Craftnight has been a long-standing tradition in my family. In recent years, we have included friends in what was once a family-only event. Every Friday night about six or eight of us get together. We plan some sort of self-serve dinner, either pizza, a baked potato bar, nachos, or pasta with different sauces, a salad, and dessert. All of us pitch in bringing bread, dessert, fruit, etc.. The men watch the kids. We have a couple glasses of wine, relax, and catch up on each other's lives while we craft.
Sometimes we have a group project suggested and planned by one of us. These often have a seasonal theme (eg. ornaments in December or carving artificial pumpkins in October). Other weeks we work on scrapbooks or other personal projects. Frequently our projects will be planned around the use of recycled materials. For instance, I am currently working on a bulletin board made from a wooden frame purchased at a yard sale, and corks one of our group members got from her job at a winery. Past projects have included clocks made from discarded data CD's, decoupaged and fitted with craft store clock movements, paper made from junk mail and advertising flyers, and tote bags made from old t-shirts.
Craft night is a great way to get together and enjoy an inexpensive meal and an activity with friends. At the same time, we are creating something beautiful for our homes or to give as gifts. As a bonus, we are often able to make use of materials which would otherwise be discarded.
You should think about starting up a craft night with some of your friends. The library has many great books available on all types of crafts. You'd be surprised how many people enjoy crafting once they give it a try, even if they don't consider themselves to be creative. Working on projects with other people is great for exposing you to new ideas and ways of doing things you would never have thought of, as well as receiving inspirational and supportive feedback. We have even had people come and demonstrate a certain skill to the group, or teach a short class. Another thing we intend to do one day but have not done yet is to take a field trip and have craft night at a ceramic studio, art exhibit, etc.
I hope some of you will add a craft night to your calendar. If once a week is too often, you can always do it once a month. I would love for some of you to post comments and let me know about your experiences with your own craft night.