Getting Crafty with Red Ted Art

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It is wonderful to be guest writing today for JoJo Maman Bebe! I am Maggy, mum of two – a boy (5) and girl (3) and I write a craft blog, Red Ted Art.

I remember having my first child Red Ted almost 5 years ago (yes, the big 5th Superhero Birthday party is just around the corner) and JoJo Maman Bebe being a site I visited frequently. The world of babies was brand new for me and the first year was a hazy year of confusion, finding my feet, new friends, whilst easing into motherhood. By the time Pip Squeak (now 3yrs old) came along, I was happy with being at home and with my kids, but ready for a little more.

Craft is something that I have always enjoyed on a personal level. As a child I used to love crafting with my adoptive grandmother, who taught me how to knit and sew, and making up new things with friends. Then school and university came and took over, and later work. I continued to craft a little here and there – mainly my friends’ birthday or wedding cards, but not much more. There just wasn’t the time, or the occasion.

Having kids changed all this – there were baby hats to knit and the odd little soft toy to attempt.

I turned to the internet and was in awe, as well as intimidated by some of the crafty mums out there. I distinctly remember thinking “I wish I was that creative”.

Regardless, I decided to have a go. I started crafting with my son (then 2yrs old) – you can see our older crafts at the bottom of this Kids Crafts page.  Our crafts then were simpler and possibly more basic. We were having fun and that was the main thing. I challenged myself to do something at least once a week with him. And we used to write a Kids Craft post each Wednesday and have a more adult focussed How To every Friday.

Maggy getting crafty with Red Ted and Pip Squeak

Then one day something clicked. And I found my craft feet and my style. The more I made, the more ideas I had. The more I made, the more confident I felt. The more I made, the more I “met” other crafty blogs. The more I made, the more I saw.

Creativity is a long process – you see, you do, you absorb, you park ideas, you retrieve ideas. They all build on each other and merge. And with me, the longer I am immersed in creative activity, the better (I think) I get at it.I also got a lot better at taking photos of our crafts – presentation, as with everything is key – a simple craft can look 100% more impressive just by taking a good photo.

I now look back at the websites that first had me in awe – I still like their creativity, but I am nolonger intimidated by it, nor am I thatimpressed anymore – I feel I’m just as good.What I am trying to say is that crafting is all about doing – and doing more. The more you do, then the more you enjoy it and the more ideas you get. It is seeing things and combining things. It is seeing how things work (e.g. what glues well, what doesn’t). It is delving into your creative memory bank and developing your right brain (or waking it up again).
If you have a craft phobia or don’t know where to start, just do something. Draw a simple picture with the kids, make a basic necklace, stick googly eyes on something (stick menare very popular in our house). But just start somewhere.If you have a question, come and ask me, I am on facebooktwitterpinterest and Google+pretty much all the time (I can’t help it, I LOVE social media) and I totally love helping others with their crafty queries. If I don’t know the answer, I will try and point you in the right direction.Maggy Woodley is an award winning craft writer and writes at Red Ted Art regularly sharing easy crafts to do with and for your kids. The ethos of her crafts is all about recycling, inexpensive materials and doing this together, building happy childhood memories. Her first book “Red Ted Art, 60 Cute & Easy Crafts for Kids” by Square Peg (£12.79) will be published in March 2013 and currently available on Amazon for pre-order. A great introduction to crafts with kids of all ages.When you don’t see her crafting, she also likes to cook and bake with her kids over at Life At The Zoo as well as discussing Theatre, Books and Movies with those who will listen!

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