We have a winner! #craftastherapy

@oliveandpickles crochetWe have a winner for the #craftastherapy gratitude giveaway. A big congratulations to Ryane from @olivesandpickles for her entries into the giveaway. Ryane regularly posts beautful crochet images under the #craftastherapy tag and is a worthy winner. The following two images are Ryane’s entries in the giveaway –

granny squares“I use the #craftastherapy hashtag because crocheting is my escape. Because some days the constant worry, the endless trips up and down the stairs, his crushed hopes and the never ending feeling of wishing you could do more to relieve his pain, takes its toll. Taking care of a loved one is a difficult task but I love him for better or worse, in sickness and in health and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything in the world.”

Crochet for #craftastherapy“I use the #craftastherapy hashtag because of the creative community I have recently discovered. So many people share tips, tricks, opinions and ideas. I am constantly learning and inspired by others tagging their photos and I hope to be able to do the same for someone else.”

Crochet on Instagram

@olivesandpickles on Instagram

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. Your beautiful images made it extremely difficult to choose a winner.

Granny square blanket

@olivesandpickles on Instagram

Crochet squares

@olivesandpickles on Instagram

#craftastherapy on instagram

@olivesandpickles on Instagram

 

Gratitude Giveaway for #craftastherapy

stationary and craft

I have put together a gift of thanks for one lucky crafter who posts to the #craftastherapy feed on Instagram this week. One crafter will be gifted everything you see in this image – all you need to do to participate is – 1: use the hashtag when posting your crafty imagesย โ€จ2: start your post with “I use theย #craftastherapyhashtag because….” Your reason could be a simple one such as craft being a stress relief or for more serious reasons like illness and hardship. You can enter as many times as you like. There’s no obligation to follow me as this isn’t about increasing following, but more about building a bigger community under the hashtag – and saying thank you.

craft as therapy

{Top Left – @deborah.brandon} {Top Right – @_riaparamita_}{Bottom Left – @melissablankets} and {Bottom Right – @coachhousepictures}

Old and new posters to the hashtag are welcome. I will choose a winner at 10amย next Sunday the 1st of March and will base my selection on the image and/or the reason for crafting. Everyone is welcome – I will post to anywhere in the world. The package includes – 3 balls of Patons Cotton Blend, a sewing tin, 1 large and 1 small notebook, red and white bakers twine, stamp stickers, pretty envelope, Brittany crochet hook, 2 crochet flowers and 5 wooden pegs ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•Have a great week crafters ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

craft as therapy

{Top Left – @daintyanddevine} {Top Right – @lilychezmoi}{Bottom Left – @oliveandpickles} and {Bottom Right – @littlemittenvintage}

craft as therapy

{Top Left – @gigglemay} {Top Right – @byvintagedaisies}{Bottom Left – @melinda.szente} and {Bottom Right – @toni_edge}

Features from #craftastherapy on Instagram

crochet dragon

@littlecosythings makes so many gorgeous characters that feature in the #craftastherapy feed on Instagram

The #craftastherapy hashtag on Instagram is quickly approaching 500 images. I am really chuffedย thatย so many creative crafters are using the hashtag to show off their handmade pieces. Crochet is obviously flavour of the month and fills most the feed, but that’s ok with me. There are some seriously talented ladies who know how to use the hook!! Here is a selection of my favourites from the feed. Enjoy!!

crochet bracelet

A gorgeous crochet bracelet by @kenjiku_ found in the #craftastherapy feed

hand painted bowl

A beautiful hand painted ceramic bowl – by @hookedandneedled

crochet blanket

A stunning crochet blanket and bag by @winterbeachbymab

crochet #craftastherapy

Crochet squares in pretty soft shades by @mariam_mim

woven bowls

Handmade woven bowls by @string_harvest

crochet blue and white

Perfectly crocheted blue and white squares by @maritparit

Please feel welcome to join in the fun and use the #craftastherapy tag when posting your creations on Instagram. It’s a lovely, warm and welcoming community. xx

A #craftastherapy story: Jane Balke Andersen

Yarnbombers UnitedWhen I contacted Jane to ask her to be my first #craftastherapy story, I really didn’t know that much about her, but I knew she battled a chronic illness and used crochet as therapy. After she sent through her story, I sat down to find some images to accompany her words. The images were easy to find, but I found myself distracted and lost (in a good way) wandering through her social media world. I began to see there was a lot more to Jane than I initally thought.

Yarnbombing redfern

Yarn bombing by Yarnbombers United – Redfern Railway Station

While her story about her battle with Fibromyalgia is a moving one, her zest for life and generous nature is what struck me as her most defining characteristic. While many people of perfect health live in a constant state of negativity, it is beyond inspiring to see someone like Jane, living with chronic illness and being grateful for every moment.

bike racks red fern

Jane yarn bombing bike racks in Redfern

You can find Jane in many places online, so please take the time to look her up. You’ll be glad that you did. She’s a member of Yarnbombers United, a small group of creative friends who have completed various yarn bombing projects. You can find her Facebook page here and don’t forget to hunt her down on Instagram! Here is Jane’s story – in her own words.

crochet mandala

The Hope Mandala by @maritparit – project to raise awareness of Fibromyalgia

Getting a chronic illness was like waking up on a new planet. Gravity suddenly worked differently and my balance was thrown off. I learnt to adapt to completely unknown situations, daily challenges and the unpredictable. Added to this I had to survive constant pain, exhaustion, isolation, disbelief, insults, experimentation by well meaning doctors and not knowing what my own body was going to do on an hourly basis.yarn bomber

I needed a coping mechanism, a wall of defence and so turned to creative ideas. I painted, sewed, decoupaged, grew herbs in creative patterns, made soft toys, tried aromatherapy, candle making, quilting, card making, stamping, stencilling, baking, cake decorating, scrapbooking, beading, jewellery making, photography, digital art, crochet, yarn bombing and now machine knitting too!

Redfern oval - yarn bombing

Yarn bombing by Yarnbombers United – Redfern Oval

After more than 2 decades of chronic illness, crochet keeps me going. It is both a creative outlet and a meditation. Craft is my therapy. It saves my sanity and allows me to cope with life, illness and depression. It has also allowed me to meet like minded people in craft groups and in social media. It is a way of connecting with others and expressing your artistic side. I encourage everyone to find a hobby they love. It doesnโ€™t matter if you are good at it or not, as long as you enjoy it. Get creative!

yarn bombing

Rainbow Tree and Land Tree at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE)

You can find Jane Balke Andersen on –

Thank you so much Jane for taking the time to share your story! xo

Introducing #craftastherapy on Instagram

#craftastherapyI am really excited to introduce the #craftastherapy hashtag on Instagram. Over the past few years crafting and creating has become a huge part of my life and has helped me get through the toughest of times. I have spoken to a lot of fellow crafters about the benefits of using craft as a method of therapy and so many agree that time spent crafting is relaxing and therapeutic. I have heard many storiesย about how craft has helped provide stress relief during mental or physical hardship. Whether it is learning a new skill or revisiting a previous hobby, time spent creating is good for the mind and body.
Upcycled atlas wreathย A number of clever, crafty instagrammers have already started using the hashtag. The #craftastherapy feed is filling up with inspirational and beautiful images.ย I hope to share projects here on the blog from the #craftastherapy feed, so please feel welcome to join in and tag your crafty projects with this hashtag. Or if you’d like to share your story and have a feature of your own, i would love to hear from you.ย stitching on embroidery hoopThe above sweet stitchery is by Robyn from @shopsewrobyn and is made on a canvas of vintage sheets. Robyn was kind enough to share her story with me – in October just past, she suffered a miscarriage and used her newly acquired skill of hand-embroidery to help her get through the waiting and recovering time. She said, “I could just sit and stitch and think as much or as little as i wanted, and have the comfort/satisfaction of making and completing something beautiful with my hands, even though my body had failed me in other ways at the time”.
crochet blanketThis beautiful crochet blanket is just one of the creative images you will find in the #craftastherapy feed. Robyn aka @crochetgirl99 is super talented with the hook and her own feed is full of stunning creations. She calls this projectย her “summer loving” blanket.ย weaving projectsThis unique weave made by Anna aka @ansiesย also features in the #craftastherapy feed along with some of her other inspiring projects. Her weaves are like nothing i have ever seen before and feature lots of natural and foraged materials.
crochet vignetteThe above image is from Chaney, aka @lovemylittlebird – what could be more relaxing than crochet and a cup of coffee?

Please check out the #craftastherapy feed on Instagram and be amazed by the creative and crafty people that are posting under the hashtag. It is a visual feast of crafty projects plus a you will find loads of encouraging and supportive people there.