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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Craft Therapy by Melissa McColl

A couple of years ago I said good-bye to a regular pay check and damn good health benefits when I quit my day job and pursued a life of crafting. I had gone back to work after a year-long medical leave and realized that I just wanted to be home knitting.
As a little kid I loved arts and crafts. I was always collecting stuff and making collages and sculptures and generally making a mess. I had a little habit of stealing supplies from school and crafting quietly in my bedroom on the weekends.  In high school I became obsessed with cross stitch and making things out of wood. My craft career never really moved beyond a childhood past time and fell to the wayside as I struggled through my early adulthood with depression.
I had no idea that I had depression. I went on for a long time undiagnosed until I was in my 30’s. When I saw a doctor she encouraged me to do the things I enjoyed during my ordered medical leave. However, finding things “I enjoyed” was very difficult. When in the throes of depression it is almost impossible to find enjoyment in anything.
Eventually crafting became quite an obsession. I amassed mountains of yarn and avalanches of fabric, beads, and ribbon. I invested in knitting machines, a good sewing machine, and serger.  I had no idea that I was slowly building a crafting empire. I also learned a lot from books. I taught myself how to use my machines and learned new techniques in knitting, crochet, quilting and embroidery.
Crafting gave me a reason to get up every day.  My confidence in my skill and abilities went from non-existent to being ready to go out in public and join others for Stitch and Bitch groups, and then to teaching others how to knit.
Today I am growing a nice little business designing and creating knitwear for babies under the label Vintage Baby Revival. I have exhibited at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto and am hoping to be a regular exhibitor from now on.
I blog about my crafty pursuits and sometimes a little bit about depression over at Close Knit. I hope to inspire others to get their craft on whether or not they consider themselves creative-I believe anyone can do it.

Top Five Reasons Creating is Therapy
  1. Playing with colour and texture stimulates the senses and makes us feel good 
  2. A motivator to get out and socialize and relate to others by taking classes, or joining Stitch n Bitch groups
  3. Develops a sense of satisfaction, confidence and pride as new skills are acquired and projects are completed
  4. Once a skill is mastered the repetitive nature of stitching (ie knitting) can be meditative and relaxing
  5. Crafting gives us something we can share with others and makes us feel worthwhile
Melissa McColl is the brains behind Vintage Baby Revival and LadeeBee. She has a blog "Close Knit" and she has on line stores at 100 mile finds and on Etsy. Her wares can also be found at Wise Daughters Craft Market in Toronto.

1 comment:

  1. This post is amazing, I'm going to share it on my facebook wall. Someday we hope to quit our day jobs and do the same.

    Just browsing some of the blog hop blogs and I wanted to say hi! I will follow you as well<3
    Monika @ Aias Dot Ca (