learning to craft

How to Learn a New Craft

  • 5 min read

How to learn a new craft

I’m five crafts into the year. So far I’ve tackled crochet, embroidery, calligraphy, stamp making, and this month fused glass. Tackling new crafts one after the other has helped me fine-tune my process of learning the techniques and putting them to use.

Is it cheesy to say I’m getting good at being a beginner?


[highlight bg=”#2883e2″ color=”#ffffff”]My Process[/highlight]

The process for me each month is to first study the craft. I want to understand the craft, not just follow one tutorial. The origins, development, and professionals using the craft all matter to me.

When I worked with Carys Rodwell to learn about fused glass, the process was a bit different. Crafting with a mentor meant I didn’t have to study as much beforehand. I knew a couple basics, and then she guided me through the rest as we went along. It was very hands on and I loved it!

But you don’t have to study the history of a craft or admire the work of professionals in order to learn! Whether you’re jumping in alone or have a workshop lined up to help you along, here’s a bit of advice to help you learn a new craft:

February’s Craft Announcement!

  • 2 min read

Ooh, I’m excited! February’s craft of the month is the beautiful, varied, and well-established craft of embroidery!

(If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me mention it earlier this month.)

Embroidery didn’t catch my eye until I worked as a photographer for my grandmother’s business (website in Finnish). She sells printed linens and cloths for DIY embroidery, amongst other wonderfully crafty things, and wanted to set up a website. Spending so much time with the embroidered linens helped me appreciate their elegance and the beauty of hand-embroidered pieces.

Now, I look for vintage embroidery in second-hand shops and love the often bright and geometrical styles of contemporary embroidery.

So here’s the confession: other than half-finished kits I’ve never done embroidery. It’s on my long list of ‘loved but never tried’ crafts, much like crochet was. So in the spirit of my craft-a-month project, here goes!

What to expect this month:

January’s Simple Pleasures + Other Highlights

  • 3 min read

Country cottage inspired bouquet

It was beautiful in Chepstow today. The morning started out grey, but by midday it was breezy and bright and the earthy smell of spring was in the air.

The local florist shop smelled heavenly of lilacs when I stepped inside. You could call today’s bouquet a treat for having kept to my 2013 goals so far, but honestly I just thought they were too beautiful to miss. (Insert naughty self-satisfied giggle here.)

Whenever I see creamy pink roses I dream of bringing them home to a magazine-esque country cottage filled with vintage floral prints and the smells of home-made bread and wild flowers.

… We can all dream, right? ;)

My Project 365 is so far a success. I’ve taken just over 700 photos. That’s more than I took in the entire year of 2012.

Don’t worry! I’m not going to share all 700, just some highlights:

Unexpected Journeys

  • 2 min read

Tiny miniature granny squares

January is coming to a close. The first craft of the year has been pounced upon and conquered as much as I could do with a month’s time to spend on it.

Crochet has tested me, but it has rewarded me as well. I have found joy in the feel of silk and cotton yarns slipping through my fingers to create something I would not have been able to do even a month before. With each stitch I get more confident, and find ideas for crochet projects wherever I look. There’s a freedom to the form of crochet that knitting can’t compare to. (Although I love knitting just as much, all the same.)

As I’ve jumped into this project there have been some unexpected discoveries along the way.

  1. People share their handmade skills in abundance.