You like crafting, but then, you also like socialising. But you’re a knitter, not a fighter. So what are you going to do?
Well, we don’t know about the rest of the time, but we’ve got a solution for every other Thursday. Will that suffice, for starters?
SevenStreets presents Rebecca (Becky) Christian and Camilla Halstead – who’ve launched a recycling, upcycling, thrifting and creating social night at Leaf. And, for those moments when you need to use the scissors and you don’t have an adult present, their resident expert, Jools.
Every other week, the crucial three of the crafting world promise to stitch, sew, stencil, score and staple their way into your hearts, with a series of inventive, fun and accessible workshops, which will transform you into the Martha Stewart of Sefton Park before you can say ‘insider trading’.
“Becky was looking for social event in Liverpool where she could develop her crafting hobby whilst meeting new people and enjoying a drink and good music,” the girls explain. “There was nothing like this out there, so we created it.” Well, they would. Creating’s what they do.
“The idea was to move away from the traditional craft workshop vibe, where the focus is solely on making crafts, and combine this with a great venue where we could offer a great social experience along with learning the new skill.”
Their fist event, timed to bring out the romance in our creative souls, was a unanimous vote of confidence. A drizzly Thursday evening in early February saw 60 wannabe crafters shuffle up Bold Street to create a personalised Valentines card (with the help of Jools) that promised to say more than any padded Tatty Teddy card ever could. SevenStreets were invited, but we had no use for such a thing.
Sounds like a night at Pink.
While the crafters beavered away with scalloped scissors, the Pinot flowed, a DJ from Pigeonhole Disco cranked out the tunes and Matt, Leaf head chef, gave a masterclass on homemade truffles.
“Anyone can craft. Playing and creating are things that the youngest of children can do, but we tend to lose sight of this as we grow up,” the girls say, promising that everyone, no matter how unfamiliar we are with the arcane pleasures of finger curling a stiff length of raffia yarn, can create something to be proud of.
“It’s all about having fun,” they say. “Our workshops are for everyone. We provide all material and equipment and all guests get to take home their gorgeous completed item after each workshop.”
The materials on offer? As varied as your imagination: paper, fabric, yarn, thread, flowers, recycled goods, wood, metal, buttons. “Everyone has something at home that can be manipulated and crafted with,” the girls say. They know us too well. “Anyone who can fold a piece of paper or use scissors can create their own miniature works of art.”
With a season of crafting workshops to look forward to, Craft Creative promises to transform us, session by session, like some part-work magazine series, into a fully working model of a thoroughly modern crafter, able to turn our hand to batik, bead work, felt making or cross stitching.
“In the past it was necessary for people to knit, sew and make their own clothing,” they say. “Now we can buy all of these things easily, but it’s still in our nature to personalise and embellish, making our mark on the environment we live in.”
Is that the reason, we wonder, why crafting is making something of a come-back? In the age of retweets, clone towns and global branding, it’s one of the few, authentic, ways we can identify ourselves as uniquely, singularly human?
“The growing awareness of the need to recycle is one of the driving forces behind the current popularity,” the girls suggest, “but in these tough times, people have re-evaluated the many ways crafting can be used to save money, get creative and become more sustainable. And have a great time. Crafting is very therapeutic.”
The fact that crafting’s now practised in the trendiest of locations from New York to Notting Hill is, they say, all well and good. But this is no passing fad. “Craft has been around for years. In the past, when society wasn’t as fast paced and there were no TV’s and computer games, children used to be taught craft skills by their parents and grandparents, and these skills would be honed and passed down the generations. Today, it’s up to events like this to pass on the baton. But the essence of creativity is within us, and we don’t believe it will ever die out. We’re creative animals.”
Yeah? Try saying that when you’ve seen us with a darning mushroom.
“Crafts alter at each workshop, but our aim is to bring each craft into the 21st century, to teach an old fashioned technique and add a contemporary modern twist to the items,” the girls say. “In just three hours you’ll be making jewellery, ipod covers, frilly knickers, printed T-shirts, old vinyl cover notepads, purses made form old ties, keyrings, cufflinks…the list is endless…”
Craft Creative, £7
Next session, 6.30pm, 10 March
Leaf, Bold Street
Book your place: firstname.lastname@example.org.