Indie June Amanda O'Sullivan of Craft As Therapy talks to LoveCrochet about the healing powers of crafting

Published on June 8th, 2016 | by Csilla Gemmecke


Indie June: Amanda O’Sullivan from Craft as Therapy

If you’ve discovered the amazing Craft as Therapy community, then you already know Amanda O’Sullivan. This week she’s chatting with us about the healing powers of crafting and the wonderful crafting community on Instagram. 

Amanda O'Sullivan of Craft As Therapy talks to LoveCrochet about the healing powers of crafting Click this image to check out Amanda O’Sullivan’s free mandala pattern on her blog 

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started crafting?

Hello! I’m Mandy, a self confessed crochet addict and designer. I live in sunny Australia with my husband, 3 children, 4 alpacas, 2 cats, 1 dog and 9 chickens. I love living in the country as I am constantly inspired by the views around me.

I have enjoyed craft since I was a little girl and over the years I’ve dabbled in painting, sewing, quilting, paper craft and sketching, but when I learned to crochet a couple of years ago I gave up all other crafts. That said, I have a deep admiration for all crafts and crafters.

What inspired you to start Craft As Therapy?

I was going through a challenging time in my life a few years ago. My mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and my chronic illness was flaring out of control. I turned to craft, in the form of paper flowers, to help me unwind and destress. Having a distraction didn’t eliminate my problems, but it certainly helped to keep my stress to a reasonable level. Whenever I shared my paper flowers on Instagram, I added the hashtag #craftastherapy. It wasn’t long before others were asking if they could use the tag too. Of course! I said, everyone’s welcome to use it. It wasn’t long after that I created the user @craftastherapy and asked some moderators to jump on board to help me run the account. The Craft as Therapy moderators come from all over the world. We take turns looking after the account and choosing features from the #craftastherapy feed.

You must have come across a lot of interesting stories about how crafts help people! Could you share one?

I hear a wide range of stories connected with #craftastherapy. They range from the extreme cases of terminal illness to those who use craft as a way to unwind at the end of a busy day. Everyone’s story is equally valid. When I think of one story in particular, it’s the story of my moderators. Each of them has their own reason for using the #craftastherapy tag. Among us are anxiety sufferers, carers, psychologists, those plagued with chronic illness and those who use craft just to stay mentally healthy. It’s these wide range of experiences that provide the Craft as Therapy community with kind and compassionate moderators. The thing that brings me the most pride about our community is the way that individuals communicate and connect with other likeminded people… there are no judgements, just support.

It’s great to see some #craftastherapy_challenge tags coming through ⭐️ Lovely creations here with crafting challenges ⭐️ • A talented crocheter trying her hand at knitting @crochetgirl99 • The challenge of colour work knitting for the first time by @emmyandlien • It’s quite a commitment to take on a CAL (crochet-a-long) project with many challenges – deciding on what colours to use, often learning new stitches and then seeing it through to end … we have two different and very lovely blanket cal’s by @rikaulricha @frauweizen ⭐️ Thank you for sharing your challenging projects with us 😊 Remember to keep tagging to #craftastherapy also because I will be featuring crafts from there too. ⭐️ It would be great to see the challenges with a variety of crafts or if you are challenging yourself with a craft that is new to you ⭐️ • Hope you enjoy your Sunday Take care, Fiona @millefleurs13 ⭐️ #craft #challenges #community #crochet #knitting

A photo posted by Crafters Unite (@craftastherapy) on

Do you have one mindfulness project that you would recommend to people looking to harness the positive aspects of crafting?

I can’t go past a mandala as a form of meditation. Crochet mandalas are everywhere at the moment, but a mandala made in any way (painted, sketched, woven) has wonderful meditative qualities. There’s something about a circle that has always calmed me and the introduction of a wide range of colours into that circle is a great form of meditation. I really love mandalas, which is why I’ve designed a few of my own.

If you were a yarn, which one would you be?

Patons Cotton Blend – conservative but reliable!

Amanda O'Sullivan of Craft As Therapy talks to LoveCrochet about the healing powers of crafting Click this image to get Amanda’s pattern from her blog

Make sure you join the Craft as Therapy community on Instagram @CraftAsTherapy, and follow Amanda @CrochetByRedAgape!

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About the Author

adores soft and snuggly accessories and thinks there is no better way than making them yourself. She loves knitting, yoga and picnics in the park.

One Response to Indie June: Amanda O’Sullivan from Craft as Therapy

  1. Ellie says:

    This is the first e mail I’ve gotten about this blog. I love it. Can’t wait to get started again with crochet. Used to crochet years ago, now I’m ready to relearn, Please keep me posted!

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