There has (and probably always has been, and given our current crazy lives, will most likely only increase), some active ‘talk’ on the benefits of ‘craft’ and our general health and wellbeing. With our lives becoming busier and busier, with all of the technology we seem to feel obliged to keep on top of on a daily basis, the stresses of money, work, and the expectation that you are always ‘on’ and ‘available’, where to live, where to send the kids to school. And the list goes on.
But amongst all of this is the ‘regeneration’ of art and craft, and the soothing and calming effect it has when we get involved with whatever activity it is that gives us this calming sensation. For some (like myself), it is embroidery, for others dressmaking, doll making, toy making, scrapbooking, quilting, card making, paper cutting, knitting, crocheting, and any other number of activities where we put our mind to making and doing something with our hands and some (at first sight), basic materials. It becomes an escape, it is restful (most of the time!), it is satisfying, and no matter what our skills, we can be proud of our achievements. You can be like me, an amateur at your chosen craft, and still make beautiful things. You can strive to improve your skills by looking to the professionals in your field. And all the while, not only are you making, and creating, you are learning and developing new skills.
Trish Burr has recently written a couple of brilliant articles on ten reasons to do embroidery. If you haven’t seen them already, I can highly recommend you take a visit to her two posts on the topic. You can find them here and here. I’m sure you will find at least one reason that resonates with you personally! My favourites that resonate with me the most are: it is satisfying and rewarding, it is motivating, it provides freedom from stress and anxiety, you will never be bored, and finally, it keeps the craft alive! So I really do like most of them, but thought I should pick a few favourites out!
I’m not sure how widely spread BBC4 is, however last week there was a great programme called, MAKE Craft Britain! (apologies if that link is region locked), where they spent time with two groups of people. The first, undertaking some modern embroidery for a lamp shade, and the second, paper cutting. Regardless of what you feel for those individual craft activities, the one point that came out of both groups, was how wonderful and relaxing their activity was. The joy on their faces as they created something from nothing, and several who had never picked up a needle, or knew what paper craft was, was just wonderful.
I know that for me personally, the idea of picking up some embroidery at the end of the day is what helps me settle for the evening. It helps to put aside all of those worries and thoughts that work creates. Of course, those thoughts are put aside for all of the ‘what if’, ‘I wonder if I could’, ‘would that work?’ thoughts! So I’m not sure I go to bed with a calmer mind sometimes, but at least they are happy and creative thoughts!
So as we are mourning the terrible loss of innocent lives in America again, whether it be through terror or otherwise, let us be thankful that we have something to help us escape, regenerate, relax and renew ourselves.
Do you find this resonates with you? Do you enjoy and look forward to the sense of ease your craft can bring? I’d love to know what benefits you find from ‘crafting’!