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    • #19841
      Brittany Foster
      Keymaster

      Recently, one of our members mentioned her love of crafting. She states, “I love to do arts and crafts so I make fairy houses out of polymer clay” .

      I think that this is such an amazing talent to have and doing things like crafts, artwork, or other hands on projects really can have a positive impact on mental health. I know that personally, when I do an art project or just simply cut things out of magazines to make collages, it helps my brain stay distracted from whatever might be really bothering me and causing anxiety.

      I like to do projects that require some sort of baking too. For example, for my sister’s baby shower I made a cake pop display. It was fun to bake the cake pops and also fun to decorate them and arrange them in a creative way that was really presentable. Even just making dipped oreos, especially around the holidays is one of my “projects” that I look forward to.

      Do you enjoy doing art projects, crafting or other types of hands on projects? Do you think doing this helps your mental health? What benefits do you get from tapping into your creative side?

    • #19842
      V.R. Peterson
      Participant

      I love to knit! Knitting can soothe my soul and ease my mind when things get stressful. As long as I’m doing it for a gift or a charity (not knitting for sale, which feels too much like work), it helps immensely. Anybody who’s interested can see some of the projects I’ve done (and patterns I’ve written) over the years.

      MamaBear’s Craft Pages

      • #19845
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        WOW!! This is amazing that you have a collection of the ones that you have done. I’m sure it feels so much better to do things for charity and to give as gifts vs doing it for selling it. When money gets involved it starts to feel more like a chore sometimes and less like a hobby. I always wanted to learn how to crochet, I feel like it would be really good for me. I love things that are repetitive like that. When I was a kid I loved doing the friendship bracelets that all followed a similar pattern. I would love to check out the collection you have.

      • #19877
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        @robin-webster that tree of life pattern is gorgeous! You have serious talent. The closest I have come to knitting is using the loom kits. A co-worker introduced me to that when my son’s PH worsened and we were spending more time in the hospital. I made a few scarves that were ok…it was more about the peace I felt while making them then what the final product looked like.

        Needle point is something I always wished I could do. I’ve tried to teach myself a few times but found it too complicated.

        Gardening, as you mentioned, I really enjoy. For some reason petunia’s are my favorite. They are a simple flower and rather hardy but I’m always drawn to them. I’ve done some potted vegetables but haven’t braved my own veggie garden yet. I always used the excuse that I couldn’t devote enough time to it but now that my boys are older I should make that happen next summer.

        • #19883
          Brittany Foster
          Keymaster

          Colleen,
          my mom also enjoys gardening so much. It is her “peace of mind” and relaxation for sure. I wish I was into gardening. I love having greens and plants in my house and can take care of the ones indoors but the outdoor ones I guess I just don’t have that “green thumb” that you need haha!

          I made tons of loom bracelets with the little girl that I watch and it’s surprising how addicting it is. It’s just that mindless activity that we need to do sometimes to get our minds off the little things.

    • #19851
      Robin Webster
      Participant

      I suppose I should also have said cooking and baking. That’s what constantly keeps my mind occupied so I don’t sit around and focus on everything wrong with me. Without cooking and baking, I’d probably have lost it by now.

      • #19884
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        Cooking and baking really are great. What are you favorite things to bake? Mine are brownies and cake pops or no bake desserts (even though I guess technically it’s not baking) but it still requires a lot of mixing and preparing the ingredients. I love doing different kinds of no bake cheesecakes. They always are a hit at parties and don’t feel as filling as the heavy actual cheesecakes are. I LOVE eating the remaining batter from it too 🙂 egg free !

    • #19850
      Robin Webster
      Participant

      I used to enjoy cross-stitch needlepointing, but my vision isn’t good enough for it now. (I’m having cataract surgery Oct. 31 and Nov. 7, so maybe that will change!) I also used to enjoy doing decoupage. I found that relaxing. Not even sure why I quit doing it, but maybe because I person can only have so many decoupaged items without it getting weird. lol! The hands-on thing I most enjoy doing is gardening. Because I could no longer safely bend over to the ground repeatedly without losing heart rhythm and getting out of breathe, my husband bought me raised gardening beds so I can just stand normally and tend them. It’s wonderful. I do all kinds of veggies. I have also started doing indoor hydroponic gardening with Aerogardens. It’s a particular joy for me to be able to have fresh lettuce, tomatoes and herbs (during the winter when I can’t garden outside) that I know are organic and I don’t have to worry about all the scary stuff in the news about listeria and e.coli and whatever new thing has contaminated the food supply.

    • #19876
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      Brittany, I enjoy scrap-booking and have mine own unique style of putting it together. I’ve made some very special ones for my parents and a close friend. I haven’t created one yet for Cullen’s transplant but that will be my next priority. I agree that creative projects are such a welcome distraction. My friend was embarrassed to ask if I would make him one for his anniversary because of my responsibilities to my son. I explained how therapeutic it is for me and that it brings me great joy.

      I also make the fleece tie know blankets. I have arthritis that affects my fingers a great deal so it takes me a while to finish one but it’s always worth it. I make them as gifts for friends and family.

      I admire your love of baking. That is something I never really got into and am envious of those who are good at it and enjoy the process.

      • #19886
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        Colleen,
        These are great crafts and project ideas too. My sister used to be really into scrapbooking and I liked to find pictures with her. It really does take a creative eye to put all of that together and find the right backgrounds, cut out words, pictures etc. Definitely great for getting your mind off things and doing something that others can enjoy. There aren’t enough photo albums anymore !

    • #19891
      Carol alexander
      Participant

      Yes I love to knit and crochet I have been doing this for years and gardening now I do gardening with small plants inside my home

      • #19892
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        I just starting getting into doing the small house plants and I love it ! So glad For my “life” inside my new house .

    • #19903
      Candace Borden
      Participant

      I’ve enjoyed crocheting for a long time. My most recent projects are rugs! You can purchase jelly rolls at most fabric stores or cut up old rags or sheets you no longer use. They make great gifts!

      Candace
      ✌🏽♥️

    • #22478
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      Candace, I wish I knew how to crochet. I don’t know anyone who make rugs. Do you have a link that you can share on how to make them? My friends who crochet might be interested.

    • #22509
      Nancy McSweeney
      Participant

      I enjoy knitting. Am currently knitting hats for the homeless distributed by our church.

    • #22522
      Margaret
      Participant

      I’m a quilter! Love to be able to say that. Electronics and I don’t get along, so my work is mainly by hand. It’s the actual quilting I like so I will use panels – and, no, they are not “cheaters”; they are “whole cloth quilts” and PJ days are perfect for quilting as I turn on the TV and then mainly ignore it. Piece!

    • #22524
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @normarg I admire anyone with the gift for quilting. It’s something I wish I knew how to do. I’m creative in other ways, such as scrapbooking and just like you, I turn on the TV but don’t really watch it. It’s just on for background noise. How long have you been quilting and how did you get started?

    • #22531
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      Nancy, what a beautiful way to help others using your talent and something that you enjoy doing. That is wonderful that you do that!

    • #22561
      Nancy McSweeney
      Participant

      Thanks Coleen. I really enjoy knitting. Family and friends have all they want or don’t want hand knit items at all, so I share with the less fortunate. I have also knitted hats for our troops, lap aftgans for a nursing home, baby items for unwed mothers shelter.

    • #22563
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      That is so wonderful, Nancy! It must be nice to do something you enjoy and then receive double pleasure out of it by knowing that what you made is giving someone else joy as well.

    • #22564
      Margaret
      Participant

      Esp to Brittany – I’m a slow quilter, but I do it for fun, not to “get more done” (and since hand quilting takes longer, I don’t need to buy as much material – tho’ you’d never know it from the stash in my basement). Projects can seem to take forever – I’m quilting a panel (lap size, about 40″ square)for the Ottawa Support Group masked ball this spring. It’s been several months so far, and may take me 2 more. Cart it around for “found time”. But I like it so hope whoever bids on it gets what they want. Did 2 lap (couch) size for Christmas – they 2 took about 5 months. Tonight, I get to watch TV and quilt…

    • #22570
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      Margaret, I say that the longer something takes to make the more special the final product is. You should include a little creators information card that provides a little background like, how long it took to make and what inspired you to make it.

    • #22587
      Brittany Foster
      Keymaster

      @colleensteele @margie-novak that’s a really good idea about the card. Kind of like a “made with love by Margaret” type card that tells a little background about it ! That would definitely make it so personal and would add a nice touch to the final product ! Especially since so much is going into the finished product.

    • #22603
      Margaret
      Participant

      A quilt isn’t really “finished” until it has a label with dates, person making, where made’ and bits of any info that you think one should know – the label is usually sewn onto the back – and some people make fantastic “work of art” labels.

    • #22616
      Brittany Foster
      Keymaster

      @normarg That is great ! I know that people really do appreciate the work that goes into something hand made. I received a hand made heart pillow that was crocheted for me after my open heart surgery and it is one of those things that I will keep forever. Those heart pillows helped TREMENDOUSLY during my recovery.

    • #22648
      Mary Winn
      Participant

      I thoroughly enjoy knitting and have been making beanies/’chemo caps’ (and other styles) but only for donating or gifting others in need of a warm head. My dear sister often dealt with a cold head prior to her death in 2004 due to melanoma. At that time, I purchased various hats, scarves, and such to make sure she was comfortable. I was was only knitting scarves at that time. After her death, I decided to graduate to making beanies/’chemo caps’ in her memory and to perpetuate her legacy. I’ve advanced in the complexity of the styles since then have now completed 711. Most have been donated to local cancer treatment clinics. The others have been custom-made for friends and family members in need and there is never a charge for them. This Project has helped me feel more productive as well as think of my sweet sister.

      • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Mary Winn.
    • #22651
      Brittany Foster
      Keymaster

      @marywinn that is such a sweet and thoughtful tribute to your sister. I know that those that are going through chemo would absolutely LOVE that. It’s amazing that you are doing something like that for others and that you are so connected to the meaning behind it. WOW! That is really a lot that you have made. I am sure you get a lot of requests for custom orders for it! That certainly is a great legacy to keep for your sister. Do you have a website for them or do people reach out with requests individually by word of mouth?

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