Friday, January 21, 2022

Friday Free for All-Hobbies, Crafting, and Art

      It's Friday again and a bit of a mish mash of topics. Little ditty's that are on my mind, but not really part of a theme. I should really use Friday to practice loading pictures if I'm not going to write about anything particular. Hobbies need practice. That sort of leads me into my topic of chatter, hobbies.

     I don't have hobbies like many people do. Sure, I like to read, I like to cook (when I don't have to) and bake (again when I don't have to), take walks or dare I call them hikes. I like to play Trivia with friends at the brewery, and have happy hour with friends and siblings. But if someone was to describe  me in terms of what hobbies I have it would read something like this, "Sam is an avid....I'm not really l sure what she spends her free time doing."  I watch too much YouTube. I like to read old magazines. I like playing cards. These are activities I enjoy, but hobbies? I described some of my side goal schemes to bring  extra slush funds to our budget as hobbies. Maybe not, so if playing online games for gift cards, or blogging aren't hobbies, the only two things I really do with regularity, then I guess I am hobbieless. 

     Many people craft as a hobby. I think there is a difference between Craft and craft. Craft, capital C, are those things that take some talent and skill while crafts, little c,  are those busy things that might turn out a cute end result, but 9 out of 10 people could pull it off if they took time and patience. That's not knocking those who craft because I'm in the 1 out of 10 that can't get a paint by number to look like the item on the box. Now art, if I had the inclination to spend my free time in this way, I might be able to pull something off. It is in the eye of the beholder, and I can behold my creations even if no one else would. Kim had a post last week and talked about Youtube mom's and crafting beaded Tiered Trays. I'm a very uncool blogger and had to look up what the things are. Here's some crafting I suppose I could do. Then all the people I associate with that regularly hold English Tea's would be all set in the gift department. Curious, do any of you have a beaded tiered tray? Do any of you have a tiny bicycle to place on said beaded tray? 


This piece will set you back $82 from 
Antiquefarmhouse.com or make it 
yourself with Kim's new bead stash. 

      I used to get into philosophical  arguments with a former preschool director when it came to art with my kiddos. She hated my version of art time, basically giving kids the medium and letting them have at it. She wanted crafts, not art, because crafts look pretty slapped on windows and bulletin boards. Art by 3 and 4 year olds looks like a lot of  messy incoherent blobs and a mishmash of colors and stuff strewn together-and I loved it! Both have a place in a preschool classroom, but they really sit in different developmental domains. We compromised and I added both to my lesson plans. As for art, which the kids were often the most proud of, I had my creative corner, and I saved projects in portfolios to discuss with the parents. Some got it, the learning behind the result of mixing paint colors, gluing ripped pieces of paper on top of another; others just saw mud paintings and scraps, but oohed and awed over the same version of rainbow fish as all the other kids had done. 

     My own crafting trials never get beyond concept. Remember my crazy quilt plan for winter 2021? It's a pile of shirts, an old sheet, and a couple pillow cases. I have a bag of wine corks from the Tree Project of 2015. Then there's my attempt to take up embroidery again. I spent many hours at the lake October of 2020 stitching away. The same dish towel is unfinished. 


Maybe another year of lockdown type vacations
 and I can finish "Roll"

     I follow many a Craftsman, crafter, and hobbyist blogs. I poke fun because I am envious of the pretty things they create for their home and for others. I enjoy their process and end results. Just because these things are not me, doesn't mean I don't respect and appreciate the talent. I'll keep following along. Just like my lack of gardening, justified by "Farmer's Markets need shoppers", I'll stand aside and let you all do your thing, and be happy when some of the things make their way to me as gifts. 

     What are your Friday Free For All thoughts?

42 comments:

  1. 15 years ago I can guarantee you I would have had that on my table. I was big into decorating for every holiday and making everything cute until I hit mid 40's and started looking at 'things' differently. I do still enjoy needle point and visual journaling but gave up most other crafts. My top interests are cooking, gardening and reading and I like to devote my free time to those things. Have a great Friday!!

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    1. I always write a little tongue in cheek, but I hear you in changing over time. I remember adding things to my home because other people thought they'd look nice or were trendy. I decide now just for me.

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  2. Well, I am as crafty as you are. I do not have hobbies either. I try my hand at different things from time to time but, they never turn into anything useful or cute.

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    1. Ahh, a kindred craftless soul. It's nice to read I'm in good company. I have other pursuits as do you I'm sure.

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  3. I think the beads are actually loose and arranged,somehow, on the 3 tier tray. I had to look it up too and honestly, still do not get it, but that is what Kim assembled and how I believe they are meant to be used. No 3 tier tray unit in my house and the cats would just think the beads are a toy for them, so not a good idea for us. As for hobbies or crafts, used to do many different things but have given up on all of them. Lost interest, I suppose. All the materials have been donated or thrown away. There are only three items on my project list of someday and that is watercolor painting, embroidery on velvet and tatting, using a shuttle. (my grandmother tatted with a shuttle) When will I attempt any of these? I think we all have so much on our minds that it is hard to fathom doing any of them but I hope to, one day. Ranee (MN)

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    1. I thought loose beads too, but then still couldn't find a picture. I will say, I should just buy myself some water colors because I do find that fun. I loved painting with my kids.

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  4. No, I don't have any tiered trays, but I do have a bicycle I could put on one, bought on Mackinac Island. Love to craft, embroidery, knit. Have more stuff in my cupboard not yet started than I should mention. Have also had the bag of old t-shirts meant for a quilt that I decluttered. Problem is, you can only do so much stuff and then what do you do with it?

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    1. I thought the bicycle was adorable, and oh so artfully positioned. Mackinack seems like the place where someone would find a tiny bike. I like the idea if projects, but something head to hand doesn't compute.

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  5. I'm a small c crafter - and it's something I picked up when this pandemic started. It's a rabbit hole of FB videos, dollar stores, and glue...lots and lots of glue. I did create my own tiered tray but it's not beaded and at the moment is mostly empty since I removed the Christmas stuff. Oh, and mine cost less than $15 - I bought the pieces at the thrift store.

    I have interests rather than hobbies. I enjoy knitting and crocheting, gardening (when the weather allows), travelling, and am an avid curling fan.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. I do have this rack thing that I can put my own plates on for a buffet to make more space. Eventually it just sat gathering dust and went away. I hope you find the time for the things you want to tackle. I too have lots of interests.

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  6. I had to look up the beaded thing too, and I don't get it.
    I think do whatever brings you joy, and I certainly think that reading and blogging and playing games for gift cards are hobbies.
    I think my husband and son would be perfectly happy if they could quit their jobs and do crafty and arty and woodworking things full time. Unfortunately arts don't pay as well as other jobs but it makes a fun side gig for them anyway. I unfortunately am not very talented, but I have tried my hand at needle felting lately. But that is on hold until we redo the kitchen, and my job right now is scraping the popcorn ceiling...fun times. ;)

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    1. I do have a slew of things I spend time on, but you'll not see me at Hobby Lobby ( well for other reasons too) or the craft section at Lowes any time soon. I have those home project fun times ahead.

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  7. Last year, "Get Crafty" was one of my goals, and it was an abysmal failure. It's just not my jam. :-)

    I enjoy a lot of things, but I'm not sure I'd call any of them a "hobby". I watch a lot of teen sports, cook, bake, work out, hike, read, spend time with friends, & travel. Are those hobbies? Eh, not sure.

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    1. Together we'll redefine our definition of hobbies! You, Took and I are of similar ilk it seems. I know you're one busy person and none of us need to enjoy our leisure time the same ways.

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  8. Drat it all, Sam, you struck another nerve. You know full well that in the best of circumstances, I am not a fan of preschool AT ALL as it has become for reasons I have shared with you over the years. That said, your situation on art projects almost made me fall off my chair! I agree with you wholeheartedly. The main purposes of arts and crafts at that age(as I was led to understand by my parents, both who held, among others, master's in education) are self expression and to develop procedural thinking. In other words, painting with tempera paints is as much about painting, say, the apple tree as you see it, as well as learning to hold a brush, (which will lead to pencil control), remembering to rinse it in the water before choosing a new color, and cleaning up afterwards. It also develop hand eye coordination--learning to track what the eyes see from the model to the paper. Besides, who are we to tell any artist, Degas or otherwise, what their work should look like? As for letting them loose in a medium station with no plan, well, among other things, that helps them with decision making--do I want to color or paint? Do I want to use markers or crayons? Will I choose blue or purple? And, responsibility--Did you clean up properly? If not, I won't let you use those paints again.
    Funny story: I went to what was called a "campus school" In first grade, we were all split up between the two different classrooms, and given what I realize now was a major assessment. It lasted all day. The final activity, just before the last bell, was to "draw a picture of a man." We were told that when we were finished, we were excused for the day. Bear in mind, I was never, and will never be a good drawer. Moreover, I spied my older sister in the hallway, and wanted to walk home with her. I hastily drew a stick figure, wrote "this is a picture of a man," and put an arrrow to the stick figure, grabbed my sweater, and ran out to my sister. Heh. This was circa 1971, and at that point, the big thing in elementary education (Piaget, maybe?) was that if your kid can't draw a person with a full body by first grade, they may have some cognitive delay. Oh, how I pity the poor student teacher who, at the conference night shortly after, sat down with my mother, showed her that test, and expressed concerns. Bear in mind, I had EVERY other answer correct, but this poor student teacher picked up on that. My mother actually laughed to the point of tears. That poor student teacher didn't realize that my mother was, not only a highly regarded educator herself, but also, in fact, the wife of one of that student teacher's professors. The first thing my mother told that student teacher, (when she was finally able to talk) that she sincerely hoped the student teacher hadn't expressed her dismay at the drawing to me, as that would be a sure fire way to make sure I never attempted any artistic endeavors ever again. I can't tell you what happened after that, because the conversation went on well into the evening, until my father (who was tasked with seeing the other half of my siblings teachers) poked his head in and asked if he should walk me home. I still remember the student teacher jumping, and saying, "OH, Dr. So-and-So, I didn't know," to which my mother replied, "My Dear, there's still much you don't know, and I can tell you from personal experience that you'd do well to remember that."
    All this to say, if crafting brings one joy, one should endeavor to pursue it. Likewise, if drawing, or painting, or dancing, or playing the guitar, or singing in a choir brings one joy, one should also pursue those activities for no other reason than the sake of doing it. I cringe at the push to monetize our leisure time hobbies. Many times I've been asked if I would ever consider selling my cards or make a quilt for cash. The answer is always "no," as that would take away the pleasure. (I DO give most of my quilts away--go figure.)

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    1. Happy to give you an outlet! Dare I say though I hope your mom didn't scare a potential promising teacher out of the field. That must have been some conference to recall it and be able to tell the story.

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    2. My mother was also a professor of education, teaching Children's Literature to continuing education students. I am pretty sure my mother, and my father when he saw her later in his lectures, if anything, encouraged this woman to see a bigger picture. Why I remember the test so vividly because I got to go into another classroom, which allowed to spy my sister, (my favorite person in the world), so I could walk home with her. (Typicaly I had to walk home with my brothers who exited out the same door of my regular clasroom.) When I got home, I told my mother all about the test, including the picture, because I thought my method of completing that exercise so I could walk home with my sister was positively brilliant. When I told her, she actually laughed. At the time, I was positive she was laughing with delight at my ingenuity. It was not soon afterwards that I realized it was because my mother understood exactly what they were trying to measure in the exercise, and how badly the method failed in my case. My parents regaled students and colleagues at dinner parties with that saga for decades afterwards.

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  9. My concern with crafting and creativity is that people are overly worried about what it will become and what it will look like instead of just enjoying the process. If you like to play with glue and buttons play with glue and buttons. If you want to paint then paint. I paint all the time and I'm lousy at it and it often gets thrown out when I'm done or painted over. We are too worried about the end result. I have many interests. Some are considered crafty or arty including knitting and weaving and quilting. But all parts of life require creativity and we are all creative. I also read and bake and wrote. I consider those interests or things I like to do.i do think that as we age having a hobby or interest that requires continued learning and skill building is good for our brain and my creative processes do that. But so does writing and genealogy and cooking.

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    1. I can do process with the best of them. That embroidery? I had hours of satisfaction sitting in a deck in the sun, watching ducks and loons on the water, dog at my feet. It served it's purpose. I don't worry about my brain and creativity. I'm always problem solving and scheming.

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  10. Oh, my I did not realize that my tiered tray post would be such an enigma. I don't have one and I never will. I could build one with different cake plates, like I do when we have a plethora of treats at Christmas. But alas I am not into junk decorating. I also laughed out loud at your embroidery, I am sorry, I love you very much, but it reminded me of my bluebird days when we were required to embroider a simple blue bird onto a tea towel. I embroidered that damn bird onto the tea towel and into my bluebird uniform 4 straight meetings in a row. I begged my mother to cut my skirt and she would not. She was not there the day we were to finish, and I walked home in my slip so I could have my teatowel off my lap. Good memories.
    I do experience guilt when I look at my mom's spinning wheel and think, you really should be using that. But I also get that feeling when I walk by the piano, you really should be practicing. I love to do crafts, but I really do not want to display them, plus I think they are expensive. I loved Meg's comment about art. Art as a child especially a young child is about expression, not about a final project. I was raised by very artistic people. I remember how shocked I was when my grandmother sat down at our piano and played this beautiful Swedish waltz tune. I had no idea she played, her comment was I never enjoyed it. My mother loved to play and played all the time. We woke almost every morning to mom's piano. My dad was a beautiful artist, and I also remember my mom picking up my dad's paints and asking my dad to paint something more cheerful and bright and then proceeded to paint the most beautiful flower arrangement, right before my eyes. I had no idea she could do that. But she never did it again, as I knew that it really bothered my dad. Funny how these memories kick in. I think art is really just that urge to create, I can create a mess in very little time. Too bad it won't sell.

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    1. As a fellow former dance teacher, I am sure you always had a special fondness for the student who 1) was brave enough to start dance at say, age 15 when all their peers were levels ahead or 2) the one who could barely be called "okay" technique-wise, but, darn it, she loved dancing, and man oh man did it ever show! Both types, but particularly #1 were my favorites.

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    2. Kim, You set off a spark and I used it to write about nothing! I'm still googling beads and tiered trays. I found a great product to sew my kids patches- Patch Magic. It's even sold in the Girl Scout store for moms like me. Do you know how many needle pricks that embroidery gave me? I'll pick it up some day. It took me 15 years to finish a pillowcase for my daughter, but I did finish the horridly done thing.

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  11. I'm pretty much hobbyless too. I'm not creative/crafty and so admire those that are - but it's certainly not in my blood. I've also got an embroidery project that I started about a year ago but have gotten nowhere with it. Then I have tons of the most beautiful fabric and do nothing with it. I don't understand it because I have all the time in the world. My eyes tend to glaze over when people talk about "following your passion" - and I just think "what passion"? Sad really!

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    1. Passion I have a lot of. Skills with my hands, not so much. This stay at home life just emphasizes it to me.

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  12. Oh and if you want to go green with envy, I don't know if you have ever watched Escape to the Chateau! They are a couple of Brits who have renovated an old chateau in France. There is NOTHING she can't imagine and there is NOTHING he can't build. I love the programme but it makes me feel so inadequate!

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    1. I love watching that show! Dick is just about the perfect man with his handyman/building skills - and he can cook!

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    2. All the renovation shows are mind blowing to me. I'll look for that one. I love Vix taking us along in her National Trust visits and reading the stories of the often centuries of restoration. Fascinating. There's passion!

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  13. I'm not a crafter either, and don't really have a hobby. I also had to look up the tiered tray thing when I read about it on Kim's blog. I've no interest in stuff like that. I totally agree with your take on school art, it should be that way at any grade or talent level. Interesting post! Celie

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    1. You can join our no hobbies hobby club. I have lot's of Interests and life doesn't need to be dull- just not crafty for me.

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  14. I learned to crochet at 8, started sewing at 4, sewed on a treadle at 10, made my first dress at 10, won my first ribbon at 10, and always created something. I could go on about early creativity. In school we could write a paper or create something in some classes. I always sewed something well beyond what would give me an A.

    I learned to embroider and to do needlepoint. I hate the look of crossstich and refused to learn. However, even though I had never done it myself, I taught a friend to cross stitch. I can teach anything sewing or needlework related, even on the phone.

    One Christmas when I was a young adult, my sister said she could always tell what I was into by Christmas presents. She received from me a white, crocheted purse with a yellow and orange pin. She pointed out that it would only go with a few things. Well, I had planned for that. She did not know the flower was a pin so she could change pins to match her clothing.

    I made a needlepoint monogram for both my sisters using their initial of their first names because who knows if last names will change ever. Good move.

    I love to sew. I love needlepoint and crochet and other hand work.

    At a craft show where I was sewing and selling as though my life depended on it, I got a real shock. A woman was buying Cabbage Patch clothes from me. She lingered and talked, telling me she wished she had a hobby like me. I told her nicely but in no uncertain terms, sewing was not a hobby, but paid bills. I asked her what she did to pay her bills. She did something that involved a lot of typing. At that time, I was keyboard averse because of an a Royal typewriter. I told her I would starve if it weren't for sewing, not a hobby at this point. However, all the sewing did not foil my love of sewing.

    My oldest girl loved anything related to painting, art, coloring, paper cutting. She was in love with it without my really encouraging it.

    I watched my parents do things to feed us and amuse us and themselves and make things we could use. My father made toys for us, chests, Hoosier cabinet about 3 feet high for me, push toys, all sorts of things.

    Sewing is not a hobby. It is an intellectual pursuit. Many things go into sewing, not just fingers and needles. It is a skill!

    My skills were used for curtains, shams, bras, slips, gifts, crocheted blankets for my babies, receiving blankets with lace, school clothes, gifts for their friends.

    Sewing is a great stress reliever. It helps me sleep. It greatly contributes to my since of well-being.

    I am torn because I am an intellectual who wants to work with her hands, too.

    Okay, I have written way too much. Oh, I thought the tiered shelf and beads were the string of beads arranged on the shelves with other things. I did not think it was wooden beads glues onto the tiers. And, I did not think it was loose beads!

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    1. I'd have gone hungry if I had to rely on sewing.

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  15. I don't have a beaded tiered tray & not something I want, but I do have my grandmas tiered cake stand & remember it being used for afternoon tea when we were young. I think hobbies can be all sorts of things, the don't have to be creative. I love sewing & am so glad to be getting back to it again, its the best stress relief for me. I think it's about enjoying the process, adult play if you like, the outcome is not so important. Different strokes for different folks.

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    1. That's a great memory and nice you have your grandma's. I like wandering and I guess that's a a different view on free time. I keep my brain busy- just my hands not so much.

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  16. We'd call that a cake stand and no, I don't have one. I don't eat cakes and don't host afternoon tea gatherings.
    I'd class blogging as a hobby. In addition to that I sew, crochet, garden, read, research our ancestry, visit National Trust properties and go for long walks, attempt to travel abroad at least twice a year (somewhat inhibited of late!), visit museums and art galleries, watch TV, go to the cinema, try to lure stray cats into the house and hang out with friends. xxx

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    1. I love so many things, just things that result in a useful or beautiful item, not so much. Yes, I love art galleries, films, documentary, history and research. If I could travel more I would, but I travel through research when I can't! You do seem to be the cat magnet. I hope he keeps joining your family and garden.

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  17. No beaded tea trays here. 😆

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    1. Oh, and I thought we could sit down and all compare. Lol

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  18. If shoveling snow is a hobby, I guess that's mine! lol

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    1. That must be my husbands hobby. I do the bare minimum of shoveling.

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  19. I like to make little displays with old tea cups and milk glass with vintage Christmas Kitschiness.

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    1. I do find the display above very pretty and I admire those that have an eye for decorating.

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  20. I do not have a tiered tray, but I inherited a depression glass cake plate that does not fit in any cabinet know to man. It has never held a cake for me instead it has a variety of stuff I inherited that makes me happy. It looks kind of like the tiered tray...Sort of.

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