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As you grow older you will discover that you

have two hands.

One for helping yourself, the other for helping others. " Audrey Hepburn


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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guest Post "Why Every Hospital Should Have a Crafting Room"

Why Every Hospital Should 
Have a Crafting Program

A group of women sitting around together to knit and crochet while they cope with treatment for long-term illness sounds a bit like something you’d expect to see in hippie commune, not something that would be found in a modern hospital. It’s true; most hospitals today don’t have organized craft programs for their patients. However, the few that do have found that the benefits are massive, and even in those hospitals that don’t offer such programs it is often possible to find people crafting on their own as a means of improving their healing process.

Crochet, in particular, is a craft that lends itself well to hospital settings. It is a craft that requires limited tools; it can be done with just a crochet hook and a single ball of yarn. It is easy to put it down and pick up right where you left off so it works if your illness causes you to rest/ nap frequently or if you may be interrupted during your work for treatment. It is an easy craft to learn, can be done by almost all ages and is adaptable for use by people with various physical limitations.

The most important thing, though, is that crochet is able to help with the healing process for a diverse array of both physical and mental health conditions. Just a few examples include:

•         Pre-labor anxiety and pains for patients on third trimester bed rest. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in California has a knit and crochet program for mothers-to-be. The repetitive task of crochet helps releases serotonin, which acts as a natural painkiller providing non-narcotic relief to these women. The task is soothing, reducing anxiety and helping the woman to form a bond with her unborn child.

•         Depression. The serotonin release of the craft also acts as a natural anti-depressant. Additionally, crochet helps boost self-esteem, provides a focused task for breaking the negative cycle of rumination, reduces anxiety and encourages mindfulness, all things which play a role in depression treatment.

•         High blood pressure and related conditions. Dr. Herbert Bendon, the Director of the Institute for Mind, Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School did research that found that needlework lowers blood pressure by creating a relaxation response in the body.

Individuals can utilize crochet for all of these things and more, but the benefits are magnified when crafting is done in group settings. The craft brings the group together around a safe, calming activity. This encourages social connections, facilitates conversation, allows participants to teach and learn from each other and creates group bonding, all of which lead to a more positive outlook that in turn leads to better overall treatment success. Crafting in hospitals can improve support groups, therapy sessions and the morale of entire floors of patients.

Unfortunately, most hospitals aren’t set up for craft groups. Those hospitals that do offer groups often have help from dedicated volunteers and the support of key staff. Research has shown that settings where occupational therapists are employed often have a higher rate of acceptance for this type of group than those without OT staff. Still, with outcomes improved for patients of all kinds when crafting is available, it makes sense for hospital administration to consider implementing a plan that includes a little bit of yarn.

This is a guest post by Kathryn Vercillo of the blog Crochet Concupiscence. She is the author of Crochet Saved My Life, a new book about the mental and physical health benefits of crochet.

**If you would like to write a "Guest Post" for Crochetoholic's Place please refer to the "rules" under the "Guest Post" link under the header. Submit all "guest Posts" for review to crochetoholicdebb@msn.com   

Note: All information is the opinion of the"Guest Post" author, unless otherwise noted. Crochetoholic'x Place does not guarantee or may not agree with any of the material covered in this article.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Crochet and Good Food

Now this is the best looking Crochet Smart Car I have seen yet!!! lol  

Peanut Butter & Jelly... Grilled
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich... Grilled! 

What is it about grilling a sandwich that makes it something so indulgent?  Think about how "blah" a 'cheese' sandwich would be without the 'grilled.'  Grilling a peanut butter and jelly sandwich turns it into the most delicious treat... one of my favorites for cold winter mornings like these.

Grilled PB&J

2 slices of bread (I used a honey wheat)
2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 tablespoon of grape jelly
1 tablespoon of butter, softened 

Assemble peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Butter the outside of the sandwich.  "Grill" the sandwich in a skillet on each side for 2 minutes on medium-high until it has browned.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Guest Post "Cut Out Your Clutter" by Lisa

Cut down on your clutter the creative way

What is it about creative people that brings out the clutter? Not every creative has a clutter problem but the majority of the ones I know could use a clutter intervention. The creative process tends to create a lot of detritus that usually gets left behind as soon as the next project is on the horizon. At a certain point the clutter reaches a tipping point (sometimes literally!) and it’s time to clean things up. Fortunately, there are some creative solutions to the clutter problem that everyone will love.

Make your workstation a display

If you’re anything like me then your working area is probably the nucleus of the clutter universe. Everything starts here and slowly spreads to other areas of the home. Before you know it crafting supplies are showing up in the guest bathroom with no explanation. One way to combat the expanding clutter is to fashion a stylish workstation that has a place for everything. I’m big into recycling, so I like the idea of making cubbyholes out of things that would otherwise go in the trash. For example, if you have a bunch of old coffee cans and some wood you can fashion an awesome cubby matrix to hang on the wall. Decorate the outside of the cans, fashion the wood into a square frame, and stick the cans in sideways with the open ends facing you. Then you have neat little round spaces to hold everything from yarn to scrapbooking supplies. Use this as inspiration to come up with more ways you can repurpose items into fun storage for your workspace.

Get your creative juices flowing

Have you ever been in a creative rut? You’ve been plugging away at various fun projects and all the sudden you have no ideas for what’s next. Or, maybe you’re right in the middle of a project and inspiration up and walks out the door. In these cases it’s usually good to find a small distraction until the creativity comes back. "Decluttering" is the perfect mindless activity to do when you find yourself in this kind of situation. Get up from whatever you’re doing and start getting the clutter under control. You can even set a timer so you know when it’s time to get back to work. Most of the time, you’ll be hit with a burst of creativity that will take you back to work anyway. Work these “creative clutter breaks” into your daily schedule and you’ll be surprised at how many new and neat ideas you stumble across when your mind is elsewhere.

Clutter doesn't need to go hand in hand with creativity. If you’re stuck in a cluttered mess use these ideas to get it under control.

Author’s bio: Lisa is a guest author and crafter. She also helps people organize their storage units all across the United States. She is currently working on storage units in storage units in ColoradoSprings and storage units in Tallahassee.

Note: All information is the opinion of the"Guest Post" author, unless otherwise noted. Crochetoholic'x Place does not guarantee or may not agree with any of the material covered in this article.


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