I've been thinking about my blog a lot lately, planning what I want to do with it, how I want it to look, how to get more readers & of course what content I want it to hold. I suddenly realised that I have never really explained why I have a blog & more importantly why I love craft! Warning, this is going to be one wordy post….
Let me start with my love of craft, making, crafting or Make It Yourself, whatever you want to call it. I think this story starts & ends with my mum.
As I have discussed here before, my Mum was a brilliant sewer & knitter. And boy, could she knit. I can still remember the sound of the click clack of the needles & watching a cardigan or jumper literally appear before my eyes. I used to sit on the couch just entranced by the movements of the needles, the repetitive, reassuring sound & the ease in which she stitched. My dad still wears a cardigan that she knitted for him & its still in tip top condition nearly 25 years on.
The sound of the knitting needles is not the only sound I love. Its the sound of the 'good scissors' against the table as she deftly cut out a pattern for an outfit for herself, me or my older sisters. I wish that I had a photo to post of my favourite outfit that she made me, sadly I don't think one was taken. It was a gathered skirt of the most vivid green corduroy with a matching 3/4 sleeved top which was green on one side & purple on the other. This colour combo is still a favourite of mine. Another was a gathered denim skirt that had press studs down the front. I wore this to my sister's, graduation when I was about 7 or 8. The vision of my dad hammering in the press studs on the motel's table the night before big sis's big day is still very clear. I'm sure my sisters can rattle of a whole list of outfits that our dear Mum made for them as they had longer with her. There was ALOT of taffeta used in those outfits, thats for sure.
I'm sure that my Nan, Mum's Mum, would have taught her these skills as Nan was an amazing knitter as well. Which brings me to my first point about why I love craft. This handing down of skills between mothers and daughters is so lovely & makes my heart so warm. I didn't learn most of my crafting skills from my mum as we lost her when I was12 but I did learn basics along with the love & pleasure that crafting gives. I now have another mother figure in Mister's mother & his 94year old Grandma to teach me crochet in particular. In fact, within 10mins for meeting Grandma, I was in the midst of my first crochet lesson & Maria has since given me tips on knitting & crochet.
But these don't always pass from mothers to daughters. They also pass from sister to sister, especially my sisters. Middle Sis is a brilliant knitter & I am certainly going to need her help when I start my cardigan that I showed you the other day. And Big Sis, well she is a great sewer & much more detailed than I. We help each other through difficult patterns & advise on fabrics & ideas. I also am very proud to have taught Big sis how to crochet granny squares while I was staying with her over xmas.
We also know that I LOVE nannas. Any nannas, but especially crafty nannies! I love that they are willing to pass on their crafty knowledge which without that 'passing down' of skills we may loose to our addiction to new technology.
The love of craft is also a tactile thing for me. I am a fidgeter & always need to be busy for fear of boredom. I love the feeling of fabrics, wool & papers. I love the feeling of cutting, glueing & a needle & thread in my fingertips.
With this motion of keeping my hands busy, it also keeps my mind still & happy. Cross stitch & crochet is very rhythmic & therefore very mediative. Once I get going I can loose hours in the actions & feel really quite content & relaxed when I come out of my craft coma. It's common place for me to announce 'Just one more row & then I will…go to bed/make dinner/hang the washing out/do some work/talk to you'!
My dad once described me as 'an inside girl'. Being fair skinned & completely uncoordinated, sports & being outside in general fill me with dread. I've become better as I get older but if I had the option of indoors vs outdoors when I was younger, I'd firmly stay put on the couch listening to Kylie, making stuff. I mean, come on, who wouldn't!!
Being a bit of a loser on the sports field, it never gave me the sense of pride as finishing a dress, putting it on & looking great does. The feeling I have when I finish a project is one of pride & utter contentment. Sure, if I got that feeling while playing a group sport in the hot sun with a bunch of nasty girls, I'd be the netball champion of the world. But it does the opposite, I hate every single nano-second & wish the earth would open up to swallow me! I also get enormous satisfaction from the reaction of Mister. He is so supportive of my projects & reacts just the way I want when I present a finished piece. He thinks I am clever (& vice versa) & that makes me feel wonderful. Another win for craft!
I've also been thinking, reading & listening a lot to the increase in how many people are taking up craft & 'doing it in public'. This is an odd one for me. I personally would LOVE to knit on the tube & would look upon those that do with utter respect. However, I just can't do it. I feel self conscious & utterly obvious, I don't like to draw attention to myself. Then I think to myself, 'snap out of it nanna, what other people think of you is none of your business'. So I'm going to give it a go…maybe not knitting as I still need to concentrate for a long period of time to do that. Maybe some stitching or handsewing.
Also as a child, nothing made me more happy at Christmas than the stocking (aka pillowcase) FULL of stationery. I, to this day, love stationery. I heart paper, books, pens, tape, glue & all things that I can make stuff with. When I was small I would hoard it all in my 'useful box' & still do to this day. This is so named as the presenters on Playschool would look into their 'useful box' when looking for something to stick onto a paper plate or balloon etc. Hence the name of this blog, everyone needs a useful box in order to create, make & craft!
In short, the overwhelming desire to craft comes from the connection craft gives me to my much missed Mum & Nan plus to my sisters, on the other side of the world, that makes me love it so much.
I started this blog when we moved overseas as I didn't yet have a useful box & I needed an outlet for my crafty urges. Now that we have been together for over a year (yay!), I want to really make this blog a useful box for you! I am planning more tutorials, more projects & much more interesting stuff. But ultimately, I want this blog to reflect why I adore craft …. & why you do too! xx
Hi there, I'm Caroline & I've always loved crafting. I find it soothing, mediative, challenging and frustrating all at the same time.
I’m here to help beginner, or even seasoned sewers, to gain confidence and hone new skills to tackle any sewing or crafting project.