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Dastardly Crafty

Craft, Crochet and Cthulhu.

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February 2016

My 12 Month Craft Challenge is over! But here are a few things it taught me…

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In January 2015, I decided I wanted a different sort of New Year’s Resolution.  Instead of giving something up, I wanted to try new things instead.  And so I set myself a 12 Month Craft Challenge where every month I would try a new craft.

Well, I managed it!  My first ever resolution to be kept throughout the entire twelve months.

The challenge taught me several things:

  1. Handmade crafts are worth the money you pay for them. If you are one of those people who go to craft fairs or on etsy, look at things and say ‘That’s expensive! I could make that myself!’ then I say, just try it! Some of the ‘easiest’ crafts I tried, still turned out to be as time consuming or fiddly as more complicated crafts. When you go to a craft fair someone else has spent a lot of time, love and care in making that item. They deserve a decent wage in return.
  2. Crafts are a great way to relax. Last year was a tough one for me in some ways. I suffered with stress, developed an anxiety disorder and had depression.  But having a challenge to do meant that at least once a month I made time for myself.  I did something that wasn’t work.  That was mindful. I came out at the other end of it all and whilst I still battle with anxiety on occasion, crafting helps me calm my mind when I feel it creeping up on me again.
  3. You don’t need to be perfect.  I started the challenge with very simple crafts. Paper mache’ and paper flowers. Safe, simple crafts. As I became more confident, I tried more complicated crafts such as beading. Or crafts that used more than one technique. Sometimes, it went wrong.  I learned quickly, to adapt.

The most unexpected benefit I found in the 12 Month Craft Challenge was that over time, my confidence grew. As I tried more and more new things I decided to ‘just have a go’ at whatever I fancied.  This lead to more complicated crafts and in the end I just metaphorically threw the instructions out of the window to make more creative designs that reflected my personality.

So, am I doing another craft challenge this year?

Not exactly.

I still plan to make things and blog about them throughout this year, but not with a rigid schedule like last years.

I still plan to try new things if I get the urge to do so.

But I also want to have time to enjoy and improve on the crafts I already enjoy.

Expect to see more crochet projects and more powertex. And anything geeky or kawaii.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Month Craft Challenge – DEC Candy Cane wreath

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For December’s craft challenge, I made my own Candy Cane Wreath.  Here is how I did it:

 

What you need:

1 polystyrene Wreath

2 rolls of craft tape, one white, one red glitter.

Empty candy wrappers (It’s a hard job but someone has to eat em!)

A small amount of toy stuffing.

Cookie cutters.

White and bronze fimo.

A glue gun and scissors.

A wide red ribbon that matches the red tape.

 

I began by covering the wreath in the white tape.  This is harder than it looks because it is difficult to wrap it without wrinkles.

Once wrapped, wrap your red glitter tape at intervals around the wreath to look like a striped candy cane.  I found this part easier to do with the tape cut into sections.

Once wrapped, tie your ribbon into a bow at the top, leaving enough ribbon to hang it on your door.

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Then you need to add the decorations.  I used cookie cutters to make fimo gingerbread decorations.  Roll and cut out the bronze fimo to make the ‘gingerbread’ shapes.  Then roll thin sausages of white fimo for the ‘icing.’ Push the icing gently onto the gingerbread shapes to ensure they are fixed to the surface. Then cook according to packet instructions.

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Whilst you are waiting for the fimo to cool down, stuff your sweet wrappers with toy stuffing.  Once your decorations are completed, glue them onto your wreath using a glue gun.

The wreath was too pretty and too light to hang on the front door so I ended up keeping it inside the house instead!!

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