The Healing Craft Series: Amanda

Name: Amanda
31 years old
Etsy: @MoonChainCrochet

About the series

The Healing Craft Series features creators sharing their thoughts and feelings on crafting and healing through crafting.

“Find something you truly enjoy and don’t be scared to try something new […], get out of your own way.”

Amanda, @moon_chain

What kind of craft do you do and how long have you been doing it for?

I started to crochet 4 years ago after thinking it was impossible. I came across a tutorial for a top, we had thread weight yarn and a couple of hooks in the cupboard, so I thought why not?

Now I can’t see myself without crochet. I recently started knitting, my mum taught me and my siblings how to knit a scarf when I was around 10, now that I’ve started to learn properly I love it! Crochet is still my favourite though!

What is your favourite place/time of day to craft and why?

I crochet throughout the day when I’m home, making sure to have breaks, sometimes I give myself a break for a week or more to rest my muscles from the repetitive movements. My dream place to crochet is in the forest or woods, or under cherry blossoms, but for now my main spot is on my couch, where I am 10 steps away from my yarn stash and from the kitchen!
I do crochet in the park when the weather is lovely. Oh, I try not to crochet before bed and will never sacrifice my sleep for it.

What inspires you (in life & in crafting)?

As for life my family inspires me and the way our ancestors lived also does, also to just keep going as my mother and father say. Life doesn’t stop when something bad happens, worrying about it won’t help, I am still trying very hard to embrace that,

As an artist (pencil & paper), I find inspiration in anything, especially natural things and nature. I have never been able to explain how I come up with art or crochet designs, I have rarely painted something in my dream and when I woke up tried to remember it. Sometimes I will see a quick flash of something to draw or a top and will bring it to life, it just happens.

How has/is crafting helping you and your mental health?

Crochet has helped my anxiety in a sense of slowing down, it helps with grounding and being in the present. Once you complete a project the satisfaction felt is beautiful, there is amazement in what you have just done and I read somewhere that finishing a task releases good chemicals in our brains, which is perfect!

What is your advice to other creators (or newly started creators)?

My advice to anyone is to just go for it! You will amaze yourself and grow your gratitude. Artists have a saying “The first brush stroke is always the hardest”, this is true in every aspect of life and also in crochet, knitting or whatever your craft is. Everyone started somewhere. Watch it blossom.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Although it’s difficult, sometimes extremely so, shut off your cortex, this is the part of the brain that overthinks, worries, imagines the bad outcomes, dwells. Read books about it, learn and practice ways to halt it, to change and rewire the circuits formed, which is actually possible. Find something you truly enjoy and don’t be scared to try something new (as long as it’s not dangerous or harmful), get out of your own way.

Crochet or any artisan craft is a wonderful skill to acquire, to make something out of bare materials using only your hands, mind and a few tools is an incredible thing and it teaches us so much.

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