggy (Band-Aid?), table and chairs (cocoa tins?). They're quite clever and really unique. I'm not sure how she even found the time, as there are 21 or 22 of us grandkids, and for much of my life she made us gifts every year. My doll lamp (sort of like this) got destroyed in a move and my hand-embroidered pillowcases wore out with use, but I still have my Cabbage Patch type doll, several crocheted ornaments, tatted butterfly earrings, all the tin can craft, and a quilt that she made with my great-grandmother. No wonder I think hand-made gifts are so very, very special.