Guest series 2012: I asked fellow bloggers, makers and creators to write on their creativity and focus their essay on one of four topics: creativity and health, creativity and business, creativity and parenting or creativity and process. I am very excited to have a wonderful lot of fellow creative folk guest posting here at whipup.net over the next couple of months. Please welcome…
Berber Vos blogs at KissKus. She lives in the middle of The Netherlands with husband, children and chickens. Sewing and crochet are her crafts of choice. Bread making and planting a veggie garden are more important to her than general housekeeping.
Anyone who has ever made something knows the positive feelings that comes with creating: the pride, the relief, the satisfaction. To look at something that you made, or to taste it, or to feel it is incredibly fulfilling. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sewing, knitting, cooking, gardening or home decorating that you do.
Some people are born with a natural urge to create, to others it’s a foreign concept. However, I believe that there is a spark of creativity in anyone. All it takes is a little bit of courage and maybe a little support. You don’t even need to spend much money, because being creative with your resources is part of the fun of crafting. And although I would never impose creativity on anyone, I would certainly wish it for everyone. Now, let me explain that a little more…
As well as the enjoyable reasons above, in my own life I have often used my creativity to get through a difficult patch. Whether it was the feeling of isolation after the birth of my first child, depression or other personal issues, I have used crafts in a number of healing ways. At times it has been a real support and a life rope to the outside world.
Most recently, my creativity helped me through a personally difficult situation sometime last year. There were times that I felt desperately unable to either move back or forward then. I suppose we have all experienced those kind of feelings in a big or small way. While I was struggling to make sense of myself and the world around me, there was a growing urge welling up from deep inside of me to create – something – anything at all. The need was very clear. However, the execution seemed a bridge too far.
I am a sewer, so initially that seemed the logical thing to do. However, it turned out to be too much of an effort for me at the time. Getting my machine out and organizing my materials was simply too much. Therefore, I came up with an alternative plan: crochet. After a dodgy start I was off and for the past year I’ve been crocheting like a maniac. Many, many skeins of cotton have passed through my house, since I was doing hours of crochet each day. By keeping my hands busy I felt like I could keep my mind under control. The very first project that I finished was this blanket, made out of the many squares that I made. It’s far from perfect, but it is so dear to me. I’ve created this splash of colour from dark emotions and it now cheers up our house.
While I was doing better I decided to take on a new challenge: sewing lessons. While I was a perfectly average sewer I was often frustrated at my limited skills. I decided I simply wanted to get better at sewing. Little did I know how much I was going to learn! Those sewing lessons have developed so much more than just my sewing skills. I have been amazed at the different levels of learning a craft: there is the technique, but then there is so much more that comes along with it.
Over the past year I have challenged and improved myself in patience, persistence and accuracy. I’ve been lucky to have found a sewing teacher that has been the right mix of kind and firm with me. I’m now appreciating the whole process of sewing, instead of just the finished item. And I consider that a great gift that will hopefully get to enjoy for the rest of my life. All in all, I can honestly say that crafting has enriched my life and that of my family. It literally helps to brighten up my house specifically, and my life in general. It definitely makes me a happier person. For that I am very grateful. And that’s why I secretly wish to hand out pieces of creativity to everyone; perhaps hidden in some homemade cookies :)