I am doing my first TV appearance today and have been thinking about why we craft..... here's my top 5 reasons!
1 It is FUN! Craft for me provides a relaxation, a chance to be distracted from the mundane and every day, from the stresses and strains of another load of washing, workplace politics, the 'I don't want to go to school today' refrain. Crafting or making something from scratch enables me to enjoy doing something, just for myself or for someone else. I find it fun to talk about what someone thinks their wife/girlfriend/best friend would really like to receive as a present, what stones they like, contemporary or modern. Do they like silver or gold, would they wear this or that? And then the ultimate fun is seeing their faces when their jewellery is made. That's my idea of fun!
2. Community. Crafting or making together or just talking about making something creates a community feel. I play netball every week with a fabulous bunch of women, but every week we only talk about our netball, our tactics, our win (yay) or our loss (we were robbed, obviously). At Christmas, we held a crafting afternoon where we all brought what we were working on and sat together (with snacks!) and chatted, about things we have never chatted about before, and it enriched our little netball community. It changed our perspectives of each other, perhaps we all became more rounded and interesting people, but we took time out and discovered something new about each other and I'm sure we have a stronger bond now - and more ideas of what to make for presents!
3. Mental Health - well it's big news at the moment isn't it? And yes making things is brilliant for your mental health. Creativity changes your emotions and your sensitivities, it calms, it focuses and it makes space for you in this hurly burly of life we live in. Sometimes the silence of the house when I am crocheting, or switching off the television or the radio makes my soul sing. It makes me immediately drop my shoulders, sigh and lets my brain take paths that it wouldn't have time to take. It enables me to relax and unwind.
4. It's good for you - Making something improves your hand/eye co-ordination, it is said to repair neural pathways and it keeps your brain active. keeping your brain active keeps you young and I'm all for that!
5. Empowerment. "I made that" is such an empowering phrase. How wonderful is it to see someone's eyes widen in envy and disbelief that you made something. And how about if you made it for them, for their birthday, or just to say thank you?! Perfect gift which has given you all the benefits that crafting gives and also the feeling that someone else has that you valued them enough to make something for them, to give all that time and thought just to them. Lastly, I love being able to say I made it rather than I bought it at a high street shop!