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?