Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hobbies: Work or Play?

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy                                                                             Everybody has a hobby.  It may be that you love to sleep, or  it may be more 'energy-spending' as in 'creating' something. I can't think of anyone who doesn't have a hobby; something they'd like to indulge in during their spare time. Do you like to read?  Do you like to paint?  Or perhaps watch a movie?  I had earlier planned to review articles on both Hobbies and Games, but with the amount of talent around, it just has to be reviews on Hobbies for today. 
I need to indulge in my hobbies to keep me sane. I cannot sit still.  If I'm not working around the house with cooking or cleaning, you will find me writing or sewing or reading.... or even playing Age of Empires.  I like to play the electronic versions of Monopoly and Sudoku too.  

The above image is that of a small basket with paper flowers.  These flowers were made by my mom and daughter last month, when my mom came over to visit. All that you will need are some thin wire, crepe paper (floral colors + green), a reel of thread, glue and a pair of scissors. Simple materials for something so creative. The ribbon is added as part of the assemble along with the basket.  If you don't have a basket, you may use a vase.  Be creative! 

I generally like the idea of recycling material.  For example, after my sewing projects, there are left over bits of cloth.  I use these balance bits of cloth pieces to create a rug. You can read all about this at 'How to make a burlap rug'.
This week I'd like to showcase a writer who needs no introduction.  She has a passion for crafts and is a bubbly, lively and caring person to interact with.  This is none other than Trenna Sue Hiler.

The first time I wrote to Trenna regarding an article about autumn and mentioned to her that I have never really experienced this climate, she immediately replied with an invitation to stay with her for a year.  A year?  Yep.  So that I might experience all the seasons of the year as she does. Now that's something you don't hear often, do you?  A passion for hobbies, and one very creative at that, Trenna says...  "There is  something almost magical about giving something away that took hours of your time. Every craft I make has a story.  I am not sure which is more fun to share; the story or the craft. They are rarely perfect, but always made with a person in mind. It calms my nerves and soothes the soul.  So get dirty, get sticky, get tied up in yarn; get crafting.  I am always interested to hear your story."

I have specifically chosen some of her guides that you can make use of this season; specifically Thanksgiving.  They are all related to 'pumpkins'.  I've also thrown in a Christmas tree guide, since I found this original.



It is really amazing and inspiring when someone turns a hobby into a profitable venture.  Not only does it motivate others, but it also makes us feel very proud of them.  As a writer, and for every writer, the one dream that all of us step out with when we take up writing as a passion, is to write a book; get published. At least, that's how it has always been for me. 

Is writing your hobby; your passion?  Take a look at what some of our friends have achieved.  I am sure you will agree that they have each done an incredible job at writing. 

This  first eBook is by my friend Scott A. Scherer.  He has written a book of poems titled 'Some day you are going to need one' (Poems that truly make you feel).  I have to admit his poems are moving and comforting. Should you be struggling with hurt in your life, read his book of poems. 

Here is another book of poems... and this one is by Gerard Quain, who has written and published 'Snatches of the Mind' (Poems that matches moods).  Expressions of one's thoughts through writing have found its way to connect with others; and this is what his poems are about. 

Last but not the least... it is with pride I showcase one of the newest releases to hit the shelves this season; Morgidoo's Christmas Carol written by our very own Raymond Alexander Kukkee.  A story for the young and young at heart, Morgidoo's Christmas Carol is a story that will linger on in your heart long after you have finished reading it. The illustrations are colorful, imaginative and cheerful, and will most certainly add to your reading pleasure.  Make sure to pick up your copy today!

P.S.  I have taken these images from the sites where these eBooks are up for sale, so kindly click on the titles and not the images to check out the eBooks further. 



Take a look at this.  Ain't this something!!!  It's real cool and you can make one like this too.  This has been done by Glory Lennon.  It is a crotchet pattern and you can read all about it at her Flower Crotchet Block Pattern.   In addition, there is also another crafting pattern of hers that I suggest you take a look at.  This one is simply awesome;  In the Craft Room.

There is hardly any Helium Charter Member that doesn't know Rachelle de Bretagne.  She is a person that overflows with talent and creativity.  You think you know the extent of her hobbies, only to surprisingly find another passion of hers pop up through her writing.  When it comes to needle-point crafts, you will most often come across her articles or guides. I have added a few guides by Rachelle that seem relevant to this topic.  Take a look at them.  They are quite interesting. 

Well... here's one of my articles to add to the needle & thread list - How to embroider faces on cloth dolls



Do you love carpentry?  Wood working has been not just a hobby, but also a means of earnings; a profession for many from time immemorial. Before it becomes an occupation, you have to start out somewhere; and this starts as a wood-working hobby for quite a few.

How to start a wood carving hobby - Rachelle de Bretagne



I would like to conclude this blog with special mention of April May Maple.  She loves to spend her time checking out things with her camera.  Yes, a love for photography, April has a page just dedicated to images that she has photographed. She says...

"As a child, I always had a wild imagination.  I was the girl who was always gazing off into space with my head in the clouds, never noticing the real world.  As an adult, with family responsibilities and children, I use writing and photography whenever I need some 'me' time.  Without an outlet for my creativity, I feel like I am suffocating. Writing allows me to paint a picture of how I imagine the world, and photography allows me to share how I see it. I like to take pictures of normal, everyday things that people walk right by never looking twice at, but capture them with just the right lighting or angle to highlight them and show off their beauty.  Well, this is my goal.  Sometimes it doesn't quite work out like that, but I welcome the mistakes... how else will I learn to get better."

A few photographs by April...   


I encourage you to take some time to congratulate these writers for their amazing contributions, either here, or at Facebook or even at Helium.  There is always something we can learn from each other; especially when it comes to hobbies.  Who knows, some of these mentioned hobbies might just motivate you to pick up a needle or a hammer.  Go for it.  It might be just what you have been looking for. 



  1. I love the wide range of crafts and hobbies you arrange here. Thanks for mentioning me, too. I'm all for crafting!

  2. Glad to see that your are continuing this blog, nice work!

  3. Mandy, great post, and thank you so much for the great promo introduction for Morgidoo's Christmas Carol! VERY much appreciated! I also enjoy and appreciate other crafts !

  4. I've always envied "crafty" people. Sadly, my mom had this skill, but did not pass this gift on to her daughter. Another cool blog featuring interesting crafts. Nice to see more of our friend's unique creative efforts featured as well. Well done! :-)

  5. Thank you Glory, Alex, Raymond and Diane.... and all who stop by to read this page. Your continuous support with my blogging effort amazes me and it is because of all of you I can continue with this.

    Diane... I laughed out loud when I read your use of the word 'crafty'. You've used it so well other than what I would normally have applied it to. Clever of you. :)

  6. What a beautiful Blog Mandy...Your talent never ceases to amaze me. I have made a few afgans, but fall short in the ability to stay focused and sit still. LOL
    Trying to keep up with everyone is almost a full time job LOL.

  7. Thank you Olivia. I'm sure your talents surpass just afghans and few crafting hobbies. Sometimes you just need the time. :)


Amanda Dcosta - Writer,