Monday, April 27, 2015

What goes around...

I was at the Creativ Festival this weekend. I've been attending it since the early 90s, when my passions also encompassed needlework of all kinds. The Crochet Crowd channelled the 70s in their amazing handmade display and it got me thinking about my early crafting days when I would try anything and my female mentors and family would share their knowledge of everything from weaving on peg boards to crepe paper flower decoration to crochet to macrame to corking. My desire to learn all of these crafts and more sprang from both an artistic place inside me as well as a need to make something practical.

There is a huge audience out there with a desire to make, to share and to find that satisfying craft that will fulfill the need to keep one's hands busy and useful. 

I've noticed these crafts are making a comeback, but with a new spin:
Macrame -- but it is micro macrame and a very sophisticated spin on this technique. Instead of planters and wall hangings, make beautiful bracelets. If you Google the term, you'll find so many tutorials on this. Here's a good blog to follow, if you're interested. 

Knitting/crochet -- this is not your Grandma's knitting! Arm knitting, finger knitting, arm warmers and infinity scarves: use funky thick wool, hand-dyed alpaca, even wool made from your pet's fur. The patterns are fresh, fun and easy. For great info and You Tube tutorials, go to

String art -- get a chunk of wood, paint it, draw on your pattern, hammer the nails and wrap some fun wool around the pegs for funky art to hang in your home. Here's a You Tube tutorial for a heart and a dachshund. I might have to try this!

Wedding, Anniversary Gift - String Art, Heart

Modern quilting -- make a quilt for the boys using camo print fabrics that feature toy soldiers. There's a trend towards designing and printing your own fabrics and including family pics this way. 

Upcycling -- it is interesting to see this new spin on what was basically the way I was raised (never thrown anything out until you've used every bit of it or found a new life for it!) Now, upcycling is hip and has a variety of applications. In crafts, you can do things like take apart old books and use them to create new journals; in jewellery, reuse pretty cans and tins to make earrings or old keys and garters to make components. Magazines like Belle Armoire and Jewelry Affaire feature upcycled jewellery projects. 

These five are just a few. Like fashion, crafting is cyclic. There are cycles in jewellery-making as well, and they often borrow from, or complement, the trends in crafting and fashion overall. Following the magazines, reading the fashion blogs, reviewing trends according to jewellery magazines, I've shortlisted some jewellery trends for 2015 to consider when designing and creating:

  • Big metal cuffs (and mixing metals)
  • Leather - cuffs, flowers, lots of fringe
  • Stacking rings
  • Vintage - reusing vintage jewellery components or riffing on vintage looks with pearls and crystals
  • Statement necklaces
  • Boho looks - heavily featuring nature and natural materials like feathers, shells 

Invent something new! Several years ago I was inspired to find my old "corker" and try using it with wire. I played around with it until I found a way to create interesting wire jewellery on it. Now Clover manufactures a French knitter tool and a spool knitter as well, making the craft even easier.

You never know what old crafting technique might inspire you anew or lead you to experiment and create a whole new crafting direction. Please share your thoughts or ideas on trends or comeback crafts.  

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