5 reasons the craft world can help your mental health.

I admit it, I am a complete hobby addict. A creative anyway person, but always looking at new crafts, making new things, and making old things pretty. I could sit here and blame Pinterest, as this has become a real enabler for me. Finding so many things that inspire me just by scrolling for hours on that app. Seriously the time flies by and my brain is overwhelmed with ideas.
In the past few months, life has been more than a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. During this time I have found myself escaping to my craft desk. I like to keep busy playing with my Cricut and spending time in my own world creating different things. I cannot think of anything else that is more therapeutic and fun. Looking back the past few months and looking at all the things I have created lately it hit me. I believe that crafting has a majorly positive impact on my mental health!
By having hobbies connecting to craft in my life, I have had a method of keeping myself winning.

One of my many scrapbooking layouts

Something so simple…

It shouldn’t be a major shock. This is hardly a massive revolution I have had. However, it really has gotton me to think about myself, my health, and my mindstate. I thought I would share my thoughts on how craft can lead to positive mental attitude. So how can starting a craft hobby help your mental health?
Let’s start by remembering that a hobby that falls in any arts and crafts category could be absolutely anything. The possibilities are endless and most people are able to find something that is compatible for themselves. There are so many reasons that by starting a new hobby in the crafting world will have a positive impact on yourself and your mental health

Getting your creative juices flowing.

Just by starting a new creation or project, The creative juices in your brain are forced into action from the get go. No matter what it is that you are busy with, your craft is the doorway to a million other doors.

Once you start something your mind becomes a mental mind-map of what else you can do. From seeing something in a shop you could use to create something amazing, to taking something old and making it even better than before. You are constantly find something new that you will want to get your hands on, or even find ways to make different ideas collaborate and expand. When you are creating something the world is your oyster. There is so much too do and so little time.

Even when you are out of ideas I suggest a quick trip to Pinterest and within minutes you can be inspired by something and thinking up your own unique way to create a similar project.

So many craft tools, so little space?

Being able to unwind and relax.

There have been so many times that I have seen someone say ‘Do some colouring’, and say how colouring can be a good distraction from real life and easily therapeutic. It’s not so different to having a craft hobby. With colouring your taking your choice to pencil, your choice of colour and your decorating something nice. Craft is the same except your probably grabbing the scissors, warming up the hot glue gun and sprinkling glitter and turning an idea into creations.

I have always felt that when I am able to get really engaged into a project it really can have such a positive effect on myself and my stress levels soon shrink.
If you read my previous post on why the Cricut is any crafters best friend, You May remember I mention my love for vinyl projects, like a lot. I have a passion for printing complex and fiddly designs and spend hours weeding the excess vinyl away. It does take time and patience but this can be so relaxing. what could be better then finding a new hobby that can be used as a distraction from reality. Leaving my problems and stress behind. I always call my desk my little craft bubble, because when I am there I am in my own happy place.

Expression…

I know that I’ve already mentioned being creative but for me expression is a whole different chapter in the book of creativity. Being able to express your feelings creatively is such a powerful and amazing device to consider. There are so many different options that can be inspired by what we are feeling. Pairings, art journals, scrapbooking, drawing and uplifting. just to name a few things that you can use your emotions to empower your creations. From using colours and pictures to reflect your mood, to using tools to manipulate objects and change them to your own envisions. You will be able to find so many new ways to express yourself and your feelings.

Positive reflection.

During the years my crafting experiences have had so many positive impacts on me. I try to think of most projects as a creative challenge. being able to throw yourself in to something you can enjoy leads to positive energy. There is something so amazing about that feeling that you get when you are inspired by a new idea, when you found a solution to a tricky crafting nightmare, the experiences of learning new things and different ways to do things, and that final moment, Meanwhile the hours that you have spent creating something is finally finished. That feeling of being proud of yourself, for what you have achieved.

Vinyl decor mugs with the Cricut! Crafting bliss.

And some awesome finished projects … eventually.

Dont get me wrong, I have had so many of my fair share of unfinished projects and ongoing ones. Projects that have pained me to finish, maybe they took me absolute months to finish. It doesn’t really matter. You can use your mistakes to learn from just like in real life. That feeling you have when you’ve finally got there, I didn’t give up and completed them. That feeling I love, it is such a warm amazing feeling, embrace it. I absolutely feel empowered when I can say I did that. look at what I have done, I created something and that thing, it’s amazing and it’s all down to me. That feeling is pretty epic. It’s so positive.

Do not forget that even if a project that you have completed isn’t perfect. You still did it yourself. You have still created something pretty amazing. Find the positives in what you have achieved.

Have I missed anything out?

I mean crafting is one of my major hobbies and it really does have a special place in my heart and life. When I’m having a down day I can sometimes turn it all around by challenging myself into something new!

As always I would love to hear from you guys, with your opinions. Do you have an experience where you have found something in the craft world that keeps you positive? Do you feel that craft has a good reflection on your mental health? I want to hear! Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Why I think The Cricut Explore Air 2 is any crafters best friend

A while back you may have read my post what’s on my desk? Where I spoke about my newest technology that I owned and how excited I was. Well, I thought now would be a great opportunity to finally write a post about this wonderful machine that I proudly own. I know a few people that are also thinking about investing in the machine, and I also have spoken to my friends so much about the Cricut, Weeding, Vinyl and other bits that they have no idea what I am going on about! so what better then to write my own review of owning this machine so far.

Introducing my cricut Explore Air 2.

So what is Cricut?

The Cricut Explore Air and other versions such as the maker, is a die-cutting machine, in its simplest terms. Think of it as a printer, except a Printer with a blade, and Pen option. With the Cricut, you are able to create an image or design on your computer and then send it to the machine to be made for you. The only difference to a printer is instead of using ink you are printing designs by cutting your chosen material.

My story of the Cricut so far…

After absolute years of longing for this machine, I have not yet been left disappointed. The Cricut Explore Air 2 has got me enthusiastic with many different craft ideas and a massive new passion for vinyl. I have a beautiful turquoise colour machine, and there is a variety of other colours that you can choose from. Although the machine and everything you need can be a little pricey, it is a well worth while investment when your in the craft world.
The opportunities that the Cricut system brings are endless. There is honestly so much that you are able to do with this beautiful machine. It doesn’t matter whether you are a papercraft enthuses, or vinyl, or anything else, the Cricut can do so many things for any passionate crafter.

So it has been over 2 months since my Cricut Explore Air 2 had been purchased. Playing with vinyl has now become my favourite thing to do with the Cricut so far, I really do enjoy personalising so many items with names, and pictures, or a few words. I can print on to fabric, like T-shirts and canvas bags, or I can Personalise any decor items, so far the options have been limitless.

Out of all of the cricut tools I own, these are my go too.

When my journey with the Cricut Explore first began I felt completely new to the Cricut world, even though I had experience with using one of the older versions of the machine, which I would mainly use for scrapbooking projects and did not have as many functions. Actually, the original machine uses cartridges only which are pretty pricey and limited.

Design Space is where it is at!

One of the best features of the Cricut explore and newer versions are the Cricut Design Space. This can be loaded on to any smartphone or tablet device, as well as the computer, The computer does give access to a few extra options, but I haven’t had any problems with using the app on my iPhone or iPad so far, in fact, I completely love it. There is a lot of flexibility, and by having a Cricut access subscription account you can have 1000’s of images and projects at the tips of your fingers.
As well as the Cricut library there are so many free SVG files out there on the interwebs that you can download and upload to the DS and create with at your own personal gain. (this can also be a business venture when buying commercial licences for the files) There is so many different freebies out there, as well as a massive amount of SVG files being sold on Etsy stores.

A few examples…

Now I know that I have already mentioned my new found love for vinyl, but there are so many different ways to use vinyl! as well as using adhesive vinyl for a decor, or heat transfer vinyl for Fabric, there are so many options you can do with vinyl as a template. Both I and Emma now use vinyl as a template for Glass engraving, and I have painted some designs on to doormats and canvas.

Pretty paper ready to go!

But like I said vinyl is not the only material that the Cricut machine can cut. Card, paper, Fabric, Posterboard, and so much more, so depending on your hobby, owning the Cricut could really be a game-changer to every crafter. Scrapbooking, engraving, painting, honestly so much more that I probably don’t even know about yet. Believe me, though, I can not wait to play and find out. Also! Did you know that the Cricut explore range can hold a Pen! Yes that’s right! it can draw & write, another amazing feature.

I literally have a list of project ideas that I want to do as long as my arm right now!

Above is a project that took me hours, but worth every minute. Using pretty card stock, a hot glue gun and a hell load of patience I created a beautiful load or 3D flowers, which I have then used inside a 3D box frame. although this project took ages, and I swore a lot because well the hot glue gun was hot and I kept burning myself, the project itself I am so happy with, and I do like a good fiddly project.

To anyone questioning buying a Cricut…

If anyone was to ask me, should I give in and buy a Cricut? I would probably do a really excited squeal, ramble about how much I love the Cricut and then overfeed information about what the cricut machine can do. Then I would ask them one simple questions…
Do you have a passion for crafting?
If the answer is yes. Do it! The Cricut community is amazing, and there is so much benefit from owning such an amazing machine. I would suggest doing some of your own research before you buy, as you will need tools and materials alongside owning the machine. I feel that it is beneficial to be able to get the accessories alongside the machine, and believe me there is so much too choose from. My next stop with be saving for and buying the Cricut east heat press.

So what do you think? Does the cricut machine sound like a match for you?

I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions, as always leave me some love below.