Where are all the ‘crafts’?

Can I tell you a secret? Don’t tell anyone, K? 😉 This blog was supposed to have a lot more crafts!! Not just watercolors and crochet, but all kinds of different crafty projects. What happened? Well, life I guess, and finances. I love crafts. I could absolutely get lost in Michaels (craft store), and with an unlimited budget, I’d come out with half the store! So, my intentions were good when I put the word ‘crafts’ in my blog title, but life, it’s funny thing, and I guess I could shorten it to just ‘craft’ it’d be more accurate, but then it’d sound funny. If you feel like going on a rambling journey with me about my experience with chronic illness and crafts, grab yourself some coffee, or tea, or whatever (I don’t judge), and settle in.

I got to thinking recently about how much our paths change throughout our lifetimes. In high school I was really torn between wanting to be a newscaster and an interior designer. I really, really wanted to be a newscaster (I even visited news stations and sat in on newscasts) until I found out they must write their own material (pre-internet), or they did at that time, I’m not sure how it works now. Then I started to question whether my writing was up to par, even though I’ve always loved to write, and that’s when interior design started to sparkle a little more brightly. But then I realized you have to design things to other peoples liking, not your own, and let’s face it, some people have ‘interesting’ decorating ideas. So, after further pondering, and a few years of indecision, I decided maybe law was the place for me, specifically working with juveniles, still lots of writing, but also a chance to tackle one of my passions, which was and always will be helping children in need. While I did go to school to be a paralegal, my plans of then going on to law school did not pan out, I chose to put raising my son as my top priority; I knew I couldn’t commit to both fully. In the end, I ended up working in legal departments throughout my career (unfortunately never with children). Funny thing is though, fast forward to five years ago and it ALL went out the window. We put so much emphasis on what kids are going to be when they grow up, and I do believe having a career is important, don’t get me wrong, but I think there are other things that are more important, like being able to be comfortable in your own skin, having the skills to persevere when the going gets tough, and the self-worth to know your value, even on the roughest of days. Oh, I’m rambling again… 😊 Let me get to the point, I’ve always wanted to contribute to society in some way, make it a better place for others, specifically those that can’t help themselves like children. Chronic illness took that away, or changed it, made it feel impossible, until I changed my way of thinking.

One of the biggest struggles with being ill was finding a purpose. I’m not going to bore you with the emotional spiraling that led me to crochet, but it happened, and that’s when I stumbled upon beginner crochet tutorials on YouTube. Originally, I had hoped to crochet hats for preemies, or blankets, or whatever was needed. But then I found out this requires a specific yarn, and I have pets (allergens), and the list or requirements went on. Also, the yarn type was expensive so that idea came and went, but I did make blankets for a few people, including myself, and that felt productive. But then, as any good little autoimmune-disease-soldier does, my shoulders froze up, so no more crochet. Which honestly was a bummer because let me tell you something crochet is incredibly therapeutic.

Back to the drawing board. I pondered questions like what crafts can be done from bed? What isn’t expensive, and what requires supplies that can be ordered online? While watercolors came to mind, at first, I chuckled at the thought. If you want something organized, logically, I’m your gal. If you want something creative and artistic, keep on looking. But it was something I’d always wanted to learn and hadn’t taken the time. In fact, a watercolor class was on my bucketlist before I got sick. Finally, I convinced my very logical, and in no way artistic, brain that there was no time like the present. I was gifted the jumping off supplies for my birthday a few years ago and it was off to the races.

I’ve learned a lot during the process, and I thought I’d share some of those things with you:

  • I can watercolor in bed, but it helps to use a small lightweight watercolor notebook (Strathmore watercolor softcover art journal). I can’t lift my arms to use an easel due to pain and strength, so I rest them on pillows and hold the notebook, which has a hard surface for painting.
  • I can dab a little of every color I have out on a tray and leave it forever, but it takes a big, very lightweight tray.
  • I can save money with watercolors. Watercolor paints, when doing very small paintings last a long, long time. I still have a lot of the original tubes from when I started. And brushes and paper only need replacing every so often.
  • I can stop staining my clothes by putting a hand towel down between my paint tray and my notebook! Live n learn.
  • I can spill a whole glass of muddy paint water on my bed and I’ll survive.
  • I can learn a lot from very kind and generous people on social media.
  • I can accidently dip my paintbrush in my tea, not have the energy to make new tea, drink it anyway, and I’m fine.
  • I can have fun, I can laugh at myself, I can get lost in the process, and it’s healing.
  • I can share my work with others, sometimes hopefully brightening their day, and they will share theirs too. This is extremely beneficial for those of us who are housebound, having social connections outside the home.

At the end of the day part of happiness is adjusting to what is, not constantly wishing for what was, or what should have been. Tough lessons to learn, but thankful to have learned them. Hopefully someday I’ll get to share more crafts on here, until then let’s all assume ‘crafts’ means just the one craft and I can stop feeling guilty for leading people to a site where there’s just some doodles at the end of each post. Fair? 😁 If you made it all the way down here, you’re a champ! Hoping today brings you goodness!! A few more ‘craft-s’ 😊 below. I like to add bears in February (Fe-bear-uary) so this month, as I’m able, each doodle will have a bear too.

25 thoughts on “Where are all the ‘crafts’?

  1. I can so fee everything you’ve written. My post today was about a dermatology appointment today, yeah i know exciting right? Anyway since I ended up by my Mom’s we had lunch when that appointment was done.

    I had to leave house at 9a.m. Due to traffic after appointment & lunch i was about 1:30 & i was starting to drag. I made it home, let the dogs out & as I sat down to look at blog email. I obviously crashed like a car wreck. I say this as I can never tell if I’ve slept unless I see loss of time on the clock or am told by my husband. Either way I never get enough good sleep. I managed to become conscience about 5minutes before my husband called on his way home.

    Needless to say the only things that got done were doctor’s, lunch w/ Mom, letting the dogs out & in and sleeping. I managed to delete junk mail and comment on a few blogs. Never did I think my life would be like this(well before the last 24 years) Doctor’s(Primary,Pulimanry,Therapist, Psychatrist,x-rays, bloodwork, meds…etc). Let’s not forget endless limitations ,along with a lot of not knowing everything wrong w/ me. Even after doctor’s finally knowing I’m not ok….every.single test says I’m normal. Has can my hands not be swollen(says many x-rays) if I can’t make a fist??

    Sorry this is so long.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Life certainly can turn on a dime. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with so much. 💔 I’m also hoping you find answers soon. It’s the not knowing that’s one of the hardest parts. Thank you for the compliment. Painting has been very therapeutic over the last few years. Hoping today or tomorrow is best as possible for you 💙


  2. although I am fortunate enough not to be bedbound most days, I know that feeling of being unproductive……..it can eat at your soul. you, your words and your paitings are so inspirational for me and I am so thankful you are here……..I just wish you felt better!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. wow! the first message I read this morning is yours and what a BEAUTIFUL way to start the day! I woke up, I can see the computer and I made it to the bathroom alone………I think today is going to be good. 🙂 Wishing you a smile or three 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. we share a simlar story. I started my blog to escape who I had become since becoming sick, instead it became a place that had to include all of me, the good and the bad along with the crafts. I bounce from craft to craft, when my arms have had too much of crochet or my back too much of sewing I lay on the couch and do needle point, and when that is too much I binge watch TV ( if only that was a sport or a craft I’d be team leader) I wanted to be a paramedic, i volunteered as one for years, my accident and amputation was the first of many things to come that would squash my dreams and goals. I put everything into being a mom as well of 4,and now as an empty nester and chronically ill I struggle and unfortunately am always dreaming and crying for what I wish I could do and become. Koodos for you for being happy in your own skin and adapting to the illness, your paintings are adorable regardless if it was forced upon you or not, they are amazing and keep making and sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admire you! You are so incredibly talented! I love seeing your crafts pop up on Instagram. They make me smile! Thank you for the compliment!🌸 I think everyday we show up and do our best, and that’s what matters. Making lemonade out of lemons if you will. It’s not what we dreamed of but we’re still showing up.💪 Hoping today has been kind to you.💙


  4. It is interesting how things change, how we go down one path and a few years down the line can end up somewhere else entirely. “I’ve always wanted to contribute to society in some way” – I feel this way too, and it’s part of what I found so crushing when I lost my job, and when I had to admit I’m probably never going to be able to go into clinical psychology either. But of course there are other ways to reach this point, other things you can do and find that purpose. It’s something I’ve struggled with, especially when the playing field continues to change. As you’ve found, like with crocheting but then your shoulders becoming too painful and you having to adapt and change tracks yet again. It’s a constant work in progress and a case of adaption where possible. When it comes to things for expression and art and enjoyment, I know I need to get back into doing something, something for enjoyment at least, and you’re a source of inspiration for me and for us others. For what it’s worth, I think you’ve found a wonderful niche with your watercolours because you have a real knack for it. Not just the drawing and painting part, but the creativity and imagination. You’re incredibly talented so I hope it’s something you can continue without too much hassle (behave, chronic illness body!) because it’s joyful for you and it brings a smile to those who get to see your wonderful art.

    Caz xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Caz ❤️ I’m sorry you too had to let go of a career dream. It’s difficult to be one person in your mind and yet your body says nope. I was actually thinking of going back to school right before I got sick to be a licensed marriage and family therapist. But now that’s a someday, maybe, but doubtful. I think it’s so important to do something fun. Sometimes I ask myself – when you’re 80 what would you have wished you’d done today (that can be done) and then I do that. Someday I hope to scan the doodles in and create greeting cards but by the time I’m able there will be no more post! 😁 Hoping you find something enjoyable to sink into. It’s so healthy I think to just shut off the chronic illness stuff for a while everyday and just be a person have fun. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. you are so talented! i, too, think of myself as being organized and logical, and not at all creative. but you create such amazing watercolors, and have given me hope that we never know what we can do until we try.

    i look forward to seeing more paintings this Fe-bear-uary!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lindsay 😊 It’s funny you say you aren’t creative because I find your writing (and IG posts) to be very creative, and entertaining. Your posts are not only often infused with humor that literally have me chuckling out loud, but they’re always clear and concise.

      And now I’m off to ponder how to mix the prompt – peacock with a teddy bear. 😁 Things only people with too much time on their hands ponder. 😉😊 Hoping you and your doggo were able to enjoy the beautiful day today!🐶

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! That’s very kind of you to say.

        Was a beautiful day yesterday! Husband and I have been sick, but we felt well enough to get some ramen and take the doggo to the park (especially since today isn’t a good park day).

        Saw the peacock and bear on IG and it’s adorable!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your artworks, Mishka. They bring joy to my Instagram feed and it’s also means you are still out there, posting and painting (even if just reposting on off days) which is reassuring to me. ❤️️I can absolutely relate to the jumping between crafts depending on energy levels! You know I love sewing and knitting but right now I’m having a break from both due to energy levels and pain. So I find what I can do (read online, do my makeup, paint my nails, organise the garden from afar), and do it. We are creative no matter how we express our creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make a great point! We are creative. I just read something that said you can be an artist, and you can be creative, and you can also be a creative artist, but not all artists are creative. 🤔 I so enjoy seeing all of your different talents here, from knitting, to sewing, to makeup, and more. I think it’s that quest for creativity, for wanting to drink life in, that drive helps propel forward even on the toughest of patches. And thank you for the compliment. I’ve had people approach me about ME and my doodles but the two don’t mesh because I’ve chosen to keep them as the happiest parts of my day. I know others create beautiful works depicting how ME is awful but that’s just not me. Don’t get me wrong I love their work and I applaud them wholeheartedly for having the strength and courage to go there emotionally, instead of the opposite direction, like me. And there ends my novella. 😁 Hoping your mom is doing her very best as possible and you too. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliantly written post. Life just does get in the way sometimes. But at least your passion for craft hasn’t disappeared.
    Absolutely love your artistry skills! I’d love to learn to watercolour better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping in and for your kindness. 🌸There are an abundance of tutorials on watercolors (if you’re interested) but I don’t watch them because I always feel disappointed that my piece never looks as good as theirs. 😂 I’m incredibly thankful to have found a hobby I can do from bed. Being housebound and spending my days in bed is far from that fairytale we all wish for but painting helps. Hoping today is kind to you 💙

      Liked by 1 person

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