Get Crafty & Discover Your Niche

Crafts

This week I have rediscovered creativity.

When in England, I caught up with many people who inspire me in all manner of ways.  Those sparks accompanied me on my journey home, igniting many ideas that have snowballed into my future.

Being a pretty artsy person anyway, I’ve continued trying a variety of arts and crafts gaining new skills whilst deriving much pleasure from them.  There’s nothing quite like creating ‘something’ with your hands made by you that can be displayed or given as gifts.  It doesn’t have to be ‘super fancy’, but an item which, from start to finish has sustained pleasure and motivation.

I have always been able to see the finished product in my mind’s eye no matter what it may be.  Somehow, because of that I am often able to figure out the process to complete it without instructions, a pattern etc.  For some, this method may naturally be for math or science, but in my case, it has always been creativity.

I loved how I could get lost in my hobby.  The concentration prevailed so that I would often find I had a sense that time didn’t exist.  My creativity was my saving grace.  Although I did okay on the academic side at school, I underestimated the effect of the epilepsy and medication on my brain.  I have always had trouble retaining information and therefore it has made learning and studying that bit more difficult.  It wasn’t till later that I understood why schooling had been challenging. The worry and anxiety manifested itself as stress and then I was on a slippery slope with no going back!

I discovered it was the arts that I excelled at: music, art, dance, acting, sewing, home economics.  I believe if you adore a subject you will exceed perhaps with higher grades (if at school) because there is a profound interest and a want to learn.  I also found it a fantastic way to channel frustration and other emotions that I needed to expel.

The Catholic high school I attended I didn’t like aside from the friendship problems that seemed endless.  When attending external dance classes a good friend of mine introduced me to the high school she was attending.  The BRIT Performing Arts & Technology School.  Having applied and been interviewed (twice I think) to major in dance, I was accepted.

I cannot put into words the elation I felt on finding out that I had been accepted.  Upon starting, I was overjoyed to see how individual many of the students were.  There seemed to be no judgement, you could be your true self and it didn’t matter.  I flourished.  Of course as a teen I had the usual growing pains but they were by far some of the best years of my life.  Weekends sucked and I couldn’t wait till Monday came around where there would be another five days to enjoy!  It’s probably worth letting you know that two days a week the school day was 9-6, another two were 9-5 and Friday was 1pm.

My creativity bloomed.  I found all these new areas to invest my time in which were on the curriculum and I was required to think outside my creative box. I pushed my brain to its limits which is exactly what I wanted.  The teachers were like none that I had experienced before.  Whilst maintaining appropriate ‘teacher/student relationships’ they were very personable and there was unquestionable mutual respect.  In hindsight, I realize the environment was such because the students had chosen to be there.  This of course had a knock on effect for the staff as their job became easier.  Once again, it wasn’t always an easy ride and things weren’t perfect, but then nothing is.

Lucky for me, I have had the opportunity to learn many crafts.  Stained glass is one of my favourites with numerous variations of it; sewing, weaving and knitting (I loved my precious sewing machine which I sadly had to sell); sculpture and pottery; drawing, charcoal and painting; individual crafts such as tie-dye, screen printing, candle making, beading (jewellery), cards, alongside many others.

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I am currently immersed in a sea of craft books, quite frankly, nothing makes me happier.  When watching television, eating, drinking, waiting for the bus, I forever have one eye on a book, flicking through the pages to view the possibilities.  It’s been a little while since I have been fully active in the crafting world BUT, it is time!  Autumn brings out these feelings particularly with the weather getting cooler, but, with Christmas on its way the inspiration is palpable.

Sadly, with my medication change the tremors have prevented me from knitting as purling is especially difficult. However, my metaphorical spring of the creative world will eventually present its beautiful self bringing with it a loss of time.

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