Technology has brought mankind to an “instant” state of mind. Yuppies relax over coffee but remain connected to work with their laptops or phones. Stress is constant.
The answer? Art therapy, deliberately disconnecting to do something fun, alone. That’s right, alone.
We do not have to be connected to social media or have someone with us while we enjoy our hobbies. In fact, I found happiness in cross-stitching. Yes, it’s not just for old ladies. This craft is for all ages, all genders. As long as you can count and hold a needle, you can enjoy cross-stitching.
I belong to a handful of international cross-stitch groups on Facebook. And being around people, even online, who understand your stashing and stitching is mind-blowing.
Cross-stitch projects don’t have to be all intricate, or take years to finish. Some are simple and easy to do, and the sense of fulfillment once it’s done and framed is unlike any other because art therapy is a real thing. Craft therapy is real. It works.
In Manila, majority of the cross-stitching designs are the typical angels, ladies, bears and fairies. However, with technology and the Internet being what they are, we no longer have to be confined to local supplies. There are hundreds of craft shops online with so many new designs and materials.
Adult hobbies mean adult tools. We crafters call them stash. Hello Q-snaps, scroll frames, stands and evenweave fabrics. Goodbye wooden hoops and aida cloths.
The term “craft stash” applies to any hobby. Whether it is in sewing, coloring, painting, calligraphy, sculpting or woodcraft, it refers to our glorious hoard of supplies. Things we buy, keep and use for our hobbies. And trust me, the moment you take on a hobby, you start acquiring stash.
More and more people are learning that there is fulfilment in creating something with your own hands. Get a hobby. Get something that will give you joy.
You can relax and enjoy at home. Then post your pictures on social media. Create or join a hashtag thread (#crossstitch). Connect to people who are unabashedly glorifying in being geeky or dorky around the world. Get affirmation that you are not alone in your hobby.
Use technology to your advantage. Don’t let it isolate you into thinking it’s all about Twitter, Facebook and your usual friends. Let it broaden your world. Though you do your hobby alone, you can get feedback, praise, critiques from others who craft the same thing as you.
Here are some designs stitched by friends online that caught my eye, and that I think are apt for this day and age.