About few weeks ago, I had a strange dream. I dream that I saw my late dad and the setting was back at our old house (before we renovated the house, it was really a run down shack). My dad took out boxes of crafts that I used to make and was showing them back to me, as if to say something.
My love of crafts dated back to secondary school. I remember when I was about 14, I walked into a shop selling sewing supplies while waiting for my friend. The shop sold beads- to me, they were so beautiful. I bought a few small packets with the limited money that I had. After that, I find myself visiting sewing shops quite often- the colours, and the stuff they sold constantly amazes me.
Then few years later during Form 6 (pre university), we had a pure maths teacher who always wore beautiful Evita Peroni hairclips and hair claws. She was quite classy because we never saw her wear the same clothes twice. She must have at least a few wardrobe filled with clothes. Word has it that her husband was a rich man and she was only working as a teacher to fill up her time and have the extra pocket money to buy herself all the clothes, accessories, handbags and Evita Peroni hair clips.
A friend and me used to entertain dreams about opening up our own shop. She said she would source for the clothes while I will be producing the accessories to go with the clothes. We went a few times to the Evita shop in Subang Parade- the thing is Evita shops always have the videos on how to use their products and helpful sales personal. Those products were out of our affordability range.
Then my best friend gave me a couple of handmade beaded clips that her mom used to wear to give me some ideas on how to make them. I went to a shop selling sewing product to buy the bare hair clips and beads to learn to make them. I was pleasantly surprise because when I was always considered to be not creative (literally flunking art class because I couldn’t draw), I was able to imitate the products. And a lot of hairclips using beads were actually stuck on using glue. I learned to sew the beads on the clip without using a single drop of glue. It is more laborious, but the clips will be able to last for years.
Producing the clips enabled me to retreat into my own world when the pressure of examination got too much and I needed a rest between revisions. I came up with a couple of finished products, some of which I gave my best friend and she happily wore it. In no time, some of my classmates were also asking me for the clips but I did not have time to make for them.
It was strange, but turning to crafts sparkled my creativity that was probably dormant, because I never remember being creative. Physics, biology, chemistry, pure maths and statistics were not suited to right brained people like me but I was able to pass all the papers because I used a lot of visualization in order to remember facts.
I continued dabbling in crafts for years to come. It was my love of crafts that made me learn how to publish my work online. But finding creative expression had enabled me to learn to think out-of-the-box as I came out into the working world.
I’ve always harbored the wish to have my own little craft shops- but as I used to surf the net on craft forums, I am aware of the growing trend of mass produced products replacing handmade ones. When one used to be able to earn a living as a full time crafter, it is no longer the case when craft malls are flooded by mass produced products.
By that time, I had a well paying job and dabbled crafts only on my spare time. I knew there was no way I could compete with the blooming industry and gradually, I made less and less pieces and eventually stopped altogether. Eventually my interest moved on to writing and blogs.
But the dream that I had of my dad showing me my craft works perhaps could be an indication that I should share with others. Crafting is a fulfilling hobby- and if you find something that you like, it could awaken your creativity skills that you may not know you have. You need not earn big bucks from it, but like any hobbies, it should allow you an expression of yourself.
This blog has been publishing a lot of works by others because over the years, I’ve sort of forgotten about my own creations. I will share them more on coming posts and hope that you too, as the reader, can find inspiration in a craft work of your choice.