Thanks to Laura Grande for this lovely interview!
- Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, experts say
- It may also ease stress, increase happiness by releasing neurotransmitter called dopamine
- Leisure activities such as reading and crafting may protect brain from aging, study finds
I abandoned my blog over a year ago. In a sense I abandoned myself, because my self was in a weird downward spiral.
When you can't pull up out of a gnarly place, sometimes it's better to not pay attention to your own thought processes.
Knitting got me through the last 18 months, which featured abrupt changes of fortune and emotional lows.
Recent neurological research shows that creating something - anything - interrupts negative emotional loops that can keep us stuck. Knitting helped me release stress and I'm certain that it prevented me from crashing into depression. I didn't quite have the heart for woodworking, welding or more challenging hobbies. But the soft, cozy yarn and the quiet click of my needles seemed to be the perfect tonic.
The CNN article above documents how others have experienced emotional healing through crafting. Maybe you'd like to share your own experience in the comments below. Or maybe just read the article and take comfort in knowing that there's an inexpensive, gentle solution waiting for you if you're in a dark time.
I've been caught up in a number of eyebrow-blowing-off experiences lately.
First, my talk at TEDxWaterloo at the end of March. It consumed me. I've never worked harder on anything, yet I still made crucial mistakes, which have driven me crazy for more than 2 months. Until this morning, when I realized that our mistakes become our future strengths so I should respect my mistakes, not revile them.
I also started work on a new season of Lowe's Family Fun Projects. This year we're working with Tweens. The kids have lots of cool design ideas (headboards, WarHammer terrains, treehouse upgrades). It's going to be amazing to watch them work with their hands.
I've been experimenting with getting some cool finishes on furniture. Here's one of them:
And here's another:
I made sheers after the blinds fell apart (employing doorknobs from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore)
Kicked off the 2013 Habitat for Humanity WomenBuild. Want to join me in September?
Walked a lot. (shades of Avonlea)
And traveled to Saskatoon and Vancouver for Skills Canada's provincial and national competitions. More on that this week from Vancouver with the adorable Mike Holmes.
Photo by keltickelton via flickr.com
This just in from Irwin, makers of some of my favourite hand tools. (I've upgraded the term 'Tradesmen' to Tradespeople in a few places and like it better!)
The second annual National Tradesmen Day will be held on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, and IRWIN® Tools encourages all Canadians to make plans to recognize Canada’s tradespeople – the men and women who are the backbone of our nation. The country’s skilled craftsmen should be proud of their incredible skills and talents. And they deserve to be recognized for their hard work, which is often performed in difficult environments under stressful conditions.
National Tradesmen Day, held each year on the third Friday in September, is a day when the nation pauses to thank skilled workers like auto mechanics, roofers, bricklayers, plumbers, woodworkers, electricians, carpenters, and others who help keep Canada running. During last year’s inaugural National Tradesmen Day festivities, many people found ways to show appreciation and gratitude for tradespeople by holding celebrations, recognition events and activities throughout the country.
It’s vitally important that we say thanks and find ways to encourage skilled trades as valuable career choices for young people. Without these hard working men and women, Canada’s infrastructure and our way of life would come to a screeching halt. Despite the fact that these jobs are so important there is a looming skills shortage in Canada. The Construction Sector Council projects that over the next 8 years there will be a shortfall of 156,000 skilled workers across the country. This shortfall is driven primarily by expected retirements. Between 2012 and 2020 there are 219,000 workers expected to retire and not all of these jobs will be filled through expected workforce growth. The projected gap of 156,000 workers is a serious issue that could create project and service delays in many important areas of the economy.
This year, IRWIN is coordinating multiple activities throughout the nation and is partnering with retailers and community groups for National Tradesmen Day celebrations. IRWIN offers some ideas Canadians can use to show their appreciation of skilled tradesmen:
Last week I built a cool growth chart with my 4-year-old friend Quintyn (with some help from his little brother, Kai). The design has sandy beaches (made from sanded caulking), sea walls (made from pea gravel), tiny houses (made from 2x2 poplar scraps with sandpaper roofs) and the metal tape from a busted tape measure, which acts as the yellow line going up the middle of the road. Magnetic cars slide up and down the tape to measure kids' heights. SO FUN! I'm learning so much from these little kids with their fearless approach to design and colour. No hesitation, EVER! A video and free plans for the growth chart are available now at Lowe's Family Fun Projects.
It was standing room only at the Real Home Show in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I had 5 packed shows and we gave away more than 500 free packs of Sugru (not an affiliate link), the silicon putty that fixes, improves and customizes just about anything. Lots of people brought busted stuff for me to fix, and we had some great laughs. Thanks to Herald Homes for inviting me to speak, and to Sugru for supplying the free samples for all of our show visitors. And it was great to meet some of you there!
One of my favourite repairs was Margie's hose reel, which had a cracked housing.
We reinforced and buttressed the bejeez out of the plastic base, which had split around one of the screws. Naturally we did our best to complement Margie's colourful personality using orange, blue, green and marbled black and white Sugru!
Plus, I learned (well, sort of) to step dance at the opening night party, courtesy of Herald Homes editor Claudia White! Toe, heel, toe, hop, bang bang...
Thanks to my friends over at Road to Avonlea for the update on my latest producing venture!
We've got hammers, steel-toed boots and great lunches - consider joining us for a day or two in May! You'll make forever friendships and learn how to use tools (no experience required - we'll teach you!). Hope to see you there.
We had our kick-off party last night and there are already more than 100 women signed up (you must be at least 16 years old - sorry Georgia!)
We're All In This Together
Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.
How Hard Can It Be?
Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.