Tag Archives: crafting

Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

Standard
Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

Hello! Life in lock down is, honestly, so boring at this point but the safety of ourselves, loved ones, and complete strangers is important and it makes all of the monotony worth it. If you have exhausted all of your ideas to keep you occupied at home, then it might be time to retire from your streaming services and try a new craft. There are so many amazing videos, kits, and how to guides out there to create something new and, today, we’re going to discuss a few of those options:

Knit Kits:

If you are interested in knitting, crochet, or macrame or would like to take the hobby up again, then there are so many websites that you can purchase kits from. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and advanced, each kit provides you with the pattern, step by step guide, and materials needed for you to make a scarf, sweater, or blanket. Stitch & Story, We Are Knitters, and Wool And The Gang are all great websites to browse through for your next project! When the weather is nice, you could even host a social distanced knitting circle in your own backyard.

Restoring Old Furniture:

A trip to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or even shopping online through Facebook Marketplace can give you access to all kinds of gently used furniture just begging for a makeover. You could repair, repaint, or reupholster new life into secondhand items and redo your entire living room. Not to mention, make some extra cash if you ever want to turn your craft into a side hustle. Don’t forget garage sale style apps as well as Poshmark if you would like to profit from your new hobby.

Building With LEGO:

My boyfriend and I absolutely love building with LEGO and, although it isn’t a craft per se, I just had to include it on this list. Did you know that a LEGO replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night will soon be available for purchase? What about a botanical collection that boasts bouquets, bonsai trees, and succulents? LEGO is constantly adding new sets with unique pieces and colors and are always finding innovative ways to work surprises into each build, which makes it an exciting hobby to have.

You can showcase your creative side with LEGO through free building or incorporating different sets into your home decor. I would sure like to have a LEGO Starry Night hanging on my wall!

Homemade Products:

Making your own cleaning products, candles, and bath and body care can be a really fun hobby, makes great gifts, and helps save you money. Online guides will help you develop your new craft and you can even experiment with your own recipes once you have a better idea for the best ingredients and techniques. You will feel comforted in knowing exactly what is going into the products that you are using and, who knows, it could just turn into a side hustle in the future if you create something really good!

Don’t forget to check in with your local businesses and boutiques because some of the owners might be offering online workshops for homemaking different products or art. For example, the local specialty knitting shop in my area, Harps & Thistles, offers knitting kits too and it’s always cool to shop local. 🙂

Have you learned a new craft during the pandemic? How about improved on any old hobbies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

4 Stress-Busting Means Of Engaging Your Creativity

Standard
4 Stress-Busting Means Of Engaging Your Creativity

To open this post, we need not speak about the difficulties of the last year, and just how life has changed. It’s a well-worn topic. However, it’s very true that the importance of self-care and the willingness to keep ourselves in check (and to check up on others) has never been so important. As such, figuring out a few methods for achieving exactly that is certainly worth our time. One method that is rarely spoken of when it comes to self care is that of practicing creativity.

Why is this? Well, sometimes, creativity can feel like work or practice. It’s not as if playing a piano is something we can all sit down and just learn by ear, it takes hard work and practice to get good before you can begin really flexing your creativity. The last thing you want to assign to someone having a stressful time is more work.

Or is that the case? Does creativity have to feel like work or could it feel like play? Perhaps it could be both. After all, most runners are all too familiar with the feeling we get when starting a run (feeling groggy, tired, irritable) and then how fun it gets once the endorphins are flowing and we feel like we could keep going for hours. Creativity can function in that way. It can also help us feel confident, relaxed, energized, inspired, productive, useful, and able to express ourselves. That has to be worth something quite important, to the point where we would totally recommend keeping on top of those considerations from now into the long term.

Let’s see what creative ambitions can fit within this worthwhile category:

Journaling:

People rarely feel that journaling is a creative hobby, but it truly is. Putting your thoughts, ideas, impressions, beliefs, or experiences down into written form can be very cathartic. Journaling can not only help you expel your ideas more readily, but it helps you understand exactly what you were thinking and why. This is doubled when you return to that which you’ve written and see just where you were at the time, and how you’ve grown. Giving yourself this kind of insight is not only a great practice for your mental health, but it can help you learn a new skill. Writing isn’t easy and it takes plenty of practice to get good at. A journal is a fantastic place to become more literate. It can also serve our next task:

Creative Writing:

People often think that creative writing needs to be strictly within a category. Either you’re writing poetry, a short story, a novel, or a travel log. That’s not true, of course. Writing is whatever you’d like it to be. Some of the best writing we have is when authors have the courage to break the rules, like the novel Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce, filled with difficult-to-decipher language that is both strange and very curated, almost poetic.

Creative writing helps us focus on our thoughts and what impressions we may wish to grant an audience, but it also helps us present a story line, write our thoughts for people to read, or perhaps veil our artistic insights in poetry or songwriting. Creative writing, like journaling, can be quite cathartic except the rules are much more open and freeing, giving you a sense of potential in every word you jot down. Why not try and write a page long stream of consciousness this week? It might inspire you to further expand your creativity.

Arts & Crafts:

Of course, many people prefer feeling like they have something tangible to offer, and arts and crafts can help us focus on actually making something rather than endlessly reflecting. That can be great to keep us focused and somewhat distracted, rather than ruminating on the tough times we’re going through.

For instance, you might find that putting together a wonderful mandala kit helps you create a beautiful decoration that you take pride in every time you see it. Arts and crafts can also serve a real purpose. You might use your seamstress skills to fix up some of your old clothes or reupholster your furniture by giving it a lick of paint and a varnish. Maybe you’ll just reclaim some wood and use a chisel and hammer to try your hand at amateur sculpture in your garage. Having a project like this on the go can feel very rewarding, as over time it takes form and you see your plans come to actual life.

Painting:

If you’re looking for some inspiration, there’s a special Twitch channel playing Bob Ross episodes 24/7, showcasing how even amateurs can enjoy painting and get something from it if they try. Why not gather some paints and give it a shot? You could mess around with watercolors and have fun with your teenage child. You might decide to do a self-portrait, something fun and whimsical or perhaps as realistic as you can try to make it. You can also experiment with the surfaces you paint on if you like, such as painting a beautiful family mural in your kitchen or corridor wall with images of your loved ones.

Don’t discount painting just because you may not have had time to enjoy it before. The process can be highly rewarding if you give it time, piece by piece, with a little verve and care.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily see the benefit in trying a new creative passion, even if you’ve never touched that process before. These suggested activities are cheap, fun, and can sustain you during difficult times. Best of luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Let’s Paint!

Standard
Let’s Paint!

Hi! One of the things that I love about my neck of the woods is all of the wonderful libraries. Prior to the pandemic, I would always take my clients to the fun programs being offered at different library branches. We were particularly fond of vinyl record club, crafts, and movie showings. Now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the libraries in my area have turned all of their programs virtual and you can hop onto Zoom to join in.

The last time my dad was at the library to pick up some books for me and my mom, he also grabbed a craft kit complete with a mini canvas, paint, and brushes. Like so:

C6882C8E-172A-4C5D-BFD3-468BE4D9993B

Now, I am in no way shape or form an artist and I have absolutely no clue what to paint on my canvas. So, I am open to suggestions! I will make an attempt to paint the idea from the comments that I like the best and, what’s more, I will even send it your way if your comment was chosen so you can have a Lil Red Original. Who knows, maybe Johnny will even make a “celebrity” contribution to the painting too. Let’s see what happens!

What should I paint on my canvas? What kind of programs does your local library offer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Alina Vilchenko from Pexels

Three Hobbies To Take Up In 2021

Standard
Three Hobbies To Take Up In 2021

The year is slowly coming to an end, bringing with it a time for reflection and looking to the new year. If you are starting to think about some new hobbies to take up, there is no better time to do so. It could be that you have always wanted to learn to dive or that there is a budding artist in you just waiting to get out. No matter what it is, there are a plethora of new skills out there just waiting to be discovered. Have a think about what you want to do and then consider how you are going to do it. Is it a course that you can do online? Or do you have to travel to do it? Will you need any equipment like a camera? How much will it cost? These are all important things to consider. Here are three new habits that you can take up in 2021:

Horse riding:

Horse riding is a great hobby to take up. It has a whole host of benefits as well as being a ton of fun too! By riding a horse, you will soon find that your posture has improved and that your coordination and balance has got better. It is also a brilliant way to get close to the beautiful animals, and you can help out with everything from grooming them to training them if you wish. Once you have been riding for a while, you could take your horse riding up a level and enter competitions or showjumping. You can teach your horse to jump over hay bales and other obstacles and compete against others.

Photography:

When it comes to learning a new skill, photography is an exciting choice. Not only will you learn something new, but you can also get some photos printed out that you can put up on the wall. It is a great way to remember good times and memories, as well as get images of people and places that you love. There is always something new to experiment with in photography and you have the possibility of turning your hobby into a career.

Crocheting:

Crocheting is a valuable skill to have, and it is relatively easy to learn and cheap to do. Once you have bought the wool and needles, you have the tools to create a whole host of beautiful crochet items to wear and for your home. Whether you decide to make a blanket, cardigan, or a scarf, the options are endless. One of the best things about crocheting is that it can be done anywhere at any time, and you will soon find the number of items you can create getting bigger and bigger.

These are just a few ideas of hobbies to take up in 2021 that are sure to pique your interest. No matter if you start it and love it or do it for a few weeks and realize it’s not quite for you, the most important thing is that you have taken on a challenge, pushed yourself out of your comfort zone, and tried something new. Don’t be afraid to try something else if your first option doesn’t work out!

Featured Image By: Alexander Dummer from Pexels

Monster Mash

Standard

Hello! A few days ago, I posted about a Halloween craft that I made with my client out of Popsicle sticks. They turned out like this:

While the Barney sticks were for my client, the ghosts, Jack-O-Lantern, and Frankenstein were for Johnny who wanted to decorate his space at work for Halloween. Despite forgetting to bring his flat friends with him on the job for the first few days, my sweetie finally remembered and he claims that he is never going to take them down. 🙂

The day that Johnny brought the Popsicle sticks into work, he took a picture of his decorated area WITHOUT ME EVEN ASKING! Check it out:

I was not expecting my fairly simple crafts to be the crowning jewel of Johnny’s display and it made me so proud that he liked them that much. His little paper cut out ghosts make me smile and that applies for basically everything he does, lol.

While we are all worried about the outcome of Election Day today, I just had to post some mushy nonsense to help take the edge off. And I am so thankful to get through whatever the results will be together with my Johnny. ❤

How did you decorate for Halloween? How is your work space decorated? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

Standard
Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

Hi! Lil Red may not be the craftiest gal in the bunch but, I’ll be damned if I don’t try my best with my clients when we’re creating something together. One of my pals had a plethora of Popsicle sticks so I figured we could try to do a Halloween craft with them by painting them into little ghosts. While my client opted for making names of his loved ones out of the sticks (So sweet!), I made the following for Johnny’s desk at work and something special for my crafting partner. Check it out:

7B725D25-EFA4-450A-9E3E-D7193DF4B65C337779C4-7CE4-479A-8324-C7FD763E3AB41001535E-E185-4004-BB17-7FFDCACEE5D03DE0B9F3-C89F-40DB-BC81-071119FC3978

I started my crafting palooza with something easy by painting the Popsicle sticks white and making little ghost faces with Sharpie markers once the paint was dry. Simple, yes, but they turned out so cute I decided to try my hand at a few more designs even though they were going to be much harder for my non crafty self.

I thought a Frankenstein stick would look awesome and I knew Johnny would love it so I looked up a picture of ol’ Frank and did my best. While the green paint on the stick dried, I practiced drawing his face several times on paper before I Sharpied in the final effort and, frankly (lol), I couldn’t believe how good it turned out. In fact, it ended up being Johnny’s favorite creation.

After seeing my Frankenstein, my client asked me if I could make him a Barney one. I told him I’ll see what I can do and got to work on two Barney themed Popsicle sticks. In honor of the Barney Halloween episode that he loves, I painted a stick purple with green polka dots, just like the pumpkin Barney had in the show.

The real challenge, now, was going to be making Barney’s face because I can’t draw for crap. Lol, like with Frankenstein, I looked up a picture of Barney and practiced drawing his face while the purple base paint dried. Once I was satisfied, I Sharpied in the face of the friendly purple dinosaur and I thought it turned out great. I added a green tummy and his yellow toes and my client was so happy with what I made him, which is all that matters to me.

To wrap up our crafting, I made a Jack-O-Lantern stick to complete Johnny’s spooky set. Both my client and I had a blast with our arts and crafts hour and I was so happy to come up with something that was simple but we both enjoyed so much. Oh you crafty, huh?!

Would you consider yourself crafty? What is something that you have made that you are proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pumpkin Party

Standard
Pumpkin Party

Hi! This past week, I thought I would bring the pumpkin patch to one of my clients so that we could paint them together. Painting pumpkins is one of my favorite activities to do with clients because for one: it’s a lot of fun and for two: I have never even carved a pumpkin before so I definitely don’t trust myself with that!

During the “pumpkin party”, we had Casper The Friendly Ghost playing on the TV while we worked on our masterpieces. We painted away until we were satisfied with our creations and then gave each other a grand reveal of the end results. They looked a little something like this:

While I opted for multicolored polka dots on my pumpkin, my client decided he wanted to make one with the likeness of yours truly. I’ve got to say, I can definitely see the similarities and I was so touched that that’s what he wanted to make with the pumpkin I brought him. We both gave each other the pumpkins we made at the end of the day and I have mine proudly displayed in my apartment.

Whether it be painting pumpkins, hand traced turkeys for Thanksgiving, or ornaments for the holiday season: Painting is a blast. Make an afternoon of your crafting by putting on a movie or music to fit the theme and get to stepping on your own handmade holiday decor. And, always remember, that fun times can still be had from the safety of your home – all it takes is a little creativity!

Do you have any holiday craft ideas? What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Presidential

Standard
Feeling Presidential

Hi everyone!! For those of you who don’t know, my “big girl job” is as an Independent Provider for people with special needs. Most of my clients are not too interested in politics and that is totally fine. However, one of my clients decided he wants to become president this past week. With nothing to do cause COVID, we turned our time together into running his campaign and nurturing his dreams.

My client and I made posters, campaign speeches, and discussed all of his platforms and strategies. It proved to be educational for both of us because he learned more about what it takes to become president and I got to learn about all of the things that are really important to him. It was also just plain fun and something different.

If you work in the field like me or if you have children, this could be a great idea to get them Feeling Presidential too. Spend some time talking about what it means to be president and how your future candidate would go about their victory. Then, you can craft to your heart’s content and even work on some grammar as you write your speeches.

The crafting and talking about future goals is inspiring and it could open up a whole new world that your child or client might not know existed before. So put your president pants on and get to work!

How do you create fun and unique activities for your children? What would your platform be if you were president? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Press & Journal

Reader Map DIY Craft

Standard
Reader Map DIY Craft

Hi! One of the things that I love about blogging on WordPress is how they tell you what countries are reading you every day on your stats page. When I first started lifewithlilred, it was always exciting to get a new country reading me and it still is. So, I decided to pin a world map to a bulletin board and placed a thumbtack in the designated position for each country that I had readers in:

E33F4607-C302-4807-9E12-E976D901CE47

Over five years ago when I began my reader map, my dad and I spent an entire afternoon locating each country so I could place a pin to start keeping track. It was a fun and downright educational way to spend some time and I thought that it was a great craft for my blogger friends to work on, especially when we all should be practicing self isolation.

Dig up an old map from your school days or print one out for yourself and you will get a visual representation of your blog’s global klout by the end of the project. I love having a reader map and the best part? Adding new thumbtacks to it as new countries start reading me! My most recent pin being in Seychelles. 🙂

What have you been crafting to help pass time in quarantine? Which DIY project that you made are you most proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Giving Gifts To Be Cherished

Standard
Giving Gifts To Be Cherished

Almost anything could constitute as a ‘gift’. That being said, we all know that gifting is a complex and often nuanced art. For instance, purchasing someone a new car, while amazing, does not necessarily make it better via expensive than something perfectly tailored to the person in question, thought of carefully, used as a means to illustrate a beautiful point. The gift’s worth is defined in presence of the particular giftee and gifter,  no matter the particulars.

Yet sometimes it can be that you hope to give a gift that will leave an excellent and positive mark upon the recipient, ensuring that they not only appreciate your generosity, but that they can return to the memory of said item as a truly beautiful thing to appreciate. To help you achieve that, we have some of the following advice:

Experiences:

It’s hard to shed the impression a wonderful experience can leave someone. Each of us only has a set amount of time on this Earth, and so spending that time within an experience that helps us learn, grow, and feel grateful can be truly fantastic. It might be that you bring a family member along for a cruise or that you head on a road trip with your friend to explore the best of what your coastline has to offer. What matters is spending time with those you most love and appreciate, as this generates memories all by itself.

Indulgences & Treats:

A small indulgence can make for a phenomenal gift, because not only are you giving them a wonderfully handcrafted treat from Eastern Standard Provisions, but you are granting them the chance to indulge in a treat they most enjoy. This also serves as the best approach to gifting, because it matters, and it provides them with that sense of comfort they may have been missing thus far. Small indulgences are not small, they are an example of the little things that make life worth living and plenty enjoyable.

A Particular Craft:

Crafting something yourself is perhaps one of the most interesting and satisfying measures you can enjoy. However, gifting said craft to someone you love or appreciate is a cherry on the cake. Don’t think this needs to be some otherwordly example of the craft makers art in order to be assured in this. Giving someone a small clay pot from a pottery course you took, a bouquet of flowers you have arranged yourself, a small knitted jumper for a nephew or niece, or even just a painting you have applied yourself to can all be wonderful. Don’t think that because you may not have spent hundreds acquiring said item that it’s worthless. Quite the contrary, it will have soul.

With this advice, you can leave your signature mark on what you gift your loved ones with in the future.

Featured Image By: Pexels