Do me a favour: cast your mind into its deepest, darkest recesses. No, not THOSE ones, even more shameful. Yeah, that’s right, I want you to think about your craft shelves (chest of drawers, cupboard, room, whatever).
Not your beautifully organised, colour co-ordinated corner you modelled on that Pinterest board you follow (but are so afraid to dishevel that you never touch it). No, I mean the other, untouched bits. The darkest corners that harbour all your (whisper it) unfinished objects.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about you must be one of those crafters who works on one project at a time, sees it through and then finishes it (including the sewing up and weaving in ends… shudder) before moving on to the next thing. I had heard tell that such people existed, but I always suspected it to be a carefully constructed lie – like the perfect mother – designed to make the rest of us feel guilty. If you are one of those mythical creatures, though, I salute you, and the unicorn you rode in on.
For the rest of us mere mortals, we hoard a shameful secret. Or in my case, MANY shameful secrets. Maybe your shameful secrets aren’t unfinished objects. Maybe yours are things you have finished but never wear, instead wearing the same few high street items over and over, leaving your handmade clothes lying unloved in the bottom of the wardrobe. Maybe your secret is that you make things you don’t love, sticking to things that are safe instead of things that inspire and excite you. Maybe you really struggle to integrate your love of handmade into your day to day life.
Either way, we need a revival. And so, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Me Made May ’14. Me Made May is an initiative by sewing, upcycling and generally lovely blogger So, Zo… What do you know? You can read all about it here, but basically it’s a movement to encourage crafters and stitchers to love their look, their finished objects and their craft more. It’s not about showing off, it’s not a competition, it’s about loving what you make and wear, and making and wearing what you love. Although Zoe says it much better than I do!
We’re a little late to this party this year, and although you might not be able to sign up on So, Zo…’s sign up page any more, there’s no reason you can’t make a pledge to your self for the rest of this May. As she says, it’s not a competition. Take a look through some of the pledges on the sign up page. Not to try to better any of them, but it might give you some ideas of what you can do for the last twenty or so days of May. Then seize this opportunity to take a good look at your crafting life, and make a pledge to yourself. Try to do one thing this May, however small, that will bring your handmade life and your every day life that little bit closer together.
In that spirit, as I don’t have the time this May to do a daily, or even consistent, pledge (the imminent shop opening means I have very little time to do anything else!) I am going to promise myself the following:
- I pledge to have a real go through my wardrobe before the end of the month, and reduce how much ‘stuff’ I own but don’t wear (maternity gear notwithstanding)
- I pledge to think carefully about any purchases I make this month. I don’t need any new clothes, I pledge to do myself (and my bank balance) the courtesy of not filling my wardrobe with cheap impulse buys.
- I pledge to finish resizing and writing up all my new patterns
- and finally I pledge (and this, ladies and gentlemen, is the biggie) to finish the poo cardigan by the end of the month. If you don’t know what the poo cardigan is, don’t worry, there’s a blog on that coming soon.
Of course you don’t have to pledge anything. You could just mull it over this May, and join in the fun for MMM’15. It’s your call. But don’t ignore your talents, they are real gifts, they should be used and cherished, and this is a great way to start putting that into practice.