Ever since I was very young, I've always been what I would call arty. Always drawing. Always making people birthday cards. My Nan used to be a foster carer, and one of her foster children (who was quite a few years older than me) loved the Babysiters Club, and was inspired by those books to have a kit (I'm sorry, I can't remember what they call it in the books?) and she would make things with me for my Nan.
As I got older, I was still very creative. I would create my own posters by cutting out my favourite bands from magazines and creating collages. I would sit for hours in my room and try and copy a poster, shading and toning. Sometimes I'd get a crazy idea out of no-where and try drawing it from imagination; a glass rose, a bleeding heart, a wedding dress. Not surprisingly, I took Art for GCSE. I loved creating things.
Several years ago, while I was still at uni, I discovered some other ways of being arty or creative, things that are classed as Crafting. Though I'm only an amateur
I really enjoy making homemade cards for people. I did it when I was younger, and I do it now, but so much better. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I have actually given these cards to people, and never thought to take any photos, I can't show you the cards I've made. But I love it. I normally buy the Let's Make Cards magazines, which seem expensive, but have so many great ideas along with the papers and the cards and embellishments, it's worth it. Sitting there for hours, flicking through a magazine, looking through the patterned paper, embellishments, cards, trying to come up with ideas for a specific person, then arranging and cutting and glueing. It's fun, and it's also great seeing the faces of people when they open it. There's something really nice about actually putting in some time and effort to make someone smile. I've made cards for all sorts of occasions; Birthdays, bereavement, Christmas, "new arrivals", "Get Well Soon", etc. I really enjoy it.
I also really love making jewellery. I used to spend days browsing eBay, looking for lots of charms or pendants, chains, bracelets, etc. There was nothing to help me here, there's no magazine to follow, so it's all from my own imagination. I find it much easier to come up with ideas for jewellery than I do for cards. It just comes down to deciding which charms and pendants would look good together, or whther you should just leave them on their own, what type of necklace, etc. It's much more fiddley than card making though, some of the findings (e.g. the rings used to put charms/pendants on a chain, the clasps, earing hooks, etc), mainly the rings, are really tiny and can break easily if they are twisted too often. Finding the right link on a chain can also be difficult - you don't want them hanging off centre, and then getting the finding to go through the link... it can take a while, and my hands can get a little sore from using the pliers and generally having to fiddle about with things so tiny.
I do have some photos for you to see, but they would be too big to go on the blog, and changing width/height would make them difficult to see, so I've created an album you can look at, which also includes the charms and pendants, (and some buttons I use in card making). As I said before, I'm only an amateur, so don't expect anything wonderful. I just enjoy making them. And most of my favourites have been given to people as gifts. Since my Dad borrowed and lost my pliers, I haven't been making anything for a while, so there isn't a lot to see, but you can get an idea.
Later on today, you can check out an interview with professional crafter, Laura Clempson. I know it's not (completely) book related, but it's my interest, and as some of you are Etsy fans, I thought you might be interested too. Keep an eye out for it at 12 noon.