Deep down inside I wish I was more crafty. The sort of person who can make their own clothes, turn random bits of cardboard scraps into amazing rocketships for children, and generally just create pretty stuff…But the reality is that I am not that person.
I don’t know my topstitch from my hopscotch.
So what possessed me to embark on a mini craft-adventure during my oh-so-precious maternity leave break?
I asked myself this question after three days of poorly attempted hand-sewing, when I hit yet another stumbling block on the road to my finished mobile. I realised that I my embroidery floss did not fit through the eye of my biggest needle. (Embroidery what-now? Oh OK… floss…right…. I was totally venturing into unknown territory as you can see.)
Here’s the stunning black and white baby mobile what I was trying to replicate from the terrifically crafty youandmie blog.
And here’s my completed result. At least I got the black and white part of it right, huh? SCORE.
Thing is – I know I am not good at this stuff. I don’t have the patience to sew straight lines, and – as many a highschool teacher used to tell me – I barely take the time to read or listen to instructions. I play things by ear and then wonder where it all went wrong.
At the end of my craft session, completed mobile in hand, my partner was genuinely impressed. “You must be really proud of yourself” he said. Without skipping a beat I informed him that my stitching was all over the shop, I didn’t have the correct length string, my shapes weren’t neat…. You get the drift. My endless barrage of criticism for the fruits of my labour was really just a front for the endless barrage of criticism that attacks my brain each day.
I look at this mobile and my first response is to see imperfection. It looks nothing like the stunning one I was hoping to recreate. It’s a hanging reminder that I’m lacking as a mother in a certain respect. I’m no good at art and therefore my brain tells me I’m going to be depriving my child of important skills in later life.
I seem to forget that I have other skills to offer my children. I mean, I can sing. I make up games in the most boring of situations. I can sort-of-kind-of-occasionally cook good food. Just don’t ask me to bake. But all of this isn’t enough…
I often feel like what I do is not enough.
But in the spirit of trying to change my thoughts to help my anxiety, I have decided to applaud – instead of insult – my efforts. So here goes.
This little puppy didn’t exist before I brought it into creation. I should be proud. Without a sewing machine or the right sized needles, and a very definite lack of experience, I completed the task. And it’s not all that bad really. My baby will think it’s magical. (But then, my baby will think the sound of the fridge beeping when left unopened is magical, so no great critic there.)
So well done to me! I’m no longer “not-crafty”. I’m now officially “occasionally-crafty”. And more important that being good at craft, I’ll have proved an important lesson to myself and my baby-to-be. You’ve just gotta try. Don’t be too anxious to even try. That’s when you truly lose out. And you end up with no mobile at all.
And if you want really really nice homemade stuff, leave it to the people who were born to craft. Check out these awesome one-of-a-kind kiddies clothes from Rebirth of Cool in Sydney.