I’m definitely an arty kind of girl. I’d always be making something when I was little. It suited my shy personality. I’d happily sit at the kitchen table and make something out of nothing. I’d make something whilst watching my cartoons (the start of multi-tasking I guess). On holidays I came up with my own art projects. Total art geek right? At school I’d start customising my friends school shirts with embroidery (basic stitch of course!). I stitched Bros logos onto mine! Recently, I’ve realised there are lots of reasons for grown ups to have fun doing art and crafts too. I also had a fab time with the London Craft Club the other week.
I’m on a threenager-mission to encourage Big Munch to stop asking to watch TV as soon as we finish breakfast. So we’ve created a little tradition of “cutting and sticking”. I pass her the box of art stuff and kiddy glue and off she goes. Toddler Munch also joins in (minus the glue and scissors!).
So why is doing art and craft so important for grown-ups too?
- A break from the everyday to-do list…There’s always something to do as soon as the kids are in bed. Tidy up, clean the kitchen floor, sort the washing, work emails or other chores. Doing art and drafts gives us a rest from the norm. It’s good to have some creative time.
- Chill-out…When you start drawing, colouring in, painting (if you can be bothered to get out the paint), knit or sew you can zone out a bit. You start concentrating on what you’re doing. You may even forget about what’s next on the to-do list.
- Thinking time…If your mind is always racing, then whilst we get arty we can use it to have some proper thinking time. It’s not often we give ourselves a few moments in the day to just think and reflect. The thinking time could help you to prepare for something (work out your action plan) or reflect on some nice things that have happened recently.
- It’s social. London Craft Club run amazing workshops. I went along to the one organised by Sorting Self in North London (in one of my old favourite pubs). It was the perfect evening get together with some of my mates too.
- We can actually make stuff we use…At London Craft Club night out, we made our own stamps which then decorated gift tags or tree decorations. We asked if there would be a lock-in as we could have kept stamping out Christmas decorations all night.
- Focussing on one thing…It’s not easy zoning out and just focussing on one thing. Last week I went along to the taster workshop for Sew Mindful. Leading mindfulness expert Dr. Tamara Russell, her colleague Liz and charity Cocoon Family Support have set up a ‘practising mindfulness whilst you sew’ project to help women through post-natal depression. When you start threading a needle you have to give it 100% attention. If you’re sewing you have to focus on doing it the way you want it to look. It’s a good distraction. At the Sew Mindful workshop I realised how powerful a crafty thing like sewing could be.
- It’s rewarding…Whatever you end up making it’s cool. You certainly don’t have to make a dress or a canvas masterpiece to be auctioned at Sotheby’s. There’s a sense of achievement when you make something arty and crafty. Being arty and crafty also teaches you that things don’t have to be perfect and they can still look cool. You certainly don’t have to be Matisse to have fun with arts and crafts.
Check out the latest schedule for London Craft Club londoncraftclub.co.uk
Check out the latest schedule for Sorting Self events sortingself.com
If you’re interested in hearing more about the Sew Mindful workshops, please head over to the charity Cocoon website cocoonfamilysupport.org
Dr. Tamara Russell (she’s amazing for lots of reasons) is talking about mindfulness at the next Lucky Things Meet Up on Saturday 28 January 2017 in London. If you’re interested in coming along, head over to Eventbrite to find out more about booking your space.
So over to you, do you get arty and crafty? If so, what do you have fun doing? How does is make you feel? Any other ideas for getting creative and chilling out? Leave a little comment below and share the arty crafty love…
See you again on Lucky Things soon x Sunita