Creativity

I have a funny little story to tell you about a craft room and I.
It was January 2013 and I had been admitted (voluntarily) to an 8 week in-patient program for PTSD. Being hospitalized is not cheap so I vowed to make use of every second. I was quite excited when I got my schedule and saw all the classes I woudl take. I wasn’t nearly so thrilled to see “Crafts” on there several times as well. We won’t even go in to my reaction to “Horticulture” and “Mindfulness”.
Let’s just say I did not think hundreds of dollars a day were going to be well spent in a craft room.
There were 2 men that had arrived with me. One gentleman from the army andΒ  high ranking police officer. “Crafts” didn’t thrill them either and we all whined and complained the whole way there. Even once inside the room we were still very skeptical but we had time to “waste” and had to be there so we might as well make something right?
I got in to painting a small elephant figurine and the guys went over to the leather making area. We were all sure to choose things that could be done in one session to prevent the need to return.
Well… I am not wrong often (just ask my husband!) πŸ˜‰ but I was sure wrong about crafts. My mind steadied and became so calm. The time just floated by in a stress free way that time never passed for me before. I also turned out to be quite the detail painter and puffed up like a peacock as others looked at my work.
Needless to say, the boys and I overstayed our welcome that day and went to almost every available craft session for the remaining 8 weeks.
When things got really rough and my mind was spinning at a million miles a second, crafts was a very welcome break. I soon became almost dependant on that time to calm myself throughout each week. It was an oasis.
Just in case my husband is reading this I will say it again. “I was wrong”. See sweetie? I CAN say it! πŸ˜‰

Since that time I have become a bit of an addict. To crafts I mean. πŸ™‚
I have a nice large table in my office that is perpetually covered in craft supplies. Paints, pencils, coloured markers, pencil crayons, wooden shapes… I said addicted right?!
I even have a weekly craft day with my wonderful friend Mary. We don’t always do the same things but taking that time to sit, chat and be creative is good for us both.

Perhaps this will sound silly or like it can not possibly help but doing something so simple as colouring in a colouring book, drawing a sketch that looks like a house but was supposed to be a self portrait, crochet, bead work, needle crafts of any sort, painting, truly anything at all that you find enjoyable. Try to make time for it at least once a week. Far more would be better but if you are anything like me? It might all seem like a big waste of time at first.
Pay attention to how you feel beforehand and check in with yourself again afterwards. See if there is a marked difference. I am almost positive their will be. Enjoy!

Β One of my favourite meditative drawings.
Crafts2

14 responses to “Creativity

  1. I would have had the same reaction at first. During my darkest years I bought some arts and crafts but never found them calming. I am in different space right now and maybe I should go back and revisit arts and crafts. I still have everything in a closet in my house. Thanks for the idea.

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    • Let me know what happens if you try again. I do feel mindset is part of it. Sometimes we just don’t get pleasure out of some things even if they are great right? I would be curious to know what happens. Let me know. πŸ™‚

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  2. Heather, as you know this is a favourite subject of mine! I’ve always liked creating things, but when I had to give up work I was lost. There is only so much daytime TV you can watch and no fun shopping when you don’t have a bottomless purse and struggle to leave the house. Joining an Interior Design/Craft Class in 1997 was a major turning point in my life. I sincerely believe it also saved my sanity (and my husband’s!).
    I met like-minded people, learned LOADS of skills (many of which are under threat of being lost with educational cutbacks), learned about art, and gained qualifications. I’ve even made some money!
    Even if what you make/do ends up at the back of a cupboard, it doesn’t matter. It’s the process that counts – the relaxation it brings – the end product is just a bonus. And you may discover you have a genuine talent for something, or at least find something that brings you joy.
    I am so very glad you too are now a craft addict Heather! ; ) Your drawings are beautiful too.xxx

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    • I should have had YOU write todays blog Wendy! You are another perfect example of someone who benefits so completely. And oh yes… I am a craft addict for sure!!! You have company for life in that arena. πŸ™‚

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  3. For some reason, we aren’t able to craft right now. We did pottery for a few years and loved it. We changed our dining room into a craft room and it is filled with supplies. But something (or someone?) is keeping us from doing those things. Wish we could get back to it. It really is very calming and settling. Glad you make time every week for it.

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    • Is there a friend that you have that could come over for a crafting afternoon? Maybe that could help? A dedicated time for it seems to make the Helpers accept things better even if it is not their preference. I do hope you find something that works. Best of luck to you all!

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  4. I built my wife/the girls their first craftroom when Alley joined us. By the time the last girl joined us they had way outgrown that craftroom and so they took over the old homeschool room since our son was in college at that point. All 7 girls LOVE to craft together and I have almost thought it was like magic how well they worked together and how much healing it brought to them.

    Glad you found it productive, too.

    Sam

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    • Wow Sam. I am always amazed by your posts and comments. It is amazing that your wife and your girls all work together so well. Craft time is one of the rare times that my Helpers are not involved. Occasionally a Helper will do a craft but for the most part it is all me and they are quite calm in the background. I find it amazing how things work differently from person to person. Thanks again for sharing. πŸ™‚

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  5. I think the definition of craft can vary from person to person……..writing, gardening, and cooking are all creative, relaxing outlets for me, so I guess you could say they are my crafts! The trick is for us each to find out own!

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    • Oh absolutely and I am happy you pointed this out! πŸ™‚ I consider my blog part of being creative too. So writing is in for me. Gardening and cooking… well… want to come over sometime? LOL πŸ˜‰
      Being creative can be ANYTHING where you allow the non technical part of your brain some free rein or just take some time to focus on some enjoyable task. πŸ™‚

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  6. I love the drawing! I used to love drawing and writing poetry. Looking back, it is like I was sending myself clues within whatever I worked on. It is very peaceful when you’re able to get into the mode of creativity!

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  7. Crochet is creative too! You take a ball of yarn, perhaps some buttons and a hook then turn it in to someone useful. Keep at it. πŸ™‚

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