Idle Hands are
the devil's playthings...

People have always assumed that I have my shit together. Truthfully, I'm more of a high-functioning mess. For most of my adult life, I've quietly battled generalised anxiety.

I over think things; I deal in worst case scenarios; I obsessively plan ahead; I stress over possibilities; I prefer structure; uncertainty can be physically painful; it can be hard to turn off my brain and shift focus during peak anxiety moments.

Yeah, it's as exhausting as it sounds.

I turned to crafts and creative hobbies as a powerful coping technique to battle anxiety in my mid-twenties with great success. When I am focused on a craft project, I can re-direct all that anxious energy into the process of creating. When I'm working with my hands, my mind can't wander to the what-ifs.

I spent my late-20's crafting like a mutha, and during those crafty halcyon days I was calmer and more confident than ever. I'd always had the outside world convinced that I was a cool customer, but during this time, I nearly had myself convinced, too.

During my 30's I leaned hard into becoming a career girl and wound up with a fancy grown up job. Tons of travel and lots of important meetings left little time or creative energy for crafty therapy. A move for work and a downsize to a cute (but expensive) city apartment left little room for precious craft supplies. But, a girl's gotta eat and pay for health insurance in America, and so I pushed forward on that career girl track while the anxiety kept slowly creeping.

On my 40th birthday, while on holiday in Scotland, I met the most amazing guy. What I thought was gonna be a holiday romance turned into actual, real love. Long distance lost its lustre about a year in, and so we decided I'd move to Scotland and we'd start a life together. Every romcom movie about international romance had set some unrealistic expectations for how easy this process would be. Spoiler alert - it is NOT easy.

Nevertheless, we persisted and after the most stressful application process and torturous wait in my life, we got my visa. I quit the fancy job, I packed up what I intended to keep (husband still wonders if that many shoes were essential... yes, yes they were), I sold the rest of my worldly possessions, and I moved to Scotland.

Sounds amazing, right?! It was amazing. But, it was also traumatic in a way that I didn't let myself acknowledge at first. Listen - I would choose to come to Scotland and marry my guy a million times over...in every lifetime, I'd choose him. But, with that choice inherently lies the giving up of lots of things - my own space, my own job and professional identity, my own circle of friends, my own country... you get the idea. No matter how perfect or magical your new adventure in a new country is and will be, there will always be the old things that may not make the journey with you.

So, there I am, trying to learn this new life in Scotland while quietly (and sometimes unknowingly) mourning for my old life in the US. THEN.... a global pandemic fell over the world. And, I fell apart.

Fear of catching the virus, fear of economic collapse and loss of income, having to shelter in place, obsessive hand washing - and all of this happening in a place that didn't truly feel like home yet.... well, that nearly broke me.

By March 2020, not only were my hands idle...it felt like my whole damned life was idle. And I was reminded that idle hands really are the devil's playthings. The quiet anxiety had been sheltering in place within me. Now, with the world at a stand still, that anxiety was like a cicada horde breaking out after a 17 year hibernation, raising a ruckus.

I'm not proud to say I spent a fair few months in pjs in bed just wallowing in it all. One day, I started thinking about how much crafting and a creative outlet helped me in my 20s.

I ordered some supplies, put my idle hands to work, and started to calm my anxious mind.

Making things has made me happy, and now I'm here to share my happy. I've built this website as a place to share my crafty journey to mindfulness.

Thanks for reading this far and for joining me on this journey.