Monday, February 4, 2008

Week Thirty: Crafts and Hobbies

This past week, we've experienced a lot of snow in my hometown, keeping many families, including ours, homebound. While I love being on the computer, reading, blogging, and researching, I've been feeling the need for a little creativity, lately. I picked up some fabric to make a new throw pillow and matching lamp shade to brighten up the living room, and yesterday, discovered a new cross stitch book at the library. As you've probably guessed by now, some of my hobbies include needlework. Over the past twenty years, I've taught myself to sew, crochet, knit, cross stitch, and do plastic canvas work. I don't do nearly as much needlework as I used to, but it's something I turn to several times a year when I feel I need a creative outlet. Another fun skill I picked up was learning how to create things out of wood in the Industrial Arts class where I assist our special needs students as part of my career with the local school district's special education program. I especially like using the skill saws to cut out intricate shapes in the shelves the students build. Working with wood--with its fresh-cut smell--and shaping it into something the mind's eye sees first, is a love I'm sure I've inherited from generations of carpenters on both my father's and mother's sides of the family. With these things in mind, I encourage you to write about the crafts and hobbies of your life, and share them with your descendants:

*What kinds of hobbies or crafts have you enjoyed over the years? Are they activities that you've created (visual art, needlework, metalwork, etc.) or items you've collected (model railroads, dolls, spoons, postage stamps, etc.)?

*How did you become interested in them? Were you taught them by a parent, grandparent, or other relative? Did you take a class, or teach yourself? Did you inherit a collection that you decided to build upon?

*Do you have a hobby or craft room where you can work or display your collection or store your supplies? If not, what would your dream hobby or craft room look like?

*What is it that your hobby or craft does for you? For instance, I know someone who took up crocheting to keep her hands busy while she was quitting smoking. Another relative knits items to donate to others as a way to give to the community. As for myself, I like the relaxing feeling of a hook and yarn between my fingers.

*Have you ever created your own patterns? Have you ever done a pattern enough that you've memorized it and create the object without reading the instructions? What one item have you made many times?

*Have you ever shown or displayed your hobby or craft at a collector's show or fair? Have you ever marketed your hobby or crafts either in a physical store, crafters' fair or online?

*Where do you purchase your supplies or items for your collection?

*Name your one--or several--favorite things you've created or collected? Why are they a favorite?

*What hobbies or crafts do you remember your parents, grandparents, or other relatives doing? Or what have you learned, if you've researched your family history, about the types of hobbies and crafts your ancestors did?

Don't forget to include some photos of your collections or the items you've made, prizes you've won, or photos of you engaged in your hobby or craft!

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