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Can An Old Dog Learn New Tricks?

I’m going back to school. I have to admit, if you had asked 16 year old me if I thought returning to education in my 30’s was on the cards I would have said “No Way!!” But 16 year old me knew nothing (like John Snow!)

Over this past year, I have been trying to learn a new skill every month and basically say “Yes” to any challenge that has crossed my path, from acid etching to papercrafts to stained glass, I’ve given it all a good go! So for my birthday last month, Mr Crafty treated me to the ultimate in new skills – a full business and upholstery course at Manchester’s world-famous ‘Ministry of Upholstery’ (as seen on TV!)

I’ve been interested in making new from old ever since I bought my first house. I was a single parent at the time with no disposable income – I was broke. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to make my home as nice as I could, so I spent weeks walking up and down the streets looking for items that may not have been pretty, but structurally sound that I could take home and re-invent. My little house was unique in all the ways I had imagined and people were very complimentary about my furnishings. So much so that I started re-imagining pieces for them and then their friends and so on and so forth until ‘Made With Love, By The Crafty Cat’ was born.

So tomorrow is my first full day and I am so excited I can barely drink my coffee! I feel like I am back at primary school – I’ve got my materials ready, my pens and notepads, apple for the teacher and my lunchbox all packed and ready for dinner break.  I also have that niggly feeling in my belly – you know the one, the nervous, self-doubting one. What if I can’t do it? What if I’m rubbish? What if I’m the worst one in the whole class??

Well, I suppose at the minute I probably won’t be able to do it but that’s why I’m there – to learn!

I probably will be pretty rubbish at first, but with practice comes perfection – no-one is amazing at any new skill the first time they try!

And lastly, if I’m the worst in the class, the only way I can go is upwards and onwards – by working hard and listening to the professionals, who knows? Top of the class here I come!!

Eventually, my dream is to be able to teach people who are in the position I was in all those years ago to make the absolute best of what they have – the whole philosophy behind what we do here at the Crafty Cottage after all is to re-imagine, re-use and re-love. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, everyone is entitled to a home they can feel proud of.

The difference between 16 year old me and thirty-something year old me is now I CHOOSE to learn. I’m not being made to go to school, I’m not being made to learn a whole load of stuff I’ll never use in adulthood (algebra, anyone?) and I’m not being told that my whole future depends on how this exam goes or how this coursework reads. I make my own future. And I can’t wait to teach that lesson.

Keep Crafty Folks!

Love Cat xx