Is Crafting Necessary?

I (Sammy) am rubbish with money, I can't spell, I was thirteen before I could tell the time (I still have to think about it *the shame*) and I am honestly the least organised person in the world but hand me some paper, a pair of scissors and some Sellotape and I can work wonders. 

I am of the school that if something is broken, fix it and if it's not broken... cover it in glitter! In all seriousness, I am a crafter, to my core. For me crafting is not only necessary, it is my life. I am though, totally aware that many, many people make it through life without crafting anything more than beans on toast and do you know what, that is absolutely OK. 

One of my best friends in the world is one of those people. She hates cooking and baking. She can't sew a button and wouldn't even want to try. She has no interest in flower arranging, owning a sewing machine or taking up knitting. Despite her lack of inclination towards being creative we have been really close friends for a long time. I sometimes wonder if it is her lack of 'craft' is what makes me love her even more. 

I couldn't go a day without making something, even if the only thing I make is a mess. I am that person that will, without fail, ferret out a haberdashery/craft/bead/stationary shop in any town ( I am aware that could be seen as a 'problem') For me crafting IS necessary, it is a big part of what makes me who I am. I was brought up in a home that oozed crafts, My Mum made all her clothes and mine, until teen rebellion kicked in. But more than that I grew up in a creative environment. 

Both my parents encouraged my creative flair, I spent many an afternoon in the garage with my Dad learning how to properly use a hand saw, drill and hammer (My tool kit is bigger than my husbands) I am so grateful for my 'make do and mend' upbringing, it has stood me in good stead for many things not least of which, my career. I get to spend everyday helping people to unleash their creativity.

''Making stuff is a beautiful thing''

I (H) refound my crafty side after a spell in a job which wasn't creative.  Although being creative never left me, there was a while when the thought of making something when I got home was so much like hard work.  I studied Art and Design for about 6 years and then took my masters which developed my Museum side and so maybe, I just had enough of being creative in the normal day to day life.  But I still took in inspiration everywhere I looked and so I guess it never really disappeared.

It was still there though and after throwing caution to the wind (eventually) and quitting my day job, I found myself wanting to be creative again and more importantly making stuff for myself.  But there was no crochet brooches here (I tried it, I am not a natural crocheter!)  I took classes when I was still in London, from printing and ring making, through to loom knitting (the only kind of knitting I can do and am willing to do).

I love finding new things to try and I guess I take after my mum at wanting to learn all the time to keep the brain fresh.  My mum also used to be creative with me when I was growing up and so it's been instilled in me for all my life really.  That to make something was much more fun than just to buy it.  Plenty of 'Blue Peter' makes were made on the kitchen table and still exist in my folks loft.

I love looking at what people get up to and love it when my 'not creative' (apparently) friends get crafty.  I love to see what they do and although most of the time it comes out of necessity for them (trying to keep the costs down for a wedding anyone?)  they do a great job and learn more about themselves aswell - i.e they are more creative than they think.  I get the emails from my friends of 'where is there a shop that does...' and 'how can you make', which I love.  I love feeling useful and tend to keep a brain full of 'there is a place that does', so I think this creative thing must be forever in my head, always waiting and bursting to get out.

Craft for us is not just about sequins, glitter and glue. Don't get us wrong, a-lot of it is about that, but it is really about so much more. It is creativity, imagination, expression, passion and practicality. Making stuff is a beautiful thing, even if it is just beans on toast. Because a world without craft would be a sad one. No art, no invention, no anything.  For everyone who dismisses 'craft' as a twee hobby of the 'middle class' and the women of the WI forgets that craft is simply another word for creating. Everything we touch, sit on and see on a daily has been thought of, designed and created by a 'crafter'.

There is room in the world for all of us, crafters and non crafters alike, the world would be a ridiculously boring place if we all had the same talents. The friend Sammy told you about, she is super organised, really good with money and I am pretty sure she has a good grasp of the time telling thing.  By sharing our skills with each other and all our friends, we have made a pretty good stab at most things that life has thrown at us over the years. 

Is crafting necessary? For us, absolutely yes. For everyone else, whether they actively participate in it or not, absolutely yes. 

H & Sammy