Lockdown Britain is a great opportunity for craft lovers to hone their skills and in this post I’d like to share some ideas for craft making. I am a personal assistant to a disabled lady and one of her hobbies is making greetings cards, which is a great hobby to have during self-isolation. Next to writing books, it happens to be my passion too. We both get so engrossed and the hours fly by. She comes up with the ideas and occasionally I make suggestions. She has some fantastic ideas. I follow her instructions – literally every small step of the way so that it feels as if she is doing the task. If I was making a card at home it would be rushed and certainly wouldn’t be the perfect result we achieve doing it together. In effect I do all of the things she isn’t able to do or causes strain. She was a thalidomide baby born without arms or legs. With no arms and only tiny hands it can be tricky to do craft work but with the aid of implements she does lace making and can paint using her mouth. Thalidomide bodies are wearing out quicker than the average able-bodied person and as a result small tasks can be tiring and even painful, but each thalidomide is different.
The picture in this blog shows a crafter’s dream – a cupboard which looks like a wardrobe on the outside but open, it is a cupboard for crafts and on either side and in the middle section there are shelves for plastic boxes which contain everything a crafter needs, from different types of scissors, paper, greeting card embellishments, glue and so much more. The cupboard has a pull out table and there’s even a built in spot light. You can keep this craft wardrobe anywhere in your house – a bedroom or lounge is ideal and when you aren’t using it, it’s an attractive piece of furniture. When it’s open and being used it’s wonderful and feels as if you are in a craft room because it’s so roomy.
Yesterday we used one of her toys! It’s a Cut ‘N’ Boss Die Cutting machine and costs around £200. It’s a small, lightweight machine that is so easy to use. It cuts through multiple layers of material – paper, card, fabric, leather and even thin chipboard and embosses the material so that it has a raised appearance. You can buy all sorts of metal cut dies to use with it. They are placed on the material you are using which are then fed through the machine on plates. It’s quick, it’s simple and the effect is amazing and looks so professional. The dies cut circular or square or even flowery shapes in the card and then we mounted each piece onto coloured card and then mount each piece on sticky pads. We laughed because it was so simple and I said to her, “This time next year we’ll be millionaires. We’ll have a shop-full of great cards!” Here is a link to the machine. It’s well worth buying and you will see the card we made in the picture. https://www.createandcraft.com/gb/pp/craftwell-cut-n-boss-die-cutting-machine-407595?gclid=Cj0KCQiApt_xBRDxARIsAAMUMu977nb0cFCM-ayrEOW51kF88ycyXAlL-w8sOe83FEX9cDfhx82oY1caAm9nEALw_wcB.
Working with a disabled person is team work in its truest form and I love it! Both of you learn about life together and come up with different ways to tackle tricky tasks.
Inspired by my work with disabled people I wrote ‘Every Mother’s Fear’, which is a family saga based on the 1960s thalidomide scandal. I have just published the sequel, ‘Every Father’s Fear.’ Both novels are available on Amazon. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Every-Mothers-Fear-motherhood-disability-ebook/dp/B078JX8559/
Thank you for reading and happy crafting!