I’m all about creating, making and inspiring others to find creativity in themselves, so the idea of a weekend craft retreat is something that holds enormous appeal. The Craft Sessions, a weekend retreat to be held in the Yarra Valley Victoria in October, looks like it’s going to be all sorts of lovely.
“The Craft Sessions is a weekend retreat of creative workshops, delicious food, quiet moments and inspiring people. It is an opportunity to play and learn, to talk and share ideas. It’s about coming together and sharing a love of ‘making’, appreciating the beauty in the smaller things, and delighting in the pleasure and simplicity of all things handmade”.
Doesn’t that sound inspirational? The workshops include quilting, knitting, sewing, embroidery and dyeing, and will be taught by some lovely and skilled women. The teachers are “an extraordinary collection of clever, creative people passionate about their craft and bursting to share the joy and meaning a craft practice can bring to your every day”.
I had a lovely chat to Felicia who is the driving force behind The Craft Sessions the other day and we lamented the lack of time we have to fit crafting into our busy lives. Hence the brilliance of a whole weekend craft retreat! I wanted to share a blog post Felicia wrote about finding time to craft – it’s so good for the soul and it’s a shame when we think we can’t fit it in. Click on the link below to read Felicia’s tips (which I’ve paraphrased).
Do multiple crafts. Handwork such as knitting, embroidery, crochet or hand quilting are portable anywhere at any time crafts.
Craft anywhere. Don’t worry about feeling a little bit silly knitting on a train or at a school assembly. The amount of hours in the week where you are beholden to sit and listen or wait for things add up very quickly to something fabulous in terms of productivity.
The kid bonus. For those with small people, watching babies in the bath, going to the park, waiting at school pickup or drop off can be vastly improved with some productive handwork. A two year old is fully capable of holding their own book and turning the page… hours of book reading can now be crafting time.
The downtime bonus. For those without kids, waiting for takeaway, public transport, any car ride…..always have something to do in your bag.
Have multiple projects on the go. Exclusivity is only for those with too much time on their hands. Some knitting projects are not suitable for doing with distractions (kids?) around. Simple stocking stitch or garter stitch are perfect for those times. Save the more complicated work for when you have a glass of wine, a open fire and a podcast.
Learn to knit with your eyes closed. This is essential and possible for all knitters. This means you can read a book, or watch TV, or be a car passenger on a winding road, or play a board game and still be knitting. I would go so far as to say it is an essential life skill. Start by knitting a single stitch with your eyes shut. Feel the yarn. Then try it again. Before you know it….
Carve a space out to leave your kit out. I know this is tricky for many people but I have stuff lying all around the house. Get a bit bored of doing the washing? Crochet a row. Cross stitch a small area. I do the same with the sewing machine. One seam at a time. Just do a little bit. Two minutes here and two there.
Keep a stash. It doesn’t have to be huge but it does need to have two things; 1. the basics and 2. some materials that inspire you. Basics are different for everyone but here is an example – I have about three big reels of cotton in dirty blue, grey, off-white, red and navy on hand at all times. These colours work for 90% of what I make. Secondly keeping materials on hand that inspire you is critical to avoiding the “what do I make now” time-wasting head space. There should be a few things in the cupboard that sing out to you each time you wander past.
If you’re in Australia you might like to treat yourself to the wonderful weekend retreat that’s The Craft Sessions. Check it out, it truly sounds wonderful. Registration is now open and the workshops are filling up.
Have you ever been to a craft retreat? I’d love to hear about it.