Sunday, 18 November 2018

I'm Getting CRAFTY!

I won't lie to you, dear reader.  My Inktober/Blogtober challenge was exactly that: a challenge.  Writing a blog every day for a month was in many ways a really wonderful experience; it made me rediscover my passion for writing and it forced me to write about different things, taking me out of my comfort zone.  But it was also exhausting.  For the first couple of weeks of November, all I wanted to do was avoid writing, completely.

The trouble with avoiding something is that it's never a permanent solution.  You have to face whatever it is you're hiding from, eventually.  And for me, what I was really shying away from was the fact that for a month, I'd had prompt words to help me write something new every day.  I didn't have to think overly hard about a writing topic, because the words usually led to one pretty easily.  That was a huge bonus for me, because anyone who writes will, at some point in their life, experience the dreaded WRITER'S BLOCK.

Indeed, that's exactly what I started suffering with, the second November began and I knew that anything I wrote here had to come from me and not from a handy list of prompt words.

And that's where my friend Rachel stepped in.

There she is.  She's the one that isn't me.  Obviously.

Rach sent me not one, not two, but three sets of writing prompts I could use for future blogs, should I find myself struggling.  Today, I decided the time was right to do some blogging, so I opened up one of the prompt lists and stumbled upon the question:

"Have you ever given someone a handmade present?"

The short answer is "yes."  From little things I made at school as a child, to bits and bobs I cobbled together as a young adult who was (and, to be fair, still is as a middle-aged woman) always broke this time of year, there have been many times when I've handed someone a gift that I'd made, myself.

The trouble is, I am bad at craft.  Like...  Really bad.  If you've watched my most recent YouTube video, or you've ever stumbled upon the drunk craft channel I co-run with my wonderful friend Lesley, you'll know just how bad I am.

Sometimes, I'm bad at something and my failure to be any good at it causes me to loathe the activity completely.  See: any form of mathematical equation.  But now and then, I am rubbish at something and yet still enjoy it.  See: Bowling.  And also craft.

This year, I decided that I wanted to make something for someone.  I can't elaborate much further, just in case said someone decides to click on this blog and guesses what it is I've been working on, but suffice to say, seeing as I'm someone who is distinctly un-crafty, the task I set myself was quite a big one.  For someone with the ability to thread a needle without poking themselves in the hand, it would probably be nothing at all, but for me, it was no mean feat.

Just going out and buying the things I'd need was a big deal.  I mean, I don't do crafty stuff.  I didn't really know what I needed.  And once I'd gotten the materials home, there was a point at which I sat on my bed, staring at it all, wondering why on Earth I'd decided to try something so far out of my comfort zone.

Then I remembered what I wanted to make and why.  I had already bought Christmas presents for the recipient of my crafty endeavour, but I wanted to give them something I'd taken time over.  Something that really was from me.

I did it.  I persevered at something that I found difficult and although the end result isn't the best thing ever, it's something I'm proud of.  I look at it now (obviously it won't be given away as a present for a few weeks, yet...) and I see mistakes and areas where I needed to slow down and take more care, but I also see a finished product that I never really thought I could achieve.  It means a lot to me that I stuck at it and created something that I think is nice.

The thing is, now it's given me the craft bug.  

This morning, I've painted an object with acrylic paint, ready to turn it into... SOMETHING ELSE.  It's a top secret project (yet again) and I'm getting very excited about seeing this one through, just like my last crafty mission.  Taking bare bones and raw materials and turning them into something pretty, useful or interesting is, as it turns out, an awful lot of fun.  Plus, I get to use a GLUE GUN.  It's win-win.

The things I make might not win any awards for their brilliance.  I certainly couldn't sell them, anywhere.  I'm under no illusion that I'm suddenly incredibly gifted in this particular area.  But I'm learning all the time and I'm having an absolute blast doing it.  There are now bigger, trickier things I want to try, like learning to knit, or making my own jewellery.  I'll probably suck at both, but you know what?  I'll have fun giving it a go, anyway.

And on that note, I ought to go and see if that paint is dry, yet.  I have important, crafty things to do...

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