Saturday, March 16, 2013

The benefits of crafting

I've been thinking about the benefits of crafting recently. I follow lots of people on twitter who when feeling down or ill often turn to craft to perk themselves up. I know I do this as well. Whenever my spirits are low, when the black dog is biting at my heels then simply completing a project makes me feel better. No matter how small - even if it's just colouring a page of my notebook in red. Just doing something and being able to see a solid result at the end soothes me.

There was an interesting project starting last summer on this topic. A woman was starting a magazine called Tre La Creativity. This was going to be focusing on creativity and ill-health. I got involved in it because this subject matter resonated with me. Sadly, the first edition of the magazine has yet to be published and I slightly regret the time I put into the project, although I am glad I didn't put in more. I suppose this is the downside to creative projects - sometimes they can wait for years, waiting for the one finishing touch. Sometimes they never get finished.

I think for a long time "crafting" was slightly looked down upon as a way of wasting time. A craft kit was something you'd give to a child to keep them out of your hair. Recently there has been a huge revival though with etsy and folksy offering an easy way for people to showcase and sell their makes. Crafting has now become big business (well...bigger than it was). It is now trendy - not just something for grannies in the WI to do. In fact the WI (women's institute) itself has gone through a revival with new trendy groups opening.

It's times like this I really miss having access to the British Library, or my log in at UCL. I know there are lots of interesting books and articles on this topic, but I can't quote them because I can't read them. I wish there was more open access in the world. You will have to take my word on it that there have been studies into the benefit of crafting on the body (improving arthritis in fingers) and on the mind. If I manage to find the names of such studies (as I'm in Uganda I don't rate my chances) I will post them. Please post in the comments if you know of any.

As it is - crafting soothes me and makes me saner. This is why I filled my suitcase with craft supplies rather than more practical things like clothes, or waterproof shoes.

Everyone should have a go making something. It spreads smiles.


  1. I was having this discussion with someone just the other day in reference to crafting classes. I was making the point that a crafting class offers more than just the opportunity to create something. The camaraderie, empathy, relaxation and sense of accomplishment that can be found through a crafting group is beneficial to many, but most especially those who need support but would never consider attending a 'named' support group.

    Like you, crafting keeps me sane and often helps me get over lifes little hurdles. I'm reminded of a scene in the film 'Demolition Man' where Sylvester Stallone knits a jumper while wrestling with a tricky problem. Well if he can do it..... :o)

  2. You're so right! People need social groups.

    I love that part of Demolition Man! It's brilliant.

  3. Been giving a lot of thought to this very subject lately the therapeutic benefits of craft and the crafting community are amazing - if only it could be bottled. Cx

  4. Ah but bottled craftiness would be less fun. Less giggles.


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