Friday, August 24, 2018

Crafting Is My Refuge

Why do I craft? First and foremost, it makes me happy. It helps me combat the loneliness and depression that often sneaks in. On a really stressful day it helps me to relax and unwind; put the rest of the crazy world behind me for awhile. It is also a very useful tool in my pain management arsenal. An active mind and busy hands push the pain into the background, instead of front and centre.

When I am creating art there is no one else standing over me, watching my every move with eagle eyes, negatively criticizing everything I do, eavesdropping on every word I speak and generally dragging me down. Crafting transports me to a better place full of fun and laughter and it is a great place to escape to when I am able. It keeps me sane (although some may dispute that).

My world suddenly became much smaller a few years back. The end of a relationship separated me from a lifestyle that I loved and friends that I cherished. Along with that, my increasingly challenging mobility issues keep me fairly close to home these days. So, crafting is my refuge, a safe space for me retreat to from the anxieties of my everyday life.

I’ve always had that creative urge, dabbling in many different things over the years; knitting, quilting, weaving, and jewelry making to name a few. Paper crafting is my current passion, from artist trading cards to art journaling, pocket letters to greeting cards and more. Who knows what will come next? What new crafting adventures lie ahead?

My mother was always a crafter too. She was into knitting, crocheting, quilting, flower arranging and more. One of my earliest memories is of her sewing doll clothes for a local company. They recruited home sewers, provided the fabric and patterns, and paid them for each completed piece. The doll clothes were then packaged in cellophane bags with printed cardboard toppers and sold in department stores. It was exciting for me as a young girl seeing my mothers’ work in the nearby Woolworths store.

Why do you craft? What motivates you to create art? What benefits do you get from crafting? Please share your thoughts and feelings about, or experiences with, the creative process in the comment section below.


  1. Why do you craft?, asks Bonnie.
    This made me think of lyrics to a Garth Brooks song.
    “When the rain is blowing in your face and the whole world is on your case.”
    Well I get a warm embrace from my art.
    It has to be the most satisfying feeling in the world, to know you conceived the idea, you watched it come together and you did it with your own two hands, it’s yours. Art is a very personal thing. You are putting your soul out there where people can judge you. I feel for the people that are too afraid to take a chance.
    I have loved art my entire life. My Mom and Dad were both artists and we always had art supplies at our fingertips.
    I can remember crying because I couldn’t make something look like my Mom’s. She did fabulous watercolors. She would tell me, it’s okay it takes practice you will learn one day. I still can’t watercolor but she couldn’t use acrylics like me.
    For me, where there is art there is music. I have to have music playing when I’m creating and it can be anything. Whatever the medium or music it takes me away to a very special place where I can be free from outside influences and totally happy.

    1. Creative endeavours have always been a part of my life too. The women of my family, past and present, have always been crafters. The artistic gene must be in all of us.

  2. I did a blog on this very topic a while back but I think I took a different kind of approach. One of the things I love about crafting are the compliments and comments you get when someone is thanking you for an amazing trade.

    My Mom had always been a crafter, too. She was mainly a crocheter, but she also dabbled in ceramics and had done some amazing pieces. She had also made some pretty amazing things with her crocheting. And her mother before her made paper flowers and they went into restaurants and clubs and sold them so they could buy some bread or milk or whatever they needed. My Mom always wanted me to be a crocheter but I could never get into it. I tried plastic canvas, did not like it. I tried ceramics, I did not like that either. But once I was told about the wonderful world of ATCs, well um, 10 years later...

    I think to a degree everyone has the artistic gene, some are more developed than others. However I think what happens is that we all inspire each other and we all keep each other going...and I am not stopping anytime soon.

    1. I certainly have been inspired by many people along this creative journey. And I like to hope that I have encouraged others to explore their artistic abilities too.