Something really gorgeous has started growing steadily in My Little Caravan. Three weeks ago we started a group called “Create”. It’s for grown-ups, and it costs around the same amount you’d spend on a swimming lesson for one of your children. But we don’t tend to spend that on ourselves, do we? Every week, our number increases by one…or two, and we learn a new crafty skill- while enjoying a cup of tea and now someone’s even bringing cake! (Thanks Claire!)
The thing I love most about being creative is the feeling I get from it. It’s a form of escapism…but one that you have a lovely object to show for it at the end.
Another thing I love about creativity and crafting in general- it engenders community and human connection.
Before My Little Caravan became a small business, a number of my friends and I would take turns hosting craft afternoons with our own children in the school holidays. I remember my friend Hannah hosting one of these and I can still smell the freshly baked orange and almond cake that we enjoyed slathered in cream with hot coffee afterwards. On that particular day, we made neck ornaments out of rope, and finished them with a tightly wrapped mass of embroidery thread- while our young children happily threaded beads and buttons to wear around their own little necks. I will never wear my rope neck ornament again without revisiting that enjoyable day with my gorgeous friends and their delightful children. The many afternoons I’ve had crafting with friends since, has been more or less the same.
This warm, wholesome feeling is pretty much the polar opposite of how I feel after binge watching TV, or eating too much chocolate (activities I like to indulge in sometimes) I think it’s because these are fairly hollow pleasures, and being creative is a much more satisfying activity, along the lines of eating a beautifully prepared, healthy quinoa salad, instead. In solitude, crafting has given me huge reserves of quiet contentment, and in company, made me feel a great connection with other people. This skill (of being able to generate this feeling within myself) is one I want to pass onto my children.
I think it’s so important for us all to indulge our creative sides and I want to teach children and other adults to do the same. We were born to create- to some of us that looks like writing…to others it’s food and baking- but making time to let yourself be creative is feeding your soul in one of the healthiest ways.
However, finding time to be creative isn’t always easy. Finding the time to teach your children to do so is even harder. It requires patience and hours in which to practise it. If you are available on a Wednesday at 11am- consider joining us at CREATE for grownups. Next term we’ll start one on Thursday mornings too. Or you can start your own group with some like-minded friends. Take it in turns to come up with the craft session idea, because nurturing your creativity- really is as important as nurturing your intelligence.