fun crafts

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 over the next couple of months. Please welcome…

Tania is a mother, wife, graphic designer, rocking-in-the-corner-(knitting) type. She blogs over at myrtle and eunice while doing her level best NOT to sweat the small stuff…

When I was pregnant with my first kid, I was living in London and the events of September 11, 2001, were new and raw and indigestible. Hysterical newspapers used exclamation marks and told us we were the next target(!) and sales of gas masks went through the roof. I decided to ride my bike to work, rather than risk the perils of underground Tube travel – perils that extended beyond sardine-packed trains and the breathy aftermath of someone’s evening-before-curry. Until a week before my due date, I cycled over the river and through Hyde Park and on the way home, I laboured, huffing and puffing up Battersea Hill. Over three months, I reckon I escaped Certain Death by London Bus, no less than eleventy million times.

Even though I’d felt vulnerable out in the big wide world before, this time was different. There was a baby. And there was all that new, hormonal, emotional, growing-a-baby business. I staked my claim on that small amount of control: I rode that bike and risked Certain Death by London Bus. And I learned to knit.

Nearly eleven years later, I am still wrapping my children in protective woolly warmth and crafted hugs and the soothing repetition of a knitted stitch remains a balm for this soul.

Yet as my kid’s grow and their individual personalities develop, there’s a whole other, concurrent side to the kid-inspired craft. I reckon I learn as much from them as they do me. Together we’ve discovered there is real virtue in ‘silly’. And that finding the ‘un’ in the ‘expected’ and the ‘extra’ in the ‘ordinary’, is inspiring stuff. It takes constant practise but I really do enjoy myself when the answer to the question WHY? is WHY THE HECK NOT?

Following is a good dollop of Why The Heck Not…

Religiously collected, bog-standard, toilet rolls become a mother/son project and an object of loo-beauty:

An entire living room floor is covered in photographic backdrop paper and a family spends Friday night as human spirographs. (Excellent for tummy toning).

A mother goes entirely overboard, crafting a school Crazy Hair Day get-up:

One pompom becomes a hundred. A tree is ‘pompombed’ and the Holy-Moly-What-The-Heck-Next? looks from the locals are enjoyed.

Kids and craft bring out this Mum’s fun. (They also bring out her ‘bossy’. Please leave the room):

Finally, there’s John McEnroe’s most infamous tantie. I am old enough to remember the 1981 Wimbledon tennis final. Around here, we decided he was on to a good wicket. McEnroe’s sage words, (without his tantrummed, entirely undignified and unsportsmanlike intent), are exhibited next to our front door.

Because where’s the fun in ‘serious’?