If you have a quick look through the dates on my blog posts, you'd be forgiven for thinking that I don't spend a great deal of time on my blog. My published posts don't show the whole picture though - you need to see my drafts folder as well! The truth is that I fuss over detail so much, and that my rare free time is so fragmented by baby feeds and nappy changes, that I publish only a fraction of what I write. Most of my topical drafts cease to be relevant long before I've finished writing them, and much of the rest takes me so long to finish that I get bored of it, and assume nobody else will be interested either.
When I started my new blog, I resolved that I wouldn't post about how I don't post enough, but I thought I'd mention it here to explain why I was so pleased that Emma Collins at Do Crafts was launching a 31 day blog prompt for May for the members of the Creativity Club. I'm much better at getting things done if I have a deadline, and with 31 of them, I'm bound to meet a couple. Of course I haven't got off to a very good start (3 days late already, and yes I have had to edit that number!), but baby Bob has picked this week to decide he needs virtually no sleep during the day. Ah well, perhaps I'll catch up before the end of the month!
Day 1's topic is "5 reasons why you should craft", so here's mine:
1. You can wallow in the detail. Unlike blog posts, when you're crafting for fun it doesn't matter if you never finish, the journey is just as much fun as a finished project. I'm not driven to be a prolific crafter, there's plenty of other stuff in the world to get performance anxiety about, I generally just enjoy losing myself in the detail of my project. I love painting stamped images, cutting out decoupage, and rummaging through my stash to find a perfect match. Occasionally I have 'tidy up' days, where I just finish my almost-there projects, and that makes me happy too :-)
2. You can't stay cross while you're crafting. It's a shame I didn't have time to craft when I had a stressful job, because it would have been a great way to unwind. I love that you can't surround yourself with beautiful papers, stamp, paint or cut out when you're annoyed or nervous - you just can't help but relax. One lovely thing about doing demos is that I get to meet lots of other crafters and find out what crafting means to them. It's amazing how many people use it as an escape from stress, illness or just the demands of modern life.
3. There's no right or wrong. When I was at school, I loved the security of maths and sciences. Every question had exactly one correct answer, and you knew when your homework was finished. In contrast, English and art made me uneasy - the person marking my story might not like it, even if I thought I'd done a good job, and there were always things I was unhappy with. Once nobody was grading my work I realised that mine was the only opinion that really mattered, and that knowing you can always improve is a great thing for a hobby's longevity. It also means crafting is wonderfully inclusive. You don't have to be rich, strong or tall, or have training or ologies, you just need enthusiasm.
4. Inspiration is everywhere. Having an artistic hobby changes the way you look at the everything around you and you realise that inspiration for creativity can be found in the most unlikely places: the privacy pattern on the inside of a business envelope, the colour of a sweet wrapper, or a muddy footprint. Not only does this encourage recycling and upcycling, but it means that your hobby becomes a record of your unique experience of the world. You don't get that from many other hobbies that you can do on a rainy day!
5. It shows that you care. Not everyone will notice you've hand made something especially for them, but the ones who do will feel special and cherished. Not so much because you've spent the time on making something for them (it is your hobby after all!), but because you've bothered to notice and remember that their favourite colour is yellow and they like primroses and French poetry. In our busy, impersonal world, knowing someone is interested makes all the difference.
If you haven't crafted before, hopefully something above will encourage you. Pop along to a demo, or watch a few videos on www.docrafts.com and maybe you'll catch the bug too!