Depending on how observant you are, it may or may not have come to your attention that crafting is on the up.
Crafting, you say? Please explain further…
Well even the most blinkered person must have noticed lately that things on the art, design and creative side of the fence are become more, er, home-made looking.
These days, the trendy set are rarely seen without a crochet hook, card making kit or potter’s wheel on hand, all on the look out for creating something uniquely crafty.
Yes, that’s right, crafting has finally become a mainstream activity taken up by hipsters everywhere. This most recent resurgence in crafty capers can be traced back to the early part of this century when the giant craft website Etsy came into being. The Etsy online marketplace was launched in the summer of 2005 in Brooklyn, New York and today it has over fifty million registered users. These numbers speaks for themselves in terms of how popular crafting has become and how it has infiltrated the mainstream consciousness.
More recently in the UK, the fascination with craft activities has been reinforced in the media by TV programmes such as The Great British Sewing Bee, where competitors vie for seamstressing supremacy over each other. Equally, The Women’s Institute in recent years has pursued a campaign to recruit younger members, the success of this drive has been put down largely to the fact that many youthful members are interested in learning craft techniques from more experienced practitioners.
The flourishing of craft fairs as real big business events, attracting exhibitors and crowds in huge numbers, means that the focus on quality hand made goods is pushed to the fore. Media reports of guerilla knitters, adorning street furniture in colourful hand knitted attacks have become a regular occurrence. Yes indeed, crafting is everywhere, and finally it is cool.
If you were worried about being stereotyped as an uncool craft crackpot, rest assured quilting, decoupage, bead-work, card making and stamping are all featuring high on the cool radar, so if you have always been curious, but too cool to craft, now is your perfect opportunity.
Where to start? First of all you need to identify your area of crafting expertise. Most people are naturally drawn to one medium or another, but equally many try out different crafts before settling on one that really satisfies their creative urges. One of the easiest and most popular entry-level crafts is card making. This useful, creative and potentially lucrative hobby is perfect for beginners because you can start with simple designs and work towards more demanding, complex projects as you gain experience and confidence. For best value and choice smart craft workers source all their supplies online at places like www.handyhippo.co.uk which stock a vast range of tools, materials and accessories to help all your craft projects succeed. In fact, www.handyhippo.co.uk is worth visiting not only for supplies, but the inspiration that comes from seeing the wide range of beautiful materials available to make your dream projects come true.
Some people are drawn to crafts for the stress relieving benefits that creative de-compression sessions bring. Others are attracted by the money-spinning opportunities that exist. Many people also enjoy learning crafts at evening classes or in other similar social settings and the buzz of meeting like-minded people all focused on creating craft perfection is wonderful. Some people even find that evening classes and craft workshops are really good places to meet partners with similar outlooks! Who knew? Let’s forget all that online dating nonsense, reach for our knitting needles and enrol on a course immediately!
Making things with our hands has always been a worthwhile and satisfying past time and in this fast paced modern world it is the perfect opportunity to slow down and tune everything else out. Crafting has never really changed, it’s just our attitudes and needs that have evolved – no longer the preserve of Grannies or hippies, crafting is now enjoyed by young and old, rich and poor, cool and not so cool. Although re-branded in popular culture as something of a new wave craft renaissance, many of the techniques and methods are ancient, but when combined with modern tricks and embellishments, exciting things can happen!
So, it’s official, a craft hobby can now be considered cool. All you need to do is decide the area in which to specialise, create something unique and beautiful, then wait for the compliments to come flooding in…