There is absolutely no denying it has been the crappiest of crappy years and I have learned much throughout the last 16 months (including proper grown-up knitting) and, whilst I have always had a passion for crafts as therapy, this past year has showed me, more than ever, just how crucial it is for better mental health. Tea, cake, creativity, and online community has been my mental fuel and I can say, hand on heart, there hasn’t been a single day for the past year where I wasn’t excited to get out of bed and embark on another work day. Crafts not only give us immense joy but also serve as a coping mechanism during times of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. It allows us to focus completely on the project in front of us and park our troubled thoughts for a while. We may not have been able to meet up with our creative companions but we have been able to discover the true importance of the online world and the creative community we have been able to share with through our screens.
Crafters do it online!
Testament to this are the many lovely messages, emails and reviews I receive from so many customers and people who have found my online resources. Quite honestly, some of the messages left me a hot emotional mess. I say hot and emotional because I am also going through menopause which is a whole other conversation (thank goodness for HRT) and one that I know many of you understand and have personal experience of. It is yet another topic severely affecting women that I think we should discuss more openly and not allow others to dismiss as ‘women’s troubles’. Like I said, that’s a whole other conversation…
Hopefully, we will be doing this again soon.
The point is that crafts are the mainstay of my life, not just as business but as a lifestyle, a vocation, my mental prop, my passion and, outside of my family (which of course includes the dog) my purpose. What I have also noticed, since the start of the pandemic, is the joy and satisfaction of really simple needle felting projects. I don’t know about you but the events of the last year has seen my thoughts meandering all over the place, and the need for a simple craft project – one you can just pick up without the need for thinking, planning, or tutorials – has become really important to me; recent bumble bee brooches and spring garlands being good examples you may have seen here on the blog. Creative repetitiveness is quite meditative and blocks out the noisy world much better than any set of headphones, although headphones plus crafts pretty much has you covered.
My free resources are there to encourage, and cajole anyone who is interested into trying a new craft, any craft in fact. My YouTube channel now has 40+ video tutorials and the blog now has too many to count. They are there not only to teach but to help improve your mental health and ease the soul. Start creating something and you will soon wonder where the day went, along with all the stresses and anxious thoughts that kept you awake last night. My resources are also a thank you to all the people who continue to support small independent creative businesses, mostly run by women who, like me, are also spending a lot of time multi tasking, not only their own lives but the lives of their nearest and dearest. We sometimes wonder why more women take up crafts than men and, for me, the simple answer is that many many women carry a huge emotional workload that so many men don’t. That’s not stereotype, it’s fact. Many women won’t even recognise it as emotional workload, but more as just mental list: house work, kids health and well being, planning visits, holidays and packing (often for the whole family), shopping, doctors, dentists, care of the mental health of loved ones, pets, important calendar dates, managing finances, planning for the future, worrying about the future, chronic illness, the list is long and endless and this last year has increased that ten fold! And yes, men do have this too but the fact is that it is still mostly women who are the bearers of these huge emotional stresses, the linchpin of the household and many working a full time job to boot. Now add menopause and hormones into the mix and you realise that women are pretty amazing creatures, and most don’t even realise it! No wonder we love crafts. It keeps us sane in a complicated and, often insane world.
So my best advice is, women keep on filling your creative boots, soothe your soul, drink tea, eat cake and keep falling down the craft rabbit holes of YouTube, Pinterest, and of course my blog. They know where you are if they need you, they always do because you made sure of it x
Tea + Cake + Creativity equals this face!
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