Crafting: A Brief History.

I was at Primary school when I was first bitten by the crafting bug. I was fascinated by programmes on TV like Art Attack, the craft part of Blue Peter, random ‘how-to’ programmes and books. I had books about painting and art, and my parents were very interested in going to art galleries and exposing me and my sister to art and photography. So I learnt from a young age that creativity was fun, and most importantly learnt that making things was fulfilling and another means of self expression. At one point during the primary school years, I set up a craft group where we would make things to sell for charity (I think it was an animal charity). My favourite lessons were the art lessons in year 5 when our year group teacher was an art teacher.

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At secondary school, the two subjects that I valued the most were English Literature and Art. I did a GCSE in Art and began developing my love of collaging with mixed media. I was discouraged from pursuing Art for my A-Levels (not by my family, but by teachers), so I didn’t take it that much further. These are the things that have been constants in my life – the lessons that Sociology, Art and English Lit have taught me, and the various inspiring teachers that I had for those subjects. I caught the writing bug young, but it wasn’t until (as I’ve mentioned before) doing my MA dissertation that I decided writing was where I wanted to go. My journey has been interesting, from there to here. All the things we are making for our wedding next year involves papier-mâché, paper crafts, typography, etc, and it has completely rekindled my enthusiasm for crafting and art-making. My sister and I tried to set up a jewellery making business a few years ago, but we both wanted to go in different directions. I think maybe you have to learn from mistakes and understand yourself better over time to be able to go for something that makes real sense to you. My passion just happens to be paper-crafts, typography and mixed media collaging.

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My next adventure in crafting is something I need to develop, but suffice to say I think I’m getting somewhere combining collaging, mixed media and quotes/writing. It feels good to know I have the freedom to find a way of doing the things I love and not feeling too restricted by the other things I’m doing. Maybe that is why being a freelancer is so enticing – you have more control over the things you choose to do, and you have that freedom to embark on viable new projects. The only downside is the fear, but I think I’m not doing too bad a job of keeping that at bay. Its been a tough year so far, with quite a few bumps in the road. I haven’t felt completely myself for a little while. I’m hoping that this new project will give me a chance to heal and feel inspired again. I know that I’m finding it hard to move past a few things but moving on requires letting go, and I’m working on that. People say ‘let it go’ but it’s one of the hardest things to do, and you learn a lot about yourself in the process. Its like being exposed and finding that you can’t deal with too many things at once. So this crafting and (hopefully) selling project will go some way towards making me feel more like myself.

Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics. It brings healing. ~ Julia Cameron.

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