Supporting local, independent and small businesses is always important, however there are various reasons as to why now is especially important for this. Apart from the obvious reason of the current world situation, Christmas is one of the most crucial times of year for businesses as it is the time of year when sales sky rocket and so competition is often higher, with big chain shops and businesses often being the winners. Whilst obviously there are still people who are being supported by the work that bigger businesses bring, which is incredibly important, they're also generally the ones who can afford the advertising and the people to work for them, whereas smaller businesses tend to have to do everything for themselves (planning and designing; sourcing materials; making products; photographing them; listing them; social media and general promotion; website building; blog writing; accounting etc), all of which has to be fitted in around general life responsibilities and often other jobs.
The simplest way to support a small business is by liking their posts and social media pages, sharing these, and recommending them to others, all of which take very little time to do and don't cost you anything, thus meaning that if you're unable to financially support them you can still show them your support.
Learning to find a more sustainable balance in my work life in particular is something that I'm currently working on (and in life in general, feeling very much called to embrace "slow living", which is very contrary to how society generally works). Having recently needed to make the difficult decision to stop working as a special needs teaching assistant due to finding it too challenging physically, mentally and sensory wise, and due to having more care/general responsibilities at home to try to balance as well, I've found myself working once again on my craft business.
I ran HollyPCrafts for a while a number of years ago, but for various reasons I stopped to train and then work for a bit as an SEN TA. If I'm honest, I expected to still be working in that role for a while yet (in addition to writing a book about my experiences as a neurodiverse young carer, now young adult carer, with chronic and mental illness, and how my faith helps me with each of these things). I'm still processing making a decision that I found more difficult than I had expected and at times I'm having to remind myself why I had to make that decision in the first place, and that I was right to make it.
Anyway, what do the words "neurodiverse" and "spoonie" even mean?
As a modern day crafter, it's fair to say that I've learnt most of my craft skills over recent years from watching YouTube videos, and that I've discovered new crafts to try via social media of some kind (Pinterest is particularly useful where this is concerned I must admit!). My most recent discovery is punch needle embroidery, or needle punching, but I must wait a while before I attempt doing this as I have MANY projects to finish already (and my bank account definitely wouldn't thank me for it ... fellow crafters out there, you know what I mean). Anyway, here are my favourites:
As a crafter, there are always new crafts that I discover and would love to master. At the moment, I can crochet, knit, weave and make cards. During lockdown, I learnt how to do basic macramé, and so I am enjoying using those skills at the moment to make wall hangings, which I hope to gradually make a bit more detailed as I learn how to make more types of knots; my most recent wall hanging incorporated half square (spiral) knots as well as double square knots and larks head knots, and a lot of fringing! I'd love to improve on the skills that I have already mentioned, as well as improving my spinning, needle felting, latch hooking, embroidering and sewing skills.
There are many skills that I'd love to learn one day, particularly quilting, macraweaving, batik, glass painting and silk painting, the latter three of which were inspired by how I make and decorate my cards, as I tend to use quite bold colours which are outlined by foil craft stickers (I'm hoping to try using stamps instead at some point in the future so that I don't have to keep sourcing new foil sticker sets).
Also, as someone who is passionate about homemaking, I have enjoyed learning how to make sauerkraut and sliced pickled onions (which I need to make more of!), and so would love to continue to learn more about preserving food and honing my skills in that area. I would also love to re-try cultivating a sourdough starter as my first attempt failed, which when I hopefully have another go at I will aim to document my progress on here so that you can learn from my mistakes and hopefully be encouraged to try something new yourself. I dare say that there will be other skills for me to learn about and want to try at some point, so watch this space if you're interested!
If you'd like to stay more up-to-date with what I'm making, then please feel free to follow me on my work social media accounts which are on the front page; I may post the homemaking things more on my personal accounts, and so if you'd like to see more of that content, follow me at @hollybex96 on Instagram and Pinterest.
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to seeing you around!
Hi! I'm Holly. I'm a Christian and a textile crafter, cardmaker and writer based in Stoke-on-Trent (UK). I hope my products and content inspire you to give crafting and homemaking a try, or indeed any new skill or hobby that you're interested in. Thank you for visiting!