Today’s post is courtesy of my good friend Angharad, from Edible Glitter. I was introduced to Angharad via her future-sister-in-law, my friend Sarah, only last year, and since then we have become good chums. I envy Angharad her stylish chic and her easy way with words – see her blog for evidence of both of these.
So without further ado, here are her thoughts on her latest ventures into the world of craftiness –
Astrid and I have many things in common. We both like cats. We both like cocktails. We both have names beginning in A and ending in D (and that’s fairly unusual, eh?). But we also have a few things that are very much not in common, and these largely relate to my various inabilities. Astrid can do the sciencey thing – I always WANT to be sciencey, but when it comes to the crunch I don’t really get it. And Astrid is blessed with the powers of a super crafter (which I suspect she gets from her lovely Mum.) Whereas when it comes to crafting my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak – I just don’t seem to have the skills necessary to put the creative ideas I have in to action.
Despair not, this post isn’t going to be a length rumination on my inadequacies. Rather it is going to be a positive affirmation of the fact that you don’t have to be a born crafter to have fun playing around with various crafts. So you might not be able to knit a jumper (damn you Astrid, I never progressed further than a garter stitch scarf) but it doesn’t mean you can’t find a different craft that suits you down to the ground.
Of course, every crafter needs good materials and some inspiration to boot. I was whinging to my fiancé’s sister Sarah only a month or so ago that I needed a creative project but couldn’t think of what. She helpfully suggested making a rag rug, something which I fully intend to try my hand at as soon as I’ve gathered together enough rags. But whilst I was wondering what the hell to do in the meantime, help arrived in the form of a brand new branch of HobbyCraft 5 minutes from my house. I’ve got to admit, I was stupidly excited. I squealed down the phone to various friends about it and as soon as an opportunity arose scuttled over for a good old browse.
HobbyCraft is heaven, and not just for established crafters. I defy you to go in there and not find something you want to make. There is such a variety of materials available that there is something for everyone, whatever your interests. I went in starved of ideas for creative projects and came out with plans to make jam, paint glass, do some decoupaging, learn how to knit again, make soap and try my hand at cross stitch.
Cross stitch is the example I really wanted to give to show that you can succeed with crafts even if you find them daunting. I’d always wanted to give cross stitch a go, and even got as far as browsing the cross stitch magazines with Astrid in WH Smith, but always chickened out at the last minute. I thought it was going to be too complex for me; that I would mess it up and feel desperately inadequate.
Happily, Hobbycraft offer tiny little cross stitch kits that only cost £1.99 and feature a variety of sweet little designs. The cheap price means that if you mess it up you’ve not lost much, and the small size means that on your first go you can get satisfaction fairly quickly rather than having to wait weeks for the design to gradually appear. I stitched a small picture of a steam train in an afternoon, which I intend to use as an insert for a Father’s Day card. A cross stitch addiction has been born.
I am now working on a top secret and very ambitious project (perhaps I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, but I’m willing to find out). It just goes to show that I was silly to be frightened of cross stitch, and I could have been having fun stitching away months ago.
If you are a bit wary of crafting and know that you don’t pick things up as quickly as some people (I know I certainly fall in to that category) don’t be afraid to go on YouTube and watch any helpful tutorials over a few times to get the hang of it. When I started making 1000 origami birds for my upcoming wedding (yep, 1000 – I’m a glutton for punishment) I found it really difficult, to the point that I was so frustrated I nearly gave up. But after watching a helpful YouTube tutorial several times in succession it finally clicked, and folding the birds became second nature. I’ve since turned to YouTube to learn about rag rug making, which I’ve also found lots of helpful advice on.
So make sure that if there’s a project you are interested in you kick that fear and just dive in – yes, so occasionally you may encounter failure (I suck at baking and as I mentioned earlier am not a skilled knitter) but you will also discover new hobbies that you feel passionate about (try to take my cross stitch away from me and I will bite you). Good luck, happy crafting and don’t forget to pop over to my blog for more of my thoughts.