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?

Make sure you stay up to date with the Simple Living Challenge and subscribe by email to receive each post straight to our Inbox or by RSS if you are using a Reader.