Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sunday November 26, 2017 Giving Yourself a Gift for Christmas

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us and in-between all the things you need to do and buy, it’s important to carve out some time for yourself.  Whether you choose to spend a quiet evening with a book, go for a walk or some other form of exercise, watch a good movie or just sit by a fire and let your mind drift, taking regular breaks is important to both mind and body.  For some folks their time of calm is when they are engaging in a craft, be it big or small.

A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the Creative EngAging Arts Fair that was sponsored by the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and was stunned at the variety of skills and talents that reside within the city. I’ve never been a true crafter, though faithfully each couple of years, I buy all the supplies necessary to create something, and in relatively short order it ends up in one of the many UFO (unfinished objects bins) in my cold room.

One of the most surprising thing about the Arts fair were that many of the craft ideas could be completed in a single session and you would still receive an attractive result. The stonework, weaving and printmaking participants, in particular, took home lovely pieces and built skills that they could use on larger projects. I was inspired enough to search the stacks at the library for simple, one session crafts and found crafts for every taste and skill level. Many of the books I found use found objects, that are already in the house and with the importance of reusing and recycling objects for the environment being able to find new uses for things is a must. An added bonus at this time of year, is handmade gifts are the nicest to receive. They are also a great way to spend time as a family or friends, so if you are looking for something to do with your grandchildren, or something different to do with a group of relative strangers, simple crafts make a good choice.

As a cat person, “Cattastic crafts: DIY projects for cats and cat people” by Mariko Isikawa, features a number of simple, and easy crafts for the cat or cat lover in your life and “Crafting for Cat Ladies: 35 Purr-fect Feline Projects by Kat Roberts immediately caught my eye.

Seasonal crafting books like, “Making Winter: A Hygee-Inspired Guide to Surviving theWinter Months” by Emma Mitchell, “100 Little Christmas Gifts to Make” by the authors of Search Press and the “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: ChristmasCrafts, Recipes and Activities” by Shay Brandy, all contain a wide variety of fun, easy and beautiful craft ideas.

Another popular theme is upcycling, which is reusing and recycling found materials rather than buying new and a number of new books on this theme that are available at the library including; “Upcycling: 20 Creative Projects Made from reclaimed materials” by Max McMurdo, “Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds,Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects into Stuff You Love” by Blair Stocker and “DIYMason Jars: Thirty-five Creative Crafts and Projects for the Classic Container” by Melissa Avenrions.

Dad’sBook of Awesome Projects: From Stilts and Super-Hero Capes to Tinker Boards andSeesaws, 25+ Fun do-it-yourself projects for families” by Mike Adamick and “DIY,Dammit!: A Practical Guide to Curse-Free Crafting” by Joselyn Hughes and “TheStar Trek Craft Book” by Angie Pederson, are great titles about having fun in process and not worrying about the end results. Of course if there isn’t time before the holidays, winters in Northwestern Ontario are long so perhaps the crafting bug will bite you next year.

Lori Kauzlarick

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