It started with my Mom. Mom made learning fun. She explained things well, listened to my questions, and showed me what the craft was supposed to look like before I started, whether it was something simple like making a Christmas tree out of popsicle sticks, or something as complex as making a quilt. When I was a little girl, my mother taught me how to crochet. I remember how fun it was to sit at her feet in the evenings, and while she worked on crocheting a blanket or sweater, I made a single crochet chain that stretched out as long as our house! As I grew, Mom and I began to talk and laugh as we worked together on our individual projects. She would always make time for me if I had an issue with my sewing machine, or couldn’t get a stitch count right while crocheting. However, when she found the problem, she would make me tear it out and begin again. And again. And again, if necessary. Although I shed many tears over my mistakes, Mom was insistent that I keep at it until I got it right. And yet…even though I would eventually “get it right,” and my project would end up looking wonderful, I would still berate myself for that one mistake. And I still do.
Mistakes. Ugh. Who likes ’em? Probably not you. Certainly not me! Nobody that I know of, and most likely nobody that you know of, either. But…mistakes go hand-in-hand with crafting, don’t they?! As a crafter, you probably expect them. I know I do! A wrong stitch. A bad alignment. Gluing something upside down. The ubiquitous smudge of ink. And, like me, you’ve probably learned how to either fix the mistakes, or somehow cover them up (I mean, really, how much extra Gesso, glue, or cardstock do we have to keep on hand?! LOL). HOWEVER, even though, as crafters, we expect to make mistakes when we create something, and even though we have learned many ways to cover up our mistakes, making mistakes may still result in having feelings of irritability, humiliation, embarrassment, disappointment, self-doubt, and/or discouragement. We may struggle with feeling like a failure, or experience subdued enthusiasm over our once-exciting project. And when crafters lose their M-O-J-O, they may not craft again for days, weeks, or even months. Wouldn’t you agree that most people, when they make mistakes, need encouragement? Well, you can bet your Stickles that I need LOTS of encouragement!
It seems to me that it usually only takes something simple to bring a smile to a discouraged crafter’s face. Sending a text message, mailing a handmade card, or making a phone call. Meeting at your crafty friend’s house and brainstorming ideas over coffee. Maybe all it would take is beginning to craft something together – anything! Those small acts of kindness can have a HUGE impact, and you may have just helped your friend over his or her Crafter’s Block! And who knows? Maybe you just encouraged yourself, too!
When it comes to encouraging others, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of crafters and non-crafters who could benefit from our crafting kindness. In my case, it’s sending handmade cards to friends and neighbors. I have also discovered a non-profit organization which not only accepts handmade cards throughout the year, but also distributes them to senior care facilities all over the United States and Canada. So here I am, a 60-something retired and disabled woman, living in California, working up designs in her 10′ x 10′ craft room, and then playing with cardstock and ink, stamps and dies, glitter and glue (and anything else I can find at the craft store! LOL) in order to have one of my handmade cards sent out to some 87-year-old soul sitting alone in a room, unable to have visitors due to COVID-19, and feeling discouraged. And the card that I made in my anonymous space might – it just might! – put a smile on that soul’s face, knowing that someone cares.
And that’s what I’m about. 🙂
How do YOU encourage others through your crafting?
My upcoming posts will be about all things crafting (with which I have experience!). I’ll also be sharing stories from my life- the good, the bad, and the, umm, opportunities. LOL I think that, once you get to know me some, you’ll realize that you’ve found a friend, and that you’re not alone in this thing we call LIVING.
My posts are mine; nobody else’s! I will never post negative reviews. I’m not an expert, and I don’t work for, or get paid by, anyone. If I talk about a product, it’s because I use and like it. I’m just a fellow crafter who wears her Crafter’s Apron just like you, and who wants to share with you some things I’ve learned, some mistakes I’ve made, and some successes I’ve had, with the hope that you will be encouraged and inspired!
Thanks for reading this. I appreciate it so much! Talk to ya soon…