Making – What it means to me

March 11, 2016
Recent Work

Some of my recent City & Guilds work

One of my favourite podcasts – A Playful Day has just relaunched and as part of The Maker’s Year Kate is encouraging us to share with her and with each other what making means to them.

I was having a cuppa with a mum friend after school a couple of weeks ago and we were talking about when we were at school. She is a Politics teacher and therefore academically minded. I made a comment about how I was the same at school, how I loved Maths and Physics and was completely rubbish at anything ‘arty’.

She was really surprised. Because me now is very different to the me then. Before I had Piran I couldn’t use a sewing machine, did nothing that was arty or crafty at all and in my spare time I was studying Maths with the OU. Fast forward six years and I am now known as a creative person. I think that is so funny, and so brilliant. She just assumed I had always been this way. I wear it so well 🙂

These days I know that making, creating, sewing, crocheting, writing, drawing, playing, painting, cutting, sticking are all things that make my life better. I know that my mental health (as wobbly as it is) would be so much worse without these things in my life to feed my soul and rest my mind. Over last summer I took a real dive, and my anxiety was through the roof. One thing that saved me was working on my sketchbook as part of Sketchbook Club. I have always found getting absorbed in an activity to be the best way to relax and recharge.

I thought that when Kate started school I would have lots of time. In actual fact I have sewn so little in the last six months. A myriad of reasons exist why, but thankfully one of those is the fact that I am 2/3 of the way through my first year of my City & Guilds in Textiles. With that and working and children that take hours to go to sleep I have little time to create, and so I am glad that some of the things each week that I ‘have’ to do are creative.

I cannot tell you how much I am loving my course. There are 9 of us, and the tutor and everyone is lovely. I go once a fortnight to class and I would say that I have about 2 days worth of homework to complete between each session. It is never a chore though, and the design work has been a real revelation for me. It took me a while to get settled into the fact that is wasn’t so much about the end project, it is about the creative journey, which has to be recorded and analysed each time.

We have to complete a wall hanging for one of our final pieces. Never one to make life easy for myself I have chosen a large-scale project which consists of 3 meter square panels that go along side each other. It represents me and my depression and anxiety and how being creative helps me manage myself and my mental health. It is a very personal piece and could be quite complicated but making it will definitely be a lot of fun. It is called #makegoodfeelgood in response to the hashtag run late last year that encouraged people to share their connection to craft and how it helps their mental health (also started by A Playful Day!)

I will share the process as I go, if anyone is interested. There is nothing more exciting to me than the feeling of something I have dreamt up in my head becoming a reality.

Finally, in answer to Kate’s question, What does making mean to me?


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  • Reply Elizabeth Rebecca March 11, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Love the ending 🙂

    Lizzie Dripping

  • Reply Gill March 13, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Wow! That’s brilliant, how you’ve broken it down like that. Look forward to seeing your project and am full of admiration for anyone genuinely creative. So glad that you’ve go something that is for you, it’s all too say to get so focuses on the child related issues, because they seem so big and all encompassing.

    Funnily, I don’t see myself as creative at all, but my friends do. I love maths, and problems and science and facts. I tell people, I just follow a pattern, and collect fabric. Every now and again the ‘geek’ in me surfaces and I double check the quilt maths on a pattern, or do test squares to check my machine is accurate.

    When the ‘black dog’ gets me, I rarely sew, but spend hours doing mindless stuff like basting EPP, or following cutting instructions.

  • Reply Misty Cottage Crafts March 15, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Lovely post! I think that the ultimate creative activity – bringing a child into the world can kick start us into other avenues of creativity, it certainly did for me. It is lovely to hear about your course, that is one I would love to do given the opportunity.

  • Reply Lou March 20, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Trying to just add smiley faces or say Yey!

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