September 2015 – Crafts

888I went to the arboretum and saw an exhibit of Legos.  Yes, the little blocks you might have played with as a kid.  There were amazing, creative lego sculptures through out the grounds.  We live in a society where after over eight plus hours of work per day we might have nothing to show for our work.  My work as a programmer was not creative and I could not show my friends and family my coding.  My work as a manager did require me to be creative when two people called in sick right before the launch of a website or our budget was cut by 20%.  However at the end of the project there was nothing lasting to show for my work.

Many of us get a real feeling of accomplishment from making things.  There has been a real increase in scrapbooking, painting parties and any kind of DIY project.  A few years ago an article reported.  “Interest in quilting, other forms of sewing and many crafts in general is increasing.  At least one project a year is crafted in about 56 percent of American households, according to the Craft & Hobby Association, and the industry held steady at nearly $30 billion in annual revenue through the recession, when many other retail sectors declined.”

For full article click here 

When I was young I enjoyed lots of different crafts.  As an adult I had to stop sewing.  I would start after dinner then look at the clock and it would be 1 AM.  I also loved silversmithing from my first class in school.  As an adult I found a great teacher.  I improved my metal sawing, filing and soldering  skills and got some blue ribbons at the State Fair.  I even took jewelry making vacations to have some solid time for the craft.  My current house does not have a good space for this hobby and I miss it.

I have started sewing again in the winter and gardening gives me something to show for my work in the summer.  It is good for stress reduction.  In coaching people for stress I often ask them what is a hobby you had, where you were so immersed in the work you lost track of time?  Can you carve out an hour a week again for something you really enjoy?