Tag Archives: crafting

Cool Gift Ideas For Creative People

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Cool Gift Ideas For Creative People

Almost every social circle has one, that one being a creative person. When it comes to buying gifts for these much-loved friends or family members, it can be daunting for those who are less in touch with their creative side. But creative people can actually be some of the easiest to buy for. There is a whole world of gifts to suit almost any passion or interest, you just don’t know it yet. Below you will find some inspiration to help you out when it comes to gift hunting for the creative people in your life:

Apple Pencil:

So much of today’s creativity takes place digitally. In fact, so many creative people now rely on tools such as the latest iPad to support their ventures. The traditional pen and paper is a thing of the past, instead, you are more likely to find designs being hashed out using a screen and stylus, and what better stylus to use than the Apple Pencil? The pencil is designed to make drawing seamless and fast paced. The possibilities are endless when it comes to linking your stylus with the appropriate app or software. It also boasts a great battery life and magnetic charging. However it is not the most affordable of gifts, so it will have to be for someone special.

Art supplies:

Not all artists are fully cemented in the digital world, with many still preferring to take pen to paper or rather, brush to paper to enjoy their outlet. Art supplies such as an easel, pochade box, paints, or brushes still make for thoughtful gifts for those who love to paint and draw.

Noise-canceling headphones:

For those who like a bit of peace and tranquility to express and flex their creative muscle, then noise-canceling headphones can be the perfect gift. Finding that quiet space and a bit of solitude can be a difficult task in today’s busy world (especially as more and more people now work from home). That will be no matter – simply pop on a pair of noise-canceling headphones, block out the world around you, and let the creative juices start flowing.

Heated coffee mug:

When you’re in the creative zone, it’s easy to hide away for hours on end and work on your latest project. This will typically mean that the constantly brewed coffee will get cold pretty quickly! A rechargeable heated cup will ensure their hot drinks stay warm for hours, so if they are struggling to lift their head up from the work, at least the coffee will still be warm when they do.

A memory stick:

Taking it back to the digital age, a memory stick is a great practical gift for those whose creative ventures are stored digitally. It may be a little less on the interesting side but it is something your recipient will get so much use out of and be eternally grateful for.

See? It’s not so hard to find a gift for your creative loved one after all!

Featured Image By: Robert Nickson from Pexels

Fourth Watercolor Project

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Fourth Watercolor Project

Hello! I have a vast repertoire of hobbies and enjoy reading, ice skating, writing, swimming, and, of course, shopping in my free time. Watercolor painting is a recent hobby that I’ve added to this list and I have been loving it and trying my hand at different projects as often as I can. This past weekend, I made this little painting for my nieces while Johnny took a nap lol check it out:

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My sister and brother-in-law have their daughter, Valerie, and will have another little girl very soon. We are SO excited and I wanted to make something adorable for their bed or playroom. They most certainly are cute as a button so inspiration for my most recent project was really easy to come by!

Val’s favorite colors are purple and pink so I obviously had to incorporate that and I think she will be super happy about the palette I chose. She’s also not old enough to know good art, either, so that’s another win lol. Good art or not, it was fun to make and I like how it turned out so that’s all that matters. 😀

Every time I paint something, I come up with ideas for another project that I would like to do. Without the watercolor class that I took, I would have never thought that it would be an activity that I would enjoy. However, here we are now on my fourth project and I am eager to continue creating more and more. I have some sketches ready to paint when I can and I also plan on making a rainbow painting for my nieces. I can’t wait to show all of you!

Have you started a new hobby recently? What do you like to do in your free time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: Tune in tomorrow for bloopers from my Country Concert OOTD!

Watercolor Painting Project

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Watercolor Painting Project

Hello! I took a really fun watercolor painting class with my mom and sister this past month and it inspired both my mom and I to try our hand at it in our free time. My free time is, unfortunately, hard to come by so my painting supply haul from Michael’s had been sitting unused for the past few weeks. So, I was very happy to have been able to come up with not one but TWO masterpieces last week:

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Other than the introductory course on watercolor painting that I took, I have zero experience with it. I never say no to learning new things, though, and I am really enjoying my efforts. In fact, I am thrilled with how mine and Johnny’s likeness turned out! I had the idea for it in my head and they turned out exactly how I pictured them to be.

Are these paintings great on a technical level? No, lol. BUT, both Johnny and I love them and that makes them great to me. In fact, as soon as I was done my sweet husband told me that we’ll have to find a perfect spot to hang them up. That made me feel so good and even more proud of my creations.

I feel like everyone has this preconceived notion that they have to be amazing or making money off of a craft or skill to do it. I, myself, am guilty of this. However, breaking free from this thought gives you the opportunity to try all kinds of new things whether you’re good or bad at it.

The watercolor class I took not only motivated me to paint more but it also empowered me in little things too. I know I can’t sing worth a damn but the evening after our class, Johnny and our friend were playing music and I sang right along with them. It is never too late to learn anything and I can’t wait to paint even more!

What is your favorite hobby? Are you learning anything new right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Paint By Numbers Misfortune

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Paint By Numbers Misfortune

Hello! My best friend, Lea, gifted me with everything that I needed for my own personal wine and paint night for my birthday. She got me a paint by numbers kit, which I have heard of before but never tried and was eager to give it a shot. This past weekend, I decided that I would get started on my project before a friend showed up for a game night. Unfortunately, it was way harder than I could have ever imagined:

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After unboxing the paint by numbers kit, I was surprised by how difficult it looked but was hopeful that I would be able to complete it. The kit included the canvas, three paint brushes of various sizes, numbered paints, and supplies for hanging it up. With everything that I needed provided, I was still under the impression that once I got the hang of it, it would be easy. That was, however, far from the case.

I had a few hours to kill and I thought that I would start with the biggest task on the canvas first, painting the background and small details white. I began working on one of the vases and even with the smallest paint brush available, I was getting paint in the wrong places and covering up numbers I would need later left and right. After the epic failure of attempting one color on a vase, I started painting the background because that should be easy, right?

WRONG!!!!

The biggest paint brush that the kit had was hardly making a dent in the vast spaces on the canvas that needed covered up. Not to mention that you had to perfectly outline the vases and flowers with the white paint too. I switched back and forth between the biggest and smallest brush to accomplish this and was constantly covering up other spaces that needed painted. You seriously almost needed a toothpick small brush to get into all of the tiny nooks and crannies and the smallest brush was way too big for the task.

Of course, I am so thankful to Lea for her super thoughtful gift but I can’t say that this project is one that I plan on finishing. After my first effort, I essentially shot myself in the foot since so many areas got painted over. I am sure that other easier paint by numbers kits are a lot of fun and would happily try one of them. I just don’t have the surgeon steady hands to successfully complete this canvas!

Have you tried a paint by numbers kit before? What did you think of it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Moving On Up: Art Wall

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Moving On Up: Art Wall

Hello! This past Wednesday, I was hanging out at home while Johnny was at band practice and wanted to spend the evening relaxing instead of unpacking. That changed tunes pretty quickly, though, because of an unfortunate mishap with the video game I was playing. Basically, I accidentally loaded a previous save point and everything I did after that point got deleted. I was SO upset!!

Rather than wallow in my frustration, I decided to get started on a new unpacking project: Creating an art wall. It’s looking very nice so far, if I do say so myself:

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^^^ There’s still a ways to go but it’s getting there!

Between an endless supply of paintings from Goodwill, crafts with my bestie, and Johnny’s own artwork collection, I had a lot to work with for my art wall. This was a project that I had wanted to do in my old apartment and just never got around to finishing it… Probably because I never bought more Command strips to hang the paintings with lol. Johnny had actually bought several packs of them during his last trip to Walmart, which is how this first go at the art wall was possible.

The end result will have artwork hanging up all the way along the stairs and it is going to look so cool! I’m really happy with how it’s looking so far, though, and it was the perfect project to sink my teeth into after an epic gaming failure. The concentration it took to hang everything just so definitely kept my mind off of three hours of Paper Mario getting lost in oblivion!

Progress with unpacking has been pretty good but it has slowed down because we need more shelving for a lot of the remainders. In fact, I was feeling a bit down about it and this project helped perk me up and kicked my motivation back into high gear – especially with our housewarming/birthaversary party right around the corner. 😀

Although my project isn’t complete yet, I can already picture the end result and I can’t wait to show all of you. This is how I always wanted the staircase in my old apartment to look and it feels good for that vision to finally come to life!

What have you been crafting lately? Have you been working on any home decor projects? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

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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

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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!

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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:

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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. Whether you’re crafting vinyl, sketching, or painting on a canvas it is such fun to get creative so 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

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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

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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