‘Once you have the knack of a new craft and the confidence to persevere, you will most definitely do more,’ believes Red Ted Art’s Maggy Woodley, who happens to have the knack for both crafting and blogging about it. Read on for what keeps Maggy passionate about creativity and what you can try crafting the next time you find yourself in a period of ‘meh’.
What keeps you passionate about craft and blogging about it?
As everyone knows (or should know), you should blog about something that you are passionate about. That way, the passion keeps you going, naturally. Of course, even with a topic that I love, there are moments of writer’s block (or in my case, craft block). That is only natural. The key thing is not to be put off by those days or weeks, but to persevere… you always come back out at the other end.
On my blog, I have always shared at least one or two new crafts per week (if not more), so even in periods of ‘meh’, I just stick to my schedule. Yes, I may have made something I am not that excited about that week, but usually it leads to something new and wonderful eventually. So, the passion and love for crafts came well before the blogging started.
What originally got you into creating things?
Crafting is something that I have enjoyed ever since I was a child. I have many fond memories of crafting with my grandmother and in the classroom and over the years continued with being creative and crafty (e.g. sending homemade birthday cards to friends). When my kids where born, I wanted to recreate this love for crafts with them… which naturally went on to starting the blog!
How have you had to change your approach to blogging, or your content, during the COVID-19 crisis?
Not particularly. I think the only thing I did differently was to take care to craft with items that I thought most people should have around the house and to focus on crafts that are really accessible to all (i.e. easy and don’t take too long to make!). I did, however, republish a lot of old content that I felt was suited to the being-stuck-at-home period, as well as encouraging kids to try something new – like sewing or knitting.
Do you think those who took up knitting/sewing/other traditional crafts during lockdown will continue?
Oh yes; I am certain of it. Once you have the knack of a new craft and the confidence to persevere, you will most definitely do more. Maybe not as much as during lockdown, as you have less time, but I can see it being picked up time and again.
One craft you’d love to master but haven’t quite managed it yet?
Needle felting – mainly because I haven’t had much time for it (yet).
Favourite crafty ideas you’ve shared on your blog?
Oh, there are so, so many from over the years. But I do love ‘useful’ crafts or crafts you can play with afterwards. Our Corner Bookmark Design collection is something I am proud of. Or fun crafts, like these Toilet Paper Roll Dancing Giraffes. Or these super-easy finger puppets (we actually used paper from the recycling bin for these!).
How important is it for people to pay crafters and artists for what they create?
Like in all industries, though we are passionate about what we create, this is also our job. And because crafting is my job, payment is very important – if I had to go back to traditional employment, there would be no time for crafting – be it on Red Ted Art or a third party. If third parties want to continue getting great content, they have to pay the artists and crafters! It is as simple as – we are providing time and energy to create something special and we also have mortgages to pay! Similarly, when it comes to our online presence, our social media profiles have taken years to grow, and third parties are paying for access to a loyal audience that we have built and nurtured over time!
How do you collaborate with brands and which kind of brands do you really like working with?
Most brand work I have had in the past was creating bespoke crafts related to a campaign – this could be a craft to go with a new movie release or a craft making something out of recycled packaging. Though, of course, I work with many craft brands too, my clients are usually ‘not creative’ industries, but industries in the family sector.
For PRs looking to work with you and your blog/website, how would you prefer they approach you and with what kind of content?
An email outlining the campaign and budget available is perfect. I love creating crafts bespoke to a campaign that is family orientated.
What other blogs do you check out regularly (whether craft-related or not)?
Oh, it is probably my fellow craft community that I am connected with on Facebook or Instagram! There are so many and we often do projects together.