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Craftfulness: Mend Yourself by Making Things

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Integrating mindfulness, neuroscience, positive psychology, and creativity research, Craftfulness offers a thought-provoking and surprising reconsideration of craft, and how making things with your hands can connect us to our deepest selves and improve our well-being and overall happiness.

We should get this out of the way:Craftfulness is not a “crafting book.” Rather, it
ebook, 208 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Harper Wave
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Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Craftfullness by Rosemary Davidson and Arzu Tahsin explains the importance of techniques to keep people happy and confident.
As a crafter I get a lot of joy and a sense of achievement in the things that a make and I forget about my problems for a while as I am busy with my project.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Quercus Books for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Deb Jones
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I've read previous reviews that lamented that there is nothing new in this book. In some ways that is true, but it also depends on what it is you're looking for. For me, someone who enjoys crafting, from creating things with clay to making jewelry, this book was about permission to enjoy the process as much, if not more than, the final product.

I am a perfectionist and that irrational tendency so often gets in the way of me creating/crafting anything due to my fear of the product being less than
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had this been a short article on the mental and physical benefits of crafting I think it would have worked well. Unfortunately, it has been padded with quotes from the authors (why do you need to quote yourself when you are writing the book?) and their friends. I would have liked to have seen some (perhaps neurological or physiological) information on why crafting is so beneficial or even an additional chapter on crafting not just for your own benefit, but charities you may craft for (with the ...more
Gabrielle Belisle
I feel like this book would be much more useful for people who don't craft. I draw, crochet, book-bind, and sew already. I've worked with ceramics. I don't need to know how these things work. In addition, for a book written by two editors, they repeat themselves so often I could have taken 50 pages out of this book with no issue. The formatting with excessive block quotes was also difficult to read. I was hoping for more information on the benefits of crafting and it's history. There's a tiny ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I am not the audience for this book—its purpose is to convince people to try crafting, and I probably need someone telling me that it’s okay that I don’t know tatting yet. One takeaway for me, though, was the statement that crafting is useful for mindfulness because it helps you observe your thoughts without feeling compelled to engage with them. “Compelled to engage” is a really useful way of putting this, I thought.
Samantha Mitchell
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was so validating! When you work with your hands, create something of your own, you feel proud and accomplished. It’s linked to better mental health, and helps those with PTSD (etc) cope and express themselves. The book is many examples of how crafting is successful mindfulness - which I never linked together before. A short, good read!
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I love the idea, I believe in the idea that crafting (or anything creative) feeds your soul and you're a better person for it.........but for me personally, there was nothing really new in the book aside from the various studies that were mentioned. Great for someone who's new to this idea but just a rehash for me.
The first three-quarters of this book is an excellent reminder of the power of crafting. It doesn't matter what that crafting is. What matters is finding that flow state and relishing the benefits of the process, rather than the product itself. I appreciate Davidson and Tahsin reiterating the power of being a beginner and accepting that nothing is going to be perfect without practice. Likewise, whatever that practice is -- be it knitting, drawing, running, yoga, meditation -- the benefits are ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While I admit this book was "preaching to the choir," it was a message I needed to hear. Crafting is good for you. It is calming, anxiety reducing, mood enhancing and most of all enjoyable. I know this, I value my crafting time, I get a lot out of it. When I was a teenager interested in embroidery, my mother warned my brothers not to disturb me, I was doing my "therapy." Now, knitting is my therapy. It is necessary. I couldn't live without crafting.
I'm really bummed about this book because it was not what I was hoping. In fact, between the feel of the paper, the (to me) pale typeface, and just the fonts in general, I was stressed out by this book and I could not even skim it completely.

The jist of what I got: crafting can help you feel relaxed and is beneficial to you. Well....I think anyone who crafts knows this. I don't know what I was fully expecting, but I was just wanting more I guess.
Karen Whittard
I love crafting And tips book is full of fabulous tips about mindful crafting. I found this book fascinating and look forward to putting it into practice.
J.L. Slipak
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book nails exactly what I've believed for most of my life. First taught as a child that idle hands--the devil commands... to now where I'm constantly feeding my creative nature through writing, dance and art. I believe, by creating using my hands, I have grown as a person and allowed myself to be open to new ideas by sharpening my mind to details and open concepts. I believe that being creative is the next step to our
William Schram
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help, diy
It seems that everyone is touting the idea of mindfulness and being more in the moment. Craftfulness by authors Rosemary Davidson and Arzu Tahsin equates crafting with meditation. While this book is not as loathsome as the surfing memoir I read, it also argues that we need to be able to fail at things to keep ourselves in perspective.

This book adds some weird Social Justice narrative to the first few pages and makes comments that don’t pan out to me. For example, “we want meaning and
Lindsey Brooke
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I didn’t finish this book.

There was nothing particularly wrong with it. In fact, I found some of the information about mind/body connection re making things to be really interesting and useful. But this book is boring, for lack of better wording, and I’m not entirely sure how it came to be an entire book.

Maybe it’s unfair to review the book because I didn’t read it all, but I didn’t read it all because I felt like I was forcing myself to read it. It is extremely well written, and I think that’
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, 2019
This is a fast read - the audio version is 4 hours, including beginner instructions for a few different craft projects. The narrator’s voice is very pleasant. There is a large emphasis on process over product. This is something I apply to my yoga practice but not crochet projects, so I found this useful. The book also inspired me to branch out and try new crafting methods. I liked ruminating on the benefits I get from creating, which is something I haven’t spent a lot of time deliberately ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, 2019, craft-ideas
Received some good insight and craft ideas.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
DNF - meh. It spends a lot of time saying the same thing without really saying anything.
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A delightful reminder that we humans love to make things, and in so doing, we make ourselves...happy! Lots of talk about flow and the like and some suggestions on good resources online, as well as some crafts that are on their way to obsolescence and ought to be reconsidered. Darning, for example. Odds are few can do it, but many ought to know how to do it, by my observation.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Nothing I didn't already know
Florence Lacey
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant look at the way making and creating can benefit our mental health. This book is well researched but easy to understand. I think many can be helped from the lessons learnt. With modern society and technology prompting a move away from crafting, the exploration of its meditative nature is timely.
A must read!
Ann Santori
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Well-done self-help type book. Not a lot of real substance or sociological/neurological backing to the ideas presented throughout . . . more geared towards those who already enjoy crafting and perhaps want to open themselves up to new types/depths of said crafting or process feelings about how crafting fits into their overall sense of self.
Allie Vera
This feels like one of those fluff books you pick up at the front of Barnes and Noble right before the register. Perhaps this book resonates more with people who don't do crafts, but as someone not in that category my mind wandered pretty early on.
Rachel Felker
May 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is supposed to be a book about crafting, NOT politics- so why do the first pages call religion “a balm of powerlessness”, state “there is no faith, political system, or social belief that can sustain us”, call Socialism “noble”, reference to mysoginy, feminism, etc?....none of which have anything to do with the advocacy of making arts and crafts with your hands to find inner calm. Such indiscreet ulterior motives. The author is certainty entitled to these opinions and personal passions, but ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: female-author
There are a lot of good points in this book, but it was desperately in need of an editor. Its style wanders all over the place - is a it an academic thesis on the psychological impact of craft? a self-help book? a memoir? a how-to book? It's all of those at various points, and it doesn't quite hold together. For those who already have a craft practice, the first half of the book is simply confirmation of ideas you've likely figured out on your own. For those who don't, the benefits and joys of ...more
Lauren Nesbitt
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely little book that brings together the healing stories of women who have used various crafts to enrich their lives and move in a positive direction. I especially loved the encouragement to try new things, to take a risk without worrying about the outcome, and the testimonials to the impact spending time on creative acts can have on one's life. The book also includes lots of links to sites that can get you started and inspire you. Crafts include knitting, bookbinding, weaving, printmaking, ...more
Stephanie Wilcox
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I wouldn't necessarily call this one life changing or revolutionary or anything like that, but it was a really pleasant--almost gentle--read and I liked how it spoke realistic but positive vibes into the reader. The book was broken down well in that it built up to the idea of doing specific crafts, and then provided a chapter of example crafts and how to do them! The only thing I really didn't like was how so much of it was quotes, rather than them explaining their points a bit better.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
As a writer, knitter, paper-maker, (bad) singer, and (worse) sketcher, i don't find anything to argue or disagree with in this book. It's mostly a review of research, and anecdotes of how crafting has helped people through difficult times and enriched their lives. Overall it felt a bit lightweight, and I'm left wondering who the tragedy audience is, after all crafters already know this, and non-crafters wouldn't care...
Books R Dynamic
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Great for someone who's new to crafting and looking for an outlet from stress, busyness, being unfulfilled, grief, feeling manic, and depression. Highlights crafting not being about the end product but more about the process. Focuses on the therapeutic and relaxing qualities of crafting. Brief intro to mini craft projects & lots of good points. Book is filled with quotes about craft subjects meaningful to the author & friends.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Craftfulness... crafting, or making things with our hands, is an essential human desire; the authors focus on explaining the research and emotions behind why we crave creativity. Much of the book repeated concepts and thoughts, never quite getting to the point. What I learned is it's okay to make time to craft and make things just for the joy and fun, even if it doesn't end up beautiful or functional. Human brains are wired to positively contribute to the world.
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