Craft: It's not just for women!
Looking for ways to entertain the kids over Easter. Let's get crafty!
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If you’re anything like me, then your contact with “crafts” is probably via a female. For me: my wife, her sister, and their mother. My mother-in-law often comes over, displaying some creation which she has toiled over.
Wifey will turn her hand to any craft she fancies (current interest Amigurumi and felting) and her sister is the same.
In the past crafts tired me. I consider myself a typical bloke: I like football, basketball, tennis and the occasional tipple. Crafts were rituals that I couldn't, shouldn't and wouldn't have anything to do with.
However, since my wife and I started a business which involved creating crafts for young children, my opinion has slowly shifted.
It all began with Milo.
Since he began toddling, my wife tried in vain to get him to be creative, but he wouldn't sit still for longer than two minutes, preferring to bash his cars and trains together. It was impossible to get him to attempt anything creative, even finger painting was met with screams.
But everything changed when Milo became the chief tester for our craft packs.
We have seen an amazing difference in his attitude towards creative activities.
He now creates (in his mind) ‘masterpieces’ everyday and spends the rest of the time frantically running around foisting his ‘work’ on anyone who happens to be within earshot of him. He even joins in with drawing at pre-school, something they could never get him to do before.
Through making the packs he has developed an interest in the subjects he is crafting. For example he tested a kit for a reindeer mask before Christmas. This resulted in various questions concerning every random aspect of reindeer life (we know 2 facts, that was tricky).
He also appears to have gained extra confidence when it comes to trying new things and will now play with more ‘creative’ toys, like playdoh quite happily.
All in all I'm amazed at the affect it's had on him and it's been quite infectious.
Since last summer I’ve been involved in testing the kits with Milo and you know what: I love it. It was really fun to be painting and sticking with him. I felt all warm and fuzzy. I think it’s called “bonding”.
This week, for the first time since I was a kid, I did some colouring in. I couldn't imagine a more relaxing activity - you heard it here first - colouring in is the new yoga (maybe I should trademark that)!
I started thinking this crafty business might be fun for us blokes too, but apparently I'm a bit late to the party. I'm not just talking manly 'crafts' like whittling, I'm talking knitting too.
Mr X Stitch www.mrxstitch.com is someone I'd heard my wife talk about. This guy is on "a mission to bring the world of cross stitch and embroidery to a whole new audience, believing there are benefits to stitching both from a relaxation and sustainability perspective".
Other blokes out doing cool crafty things include:
- Johloh over at www.spritestitch.com, a community of people dedicated to handmade arts and crafts with themes centered around the video game industry.
- Howie Woo www.woowork.com
- Kaffe Fassett who has made a career out of working with needlepoint, patchwork, knitting, painting and ceramics.
If you were to Google any interest you have e.g. star wars then add words like crafts or knitting, you'll see that there are entire subcultures devoted to it. Indie or retro crafting is very popular with online communities like craftster.org having their fair share of male members.
I have gained a real appreciation of the time and skill that goes into creating craft work. I love helping my wife design our all inclusive craft boxes and testing them with our son and nephews and I even ‘get’ her more now (she’s not totally craft crazy).
Crafts aren’t just for women and if you have any interest in crafts embrace it, if not do something creative with your kids and see how it goes from there! There are lots of blokes out there making some really interesting things in the name of crafts and many more who secretly harbinger a wish to create their own replica death star out of felt.
Learning new things is also great for keeping your brain fresh (and Alzheimer's free) whilst crafts and hobbies are great for relaxing, and calming those frazzled nerves (thanks family for turning me prematurely grey)
Crafts are also great for children as they can increase fine motor skills, patience and concentration. So even if you’re unsure as to whether to start doing some crafts for yourself make sure you think about doing some with children.
Edward Davis-Hofbauer runs Little Doers with his wife Beth. Read their blog at www.littledoers.com and visit http://packs.littledoers.com/free-taster-pack-for-dadzclub-readers/ for an exclusive free craft kit offer.
WHO DOES THE CRAFT IN YOUR HOUSE? MUM OR DAD? LET US KNOW BY LEAVING A COMMENT BELOW