Sunday, October 28, 2012

Softly Addicted

A recent article caught my attention.  "Soft addictions", according to author and inspirational speaker Judith Wright, are "seemingly harmless habits - like watching too much TV, overshopping, overeating, and surfing the internet for hours - that rob us of our time, zap our energy, and keep us from leading a more meaningful life."  

Now, fast forward this thinking to your craft.  Most of the people I know that have some sort of crafting hobby would probably jokingly call themselves "addicts" when it comes to creating what they love.  Boxes, bins, closets and even rooms full of supplies, unfinished projects, more supplies, unopened project kits, books, patterns, more supplies, and on and on...  

As I sit here typing, I have 2 trays near me AND a coffee table full of projects I'm working on!  My sewing studio is cluttered with supplies overflowing, a closet FULL of fabric, boxes and bins of little components for the many types of stitching that I enjoy.  Then there's also a closet upstairs in the guest room full of scrapbooking, cross stitch, wood turnings, paint, pillow forms, styrofoam, frames, etc.  Yikes, do I need therapy?

Starting and not finishing a lot of projects is a sure sign of soft addiction.  Oh, no!  Okay, well, I have been working on eliminating a very large amount of items that I'll never get to this past year.  I'm proud that I have four less boxes of craft magazines and books, and three less plastic storage bins of cross stitch kits, fabric and supplies!  Next up is to begin purging the cotton fabrics that I'll never make anything with...some lucky quilters should graduate to their own 'soft addiction' from this pile! 

There is really more to defining a "soft addiction" than the accumulation of material things.  It can overtake your happiness and fulfillment with life, pulling you into isolation and away from everyday responsibilities.  That's certainly easy to have happen occasionally, but I have to say that I find myself always prioritizing my other responsibilities way before I allot time to craft.  That usually means I don't have a lot of new creations to show off, but my family will always come first.

But according to Ms. Wright, a "soft addition" isn't all together a negative thing.  She explains that "when you're doing a craft, it's this beautiful thing where your creativity's flowing and there's new ideas coming forth.  You're more in touch with your feelings, or maybe you get an answer to a problem you're having.  It becomes this thing that makes you MORE.  You've got more of your feelings, more energy, you're more alert, and more of you is coming through.  That's when it's a beautiful passion, in a good way." we're talking!  Since most of us crafty types could never see ourselves totally eliminating what we love to do from our lives, learning to understand that soft addiction can be positive is essential to understanding how to keep it in check.  And remember, if it starts to feel overwhelming and you find yourself pulling away from everyday life, or the clutter or procrastinating nature in you is starting to emerge, it's time to rethink how your craft is impacting your life.  


  1. I can relate to this!! I am engulfed in crafting supplies and they threaten to consume me, I'll disappear and never be found again! lol I probably need therapy too, but all these boxes and bins of supplies make me happy in a strange sort of way. If you learn how to keep your supply addiction in check , let me know!


  2. Good food for thought....Thanks for sharing Ilene.
    Enjoy your day,

  3. HI! I'm your newest follower, I followed you here from

    You make some super cute crafts! I love the twiggy snowman! Adorable!

    1. Nice to meet you Lisa! I really have enjoyed your blog as well! So many cute ideas! Ilene