In 1994, the Craft & Hobby Association designated March as National Craft Month in order to help people “rediscover and learn about the benefits of crafting.”[1] As with many other organizations, the Association rebranded in 2017, as The Association for Creative Industries. This organization bills itself as the “premier trade association for the global creative arts products industries. AFCI is committed to its vision of a healthy, vibrant and innovative community that enriches people’s lives through crafting and other creative activities.” [2]

What is a “craft” though? Some may equate it with a particular skilled trade such as being a carpenter, while others may think of it as “The Craft,” the 1996 movie featuring Neve Campbell. There are many, many different perspectives on crafting, but according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the first definition is: “skill in planning, making, or executing;” while the second entry is “an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill.”[3] This definition covers quite a wide array of activities, and so can be an indication that crafting communities are very inclusive.

In the community of TarValon.Net, we are holding a year-long project named The Great Charity Hunt, in which members are encouraged to contribute in some fashion to particular charities or causes. Each month there is a challenge, and it so happens that the challenge for March synchronizes with National Craft Month. March’s challenge is to “use your crafting skills in order to create as many cage liners/cuddle pads as possible for your local animal shelter before March 31, 2021.”[4] So, not only is March’s challenge a way to utilize one’s skills, it is also used as a way to help out local animal shelters.

At the Tar Valon Times, we would like to encourage those who enjoy crafting to show off your skills and your progress to the world. Of course, at TarValon.Net we have two forums in which to do so. First we have the “Hand Crafts” forum, in which there are discussions about “crafty pursuits;”[5] and secondly, we also have the “Costume/Cosplay” forum,” a place to discuss the making and wearing of costumes!”

Whether you pursue crafting as more of a hobby or whether you have your own business, the marking of National Craft Month is important: crafting brings with it benefits. So, craft away!

[1] National Day Calendar – Craft Month
[2] Creative Industries
[3] Craft in the Dictionary
[4] Heroes of the Horn – March Challenge
[5] TarValon.Net Hand Crafts Discussion Forum

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