Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Why do you craft?

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Wednesday is the day we speak of WHY we craft, 
rather than WHAT we craft, right?

Well, let me tell you why I started crafting, shall I?
At a tangible level, it was to create work I could do from home when the kids were nippers and we lived in the States.
At a deeper level, it was to keep busy; it was to use my hands to distract my mad head.
Because as so many of us know, the head can be a dangerous place. Mine is certainly not one you would want to enter alone at times - well, not without a hard hat and a torch - it gets pretty dark and scary in there occasionally! 

So focussing on making something - a card, a canvas, a Groovi picture - this will help take my mind off its prey for the day. 

As John Milton so aptly wrote in Paradise Lost,

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

What I have finally figured out is that I am bigger than my mind.
(A LOT bigger, actually! Ask my jeans!)

So on days when it thinks it can plough me into anxious despair, I just have to be quick enough to see the game afoot, and get my toolbox out. 

The latest addition to my toolbox is not what you would think.
It’s not a craft toy at all! I have pallenty of craft toys!
Nope. I have subscribed to Audible, and am listening to books.
What a perfect creative escape!
I can’t tell you how effective it is as an anti-anxiety tonic.
You just get swept up in another world - and basically, you forget yours!

Now please don’t misunderstand me. I am not suffering from something sinister, I am not depressed, I am not struggling with life. I think I am just a normal, middle-aged working woman, who happens to run a busy business. You may think differently, but I just think I am an average human-being who is trying to lead a happy, full life. There are days when I wake up and for no reason, I could just roll over and go back to sleep. There are days when I cry more than usual, there are days when I get angry over pretty insignificant stuff. Maybe it’s the menopause, maybe it’s just super-sensitive me. But I reckon many of you reading totally get me. 

So back to the first line of this ramble. 
Why do you craft?
Think about it. Maybe you just want to be creative. 
Maybe you get bored with TV. 
Share please do.

I think I started crafting to make a living, 
and THEN figured out the real benefits. 

Time to go.
Book to listen to on the way home. Phillip Pullman does it for me!

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx



70 comments:

  1. I started crafting as a way out of depression and anxiety. Crafting started as a retirement hobby (I retired because I couldn't cope any longer), but the benefits to my mental health soon became obvious. Now, if I go for a few days without being creative, I can feel myself sinking again.
    I'm sure you'll have many similar comments! Jan x

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    1. Pretty much the same story as mine

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  2. I started crafting to de-stress. I am a self employed book keeper. I cook the books as my husband says. Crafting gets rid of all the numbers etc in my head. Xx

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  3. Well I have crafted since I was a little girl, always enjoying it. I enjoyed seeing the end result. I used to makes clothes for myself and family when money was really tight. Think it was a sense of satisfaction. I still craft even though I'm an OAP! Love making cards, quilting, knitting. Really enjoy messing with eldest grandson, using paints, punches and once stamping, but he decided to stamp all over himself, so have hit that on the head for a while!

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  4. Hmm...why do I craft? Sometimes to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday chores, other times (like you) to escape the madness inside my head, a lot of times to keep my hands and brain active but mainly because I enjoy it! I love beginning with a blank surface...be it paper, card, canvas or indeed fabric for a cross stitch and ending with a unique handcrafted card, gift or something to display in my home. Xxx

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  5. I understand exactly what you mean.
    I was good at helping Primary school children create and develop their skills and appreciation and loved doing "arty" things with them. I left school thinking I was not artistic as I couldn't draw or paint and was a frustrated artist. Many years ago I watched a stamping programme on TV and thought "I can do that". As I said at Leyburn last year it was you who helped me to fly. I get a tremendous satisfaction in producing something I am pleased with and which others appreciate. When I was working it took me away from the stresses and strains. When I was ill with spinal problems and off work for 6 months it kept me sane. Now I am retired it keeps my mind busy and I have time to learn new techniques like Groovi and Gelli plates.
    There we are, lots of reasons summed up by one word - pleasure!
    Love Chris xx

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  6. Thank you for these thoughts. I don’t do anything professional in the craft world- in fact card and cake making are an escape from my responsible professional role as a pharmacist. Crafting allows me to get to know my creative side - for many many years I didn’t think I had one! I only make cards for personal use and a few to a local charity . My cakes are only made for family and a few friends. It would defeat the object of aiding relaxation if I added the stress of making things for sale! Jen x

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  8. Crafting helps me cope with depression and anxiety. You have a part to play in that. I went to Ally Pally last year and thought , well she owns the company, been on tv, in magazines, etc and she won’t want to talk to me. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong. To be welcomed so warmly in the Clarity family did my confidence so much good. You have a fantastic team about you and when I get a bit low I go and craft and it does help to think about something else. See you in April. Tina xx

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  9. pleasure achievement satisfaction just have to keep my mind and hands busy .I get where you come from Barbara xx

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  10. Hi Barbara, I’ve been an audible subscriber for a few years now and love it. I listen when I go to sleep, you can bet I have to rewind the next day even after setting the timer for 15 mins sometimes. I can’t say my head is the same as yours but crafting was once something that kep me sane after work. My problem is I can be a bit obsessive, hence as much Clarity stuff as you nearly LOL !! I love x stitch too and am just getting back into that. I have a retirement pile of kits which I haven’t started yet and I’m nearly 3 years in to my retirement (early albeit). I’ve been making cards for a good few years now and the best thing is the giving I think even to those who possibly don’t appreciate the work that goes into them ! When I first started x stitch I joined forums and began to realise that a lot of the people I spoke to had depression, disabilities, problems and I then realised how lucky I was. I do have some ‘what I think’ are dark thoughts occasionally but nothing that’s going to do me any harm.

    Enjoy audible - it’s as addictive as crafting ! XXX

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  11. Afternoon Barbara!
    Just back from spending some time with Amy. She'd sorted out for us to be in the audience of Judge Rinder. He's my guilty secret! Love him! So after watching we jumped on the tram back into Manchester to get lunch! I loved being with Amy. I don't get as much time as I'd like so days like today are very special!
    So why do I craft? I have dabbled in many crafts knitting & sewing to begin with because thats what my parents did. Then onto cross stitch and once I'd done a few large pictures I thought I'd make cards for people. Papercrafting then followed and after meeting you at a show I started stamping. But why? Well I enjoyed it....and still do! I loved that I could make something that looked good and gave pleasure to the recipient too! I also found it was good as a way to de- stress! As you know I was a teacher in a large secondary school in Manchester and could be very stressful at times. If I could spend time making something it helped me escape from that! And now I'm retired I craft because I can and love the freedom I have to do things that I want to do!
    So there you go!
    Have a lovely evening
    Love and hugs! Xxx

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  12. Thought provoking as always Barb. I started crafting when Amie was a baby to try and save a bit of money - oh the irony!! Pmsl. I started out with one of those tool boxes from Do It All that the blokes have and today I have a lovely craft room. Now today I would LOVE to make money from my crafting but that aside it is my escape. My bit of time to do exactly as I please. Sometimes I have music on in the background and sometimes I don't - just depends on both my mood and what I am doing. So I totally get what you are saying Barb and now that all my housework is done I shall be pleasing myself all day on Friday and possibly Saturday. I am going to my daughter's tomorrow to see my darling granddaughter and that in itself is so uplifting I shall enjoy that too. Xxx

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  13. To begin with I was only looking for a hobby and I've had enjoyment in using papers, stamps. Then I noticed it released a need in me to create something, even though I haven't studied art, and the emotion I feel when I see beauty is very powerful. It has been a friend when I was widowed and needed to escape the pain, and the more I get lost in creating I notice that more creativity arrives to guide me along. Wow! This is amazing! xx

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  14. Why do I craft? - because I see all the lovely items which you all make and I think, I want to do that and so I have a go. I know that I am not creative so I look at your ideas and then change them to create my own. I do feel like I am cheating at times but get so much pleasure out of achieving a finished item for friends and family that I like to think no one will mind if I borrow their idea. Thank you to all who give me inspiration who are truly brilliant.

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    1. Wendy, if you are changing things to create your own, then you are creative. I bet you were told at school or by others that you were no good at it. That happened to too many of us. Just enjoy what you are doing. That is the main thing. x Maggie

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  15. I started crafting for much the same reason but it was anxiety and depression as well as a hyper busy mind.
    Crafting brings a degree of peace and helps focus the mind away from troubling thought. It has not only brought me comfort but so many wonderful friends.

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  16. I am retired so I craft for the love of it, for a little extra cash. I don't ever remember not crafting. My grandmother loved crafts as did my mother. So guess I came by it honestly :) Craft ON !!! P.S. Barb have you listened to or read Discovery of Witches ... they are grand !!!

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  17. I started out as therapy for the damaged nerves in my hands and as a means of keeping myself busy when my mobility was very limited!! I have always really enjoyed papercrafting because you end up with a thoroughly enjoyable result in about 2-3 hours, where's sewing, knitting or crocheting take a much longer!! And I love vibrant colours! My friend Sarah Brennan dragged me to my first ever local class about 10 years ago and it was the best thing she ever did for me!! I am eternally grateful!

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  18. I craft to take my mind off my aches n pains. Then it gives me a buzz when something positive has come out of the negative. I haven't got audio books but I have a kindle with the facility. I read my books at the moment. I finished War and Peace and now I'm on the Poldark series.

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    1. I am about halfway through the Poldark series at the moment, but taking a break to read a couple of fascinating biographies - Carl Hester, the Olympic Dressage rider, and now Nick Skelton, the Olympic gold medal showjumper. I could not do without books. xxx Maggie

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  19. Love Audible! I started that when I had too many days when it hurt to hold a book, and turn the pages.... and on Good Days, then sewing whilst listening was a total delight. I used to make clothes for myself, and then bags (some of which have found themselves interesting owners, such as beautiful women, who need a bag to wear/use on the Red Carpet!) However, then I became too ill to sew, so started watching a shopping channel... and after a week of Sue Wilson; Jenny Mayes; Barbara Gray....I thought I needed to try stamping! I can’t draw, but I love to create.... so, now I love to stamp, especially in conjunction with stencils!

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  20. I started crafting because I was off work sick, taking a lot of pain relief that was stopping me sleeping so I starting watching the crafting channels and who should I come across but the lovely Barbara launching a new craft called Groovi! two years ish down the line and I'm a long time diamond member who loves to escape into my craft room to play with stamps & stencils and Groovi and felting my non-clarity hobby (although I've started to incorporated stamps even into that! So thanks Barbara for giving me an outlet for a creative flair I didn't know I had xx

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  21. Hi Barb,
    I think my love of crafting is hereditary! My mam was a time served seamstress and my dad was a radio and television engineer ( in the days when there were lots of valves etc in them). I used to love taking things to bits and trying to put them back together ( not always successfully). I used to do tapestry and embroidery, crochet and sewing, then moved onto knitting which I still love. One day I was watching Create and Craft quite by accident and saw Glenda Waterworth doing some cardmaking with mandala stamps and decided that I'd quite like to try and that led to stamping, diecutting, gelli plate and of course now Groovi. I love that I can lose myself in my crafting and when I was teaching it was certainly an escape from the trials and tribulations of secondary school. I have also thanks to you, discovered Audible. I do have a number of books on Kindle and Audible and can flit between the two. I now listen to a book in the gym and intend to listen in hospital too. As Chris says, in one word ..... pleasure! Love and hugs Alison xxx

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  22. I started crafting as I could never find a suitable card for my Dad for either birthdays or Father's Day. No cards catered for his hobbies. Since I've started it helps me to relax as I have a busy and stressful job. So glad my Dad had different hobbies and I started as I would never have found this wonderful company. As an aside I telephoned yesterday to renew my membership. Janine could not have been more helpful and got me sorted explaining everything to me. What a credit she is to you as well as all your other staff. Enjoy your book xx

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  23. I've always crafted and come from an arty/crafty family, but I think I continue to do it as I like to keep my hands busy, and it uses a different part of my brain enabling me to relax. I hope to keep crafting for the rest of my life, otherwise I will NEVER use up all that stash!!!

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    1. We will never use up the stash Susan, Barbara keeps bringing us more fabulous goodies to try. Never ending. xx

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  24. I have always crafted in some form but when my children were small I used to make soft toys and costume dolls to sell. I wanted to add to our finances as we were struggling at times. Used to quite well. Now I just create for pleasure mostly and keep myself busy in retirement. Keeps the grey cells working as well. You are definitely responsible for starting me on stamping, I used to watch your earlier shows and think Wow! I want to be able to do that. So now I am hooked. Not tried audible, love to read though, lose myself in a good book. xx

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  25. I can't remember not crafting. My nan taught me to knit aged 5, I started embroidery with mum and in school aged 7; next came the dressmaking, then the counted cross stitch. Making small cross stitch cards got me into paper crafting and now I also love mixed media and art journaling. I do it to relax, to let go of crap, because I love to and as a sixth former many, many, many years ago because it helped my monthly allowance go so much further. Mind you, that was in the days when fabric and wool were relatively cheap in relation to shop bought clothes. These days I probably spend far too much money on craft stuff, but I know when to stop. I, too have started listening to more books. I picked up some Jeffrey Deaver and Jeffrey Archer CDs for £1 a book just after Christmas. It makes a change from the radio driving to and from work. I can't see me ever NOT crafting in one form or another. Thanks for your part in helping me develop and grow as a crafter; Groovi got me started with parchment too.

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  26. My mind can play games with me and like others here crafting takes me to another place.i have more time on my hands now since I gave up working two days a week,I also love being with my grandchildren.
    Thank you Barbara for sharing with us and for your inspiration c

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  27. Since I remember, I am attracked by any raw material and love to play and create with them (wood, sand, shells, paper, wool, tissu, etc). I realize that when I am busy that way, I feel joy and especially the "here and now" and at 100% . So it means that 100% of my mind is busy with that and not with any other question or problem ! It is a gift actually ! And to create something is full of satisfaction, it pleases me and if it is for some one else, hopefully, it pleases also ! But this is a challenge. Even if it is not the case, I still keep the joy of creating and my "inner child" is happy and so I am !!

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  28. Why do I craft? - to save getting bored, and for pleasure. Having said that I have always crafted in some form or another, from making rag rugs with my grandmother as a child. Making all my own clothes in my teens and twenties. Dabbling in cake decorating from an early age, which eventually took off as a paying hobby as I turned 40, making wedding cakes and teaching cake decorating at Adult Education. When my daughter was at Uni she got a holiday job due to a chance encounter, demonstrating for Inca Stamp. I was then introduced to card making by a distant cousin. The rest as they say is history. When my husband retired, I realised we wouldn't be visiting far away places, so my bucket list was to try every craft out there (although I shall never be great at knitting or crochet - yes I can do/have done them, but they take too long - give me quick and messy. I shall never make a fortune as I don't sell anything -and I am sure if I calculated how much I spent on craft stuff, every card or gift I made would be worth hundreds - lol!
    I just like being busy, and occupying my mind whether it be crafting, playing scrabble on fb with friends, gardening, researching family history or just chilling out with a book.

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  29. How I can empathise and sympathise with you. I started crafting after a long illness which left me in Milton's hell. The black dog as Winston said, often rears its ugly head. I can sit and mope but better still, get out my toys - especially Clarity stamps and spend hours in a little world of my own. Often does the trick.
    Then there is the see/saw that I am on at present. Do I keep working for the MOJ circus! (sorry) or do I stay at home. This has been going on for months now and no decision reached. So I will continue to have the bee buzzing in my little head but can at least retire to my craft room and be in a happy place. (By the way, I have spent all day cleaning it. It is still crammed to the rafters but there are no dead flies etc
    Love to all
    Anne (Reading)

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  30. I've done all kinds of crafting all of my life -I learned to knit before I went to school! After ill health retirement in 1993 (polio I had at 15 caught up with me) I saw a parchment craft article in a magazine attracted me, I found classes and have been making cards ever since. Had to give up parchment craft some years ago when my hands and back refused to cooperate, but I still do most other techniques as well as some jewellery making (the finer beading also had to stop). Stamping is my main love, so I look forward to new Clarity stamps in the future. Crafting keeps the pain at bay and I just love making things!!

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  31. I craft to keep my sanity, I worry about my kids especially my two boys. Although they are all grown up now it doesn't get any easier a Mum always worries about her children I think. My beautiful big sister got me into crafting about 30 years ago and I would be lost without it. Sadly she died from cancer 13 years ago and was a great parcher. How she would of loved the groovi system! X

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  32. I've been listening to audio books for many years, have lots on cassette. These days the local library has a download service that I use, I find that boring tasks (ironing/cleaning) get done so easily when my mind is occupied with a good thriller. I have always done some form of craft knitting,crochet,dressmaking mainly, in the past, out of necessity. Fifteen years ago Dawn Bibby introduced me, via QVC, to papercraft and stamping which is still my favourite pastime, and it certainly helps to banish those pesci destructive thoughts.

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  33. I craft because I love designing and creating things. Over the years I've had a go at lots of different crafts but am now totally hooked on parchment craft. I love the challenge that parchment craft brings. Looking back it would have been lovely to have opened a craft shop but sadly that was not to be. Retired now so more Groovi time which is great.

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    1. Hello Barbara

      I started seriously crafting when my four children were young. I sewed then and made my girls dresses and my boys trousers. As much for necessity as fun. Over the years my crafting has helped me through the happy times and the tragic times. The ups and downs of life in general. Now, with my husband in care it helps to keep my life happy and fulfilled. Without my cardmaking I know I would be in a very dark place. I don't know how non-crafters cope with life in general.

      Love
      Roz.x

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  34. Totally understand where you're coming from. I started card making because someone bought me a kit. I carried on because I really enjoyed it, and it helps me to de-stress by giving my brain something else to think about. Also, I think it is helping me to develop my creative side.

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  35. I started crafting after losing both my husband and my beautiful eldest daughter within 18 months, and my dad a year later. Although I have another beautiful daughter and young grandsons to cherish, there was too much empty space in my life. Crafting - and all the learning it’s brought me - keeps me sane.

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  36. I learnt to craft from my mum and my nan; back then it was knitting and sewing. We were always making things and I remember the sense of accomplishment we felt when we made something out of very little.
    I probably should have persevered with my creative exploits, but I gave up after completing a diploma in fashion and embroidery.
    Fast forward 20 odd years and I decided I wanted to try making cards to save myself some money. Hahaha!!!!! I dabbled in a bit of decoupage and the like until I saw you stamping on the TV and a new obsession was born.
    So now? I am honoured to be part of the design team and to have the chance to make art to help inspire others. Crafting is a time for me to escape and dream. And what do I dream of... more time to indulge my passion and maybe even make a little money from my crafting. Love xxx

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  37. I started to see make clothes then crochet enjoyed making blankets for new born babies as they came along then went to a coffee morning were to lady’s showed us some card making and would you believe parchment craft thought it’s amazing was a busy mum of 4 girls the youngest two was special needs I found it was an out let something I could do and making cards etc gave pleasure to see others enjoying what I had made. Then watching Barbara you stamping doing lovely works of art with few stamps torn paper started my stamping hobby it got me through a lot over years. Specially the last 4 yearssince lossing our Sandie I would have gone under if it wasn’t through Barbara and clarity team helping me through. I’m Struggling with mobility and a very pain full shoulder know some times struggle to craft but when I do still enjoy making to give pleasure for others love trying all types craftes canvases etc when I cannot love watching Barbara and others crafting on a Tv thank you Barbara lots love xxx

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  38. As we say here In USA --- and maybe there also --- you hit the nail on the head when you describe the monkey mind and the dangerous place it can be and oh yes that word Anxiey! Well I can't blame menopause , or pms ,
    Just a bit wackadoodlle at times . Reading , crafting , contemplation, prayer all helpful. Not a cure mind you but don't imagine there's is one for we women . Joy now --- it's a choice . Great blog , you are an inspiration . Jab

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  39. Oops , forgot to say how I started , see what happens when the mind goes astray . Started with staming -up and then I found you and then a few other in the U.K. And I thought it would be cheape r to make my own cards hahaha 😂. And the rest is history as they say .

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  40. I began crafting because of a friend and now I am crafting to relax, feel free and forget everything which is bothering me. X

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  41. I can't remember a time in my life when I have not crafted in some way, starting at junior school making raffia mats and needle cases out of felt with an embroidered design. I still have that needlecase which I gave to Mum for Christmas that year, filled with locally made needles, the best in the world. I then took up knitting, embroidery and taught myself to crochet. Since then, I have done tapestry, with designs bought from the seconds shop at one of the large needle makers. Cross stitch started as I had a bad dose of vertigo and needed to do something where I could keep my head still. Then I saw a lovely lady by the name of Barbara demonstrating how to get so many designs with one tiny corner stamp. The rest is history. I cannot remember when I started parching, but it was over ten years ago. Now my house is full of so many different crafts, having added encaustic art and pyrography to the mix, plus watercolour painting. My crafting in the last few years has helped to get me through the worst time of my life. It keeps my mind focussed on positive things rather than falling into depression. Crafting also gives me so much of my social life, going to workshops and classics. It also keeps my car healthy as I travel the motorway network getting to classes. My reading is all from real books or on my Kindle at the moment and relaxes me just before bed. I am a crafting jack of all trades and master of none. xxx Maggie

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  42. I love my crafting and always have since childhood when my Nan and my Mum helped me to knit and sew, and I also loved art at school, and I got into embroidery and cross stitch along the way, and then I started watching craft on TV which led to my getting into cardmaking about twelve years ago. I just stuck to papercrafts but about four years or so ago I started using stamps and getting inky and that is now what I really adore. It is so satisfying to start off with a piece of white card and end up with something prettily coloured, and no two designs are ever the same. You can lose yourself in being creative and time just disappears. I think listening to audio books is good for you Barbara, and it does mean that you can do something else whilst listening. I do love reading, mainly at night before going to sleep. x

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  43. I have always done something crafty. I remember sitting in my Aunts house watching my mum and other ladies painting designs onto hangings, keeping a scrap book full of cards and postcards from family, watching my Nan knitting, the smell of my Grandad's shed who used to do woodwork and metal work (I used to play with the magnets and iron filings!) watching my Nan do the gardening (again I remember the smell of the potting shed) my mum knits,crochets, cross stitches, quilts, makes teddy bears, paper crafts, scrapbooks. My Step dad is an artist and his doodles are often found on magazines and letters when he's not busy painting. I remember doing craft at school, some of my strongest memories are of the crafty projects like knitting a purse, embroidery on a cushion cover, making a candle and the smell of the wax as I dipped in the different colours. I still remember the joy of getting a new set of felt pens and a colouring book, this hasn't changed! Craft has always been in my life and I have tried all sorts as my rather full craft room shows. I think it is a way to escape into my own bubble, listening to music, singing along, having a bit of 'me' time, love that feeling when an idea works, I can't imagine not crafting....what would I spend my money on???

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  44. Evening bloggy friends, sending crafty hugs to all. XX

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  45. I have crafted since I was about 7 years old, my Mum taught me to knit, over the years I've tried many different types of craft, I've taken up Groovi in a big way because I find it so relaxing, my mind has been giving me some grief over some personal issues and I'm finding Grooving is a way of shutting it up, many thanks Barbara Gray for you blog, I love it and thanks for all the demos and inspiration xx

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  46. My sister taught me to knit when I was five, that was my first craft. Wasn't good at art at school, I enjoyed drawing but was rubbish at painting but did love making things. In my teens I started dressmaking making most of my clothes. Saturdays I was always out shopping for material. I made my bridesmade's dresses when I married and the childrens clothes when they came along. Even made hubby a pair of trousers and waistcoat when money was tight. Always liked to keep my hands and mind busy so started to decorate and furnish a dollshouse when I retired early from work through stress and anxiety, having just lost my Dad. The children then left the nest and I was lost, I needed something constructive to do so started card making and scrapbooking, which is when I saw you Barbara at the NEC. I loved your stamping demo and brayering and thought I'd love to learn to do that. Crafting keeps my mind active in a better way, it takes away my negative thoughts. I don't know what I would do without it now, I might be richer, but would I be happy? Definitely NOT.

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  47. I started crafting when I was off sick over eleven years ago with an unknown illness. My daughter, Sarah, made cards and she was my inspiration. I fell in love with it and was totally surprised that people really liked what I made as I didn't think I was crafty in any way and greatly lacked confidence. It turned out I had glandular fever which led to ME and I, unfortunately, haven't worked since. I loved work and walking, neither of which I can now do but craft and the craft and blogging community help keep me motivated and happy. I can only do small amounts at a time, but it is enough, and I love it! xxxxx

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  48. I have always crafted as a release from the stress at work !took up quilting to get out and meet people after having my second daughter when moved to Belgium. Busy at home then with 4 children under5. Passionate quilter/ Feltmakers Later out of the blue whilst retraining I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through a horrific treatment for 18 months. 2008 on and then a second bout in 2011.. Barbara Gray your humour , demonstrations on create and craft during those helped me lighten up and concentrate on what I love. Forever greatful! I've chinned up and am back in college studying art! Still following Barbara's blog daily . And am inspired and totally in awe.

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  49. Hello Barb, as always your Wednesday Insightful blog, gives plenty of food for thought. When I first started crafting (fabric painting) years ago, it was a hobby for weekends mainly. Making my first card was sort of by accident, but I realised I enjoyed it, and that was the beginning, now I craft to relax, to forget about work, to be creative and let my mind go into another different place. Take care all. Bx

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  50. I am told I watched my Mum making a ‘hook’ rug when I was 18 months old and had a go! I was hooked as they say 😊 ever since I have had to be creative. I ve dabbled in many crafts and done most. My longest passion was for quilting which I did for 25 years. It took me a while to find something else as meaning ful, but gardening appeared as I turned 50 and I love it. Then I found Barbara Gray and Clarity stamps and now I have gone off piste again! More later ......but still enjoy my card making. The thing I love most and have talked to others about who love crafting and we all agree it’s the process we love as much as the end result. So I don’t mind how many hours it takes to complete a card, dig the garden or make a quilt.
    The great news is that it allegedly takes 10,000 hours to perfect a new skill so that process can take its time and I just love the fact that I m in for the long haul. I trained and worked as an occupational therapist and know that all that creativity has indeed been my life long therapy. Thanks Barbara for your contribution 😍

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  51. Crafting helped me to get grip again on me and my life during my burn out!

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  52. I started crafting after my beautiful daughter in law had cancer I did charity cards to give something back I suffer with awful arthritis and it helps me cope with the pain I’ll be 80 in June married 60years in March still crafting xxxxxxxx June Horrocks xx

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  53. Although I've always sewed, like many I started to craft as an antidote to a very stressful job; somewhere I could lose myself and I found the creativity therapeutic. Now retired and a carer, when I have the time, I craft for sheer pleasure. Love being able to pass on what I've learnt to others over the years, grandchildren and WI and see them develop.

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  54. Hmmm... I started when being diagnosed with Breast cancer and to try and make sense of what was happening around me but now I do it simply for the pleasure and creativity of it. Audible is great. Have used them on and off for awhile. Depends on the book and who it is narrating as some voices can really irritate me.

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  55. I have always been creative. When I was wee my mum sewed most of my clothes. One time she crocheted a long skirt and matching waistcoat for me to go to a party! My great gran and gram were oil painters and we have some of their amazing paintings hanging at mums. Great gran was a Milner so there has been creativity for a few generations which is continuing through my kids. I learned to embroider and knit and crochet as a young child and there were always drawing and painting sessions regularly. I love being creative as it takes me out of what is happening around me.

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  56. I craft because it makes me happy. It gives me a great sense of achievement. I love being able to say “ I made that “. We should all do what makes you happy in life shouldn’t we? X 😀

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  57. I think answering the 'why' I craft is very difficult now. I just do. It's me. It's what I do. I've always fiddled with something and have tried so many things over the years. I would make tiny books for my dolls (always wanted to be a teacher) and clothes too. Knitting, making clothes for me and later for daughters, embroidery, crochet and for years cross- stitch until I couldn't accommodate to seeing the television and the work. A very dear departed friend got me into papercrafting and QVC, then create and craft had me flying. Discovering you Barbara changed my life (and my bank balance!). I've tried painting but just don't enjoy it. I wasn't allowed to do art after the first year of secondary school but with stamps and Groovi and stencils I can create which is very satisfying. Now I'm retired from teaching I can craft when I like and it's just part of who I am. Thank you for the inspiration and the encouragement at the retreats. Xx

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  58. My mum got me into card making when I was at a low ebb at work, and it just took off from there. I never thought I was creative but I proved to myself that I could. I love the inspiration from blogs like this and some craft shows. X

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  59. I have tried many crafts but always come back to card making. I only make for personal use but would love to get up the confidence to make for charity. I have suffered with depression and anxiety for many years and found crafting a great help. However I recently suffered a major depression which even crafting could not help leading to a suicide attempt. I am slowly improving and have a good friend's birthday coming up so am going to try to get back into my craft room and try to find my mojo again.
    Gayle xx

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    1. Gayle you have been strong to get passed this. If you make cards for Charity it would be a good thing to do, they would really appreciate it. In turn it would make you feel better and give you a sense of purpose in your crafting- it would be a very positive thing for you to do. Any charity shop would gladly accept home made cards to sell, especially if you put them in plastic card bags, which makes them look more professional. Keep your chin up! Xxx

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    2. Bless you Gayle, that is incredibly tough and I sincerely wish you well in your recovery xx

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  60. I started to Craft when my Mam was in a home for people with dementure, she always liked to craft and taught us as kids. My Sister took some knitting needles and a yarn of wool in one day and my Mam who had not communicated for a while grabbed the yarn of wool, put it over my hands and started to roll it into a ball, just like she did when we were kids - she then proceeded to knit! We had communication back. So this spurred me on to Take in some of my Card making kits I had collected from my Making Cards Magazines. Before I knew it I was teaching a full class of sorts to all the dementire patients that could get to the table and the staff who worked there. . When my Mam died I crafted to feel close to her because as a Kid I always felt close to my Mam when she was teaching me a new “Craft”. Then people started to tell me I was better than I realised so I started to take it more seriously and set myself some goals. I have now achieved them all.

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    1. That is so lovely Sam, you brought a tear to my eye and yes you are amazing xx

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  61. I love crafting and have done most of them except making cards. After having several strokes my concentration was shot, as with my memory and slow verbal ability, I needed to find a craft that would force me to concentrate, so I bought a bundle for parchment which I got Christmas 2016; wow hit the jackpot and over the last year have done a lot of cards but I have to tax myself to make harder cards. Now everyone has noticed how my focus has improved along with all the other impediments of strokes. So thanks to crafting and groovi am greatly improved now.

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  62. I can totally see where you are coming from Barbara, I am guilty of getting too in my head and crafting is also my escape from a very non-creative job (I work in accounts) so I need that creative outlet otherwise I think I would go crackers. It is very enjoyable to not think to much and go with the flow when I let myself go, (bit of a control freak too), I have a very good crafty friend who gives me lots of encouragement and pushes me out of my comfort zone, I'm very lucky xx

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x