I Owe it All to Crafting


March has been dubbed “Craft Month” — no doubt something that’s the invention of craft retailers. But if you want to be successful in life, maybe every month should be craft month.

I am pretty sure I owe my professional success in life to the crafting I did as a girl growing up in Georgia. What were my hobbies? Well, I pretty much cycled through all of them!

It began with those little printed embroidery kits where if you more or less followed the lines, you could stitch on a reasonably acceptable flower. The napkins and dresser scarves that were the result were presents for my grandmothers and my mom.

Later it was knitting and crochet and endless scarves - literally endless scarves because I had not yet learned how to bind off my work!

I made Christmas trees out of discarded copies of Reader’s Digest - fold the pages, spray paint it green and voila! A tree!

I made pocketbooks out of wooden cigar boxes on which I decoupaged images. Any present lapse of current mental function is probably due to all those fumes I inhaled back then.

I sewed my “fashionable” wardrobe items with my trusty Kenmore sewing machine — and then cut the scraps into squares and made a quilt.

Over the years, there were matching granny square afghans in my college dorm. Hand-quilted bedspreads in my first apartment. The dresses for all my bridesmaids when I was married.

Even today, I am still at it: that’s me last week getting started on the new ottoman for my home.

Yes, I could go buy one or have someone else make it. But would I be as proud to prop up my feet on it when it’s done?

And that’s why I owe it all to crafting. The pride that comes from doing it myself. The positive mental energy one gets from accomplishing a challenge. The joy. All of it results in a chemical process in the brain that leaves one feeling empowered, able to tackle that other challenge, confident you have the ability to succeed.

I have had an amazing career. I have interviewed present and future kings. I have challenged government officials and debriefed victims of tragedy. Speaking in live television without a script? Easy peasy.

Build a padded headboard. Now THAT’S a challenge!