Crafting is my therapy

This post seems apt today as I’m recovering from a car accident a week ago. Don’t worry, we’ll all be fine and the crumple zones in the car did their job to perfection. The incident does have me thinking again about why I got back into crafting. 

I doubt many of you know that I used to have a full on career as a medical researcher. Yes, I have the title of Dr. However, things started to go wrong when I was pregnant with L’il Miss Ty Siriol and I became chronically ill with various autoimmune conditions. (I don’t like the word disease as it sounds like I’m contagious.)

I went back to work after L’il Miss was born but after about 2 years of getting progressively worse I was medically retired by Atos. And believe me, if Atos says you can’t work you must be bad. This came as a huge blow and I tried for 2 years to get back into work. I even volunteered in two places but couldn’t cope. I had to admit defeat. It wasn’t easy as I’ve always been very hard on myself and aim for perfection. I was very low.

So I gradually turned to my crafts again. I got the crochet hooks out again and now I have quite the collection of them, including Tunisian style.  I joined a pottery class and discovered a love for clay. Suddenly I found a new outlet. I had something else to focus my efforts on and happiness slowly returned. I was looking for progressively harder crochet patterns and techniques, including Tunisian and hairpin lace and I loved the challenge. Here’s a pic of one of my hairpin lace shawls. 

White wedding shawl in hairpin lace and crochet.
White wedding shawl in hairpin lace and traditional crochet.

The nice thing is that I was able to do something productive on what I call my ‘wipe out’ days. These are days when my body has given up on me and says, ‘NO! You are not doing anything today, you need to rest.’ I spend these days on the sofa.

Even though my body might have failed me, my brain is still very much alive and needs regular exercise. Working through harder patterns was the exercise it needed. Craft really did become a therapy as it stopped me from going into a depression and kept me occupied.

Pottery and ceramics is a little different and I have to do this on my good (better) days. I’ve dropped liquid clay (slip) on the carpet twice now when I wasn’t strong enough to carry it!! Good thing it’s the carpet in the garage and not the house. No one except me goes out there. 😉 Here’s some of my earlier work.

Slip cast ceramic kingfisher, robin and lily pitcher.


Hand built ceramic wall plaque, ‘Grandma’s garden’.



Hand built ‘Wonky Cottage’ but unfortunately I dropped it on the floor and destroyed it. 🙁
Slip cast candle holders and matching decanter.

After a while I was finding that I had run out of space for all these creations. My friends and family had all been made a gift of some sort as well. I was getting lots of compliments about my work and I could see a huge improvement over the years. Many people said I should be doing craft fairs but unfortunately I’m not well enough to do them without a lot of support. So I turned to Etsy and starting to advertise my work. (I am HMRC registered by the way. 🙂 ) 

I found yet another therapeutic outlet through having a shop. I was suddenly in contact with so many wonderful people who shared my interests. Why hadn’t I done this before? I really enjoy networking and exchanging ideas with like minded people. I’m also a nerd who loves the bookkeeping side!  I’ve also met a lot of people who are disabled and like myself have turned to crafts. Instead of feeling left out, as I did when I was first retired, I’m now part of something amazing. You guys keep me going through the bad days and I’m pleased to share my good days with you. You might not think that you’ve done anything special but I can tell you now that you have, you have made my life better and I thank you all for that. 

I’ll leave you with a photo of me getting down and dirty with clay!! No Ghost comments please! Oh, go on then. 🙂


Please follow me on facebook to keep up to date with new ideas, stock and offers. I can also be found on Etsy. (Links below.)  
Thank you for reading. 
Cathy x

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