Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Handicraft Hobbies

I have always enjoyed creating things. I sewed my own clothes in my teens and twenties, did embroidery projects or wrote poems in calligraphy and framed them in colored matte frames to give as gifts from childhood on, studied jewelry-making in high school and college and was honored to make the wedding bands for friends & my brother and sister-in-law. In my late teens I crocheted afghans for my brothers and parents, after my grandma had taught me the basics.

Handicrafts have always been a pleasant hobby, and my perfectionistic nature has helped me maintain a high standard for the finished products. The crafts created give me a great sense of satisfaction and well being. I tend to have low self-esteem, but creating something beautiful makes me feel as though I am living up to my potential, and gives me peace.

That said, it is perhaps unexpected to hear that I gave up most of my handicraft hobbies mid-life when I had T.B. and a number of other physical afflictions hit me simultaneously. Worst affected was my eyesight, making those crafts taxing on the eyes impossible to continue. Even after having laser surgeries on my eyes and recovering, I didn't go back to my creative hobbies; I turned to the television and computer instead.

My mother always encouraged me to do something creative while I struggled through menopause; she knew it would make me feel better and give me a sense of self-worth despite the blues that come with hormonal imbalance. But it was difficult to muster the energy to pick up new supplies and my feet dragged.

Yet, it has been in the past year or so that I have found both the motivation and opportunity to try my hand at some handicrafts again. I made a small wall hanging for friends moving away (shown up at the top of this post), & began making counted cross-stitch ornaments before Christmas to give as gifts. That encouraged me to do more embroidery.

Then, when I was looking around for the embroidery floss I'd put away more than a decade ago, I came across a box of yarn in various colors. Within the box was the first few rows of three different afghans I'd started but soon abandoned. One was in a color I really liked, so I pulled it out. This past week I have enjoyed discovering that crocheting is just like riding a bike; regardless of how long it's been since you gave it a try, it all comes back to you. Crocheting is easy and can be done while watching TV, or when keeping my husband company during his late evening suppers after a long day's work. It soothes me.

I look forward to becoming reacquainted with all the handicrafts I have known and mastered in the past. With my son grown and now married, I have the free time to return to my creative roots and enjoy a new period of artistic productivity.


chandora said...

In the past you've shown me some of your cross-stitching, and was struck by how sensitive and elegant you were.
I'm glad to hear you are taking up handicrafts again.
Let's crochet together sometime!

Sal said...

Thanks for your comment, Chandora-san. I appreciate your encouragement in renewing my interest in crocheting. It is fun to sit and crochet with someone you love to talk to...yes, we really must make time for that someday!! (Good luck clearing YOUR schedule, though! LOL) I, on the other hand, have lots of free time lately. So just tell me when you're free and let's get to it!