Very Handy indeed!

Very Handy indeed!

Hi there,

Thanks for popping in. Did you read Grace’s excellent blog about Gratitude Lists yesterday? It was good to be reminded; in the daily chaos that has enveloped Clarity in recent times, I have been neglecting to do that simple task every morning, and reading Grace’s sage words placed me firmly back on track. Thanks Grace. If you would like to check it out, go to yesterday’s CLARITY MATTERS Blog. A worthy read indeed.

In fact, at the very top of my gratitude list this morning is MY HANDS.

I want to talk about hands. Yesterday, my Dave was talking to another Dave about carpeting. My Dave has a lot of problems with his hands, mainly due to extreme arthritis. His hands often rob him of sleep, his grip is diminished and he really struggles with them. The cold weather doesn’t help. Never gives in though. Eats raw turmeric and black pepper daily, avoids tomatoes like the plague, plays his guitar faithfully every evening. Says it stops them seizing up altogether.

The other Dave, Carpet-Dave, also had quite deformed hands – he was born with them. There are operations and procedures which might help both of them, but neither can really afford to take months off work. Ahh. The working man’s lament.

Standing observing these two men, with their gnarled fingers which were obviously painful, I was quite humbled. I have nice, long, straight fingers, my knuckles are fine, free of pain (except for when I was doing my bit for the Billy Bookshelf Construction earlier, missed the tack and wacked my finger with the sledgehammer yesterday!) I take my hands for granted, when actually – I shouldn’t. So I started today’s gratitude list with them.

When I came into the office, I asked all the guys n girls (Youtubers, graphic artists and designers) Jim, Lucy, Saffron, Jordan, Stuart, Steve, Simon – to make a circle and hold out their hands – their beautiful, normal, soft, creative hands:

It felt really powerful. All those strong, healthy hands attached to all those young, creative heads.

So before I shoot off to Pottery – another thing which you really can only do with a pair of strong hands – I just wanted to stop and reflect a while.

I know that many of you don’t have hands, only have one hand, are crippled with arthritis, endure unspeakable pain. Yet you keep crafting. You make beautiful art, you create fantastic original pieces. And I have so much respect for you. SO MUCH RESPECT. Brilliant inspiration.

Tina Cox – Parchment Artist Extraordinaire – is my friend and my shero. She only has one hand, but look at her art, look at her designs! Her work is bafflingly beautiful! I know we don’t usually talk about it, and I know Tina will blush. But it is true. When I see her parchment work, I shake my head in disbelief. We all do, don’t we?

So I think today, when I go on the pottery wheel, I shall look at the process from a whole new angle – one of humility and gratitude.

Wednesday’s blog – more about why we craft than what we craft.

Love and Hugs,

Barb xxxx

19 thoughts on “Very Handy indeed!

  1. Good morning Barbara!
    I am so glad I read your blog. I read Grace’s too now. She had such a sensible head on her young shoulders.
    Both of your blogs really ground me… Make me realise that I have so much to be grateful for that it takes away the little trivial niggles I have flying around me.
    I had a tooth out on Saturday and have been in so much pain since that yesterday I found everything quite a challenge but I woke this morning after the best night’s sleep in ages to find my mouth wasn’t quite as sore as it has been and it’s obviously getting better. So that makes everything more positive. And it will pass.
    I also looked on my table and saw all the bits and pieces that I’m working on at the moment and thought how good it’s all looking. So yes I have a lot to be grateful for today.
    Love and hugs Xxxx

  2. Quite agree we take our hands for granted. Yes painful, lack of grip, damn arthritis but determination and the pleasure of crafting makes us ignore this deliberating condition and enjoy ourselves. Rock on . Enjoy your pottery. I use to love it but hey ho allergic to the clay. X

  3. I am really grateful for my hands, too, when I read the Clarity FB pages and hear about so many people who struggle with pain and yet make the most beautiful cards. Mine give me no problem at all although they might not be a bit of a problem on a pottery wheel! Hope you have a good day. Need to go and do some work now. Hx

  4. My motto is, if there is something you THINK you cannot do anymore, because of worsening disability or whatever, don’t give up but find another way! Groovi, parchment snips and a stamp press did this for me. I have all sorts of aids and adaptions for various tasks. My mam made me believe – where there is a will, there is a way. I give thanks for all the thinkers out there who have helped people to overcome their difficulties by inventing the gadgets and gizmos that have helped me so much. That includes Clarity and Groovi!

  5. Very thoughtful blog post indeed. We all have something to be grateful for, just need to remind ourselves. I read Grace’s blog post this morning, very interesting and again thought provoking post x

  6. Great blog post and yes you are right, I need to remember to be grateful for what I can do and not focus on what I can’t do. So well said.

  7. Yes, I read Grace’s blog. Very interesting.
    Reading the above comments I thank my lucky stars that at my age I am fairly healthy and have fewer problems than most of my contemporaries. However, I have always said that so long as I have my eyes and my hands I will be able to manage my life and never be bored. Unfortunately I woke up 10 days ago with a painful lump in my left wrist. Couldn’t hold a pencil never mind embossing tools making left handed crafting impossible. While ambidextrous for a lot of things (I grew up in a right handed family) and so have coped with things in general it has been annoying to say the least, especially as I have some new Clarity toys to play with. I keep forgetting to not use my left hand as it is so automatic and the air is, in consequence, often blue. Can’t get a doctors appointment, not serious enough for A&E, so I’ll just keep smiling, count my blessings, and hope one day soon the pain will go away.
    Enjoy your pottery today.
    Hugs 🍒🍒🍒

  8. I am unfortunately one who suffers with several degenerative conditions and my hands look way older than my true age. I love to craft when they let me. I have needed to adapt over the years but I will not give up.

  9. Sorry Barbara, I had to laugh at the sledgehammer comment! It’s so you! How many times have we all done something similar? Cant laugh at the time, but can really chuckle about it afterwards! Wonder what you are making this time at pottery? X

  10. What a thought provoking blog…..thanks Barb. I was brought up with the saying Count Your Blessings which I have lived by and taught my children. Although I am on the elderly side now…….can’t walk far, can’t see too well so use magnifying specs etc., can’t run any more………….but I am lucky to have good hands so can craft……!!!!!

  11. You are so right Barbara. It is all too easy to get caught up with all the things we can’t do for whatever reason than to be grateful for what we can do. Thank you & Grace for the gentle reminder. Hope the pottery went well. X

  12. Hi Barb,
    I read Grace’s blog this morning actually and was very impressed. My hands are dreadful – at least my fingers are!i broke all eight fingers during my final assessment in volleyball when at college. I went to set the ball and at the same time one of the blokes on the other side went to smash it – unfortunately all he smashed were my fingers ( ouch!). Apart from that ,playing netball and basketball for years has caused many breakages. My knees are knackered, one has been replaced twice and the other is about to be replaced. I tell you, sport doesn’t do you any good!!! Still every day I am thankful that I can still craft and swim and when my knee is done, I should be able to walk without pain again. I am always filled with admiration when I watch Tina, such a talent. Love and hugs,Alison xxx

  13. I am grateful everyday for many things. I like Grace’s quote that she is a ‘perpetually positive person’ wouldn’t the world be better if we had more of those. Xx

  14. I read Grace’s lovely blog earlier – such a wise young woman. I feel so lucky to be relatively healthy and able. I have been feeling a bit sorry for myself after a vitreal detachment in my eye making it feel like I have a blurry bubble in my vision. In the scheme of things though it’s just a bit annoying rather than painful or life threatening, so I’ve had a firm word with myself after reading your blog!

  15. You made me cry Miss Gray. I’ll pop over and read Grace’s post next. My stamping & creativity keeps my hands moving, I have RA too so understand completely. I purchased some compression gloves a couple of months ago & have found they help so it might be worth Dave trying them xx

  16. Quite agree,we take our hands for granted. Last year saw me being one handed and not my dominant hand after an operation. Dear Tina I admire how she functions. I was useless for 8wks. I do suffer with arthritis in my hands, pain and next to no grip but hey I’ll not give up my crafting. Pain or not I am determined. Had to stop cross stitch not stopping groovi. I can relate to Dave’s pain. We will not give in easily. Glad you have your pottery. That too I loved but had to give up. Allergic to the clay.

  17. Hi Barb, a very thoughtful blog post, I think we all forget sometimes that we must be grateful for what we have, there are many worse off out there. I work in IT, so have several issues with joints including arthritis in my fingers, and I do have a recommendation for everyone that do suffer. Try FLEXISEQ gel, and rub it on, you do have to be very regimented about putting it on, not a quick fix, but it does work. I was skeptical after being told by someone how good it was. Anyway take care all, off to read Grace’s blog. Bx

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