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A Whole Month Dedicated to Crafting...Why?!

Today is the 1st of March which happens to be National Craft Month. Although some of us craft year round, this month was dedicated in 1994 by the Craft & Hobby Association to help people rediscover and or learn about the benefits of crafting. March also signifies the end of winter thus becomes a time of showcasing those crafts made during the long winter months. This is a great time to take up a new hobby or take a class at the local craft store or hardware store. Even better; call Grandma and ask her to teach you to crochet. Get Grandpa to show you how he builds his wooden birdhouses. Let it be a time to connect and gain some knowledge at the same time.

I can hear some of you saying, "I'm just not crafty" or "I don't have a creative bone in my body". Sorry but I don't believe you, you just don't realize how creative you actually are. Are you one to cut out the little pie crust leaves to decorate that perfect Thanksgiving pie? Do you put together a perfectly organized, complete with a variety of functions, spread sheet? I watched my 9 year old grandson create a unique character for Minecraft using a wonderful online tool. Those are all being creative!

Yes, crafting has become big business from the big box stores to even convenience stores carrying at least a few crafting supplies. Many people, especially SHM's have been able to make a modest living while crafting full-time. With modern technology, teenagers are able to create something, start an online store and become a successful entrepreneur while still in high school. Putting the monetary possibilities aside, crafting has several other benefits. Take for instance, the "call to Grandma" above. It can be at time of communication and valuable time sharing. It can be a time for girlfriends to get together for a weekend and put a quilt together or scrapbook pages featuring their loves ones. In fact, there are B&B's, vacation rentals and even hotels dedicated for those weekends spent crafting, complete with a national database. I also want to talk about what creating and crafting does to a person as a whole. According to the American Counseling Association, crafting can help relieve depression, reduce anxiety, help insomnia, help relieve times of irritability and restlessness, builds community and friendships, help with grief processing, relieve stress and even reduce or postpone age-related memory loss. Studies have been done that show people who engaged their minds by reading books, playing games or crafting had a decreased risk of mild cognitive impairment, a possible precursor to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Crafting is good for our brain.

In review, we see that crafting is good for social interaction and community, the economy and our mental, emotional and physical well-being. What is left to say but let's get crafty!

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