#WhyIMake

Becoming a maker has transformed my life in so many positive ways. What began as a way to deal with stress turned into my path to prove to myself that I was more than just a mom. Finally the connections I have made within the maker community continue to inspire and challenge me to be a better person. #whyimake

When I read the email from LoveCrafts.com I teared up a little. They are hosting a blogger award and sent out an email to explain how to enter and what the qualifications are. They have asked bloggers to answer the question “Why Do You Make?” #whyimake

First of all, I have no delusions of grandeur going on here. There are so many amazing craft bloggers out there and I don’t think for one itty bitty second that I’ll make the short list. My little blog is a tremendous joy of mine, but it is very much a hobby. However, the question has been on my heart ever since. I knew I needed to write about it. Maybe it will be just for me or maybe you will see a little of yourself in my story.

Patterns from Little Cotton Rabbits.

Stress

I’ve shared how I became a maker before. I’ve done it here on my blog but also on the Bhooked podcast, (a dream come true to talk with Brittany!) To make a long story short, I became a maker to deal with stress…the kind of stress that keeps you up at night…the kind of stress that makes your stomach ache and your hands shake.

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Our older son has epilepsy and in the fall of 2016 his seizures went from being fairly well controlled to being completely and utterly out of control. His prognosis was grim. I felt myself spiraling into an unhealthy pattern of worry and angst. Unintentionally, I was transferring all of that anxiety onto my son and one day my happy-go-lucky boy snapped. As a seventeen-year-old kid the last thing he wanted to do was listen to me vocalizing all of the worst case scenarios. He had enough to deal with between doctors, hospital visits and ever increasing medication. He didn’t need a middle aged mom stressing him out even more.

In that moment I knew I needed a hobby. I needed a distraction, something that would keep my hands busy so my mind could rest. I went on Pinterest (as we do) and discovered a gorgeous, modern granny square blanket, not the kind my grandmother used to make. It made my heart pitter patter and I bought the pattern right then and there. From that day forward I have crocheted or knitted or embroidered or painted every single day.

I found that crocheting, and later knitting, gave me something beautiful to focus on. Learning new skills and sharing that passion with others became a joy in my life which eventually spilled over to my family. Crafting literally became my therapy.

Proving to Myself

Once my son’s health improved I no longer needed to knit or crochet for my stress levels. I continued to enjoy making and found a great deal of satisfaction from learning new skills and eventually starting this blog and YouTube channel.

Something unexpected began to emerge during this time. I began to believe in myself. As a stay-at-home mom for over twenty years I supposed that homemaking was the only skill I possessed. Being a mother to my four children has been the greatest gift and journey I have ever taken. But they no longer needed me in the same way and I felt lost.

Not Just a Mom/#whyimake

I have always been comfortable in the background. Supporting my husband and children felt safe. I could work behind the scenes and create a place for them to come home to. Until my children grew up I was content with my role. I was happy until I wasn’t. I didn’t know who I was anymore when suddenly they didn’t need me in the same capacity. I wasn’t in my minivan hours a day driving children to activities and appointments, they could drive themselves. I wasn’t helping with schoolwork for hours a day. They could even live on their own and make adult decisions for themselves. Who was I then? Who was I if I wasn’t always tending to their needs?

Being a maker gives me a reason to feel good about myself. I didn’t know that I had the fortitude deep within me to learn how to make amigurumi, to crochet granny squares or knit beautiful toys. I didn’t know that I was strong and could push through barriers that I had built up about my selfworth. Overcoming the fear and self doubt about my own abilities has been the greatest gift to myself. I do have something valuable to share with the world, not just within the walls of my home.

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Maker Community

I continue to strive to be the best maker I can be because of the incredible community I have found online. There are so many men and women doing important work through their crafting. They are using their talents to change the world from activism to humanitarian efforts. I could not be more proud to be part of this inspiring group of makers.

#WhyIMake

I make because it makes me a better earthling. I make because it helps me cope with life’s fragility. I make because I now believe in myself. I make because of the inspiring men and women I interact with on a daily basis.

Seriously, I wake up every morning excited about the day. My house is not as clean as it used to be. The meals I make aren’t as elaborate. I’ve even gained a little bit of weight (from all that sitting and knitting!) But I’m proud of the woman I see in the mirror. She has overcome a lot of self doubt, a lot of insecurity, and a lot of self inflicted limitations. I make because it makes me.

#whyimake

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19 thoughts on “#WhyIMake

  1. I love this! Thank you for sharing why you make. And I am loving your editing lately… the multiple angles etc. You’re so good. I look up to you. 🙂

    Janelle

  2. Elise! You are fabulous. I love your story. I can relate on many levels although I’m still in the stage of life that requires a lot of hands on with the kiddos. You are truly an inspiration!

  3. Beautiful life-story which I can relate to in many ways. Thank you so much for sharing about yourself and your many talents. You are such an inspiration! Thank you for reaching out to the all of us who follow you. It’s like having a good friend stopping by to visit each day.

  4. You are a true inspiration! As a stay-at-home mom for many years I can relate to much of what you’ve written. Thanks for sharing your story. I also love the idea of crafting as therapy. ❤️

  5. Why do I MAKE? I love to create. I haven’t the gift of art, drawing, flower arranging Etc. I can cook, bake, spin. Cross-stitch, but I’m best at knitting. I love to give my creations to whoever needs it, except my bunnies and wee piggy and a few knitted teddys . I cannot sit and do nothing, unless I’m really sick. So if I sit…I knit. Fortunately people give me left over wool so my scrap stash is healthy. 🐰🐷🐻

  6. for My story you can go to my sisters site lambsongs.co.nz and search Consider the lilies. It’s a transcript of a recording she made. 💕

  7. This is such a great and honest post! I still have little ones, but have always created in some capacity. Sharing it through my blog has been so satisfying and like you I feel more fulfilled. Not that I wasn’t before, I am just in a different season with more big helpers and more time to create! It’s very satisfying!

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