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.
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.
Your pictures always make me smile 😊thank you everyone for tagging this week. I’ll have one more feature to post tomorrow morning before I introduce our next moderator. We have a special guest moderator for next week which is exciting! I’m looking forward to introducing her and I’m sure she has an awesome theme ready for us to play 😊😘 Mandy – @crochetbyredagape Tap image for credit details 👊🏻
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!
Make sure you join the Craft as Therapy community on Instagram @CraftAsTherapy, and follow Amanda @CrochetByRedAgape!
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