I've always been a hedonist at heart.
I love all things beautiful, fragrant, tasty, melodious, and soft. Like a raven, I'm drawn to shiny, bright, and interesting objects; also like a raven, I've filled my nest with a bewildering variety of things found here, there, and everywhere.
The downside of being so curious though, is that from a young age, I've struggled with impulsiveness and distractibility. At various points growing up, I wanted to be a doctor, a singer, a researcher, a teacher, a chocolatier, a bookshop owner, and a dozen other dreams that I've forgotten. As recently as a few years ago, I announced to my husband that I had registered a new business, Erin Brae Photography, and that I was going to start specializing in maternity and newborn portraits. He congratulated me, then very cautiously asked "Honey, do you think maybe you should take some photography classes first?" And I meant to, but within a few months, I had moved on to a new interest.
The pandemic drove my curiosity to a frenzy, and I leapt from trend to trend searching for something that would reward my novelty-seeking instincts and provide an outlet for both my love of beautiful things, and my own innate randomness. I didn't just settle for filling in a single line on the pandemic hobby bingo card: I checked off almost every square.
Most of them didn't stick, of course. It turns out I don't actually like dalgona coffee, and the wildlife seemed to appreciate the endless zucchini from my victory garden more than my family did. But two very important things did come out of that frenetic period: first, I was formally diagnosed with ADHD, which made so many parts of myself make so much more sense to me, and secondly, I discovered the absolute joy of working with my hands to create beautiful things.
When I'm engaged in the creative process, my racing thoughts slow to a wondering, wide-eyed wander. For those few precious hours during the day, I'm entirely focused on making something that soothes my soul to look at. Whether I'm refinishing a piece of vintage furniture, hand-painting sola wood flowers for an arrangement, or layering detail on a wall hanging, crafting lets me lose myself in a world of colour and texture and old-world elegance. Even when I'm not actively working on something, crafting gives my magpie mind a sense of overall guidance and purpose: I love using found objects in my work, so wherever I go, if I find my attention starting to drift, I refocus it by consciously looking for inspiration and materials from the world around me.
Crafting has become my centre, and I am so happy to be able to share it with you.