05 February 2012

Step 4: Simple Crafting for Happy People

A full list of the Simple Living Challenge steps can be found here. 

I find hand work vital for the reconnection with my inner self and that is why I keep on posting DIY projects each weekend in hope that even if you think you aren't crafty enough you might find a tutorial suitable for your interests. I do know that crafting gives you wings, and yes, you can do it! You can do anything you set your mind to even if you don't know how.

Photo: saxarocks



My knitting story
Next time you doubt yourself think of my story - several years ago I couldn't knit and I didn't know that knitting needles correspond to yarn thickness. Now I am knitting, crocheting and felting. I am selling my products on the Internet and in local shops. How did I learn to knit? All the generous knitters on the Internet taught me. I never even paused to ask myself if I would be able to make it just because I enjoyed the process and was impatient to see the results.

I didn't start with a scarf (all knitters know what I mean, for those of you who are unaware - that's the simplest project you can finish, perfect for a first-timer). I started with a hat, and then another, and yet another. And I mean hats with braids. I combined patterns without knowing anything about knitting, counting, gauge... I made mistakes and learned the hard way, with countless unravellings and starting-overs. I jumped straight at the real thing because there was nobody to tell me I couldn't do it. I guess that's the positive side of learning alone.

Go to Maureen Cracknell Handmade for a detailed tutorial on making warm hearts.

The trust
Next time you dismiss a DIY or craft tutorial because you think you are clumsy or have no time to finish it, think again. You can always find time, and you can do it. Just encourage yourself a little, trust yourself a bit more. Craft away and let your hands sculpt out your dreams. Of course you can do it!

The challenge
Take your crafting to another level - don't stick only to those crafts you know well or think you are skilled at, challenge yourself, go out of your comfort zone, play! Play like a little child, curious to meet the big world. What do you have to loose? Only a few boring hours.

The judgment
Make space for your crafting sessions - even if it is just 15 minutes a day, make sure you have a schedule, a daily date with that part of yourself that can craft without judgment. It is easy to combat the perfectionism we talked about in Step 1 -  free up time each day (be it just 15 minutes) to craft with only one rule - no judgment.  Enjoy the process, follow the movements of your hands, the smell of your supplies and the touch of your tools. Be in the process. Even for 15 minutes a day.

Visit Crafty Little Gnome to learn how to make these cute felt fortune cookies.
The craft
What you do is unimportant. You could consider a craft anything that involves hand work, even baking. But if you strive to get out of your comfort zone you will be rewarded.

Your hands working on an out-of-your-comfort-zone project will touch your heart and your mind. Don't be surprised by the creativity they will unlock.

Share with us: What are you crafting today?

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26 comments:

  1. Oh, you reminded me of valentine's day. which i still have no idea what to do for my hubby! i was thinking of knitting something for him. but i aint no expert on that. im still trying to finish the hat for my daughter. that ive been doing for 2weeks now! i love your blog. it gives me confidence to just let loose of my creativity side. thanks for inspiring me!

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    1. Sabrina, I feel that you are going to finish the hat by the end of the week, what do you say? That leaves a day for your Valentine's surprise. Or maybe we'll have to work on both projects at the same time?

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  2. thank you for reminding me to take scheduled time for crafting. I keep telling myself that I don't have time for it right now.
    btw I love to read this month's posts, I learn something new every day. :)

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    1. It is challenging to stick to a schedule, especially when it concerns something as "frivolous" as crafting, isn't it? But it so important to stand up for our own sanity!

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  3. You are speaking my language Sonya, yet again:):) Hugs! I'm having a blast knitting:):)

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  4. Thank you so much Sonya for always inspiring and encouraging us! People rarely equate planning with freedom, but you really can't have one without the other!

    I love the fortune cookies! I'm going to try them and put a special "fortune" for each of my valentines inside!

    Can't wait for week2!

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    1. In all honesty, it took me a while to realize that planning nourishes freedom but I am glad that now I know and have such amazing friends as you share with me their views.

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  5. Great advice. I love crafting and find it's a great way to release energy and relax.
    ps: thanks for sharing my fortune cookies!

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    1. Yes, indeed.

      And your fortune cookies deserve to be seen by thousands of people (I'm working on this), such a clever idea!

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  6. Yeah, I think scarves are commonly considered the best thing for first-time knitters to try. :) That's pretty cool that you started with hats, though! And I don't knit all that often, but when I do I usually don't follow patterns. I dislike all of the counting...which is probably why I've never made anything too big or fancy. xD

    Thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. Ah, Taylor, I do count! The problem is that I not always make the right calculations...

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  7. I worked for 5 years in my local hospital and at the time I loved my job. I then left to have a baby and didn't want to return so after maternity time I quit. In this time I refound myself, not only as a mother for the fourth time but I had time for my creative slef. I have never looked back, I am now a childminder which works for my family. I am inspired by steiner and I love to do thing and make things with my hand but my heart goes into my makes too. In this I have found a new world of blogging where I have found real like minded people, so thanks to all of you out there, and I feel rather proud of myself for creating the chamge!!

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  8. Oh and sorry, I meant to say how good it is to hear others stories, it really warms the heart

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    1. Yes, that was exactly my idea when I was planning the Simple Living Challenge! Sharing a personal story makes the advices much stronger. Finding like-minded people is so empowering and inspirational, isn't it?

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  9. I agree, working with your hands, creating a item of beauty is most satisfying and basic to me in my simple adventure. Ilike to move my hook every day...it brings a sense of contentment and peace. Selling my items is something I intend to do this year, I need to stock up a little inventory..of my crochet items.

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    1. Good luck, Faith! Just don't wait too long for stocking up, because you might never start. Once you get 20 - 30 items I think that you are good to go and then work on! Get the machine going!

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  10. i "craft" every day ..even if it is a handwritten card... so uplifting and fulfilling to do!!

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  11. I saw the amazing film Queen of the Sun today. It inspired me so much...I just had to have the scent of beeswax around me the rest of the day. I made a beeswax based cream and hand dipped over a dozen beeswax candles!

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  12. I need to create everyday. I am a big fan of trying new mediums and exploring a variety of different art forms. Taking 15 minutes a day is a great tip for getting creative time in your day. I know once you start that 15 minutes will turn into and hour or more.
    Valerie
    Everyday Inspired

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  13. now i know what i'm lacking, and that's 15 minutes of crafting i day! i'm guilty of being one of those who say that i don't have time to craft everyday. ;) i always thought that i have to allot quite an amount of time to do some drawings/paintings. thank you for reminding and encouraging us that we can do things little by little.

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  14. Yes, great post Sonya! I find when I don't make time to create I go a little bit crazy!! I try and teach myself a new craft every year ~ quilling, needle felting, scrapbooking... last year was crocheting and I'm still working on that one. And yes, I have torn out tons of creations... ;) I used the internet to figure out the how of it all, it was tricky especially for a left hander (most books don't take that into consideration) but that sense of accomplishment after my first successful creation was so much fun! :)

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  15. I love making things, but lately all of my creative work has somehow related to my business--which takes away the fun! I've been meaning to make something just for the heck of making it, and I think this post has inspired me to do it already. :-)

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  16. I love to make things! I love to knit, and knit a little every day, even if I can only manage ten minutes at lunch time! Yesterday, at lunch time, I used fusible webbing on some christmas ribbon scraps, and fused them together into a sort of fabric. Then I cut out a heart from the ribbons, and fused it onto a canvas bag! Valentine's day tote in fifteen minutes! It made me super happy!

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  17. This sounds a lot like me! When I get an idea, I just start experimenting. It's great fun when the learning curve is steep and things turn out the way you had envisioned - or different, which is interesting, too. The only problem with experimenting is that you're bound to spend some money on materials that didn't work quite the way you had imagined (but hopefully, they'll come to good use in other projects)...

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