At Team Crafthood, we put what we see, hear and learn to good use as inspiration for our work. We have spent quite a lot of time more recently revisiting and reflecting upon our values and purpose as a small business in a bid to really pin them down. So here are a few of the lessons we have learned (and are still learning) to let into our lives to help us feel more content, thankful, calm, confident and creative in life. We hope that they act as reassurance and provide a little boost when we are feeling most in need or tested. We also hope you like them too.
1. Celebrate Uniqueness - we are big fans of individuality. How dull the world and life would be if we repeatedly experienced the same things and lost the richness that difference brings! In all our workshops, we encourage guests to experiment, create diversely and develop confidence to find their own style. No one really wants to be copied wholesale and what a waste trying to fit a mould when there is so much to discover about our own creativity. One of our favourite things about craft is the huge variety and range that folk are able to come up with even when sharing materials - we see it all the time in workshops & pop up sessions. It's magic. If this idea is something you'd particularly like to explore, crafts that we think are always worth go are: brush lettering and punch needle. The photo below is a punch needle piece created by Kay using this life lesson as inspiration. It is currently part of the Spring Exhibition (and available for purchase) at the Biscuit Factory, Newcastle.
2. Embrace Imperfection - the more I read about the principles of Wabi Sabi, the more I love them. My brain understands that 'perfection' doesn't exist and is therefore an unattainable, demoralising, impossible goal worth avoiding, especially when trying stay motivated whilst learning a new skill. This being said, I also know that it is not all that easy to escape the inner self-critic who is trying to highlight all the 'things I could have done better' or didn't quite turn out as planned. This is why Dr Brene Brown's book 'The Gifts of Imperfection' is top of my current reading list. As a child I gave up on violin, piano, gymnastics and singing because I didn't feel like I did 'good enough, quickly enough'... a 'do it well or don't do it at all' end to some of the things that could have brought great joy. What a waste?! In adulthood, how has craft helped me cope with old perfectionist tendencies rearing their destructive head? Well the main thing is the inevitability that handcrafted means that each time you attempt something original, it will be slightly different. Accepting that tastes and skill levels change has taken the edge off looking for something to be 'spot on' now. The biggest help though has been in consciously shifting focus - looking for something to like (rather than not like) and learning to enjoy the process so it's not always focused on an end piece. The importance and value in be kinder to yourself just as you are kind to others goes hand in hand with this. Some of my favourite craft pieces and art work by my children and friends are 'happy accidents'. It can also be a great source of humour.... we have had some big laughs at our own craft disasters. There are just some crafts that I don't get along with, crochet being the first that springs to mind BUT there are so many others to try and find pleasure in. Crafts that I think are particularly good to help embrace imperfection are: block printing, needle felt, gold leaf work and upcycling furniture.
3. Ignite Joy - Many of you have told us that you love the creative outlet that craft provides; how it's the chance to feel more yourself; that it makes you happy to create, display your work in your homes and also to gift what you have made to your loved ones. We love that too! The thrill of finding something that has such power to make you happy is quite intoxicating and powerful. A great antidote to all the things that drain, numb or stunt us as humans. It is a big part of what drives us to keep crafting (for business and pleasure) and keen to share skills in our workshops. Crafts that we think are particularly good to help ignite joy are: modern calligraphy, knitting, painting and stitching
We look forward to all the learning still to come from our future crafting adventures. If you identify with anything that has been said and want these pieces for you own home or office or as a gift, you can find them on our website here.