The value of crafting – hooray crochet!

As kids, my sisters and I always thought we were the lamest girls because we spent our holidays learning to do all kinds of crafts. Well, where we grew up malls did not exist and our winters were so long and excruciatingly cold, we didn’t really want to get out anyway.

Today I am incredibly grateful for those housebound holidays because I can spoil a friend or my family with something I made with my own two hands. It just says so much more than a store bought gift, because in this handmade gift lies my time, my feelings and my effort.

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Some crafts did not come that easily, and as it sometimes goes with mom and daughter, patience run out. But I did not give up, I took my crochet pin and a few balls of yarn, walked over to my Nan and did not leave until I got it right. Left handed or not!

Of course when boys entered the picture, the crochet kit was buried and was not resurrected until the other day. Finally I have time and head space for crafts again!

Don’t for a second think its like riding a bike, oh no! I had to learn the few basics again and made Mishka a beautiful thick blanket.

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A month ago when I featured the beautiful socks and ponchos from Little Yarn Shop I rediscovered this burning desire to create more than a simple stitch blanket. I contacted them and they offer beginners classes. Chane fro the Frogging Fox is an amazing teacher! I learnt to crochet fluffy hats and face rounds, so I am totally hooked again!

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There is so much more I want to do! If my mom did not ignite this crafty fire, I would never have thought I had the ability to make something so complicated myself. That is why I am exposing Mishka to crafts too. Even if she doesn’t enjoy every single activity, she will learn something about patience and ability, and perhaps one day be able to crochet a blanket for her own daughter.

It is also a connection point, an activity you can enjoy while spending time with others. This gift of crafting gets passed on from generation to generation, but it is also a way women can get together and share stories while sharing tricks of the trade.

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Mishka will spend some time with Granny Ronnie during our winter break, when it seems to rain forever in this part of the country. She still has plenty of time to learn before boys occupy too much of her thoughts and time.

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My advice to anyone who wants to start any craft, start simple, find the simplest pattern and a whole lot of youtube videos, set aside time, pour a glass of wine and just start!

There’s a teacher in every town, just ask and you will find. If you are in the Hermanus area @thefroggingfox will teach you a few tricks!

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I hope my crochet over-share inspired you to take up that craft you’ve always wanted to master! Not only does it keep you out of trouble, but actually has been proven to be imperative to your mental health:

People who exercised their artistic muscle were 73% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, a condition that can mean memory problems and reduced mental function, than those who didn’t partake in artistic activities. People who did a lot of crafts like woodworking and quilting were 45% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than people who did not, and computer users were 53% less likely to develop it compared to adults who didn’t use the computer. Social adults were 55% less likely to have memory problems later on than their antisocial peers. BY ALEXANDRA SIFFERLIN  – Times APRIL 8, 2015

Food for thought!

 

Easter activities – bring Autumn into your home

Easter weekend is a special time for Christian families and in between going to services and honoring the beauty of this time, kids also have time to play and explore with you.

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Ponchos by Heide from Little Yarn Shop

In South Africa Easter is during the beginning of our Autumn and our streets are covered in colourful displays of beautiful leaves. Grab a basket and something warm, find a safe spot to park your car and start gathering! Leaves make great garlands to adorn your home for Easter festivities.

It’s quite simple: collect leaves with petioles (the little stem at the end of a leaf) still attached. Back home, gather a few leaves into a posy and tie the petioles together with a piece of string, leaving a little bit of string available to tie to a long piece of string (the garland string). Make a few posies and then tie it to the string, evenly spaced. Wola! Ready to decorate your home with Autumn!

We may not go to the beach as often as in the summer months so we decided to bring the beach to us! A coastal terrarium is a great way to make use of the special treasures collected on those perfectly sunny beach days.

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You will need:

  • Beach sand
  • Small white pebbles
  • Coastal treasures e.g shells, driftwood, dried sea plants
  • A glass container
  • Succulents from your area

Line the container with beach sand followed by a layer of pebbles (be careful not to crack the glass container) and cover the pebbles with more beach sand until the container is half full.

Arrange the other elements on a flat surface as you plan to have it inside the container. Start placing one element at a time on the sand in the glass container. This is another very pretty addition to  your Easter table.

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Vintage outfits from @littlevictoryclothing

Our terrarium contains beautiful shells from Struisbaai beach, collected on a family weekend away. It’s a wonderful way to share memories and revisit special times.

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Spending time together during Easter is one of the best ways to commemorate the love of Jesus for his ‘family’. It doesn’t have to be spent indoors and cooped up all weekend, explore and collect and enjoy fun projects with your kids while you have a little bit extra time.

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We hope you have a blessed weekend!