A great question raised by another etsy member...
This was my response to that on his blog:
How does one get started you ask? For me, as a child it rubbed off from my mother and grandmother...as well as not having much as a kid. I would find scraps of material or yarn in my mother's sewing room, or use found objects in the woods for making things to pass the time. I would decorate pine cones with glitter, or paint on rocks or carve animals out of a bar of soap. I remember my mom showed me how to make a toy for our cat one day by simply crumpling up a wad of tin foil. While she was napping I think I made about 200 'cat toys' with all of the tin foil I could find in the kitchen!
I'd totally forgotten about making a giant paper grocery bag half full of tin foil balls... wonderful memory! I don't remember my mother's reaction to finding them, but I'm sure it suprised her!