Blobs of paint, faceted stones and skeins of thread crafted into masterpieces by my own hands boggle my mind. (See photo). Crafting has enriched my life since childhood.
My Craft Journey
I embarked on my journey of crafting at the age of five. I begged my mother to teach me how to embroider. She threaded the needle for me and taught me how to make X’s on the pre-stamped embroidery cloth. With one hand I grasped the hoop that held the cloth taut. Up with the needle, down with the needle as I punctured the cloth, attempting to follow the stamped pattern of a teacup and saucer. I had created a masterpiece!
I moved on to weaving potholders on a loom, leading me into my first start-up business— selling potholders door-to-door.
During the summer, our local grade school hosted summer crafts. Each day, I had a dime to purchase a craft project. I painted plaster molds, laced leather cases and wove lanyards with gimp.
During the winter, I painted by number, created mosaics, sewed, knitted and crocheted. My siblings and I used styrofoam, ribbon and foil to fashion Christmas ornaments. We cut out snowflakes and strung popcorn and cranberries.
In high school, my curriculum revolved around academics and music until my senior year. I enrolled in a pottery class. I had no idea what I was doing, but something awakened in my soul when I sunk my fingers into the cool, wet lump of clay— kneaded, moistened, pounded. Finally the clay was ready to be formed into a coil pot—baked, glazed and baked again. Whenever I had a free period, I retreated to the art room, immersed myself in my creations and discovered joy.
As a new graduate nurse, rotating days and nights proved very stressful. My oasis of sanity lay strewn across my dining room table—jars of paint and plaster figurines. Each evening I painted and stained the figures until I had created a Nativity set that I still display at Christmas.
What are the Benefits of Crafting and Creativity?
1. Relaxation. Working with our hands can help us unwind and reduce stress.
2. Achievement. Admiring our finished project gives us a sense of accomplishment especially if it is something we never thought we could do.
3. Sharpness. Learning new skills may improve our cognitive thinking.
4. Income. The projects we create may increase our earnings in the marketplace.
5. Confidence. Mastering new techniques gives us courage that will carry over to other aspects of our lives and enable us to attempt new ventures.
6. Practical. Sewing and knitting projects can be incorporated into a wardrobe and accessorized with handcrafted jewelry. Quilts, paintings and needlework projects can add to a home’s décor.
7. Gifts. Handcrafted items provide personalized presents as well as donations for fundraisers and non-profit organizations.
8. Perseverance. By trying and trying again, we learn persistence and the value of not giving up even when we perceive we have failed.
9. Honor. Our creativity can be an act of worshipping God.
10. Satisfaction. We are fulfilled when we walk in God’s creative plans and purposes.
11. Beauty. Beauty inspires us and lifts our spirits as we listen to God’s creative whispers.
God is the inspiration for our creativity through nature, people and the artistry of others. We create because we are created in His image. He is the Master Creator and invites us to participate in His creativity.
“God, the Lord, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it.” (Isaiah 42:5 NLT)
Today, I still enjoy creating through writing, music, painting, knitting and designing jewelry.
March is National Craft Month. How are you inspired to craft, using your gifts of creativity? Would you like to share your photos?