Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Lifestyles

March 16, 2014

Handcrafted Heritage

In the face of technology, crafting is as popular as ever

RUSSELL — While crafting might seem to be one of the more down-to-earth activities one could take part in — working with the hands, making use of simple, uncomplicated and often natural items — in ways, it has gone high tech.

Heather McBride, co-manager at Hobby Lobby in Russell, said one of the biggest changes she’s seen in crafting has been the incorporation of technology, which has helped boost interest in crafting.

“I believe interest has grown in the last few years, just based on the growth of our company,” she said. “I see it growing, especially with Itsy and Pinterest.” Itsy is a website where handmade and vintage items and supplies are bought and sold; Pinterest is known for offering crafting ideas.

The advantage of such websites is the ideas they generate.

“I might not be able to think of something, but i can look it up and create it,” McBride said. “That has really grown and spurred other people to do crafts at home. You hear people say, ‘I wouldn’t know where to start,’ but those sites show you.”

McBride said the current new craft she’s noticed is deco-mesh wreaths, which are wreaths made from mesh ribbon with add-ons of the creator’s choosing.

“You get a big bang for your buck,” she said, explaining why the wreaths have caught on. “They’re relatively simple to do and it looks great when it’s finished. You can embellish them and make them your own.”

She said interest continues in all the needle arts, such as knitting and crocheting, as well as making fleece blankets.

“Floral arrangements are popular, especially with Memorial Day weekend coming up,” she said. “We sell out of wooden ‘Us’ and ‘Ks’ every weekend. We sell a lot of scrapbooking. People scrapbook like crazy.”

She said crafts are especially popular in this part of the country because it’s part of our heritage.

“This area has a strong tie to handcrafting things because in the Apppalachian mountains, with the geography, people were isolated so they made a lot of handcrafted things and that has been passed down through the generations.”

In addition, crafts offer a wide variety of activities and suit a range of talents.

“There’s always something anybody can do,” she said.

The Craft and Hobby Association contends crafting is good for you.

It says crafting can reduce stress, build self-esteem and increase physical dexterity.

The group’s website, quoting a study by New York University and Harvard University, said activities ranging from scrapbooking to knitting can actually improve concentration, while enhancing health and mental wellness.

While it’s National Craft Month in March, for some, crafting is a way of life.

“Every month is craft month here,” McBride said.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

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