I love crafting. It’s something I haven’t had much time for in the last few years (PhD, work, excuses excuses, etc.) but when I do make time to sit down and make – at risk of sounding like one of those nonsense mindfulness apps – it fills my soul with joy. I genuinely think there’s something really restorative and wholesome about fiddling with craft supplies and trying to ‘do’ something, even if you’re not ‘good’ at it! That’ll be why I had the best time at the #VikingArtyParty, kindly hosted by Viking stationery at Lambert’s Yard in Leeds a couple of weeks ago.
Loads of local bloggers had been invited to enjoy a festive crafting afternoon, complete with seasonal snacks and more mulled wine than you could shake a glittery stick at. We were split into three teams and first up for my team? Festive brush lettering with Joyce from Artsynibs – I was nervous about this, as years of programming and then thesis writing have meant my handwriting is now atrocious, but Joyce reassured us that being able to master this skill is nothing to do with how beautiful your handwriting is. Just breathe. Relax into it. Break the letters down. After a few botched attempts, I managed to get a fairly reasonable Halloween card done (I know, goth Christmas… I can’t tolerate festive festive until Halloween’s out of the way, it personally offends me…)
After a wonderfully festive lunch of hot sandwiches and sticky belly pork squares, it was time to tackle some block printing with Maddie from Tea and Crafting. Continuing my ridiculous Halloween efforts, I made a rather wonky bat stamper, and covered an incredibly sturdy magazine file in orange and green bats. It was so fun to see all the different designs people came up with! Laura’s red cactus print was the best!
Finally, we had a go at making Christmas crackers with the help of Jane from Tea and Crafting, and a bit more mulled wine… Sadly my Halloween vibes were killed off at this point, with decidedly Christmassy coloured glitter paper and no clear way to subvert the activity. I found this activity the easiest of the three, and weirdly satisfying… marking out guide lines, folding, cutting little diamonds, rolling it all up… we were meant to be making these crackers into advent calendars, but I think they’ll be sweet for wrapping stocking stuffers for people. I love the glitter!
The best thing about this event? Being able to sit down and talk to people. Like, really talk to people. It was lovely to catch up with the likes of Natasha, Laura, Katie, Kel and Simone whilst bonding over our varying degrees of crafty skill (or lack thereof, haha!)
Thanks so much Viking and Search Laboratory for having me, and thank you for my lovely early Christmas gift – I’m really looking forward to continuing my brush lettering practice with the pens I was gifted. Photos in this post kindly provided by Viking – thank god, as my hands were too covered in ink and paint to do anything sensible like document the experience!