Cabin fever?

If you’ve ever had that feeling of, “I wouldn’t wish depression on my worst enemy—but I wish my friend could experience it for just a day…”

As I ate breakfast in the sun this morning, I’ve been browsing through the March 2012 “Creative Fibre” magazine in which crafters from Canterbury write about the destruction of their equipment, social and business lives in the earthquakes of 2011, and their stories going forward.

I wondered what stories of recovery, inspiration and kindness will come from our collective experiences of COVID-19, a different kind of devastation, but one that’s brought many lives to an abrupt halt. For some, “isolation” has been little different from “retirement”; for others, the social and financial fabric of their lives is shredded and torn.

A good news story is the astonishing success of the “New Zealand Made Products” initiative on Facebook. In less than a week, it’s gained 250,105 members who’re sharing their NZ owned, designed and made products—and getting sales. You may be sure I’ve added my bronz.beads online shop to the listings!

Yesterday, as we move into Alert Level 3, it finally hit me: cabin fever! Most of the projects—I finished knitting those cardigans!—are complete, the garden’s tidier than ever before, I’ve run out of good beading wire and a necklace I made with florist’s wire broke and beads spilled everywhere… basically, I was out of sorts.

Not sure I can blame this on the lockdown, though; some readers will know I live with depression and despite the thank-god-for-antidepressants that keep me from despair and hopelessness, there are still ups and downs, as the black dog tries to throw its shadow over everything.

Finally I stopped procrastinating and got on with collating another book in my “Words of Spirit and Faith” series. It kept me absorbed—husband had to remind me I hadn’t moved from my chair for hours and should take a break—and brought a gratifying sense of accomplishment. And a Facebook discussion led to possible collaboration with someone in the United States—my lyrics and her music.

Because there’s sure to be someone reading this who struggles with anxiety and depression, or who cares for someone who does, I’m offering some excellent and simple resources. If you’ve ever had that feeling of, “I wouldn’t wish depression on my worst enemy—but I wish my friend could experience it for just a day”, share Matthew Johnstone’s “I had a black dog” and “Living with a black dog”—yes, amusing cartoon drawings and words about mental illness (links below).

And if you’ve ever thought someone should just pull their socks up and get on with it, please also read, view or listen to these resources. They could change your life or save a friend’s.

I trust you’re making this time of limitation a space for deciding how you’d like your life and community to be, and what sort of ‘new normal’ we can create together.

Kapiti Arts & Crafts Society Shop


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I had a black dog—video

Living with a black dog—video 

I had a black dog—book

Living with a black dog—book

Holy Fools, Feast of Fools…

What do you know about them? I’ve been doing some research – more on that later – and have found some interesting info and misinformation.

Meanwhile, my personal nomination for Holy Fool as Artist and Commentator is: Michael Leunig, Australian cartoonist, writer, philosopher and poet. And pray-er, or writer of prayers. Good ones.

This is one of my favourite prayers by Michael Leunig:

God give us rain when we expect sun.
Give us music when we expect trouble.
Give us tears when we expect breakfast.
Give us dreams when we expect a storm.
Give us a stray dog when we expect congratulations.
God play with us, turn us sideways and around.


why do you care?

My daughter, the artist behind azolloza art, has been listening to small business marketing & strategy podcasts while feeding baby or when toddler naps. She tells me an artist, crafter, hobbyist or small business person needs a blog. She says people like to know who they’re buying from, and what they like and are like, and where they do their creating.

If I want to sell stuff, it seems I have to blog about what I’m making, and post photos of my messy “craft area”, and describe the wool / fibre / textile / paint / glue / paper / tapestry wool, cotton, silk etc that I’m working with.

I need to post to Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and Etsy and GodKnowsWhereElse as well as selling via Felt and having this website that shows all my stuff in one place, and maybe individual websites for each of my art+craft things.

Apparently you want to know more about me than the things I’ve already shared: photographs, poetry, handcrafted greeting cards, knitted garments, tapestries, favourite quotes, resources about depression, and more. You want to know me better than you can by clicking the links to my other websites or following me up on social media.

bronzart - Bronwyn crafting

Now, I do believe that “Marketing is Everything”.

And if this is what it takes, I’ll blog about what I’m doing, instead of getting on and doing it, and you can see photos of me sitting on the sofa knitting or doing tapestry.

At present I’m using a miscellany of yarns – wool, acrylic, blended, pink, mauve, scarlet, red, grey, green – to make a hat for sale at my daughter’s kids’ play centre fair. When it’s finished, you can see a photo. Work in progress? Nah, coz I don’t know how it will turn out. Best not to raise your expectations…

handbag in progressHere’s a photo of another work-in-progress, though. (It’s finished now, and doesn’t look anything like it appears it will, although it gets lots of compliments.)

I hope you’re enjoying my first blog on the topic of “what I’m working on”, and I hope even more you’ll buy some of it. And yes, here’s the link:

But what I’d really like to know, dear prospective customer, is, “Why do you care?”

Advent: Take time to be aware…

“Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.” – Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac

“Many phenomena—wars, plagues, sudden audits—have been advanced as evidence for the hidden hand of Satan in the affairs of Man, but whenever students of demonology get together the M25 London orbital motorway is generally agreed to be among the top contenders for Exhibit A.” – Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)