Tuesday 4 February 2020

Between the Lines: My Arts and Crafts Life

It’s well known I love many forms of the arts, and today I thought I’d talk a little about my visual arts and crafts tendencies. I have four hobbies that fall into that category, and here are my thoughts and experiences in each.

Cross Stitch
I’ve been doing cross stitch for many years. As a child, my mother taught me to embroider, and I moved onto cross stitch from there. It’s a simple, easy thing to do, yet you can use it to create everything from handmade greetings cards to pillow cases, clothing, and even framed works of art. So far I’ve mostly done card inserts and small art works, but I have a major project, based on a painting by J. W. Waterhouse, that I’ve been slowly working on for ten years now. When I eventually finish it, it will be one to frame and hang.

I enjoyed art in high school, but I didn’t carry it on. It was after university that I picked it up again, and I was always most drawn to portraiture, though I was never particularly skilled. Things changed for me in 2013, when a book helped me hone my shading and blending techniques. There was an immediate improvement in my work, and though I am still no master, I try to keep practising, raising my level little by little. I love to listen to music as I sketch, and I find it wonderfully relaxing. I only wish I had more time for it!

I tried papercutting for the first time in 2018. I love the idea of it; however, it requires practice and precision, and it will be a while, I think, before I become proficient, again mostly due to time constraints. So far I have only made a few small sample cuts, including three self-designed pieces based on the new Star Wars trilogy.

I took up crochet in the latter half of 2018, so it’s the newest of my four pursuits. My mother showed me how to knit as a child, but I’ve long forgotten it all, so I started crochet from scratch, teaching myself from a book. I love the versatility of crochet: the fact that you can use it for such a wide variety of projects. To sit and crochet is relaxing, but I still tend to grip the hook too tight, so I get hand fatigue if I don’t keep my sessions short. It’s my own fault, and something I need to work on!

So, those are my four main crafting and visual arts hobbies. My mother also taught me to sew when I was younger. It’s been a long time since I last made clothes, but I do still whip up the odd project—such as cushion covers—on the sewing machine on occasion.

Are you a crafter? If so, tell me about your arts and crafts passions.

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