2020 has so far been a year that most of us would rather forget. It’s felt a bit like we’re all living in a snow globe which is being shook constantly. In the last 3 months (is that all it’s been?!) I have started writing so many blogs to try and put in writing how things are affecting inspiration, the crafts i’m making and just in general how life on the Outer Hebrides is during these strange times. But each time I’ve written something, I’ve deleted it – Mainly because it’s been such a roller coaster that something written one minute looks a bit melodramatic the next, and feelings change so quickly.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, I thought it was time to have a go putting words to my thoughts.
It been a challenging time, a time which has been so life changing for everyone. For me personally, I am so thankful for being in the Outer Hebrides during such a horrendous situation which has left many in despair and grief. I feel so lucky as I have a garden, and access to beautiful places on the doorstep when daily exercise was more restricted, and these things have given such inspiration for crafting.
The first couple weeks of Lockdown were surreal and a bit scary, with so many uncertainties and questions. I had a complete mental block, no drive or inspiration for anything. I just couldn’t get my head together, let alone to get creative and make anything.
The daily exercise allowance during that time was my saving grace. An hour outside in the spectacular landscape of the Isle of Lewis, watching wildlife and being out in the elements, whatever the weather, is what kept me going, and gave me hope.
Then somewhere out of the dark fog in my brain, a glimmer of light and hope began to emerge. Following weeks of having a permanent frown and a feeling of just wanting to sleep, I stood in my craft room, looked at my shelves of spectacular Harris tweed, lovely fabric and embroidery threads, and I had an uncontrollable urge to start making new designs and ideas which were filling my mind.
The brain fuzz of Lockdown cleared, followed by emerging subconscious memories of the last few weeks. At the time, the first few weeks were a blur, but the brain is a funny thing and the Landscapes, flowers, wildlife, history, pretty much everything in this little corner of the spectacular Isle of Lewis, reemerged and gave me inspiration to create.
Crafting for me is much more than making something. It is a way of expressing myself, my feelings, things I love, things important to me, and perhaps most importantly, being able to put a smile on someones face. Being creative is part of who I am.
Crafting has been important to me for my whole life, but only relatively recently has become a part of my life I want to make in to a small business and be able to share my crafts with others.
My work is often colourful, not particularly trendy or fashionable, and it may not be everyone’s taste. But the beauty of the world is that we are all different, and that is something that should be celebrated. Each item I make is a one off, as unique as each of us. I love putting details in to my work so the closer you look, the more details come to life.
Embroidery puts a uniqueness to my crafts, adding colours, textures and details. I’ve used a lot of threads over the last 3 months, and without access to some fantastic online craft shops, and the hard work of the delivery drivers and postmen during this really difficult period, I wouldn’t have been able to continue my own crafts.
Once my need for creating things went in to Lockdown overdrive, I soon began running our of supplies. Luckily, living so close to Harris Tweed Weavers, socially distanced Harris tweed shopping was possible, but embroidery threads and fabrics were running out and all the shops were closed. Lovecrafts.com then became that webpage that my laptop automatically opened on! They have such a fantastic range of threads, fabric and haberdashery supplies. Hundreds of different colours of embroidering floss, in different colours and textures. DMC embroidery thread is my favourite and Lovecrafts.com has so many different colours, I knew I could get exactly what I needed to be able to embroider the designs in my head. They also stock a fantastic range of high quality fabrics that I use to complement the Harris Tweed. My lovely Lovecraft parcels arrived in no time at all and were like Christmas had come early.
Those little parcels of loveliness has enabled me to keep creating. Handbags, cushions, purses, and much more.
I’ve been asked where I get my patterns and designs, and if there are templates. I don’t use any patterns, my crafts are designed in my head and are rarely put on paper.
I would encourage anyone who has been inspired to get creative and make something, to just go for it.
It doesn’t matter if it’s fashionable, trendy, or liked by everyone. Just go for it. Make something you are proud of, something that has helped you express yourself, relax and focus on something other than a global pandemic.
Get outside, get inspired, and get creative.