March is National Craft Month and since beading is my craft of choice, I think it’s nice to recognize those of us who craft and inspire new crafters.
I know there is so little time to pursue crafts but I find it satisfying to be able to say, “I made it” when someone pays me a compliment about a pair of earrings, necklace or bracelet I’ve made. I also love to give my homemade creations as special gifts to special people. I’ve sold my jewelry at craft shows and I have always found it extremely fulfilling that someone will actually pay money for something I’ve created.
Crafting has many mental and physical benefits. Studies show that when crafting, people seem to forget about their worries, aches and pains. It’s a key reason why crafting is excellent for mental and emotional health. Some experts equate the benefits of crafting much like meditation. When people become absorbed in their project, they become more relaxed and “present.” Getting creative boosts brain health and happiness and crafting may be a natural antidepressant. It’s also found that regardless of age, cognitive decline can be slowed or reversed by engaging in a hobby you love. The mental activity of crafting helps the brain make new neurons in response to mental activity. Keeping yourself crafty may reduce your chance of developing mild cognitive impairment as much as 50 percent!
Crafting is adult playtime and it’s good to play no matter what your age. The process of envisioning, producing and realizing a product in its final form boosts our sense of self-worth and encourages us to connect with others. It’s fun crafting together. I often see a group of people sitting at my local knit or bead store and simply crafting away. They all seem so relaxed and less stressed. They chat about their projects and help each other with their mistakes. It’s a way to get to know people too when you share a hobby.
Crafting has a physical bonus too. Something as simple as threading a needle or holding a pair of beading pliers is exercise. There’s hand-eye coordination and those skills that we learned in kindergarten are still put into use. I began crafting as a child and perhaps this gave me an early appreciation for handmade crafts. I know the time required to complete a project. When I see someone at a craft show selling their work, I understand what it took dedicate themselves to their craft.
So I encourage you to “Keep Calm and Craft!” What have you made lately?