Archive for January 2009
Everyone loves heart-shaped decorations. This cute wooden handicraft can be hung over a doorway or as part of a wall display. Paint the hearts red, pink, and white, and you will have a decoration for Valentines’ Day. Paint them red and green for Christmas, or red, white, and blue to display love for America. You can leave it plain for a natural look. The string of hearts wooden handicraft fits well with country style furnishings.
To make the string of hearts, you will need 5 wooden heart cut-outs approximately three inches wide, a drill with an eighth inch bit and a quarter inch bit, a small amount of raffia, two yards of 1 -1/2 inch wide soft ribbon, two large wooden beads, and acrylic paints in the colors you want. The ribbon and the beads should match the color sceme you desire. Plaid ribbons are particularly effective. The string of hearts has five hearts side by side tied together with small raffia bows. The first and last hearts have the wide ribbon strung through a hole on each side and a bead strung on the ribbon. The ribbon is knotted at the very ends, making a loop of ribbon on each end which can fit over a nail for hanging.
The first step in making the wooden handicraft is to drill a small hole on each side of the hearts. The two outside holes are made with the quarter inch bit, and the other holes are made with the 1/8 inch bit. Now paint the hearts with the acrylic paint in the colors you desire. Acrylic paints are the small bottles of craft paint that are sold in 2-ounce bottles in a wide variety of colors. They can sometimes be purchased very inexpensively. Tempera paint will work if you can’t get acrylic paints. Another idea is to spray paint them, especially if you want to use a metallic color.
When the paint is dry, tie the hearts together with the raffia. To do this, cut four 10-inch lengths of raffia. Thread the raffia down into one hole and up through the hole on the next heart so that they lay side by side. The raffia should be tied in a neat bow on the top of the arrangement. Do the same between the rest of the hearts so that all the small raffia bows are on top. Trim the raffia ends if necessary.
Through each of the outside holes, thread one of the ribbons. Pull the ribbon through until the ends are even. Thread the large bead over both ends and slip it up close to the heart. Trim the ends of the ribbon decoratively and knot them. Repeat the process on the other side to complete the wooden handicraft. Now hang the string of hearts wherever desired for a cheerful decoration. A wooden handicraft like this makes a nice gift for someone special.
Some adults never seem to grow up. They seem to retain their childlike wonder at the world around them. These are the adults who have started a toy hobby. Kids like to hang around with these adults because they seem more like kids. Sometimes having a child or a grandchild can spark an interest in toys. Be that as it may, a toy hobby will keep a person young at heart.
Many women love dolls and never outgrow them. Some prefer baby dolls, some fashion dolls, and still others go for antique or decorative dolls. Often an interest in dolls will spill over into a craft interest, as the doll lover begins to craft clothing and accessories for favorite dolls. Sometimes the hobbyist becomes skilled at crafting the dolls themselves. Some types of dolls that are often hand-crafted are rag dolls and cloth bodied dolls with ceramic heads. It is not uncommon to find older women who have an entire room of their homes filled with special dolls on display.
Older men, on the other hand, (and sometimes women, too) often like cars and trucks. Antique metal cars are hot collectibles, with some older ones being quite valuable. Matchbox cars have always been loved, but so have the large Tonka dumptruck, road grader, and bulldozer. You can bet the grandkids will want to play with your trucks and cars.
A toy hobby that is extremely popular is collecting Beanie Babies. These small velour animals, made by the Ty company, each have a personality all its own. You can find Beanie Babies in every type of animal you can think of. A similar hobby is collecting teddy bears. There are many Beanie Baby teddy bears, but a teddy bear collector will probably want to branch out to collect other types of bears. In fact, many bear collectors have figurines and other items collected in addition to their teddy bears.
Wooden toys are popular among adults, both to craft and to collect. There is something quaint and pleasant about a child playing with a handcrafted wooden toy. Wooden toys make attractive home accents wherever they get dropped, which is not something you can say about the latest plastic gizmo. People who like country decorating often prefer wooden toys for their kids.
You don’t have to outgrow toys! A toy hobby will keep you young at heart and make you a favorite among the kids in your neighborhood. Whether you collect toys or craft them, a toy hobby is something you can play around with!
What is your favorite past time? Hobby enthusiasts know that spare time is not to be “spent” but savored. If you have a past time you enjoy, you will never look at your spare time in the same way again. If you’re not sure what past time hobby you would enjoy, here are some suggestions.
Many people listen to music as a favorite past time. There is much you can learn about any style of music. You can learn composers, famous melodies, and all about performers past and present. You can develop sophisticated tastes in jazz or classical music or collect a large assortment of CD’s. Music makes a great past time hobby.
A lot of people love animals. Pets of all sorts can become your hobby. Perhaps you enjoy watching birds. If you have trouble finding them in the trees to watch, maybe you’d like to get a pair of canaries, a budgie, or a cockatiel. People who live in the country sometimes become interested in raising ornamental chickens, pigeons, or pheasants. It is very interesting to watch a mother bird take care of a nest of young chicks. Perhaps you can even raise some prize winners!
Dogs make a great hobby, too. Walking and enjoying a pet dog is one thing, but breeding and raising show dogs is something else entirely. Show dogs may require a bit of an investment, but many puppies are free. There is also the aspect of training a dog in obedience. Dogs give a lot of love back to their owners, too, so if you start a past time hobby of caring for a dog, you will never be lonely. However, dogs require quite a bit of work and attention, especially when they are being trained, so keeping dogs is not for everyone.
Bicycles can become your favorite past time. Hobby bicyclists are becoming more and more common to see cycling along lesser traveled highways seeing the countryside up close and personal. Bicycling requires a helmet and suitable clothes as well as a small tool kit for roadside repairs. Or maybe you would enjoy cycling on a smaller scale, simply taking fun rides with your family. The choice is yours.
The world is full of interesting things to learn and do. Don’t merely sit back and watch TV. Get interested in a past time hobby. It’s good for your mind. In fact, it might even keep you from going senile in your old age, if you stay active in a past time hobby. And it’s a good example to our kids and grandkids if we spend our time doing something meaningful.
Paper crafts are a popular pastime right now. Scrapbooking is a fun way to display pictures and chronicle family history. Other paper crafts include making greeting cards and even making hand made papers.
When getting started at paper crafts, it is easy to spend a lot of money! Go easy at first until you know what sort of paper craft products you are likely to use. For instance, you may find that you love using stickers in scrapbooks, but rarely use your rubber stamps. If this is the case, you would be better off spending more on stickers and less on rubber stamps for your paper crafts.
Almost everyone has at least some of their photographs stored somewhere in a shoe box. Scrapbooks are a great way to get those photos out where people can enjoy them. You will need a loose leaf binder, some plastic page protectors, and some colored cardstock for starters. Many paper crafts experts insist on only archival quality materials. Check the labels as you buy. Most paper products, even the cheaper ones, are labeled “acid-free,” which means that it shouldn’t fade or otherwise deteriorate if stored for a long time. Sunlight will bleach almost anything, but your paper crafts should not be out in the sunlight very often.
To start a scrapbook you have several options. You can select photos that all relate to one event, such as a trip or a child’s participation in sports. This type of scrapbook will be short, but can be designed around a theme. This is a good choice if your photos are not in a jumble. If they are, then you may wish to choose 3 or 4 photos around a general theme, and change the theme for each page. You may want to include some 2 page spreads in your scrapbook.
Attach your photos to the cardstock with double-sided tape squares or a gluestick. Then it’s time to decorate the page with stickers, paper shapes, or rubber stamped designs. In addition, you can use a colored gel pen to write dates, names, and other highlights about the activities in the pictures.
Other items are available in paper crafts stores. These includes die cuts, which are pieces of paper already cut into shapes and objects. There are also special scissors that cut paper with an interesting edge. A pair of the type called “deckle” scissors is very useful for making elegant looking scrapbook pages, greeting cards, and other paper crafts. If you also have an old pair of pinking shears that are too dull to cut fabric, you can use those for cutting out shapes and photos.
Many paper crafts enthusiasts begin with scrapbooking, but then branch out to making their own greeting cards. Greeting cards may or may not have an original poem written on the inside. A simple “Happy Birthday,” “Get Well Soon,” or even just “Hi!” is enough to brighten someone’s day, so don’t worry about not being a good enough writer to make your own greeting cards. Rubber stamps often make beautiful greeting cards. You can even attach small ribbons, beads, and other items to hand made cards. A handmade card is sure to please anyone, whether they are interested in paper crafts or not.
In the past decades, many mothers have made the decision to pursue careers, but that trend seems to be changing. Home and hobby are calling to these women, who are willing to make financial and personal sacrifices in order to be the primary caregivers for their small children. Many women have returned to being keepers at home, and hobby skills can help them meet the financial challenges of being a one income family.
One hobby that helps the mother at home is cooking. Though it could be considered work, cooking and baking are fascinating hobbies. One can explore the cuisine of different countries or learn to create gourmet treats. Baking can yield wholesome whole grain products that nourish the family for a fraction of the cost of loaves bought at the store.
Another home and hobby skill that comes in handy is sewing on a sewing machine. Many homemakers are producing quilts that are works of art. These beautiful offerings can be made inexpensively by recycling unwanted fabrics into squares and other shapes and artistically arranging the pieces. Other sewing skills that are useful for the stay-at-home-mom are mending, altering, and creating clothing. When polled about favorite pastimes, women often rank sewing at the top.
Some moms and their husbands actively work on remodeling their home, and hobby carpentry skills come in handy. One income families hold down the cost of living by learning to “do it yourself,” a term that is used so much it has been shortened into “diy.” The Internet has made it possible to find information on making all sorts of repairs and renovations to homes, furnishings and other belongings.
Gardening is a hobby that not only gets the participant close to nature, but also can put high quality produce on the family table. Some families are even investing in hobby greenhouses or growing enough extra to sell a bit each week at farmers’ markets. A good practical hobby like growing a garden gives a person a sense of accomplishment when they realize their efforts have created something useful and profitable.
The homemaking parent that has a sense of art can inexpensively create harmony and beauty around the house, raising everyone’s standard of living. It doesn’t have to involve spending any money. Perhaps she can arrange dried wild flowers beautifully or create simple hand-lettered wall mottoes that lift everyone’s spirits.
Yes, home and hobby call to the women of today, suggesting a simpler way of life closer to those people and things that matter most. While the career women are truly making an important impact on today’s world, the quiet return of many to home and hobby may result in more impact than any of us realizes.
If you are tired of the ho-hum of life and would like to branch out a little, maybe you should get a hobby kit. Many different hobbies have kits that can help a beginner learn about the hobby quickly and easily. It is not easy to teach yourself some hobbies, but with a hobby kit, you can learn from the kit.
For instance, if you have been wanting to learn how to do a needlecraft, such as cross stitch or crewel embroidery, there is no better way to start than with a kit. In a hobby kit, you will receive a piece of cloth with the design already stamped on, yarn or floss in the proper colors and possibly already cut to the proper lengths, and a needle. You may even get an embroidery hoop in the kit. When you buy a hobby kit, be sure to read on the package to see if any other materials or tools will be needed to do the hobby.
A hobby kit is also the best way to learn a hobby like building model cars. In a model car kit, you will get all the pieces you need and detailed instructions. In some kits, you might also receive paint, a brush, and glue, but read the label. You might have to provide these things separately.
When choosing Christmas or birthday gifts for a young person, consider a hobby kit, such as a candle-making kit or a rock tumbling kit. In the fall, the stores are full of kits that could start a kid on a hobby that would last throughout his life. You can find small weaving loom kits, glycerine soap making kits, bead craft kits, wood-burning kits, and art kits. There is a line of colorful books put out by the Klutz company that each gives instruction in a hobby and has a packet of materials for learning the hobby. Some of the topics Klutz books cover are polymer clay modeling, hair styling, and pompon creations. They are all cleverly written and lots of fun.
Another hobby that can be learned from a kit is starting garden seedlings, especially herbs. A seed starting kit typically contains a pot, a small trowel, seeds, fertilizer, and a greenhouse dome or cover. Potting soil may need to be purchased separately.
When choosing a hobby kit, be careful to get one that is appropriate for the recipient. Sometimes a hobby kit is quite challenging. An example of a difficult project is an electronics kit for wiring one’s own radio. If a kit is a gift for a child and it is too hard, it will wind up gathering dust on some shelf. In fact, it might gather dust even if you buy it for yourself! Consider getting a smaller project that you can finish in a short time so you can get a feel for the hobby. The next hobby kit you buy can be harder if you find that you enjoy the hobby and have a real desire to learn more about it.
For people who would like to do more gardening but live in a short growing season area, a hobby greenhouse is the answer. A hobby greenhouse is not large enough to produce vegetables or flowers on a commercial basis. It will, however, give you a place for a tomato plant or two and some fresh greens even if you live in the northern regions. Greenhouse enthusiasts even have their own association, called the Hobby Greenhouse Association, which publishes a quarterly magazine. The organization also sponsers events and helps individuals connect to get help with the aspect of gardening that they are interested in, whether it’s growing cacti or saving seeds.
If you are in the market for a hobby greenhouse, there are several types on the market. The smallest type is not large enough to walk into and must be accessed from the outside. It resembles an old-fashioned phone booth made all of glass and outfitted with shelves. This type is designed to fit as many plants as possible in as small a place as possible. The shelves are made of glass to allow as much light as possible to reach plants on the lower shelves. Another inexpensive version of this sort of hobby greenhouse is shelving covered with a zippered tent of clear plastic. This sort of arrangement is great for the small-scale hobby gardener wanting a place to keep her flowers or houseplant starts.
There are a variety of designs of hobby greenhouse that are large enough to walk into but made entirely of clear glass or plastic. They are often about the same size as a small storage building. Some independent builders have started making these to sell locally. Among national brands, one of the nicest is called the “Solar Prism.” It is called this because of it’s unique construction. This hobby greenhouse is made of a single piece of durable clear plastic which is designed to work like tiny prisms side by side. They trap the rays of the sun and shoot them back into the greenhouse at all angles. For this reason, these little greenhouses are said to glow when the weather is cloudy.
Better hobby greenhouses are equipped with automatic sensors that open vents which allow ventilation and keep the interior temperatures from getting too high. These are a great labor saver, but can get expensive. Another benefit sometimes found in nicer greenhouses is a built in irrigation or misting system. Members of the Hobby Greenhouse Association, or HGA, have invented many interesting designs of greenhouses.
If gardening is your hobby, greenhouse growing will interest you. With a greenhouse, you can have the earliest tomatoes and salad greens all year. You can also start seedlings for the main garden early in the spring when outdoor temperatures would kill them. A hobby greenhouse can be a good investment.