Hobby & Craft is in my blood. My Nana enjoyed her Hobby and Craft and I think it was her love of this and the love for her daughter that helped her through the loss of a husband (in the early 50’s), raising a child and then many years later burying that child as a Woman.
She crammed so many different Crafts into her 90 years – even running workshops and teaching her love to others (as well as me). She used to remind me that ‘idle hands was the devils playground’, so there was no way she was going to ‘play with the devil’! For her, Craft was her way of socialising. I remember as a young child through to a teenager how she would pack her basket twice a week and walk to ‘CONTACT’. CONTACT is an Organisation in the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne which runs Art, Craft & Cooking Classes – very much like a ‘Neighbourhood House’. There she learnt to smock my baby dresses, decorate our cakes, hobbytex our pillow cases, embroider blankets, make Teddies, decorate Paper Tole tiles (we had lovely toilet and bathroom signs lol), Knit and Crochet. Actually, I remember the organiser of CONTACT saying just a few years ago at my Nana’s Funeral, that Nell had participated in every course the Centre had ever ran – she even gave Woodwork and Yoga a try. All for the joy of company and to keep her hands and mind active.
So having craft in my blood and spending endless hours with my Nana and her friends it was certain that I would continue down the same path – not a bad path either if you ask me! Knitting was never a strong contender for me – it took too long to see a final result (accept for the old knitting machine – now that was faster!), nor Crochet. I got involved in Cross Stitching and Embroidery for a while and the odd little Hobbytex Bookmark – but it was more my intrigue for Cake Decorating that took my attention for 10 years. From the basic to advance I was in as deep as I could be. Churning out Wedding Cake and Special Occassion orders even competing at Royal Melbourne Show and Rural Shows. It kept me busy, it gave me a different social scene and I loved it. My Mum was in awe of the fine flowers and details that I could create as she was the ‘Cook’ in the family – NOT the Crafter (the gene must have skipped her!), Nana was so proud that the annoying child that needed to have a piping bag and icing all those years ago did have a flare and passion.
My enjoyment for Cake Decorating slowed once my Mum got ill, so I turned to stitching again as it was something I could do during those endless hours beside her hospital bed. Loosing my Mum I needed to regroup and spur Nana on too – so both of us (me in my 20’s and her in her 70’s) headed off to Patchwork classes. It really did help both of us heal – we talked to other people, we found old fabrics that had sentimental value to Nana and we both completed our Patchwork Quilts.
Once my first child was born I decided to pack the Cake Decorating away (still neatly packed in a cupboard in my studio) as I would never have the time again! Was that a bad thing?? I don’t know, but I can tell you that dealing with Post Natal Depresssion I knew I had to find a way to overcome that and get my life on track.
Hello and Welcome – Scrapbooking – 9 years ago. Nine years ago I was introduced to this creative, yet addictive Craft. I started attending Workshops monthly just a few minutes from home. It gave me an evening out away from motherhood (which quickly went from 1 child to 2 children in under 14 months!) and allowed me to meet new people in my area – funnily enough some had children days apart from my eldest child and too were dealing with PND. People come and people go with all Crafts – but can I say 9 years later from that initial group of 12 ladies there are still 4 of us that meet fortnightly and monthly to Scrap, Chat, Laugh and share our thoughts and problems. These ladies are like Sister’s and Psuedo Mum’s to me!
I suppose it was the trials and tribulations of my life and the desire to use Craft to Heal my wounds that left me feeling maloncoly on the weekend. I came across a customer at Paperific who had been affected by a Stroke. Now from speaking to this lady and who appeared to be a devoted daughter, I learnt how this lady had always been creative and enjoyed doing ‘fine detailed’ works. However, the Stroke had taken this ability away from her and left her struggling to fill the void of not only loosing control of her body but loosing her love of Craft. We chatted for ages and she looked over at our products and praised and commented on my display pieces. Finally, she was comfortable enough to give one of our products a go! It was such a small thing – our Pick Up Pencil! A pencil that picks small gems, sequins etc and a PVA in a small container with a fine nib. Well this lovely lady enjoyed that achievement of being able (with a shaking hand) to pick up and place ‘bling’ on the sample without dropping or loosing a single one. Her daughter was so full of excitement at seeing her Mum achieve this and gratitude that I sat with her Mum and chatted to her and made her feel comfortable enough to explore. Yes, it eventuated in a sale – but it wasn’t the $5.00 that meant anything to me. It was the memories it bought back to me of Crafting with my Nana and my days of lovingly caring for my Mum (who we lost to Cancer). It was the thought that maybe that small amount of time I spent with this pleasant, gentle lady and our Love of Craft may have made a small dent in her Healing process.
May your Craft heal for you!