So it’s a new year and my neighbour Lisa Chalk has decided she wanted to start knitting (which is very fashionable these days).
Despite my lack of knowledge in this area I was very impressed with her first attempt at a scarf and she’s kindly offered to make me one which I can’t wait to see.
I don’t think you can ever beat something handmade and what’s more, it was wonderful to see her excitement at learning a new skill.
Christmas I know has long past but I couldn’t resist mentioning how delighted I was to have received several handmade gifts.
These included a beautiful created box of memories from our wedding in Cuba from my sister Cheryl Gibbs, sweet-filled jars wonderfully hand decorated, along with a candle once I’d eaten the sweets (which I must say didn’t last long) from my friend Tina Hinchcliffe.
I also received beautiful handmade cards from my niece and nephew Hollie and Lewie Grant, who later painted Tina’s new puppies to give to her as a gift.
Being a new year we all want to change something or possibly learn something new.
One of the obstacles of learning a new art or craft skill is knowing what materials to buy and often we buy more than is required.
My recommendation is always start with a few key items and build from there as you become more experienced.
Quite often there are starter packs available which have a basic set of materials and if you need further help it’s worth looking online or visiting a local art and craft seller.
Information is at our fingertips today.
In and around Portsmouth there are various places you can obtain your materials from if you prefer to shop locally rather than online.
The Range has a variety of materials available and is one of the more reasonably priced.
Hobbycraft is more expensive but likely to have what you need.
Smaller specialised shops are also a great way to obtain materials.
Though often more expensive, they should be able to offer you specialist advice which you may not get from some of the larger retailers.
So my advice if you are looking to start something new for 2016 is to buy a few materials as a starting point and just give it a go and when you improve buy more!
n Michelle Gibbs works as a learning support assistant in a creative writing class on Fridays at the Omega Centre.