The last time I posted, I wrote about my reputation as ‘somebody with access to a sewing machine’, in possession of limited sewing skills, which led to me being roped into costume making. It appears, since then, the word of my amazing talents in sewing, blogging and self deprecation have spread, as this week I have been approached to write a monthly craft blog for the Tynemouth WI. I’m even credited as a ‘Blogger and Crafter’… it’s like seeing my name in lights!
The Tynemouth WI meet on the first Monday of every month at 7.30pm at the Parish Hall in Tynemouth, so if you’re from ‘oop North’ you should definitely drop by. You can befriend them on Facebook here and see their blog (featuring yours truly!) here.
Here is what I wrote as an introduction to being a novice crafter – please let me know what you think:
“The growing popularity of sites such as Etsy and Folksy and the decreasing average age of the WI are evidence to the craft revolution gaining momentum amongst today’s younger generation. The amount and high quality of homemade goods made by people your own age could easily trick you into thinking that every crafter with access to a laptop is effortlessly creative, meticulous and professional. It’s enough to put you off even trying to compete with creations that don’t even look ‘handmade’ (which in my terms means ‘has threads hanging out of it and covered in glue’). The crafting revolution has upped its game, leaving the novice crafter trembling in its wake.
The tide, however, is turning. It’s slowly dawning upon us that crafting is simply not that effortless. Websites such as Regretsy and Cake Wrecks have popped up in rebellion, celebrating disasters, that you probably couldn’t even get away with giving your mum as a stocking filler. They fill the novice crafter with hope; although you may be just a beginner who can’t purl or applique, you’re not THAT bad.
Although they may seem mean spirited at first glance, these sites provide an insight into the lives of people like me, whose products may seem average, sometimes even verging upon good at times, until further examination reveals the flaws. To get to the mediocre final product, I will have inevitably stuck the interfacing to my iron, sewn my seams on the outside and caused myself numerous bleeding fingers in the process and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
These sites to me celebrate what crafting should be about: giving it a go and having fun without worrying about the end product. The wonky buttons and frayed ribbon will simply add to the character and nothing you can make is so bad you can’t palm it off on some (distant) relative. It’s the thought that counts after all! Don’t let lack of technical skill and an eye for design put you off trying. I certainly haven’t, as much as my friends and family wish I had!”