I’ve been watching a show on Foxtel called Chateau in the Country, where two English people, Angel and Dick buy a dilapidated chateau in France and over the years, renovate it.
Dick is an engineer, a big bear of a man who has the knack and know-how to repair, fix and create things from junk (well, I see it as junk) laying around. Together with his crafty wife (crafty meaning spectacularly creative – not sneaky) they take on the challenge to renovate this 100+ year old castle to amazing results. All the while, I’m sitting on my lazy arse on the sofa thinking, “why the hell didn’t I think of that?” and “why do I have this overwhelming desire to go and press some flowers?”
It got me thinking about the increase of crafts – and taking up crafts – at this time.
I’m noticing more of my personal learning network on Twitter are sharing their own crafty pursuits and I love it. In fact, I’m preferring to learn more about their crafty passions than their actual work and posts about their profession or industry anymore.
For example, I’ve always admired my good friend Lior. Unfortunately, due to an international timing zone error on my part, I’ve only ever met her 5 minutes online where we quickly chatted “in person” but then had to hang up; the rest of the time, we communicate through Twitter. Lior also has wonderful artistic flair because not only has she sent me the most adorable postcards and cards in the mail, she shares her craft skills in beer making but in particular, paper making on Twitter. This is the stuff I LOVE to read and see on my Twitter timeline.
Watching Angel and Dick restore their chateau; reading and watching the wonderful crafts that my people in my network are doing in their own time, means I’m seeing another side to them beyond the talk of work topics such as learning and development, future of work or about Microsoft.
In some way, I feel as if this last year has meant people are more open to sharing more about their passions and interests online rather than stick with the ‘professional aspect’ of their online self and to me, I think this is delightful because craft is all about showing a bit of your true self – something that can’t be replicated when you talk and write about ‘just’ your professional or work topics.
For example, when someone in my network tells me about their new knitting project, I can imagine that they’d be someone who’d appreciate craft; who values good materials and yarns; maybe, they’re someone who’s patient and who values handmade, quality bespoke work. Someone who has interests outside of their day to day work or job, watching Netflix or surfing on their phone or social media all day.
Dabbling in crafts mean that you take out time for YOU.
You value the time, space and skill to create something – anything – with your own hands.
Looking at how Angel on the show approaches her crafts, to her, every piece she makes and creates has MEANING. There’s a link to herself, to her family, her life.
There’s a story behind creates.
This is what we need right now to “rehumanise” us and take us back to the basics and to reclaim a little bit of ourselves again by making things that create value and meaning for us; and to proudly display it in our spaces where we feel most ourselves.
Like Austin Kleon said, “Just Make Something, Anything”.
Benefits of Crafts to Minimise Stress
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