Back to Basics- Why you should take up an old school hobby


It amazes me how quickly time can pass when you are doing nothing! I have often thought it would be great if we could direct the time we spend zoned out in front of the TV or playing on our cell phones into doing something useful. Women of previous generations had a lot going on in their lives. Day to day life was not easy. They didn’t have the modern distractions of watching TV or social media. They had real skills that they learned and handed down to the younger generations.


It’s always great to learn new skills and I love trying out new artistic mediums. Domestic arts such as baking, sewing as well as artistic hobbies like painting and photography are making a huge comeback. Not only are these hobbies fun and useful but they are a great way to enjoy some time to yourself and destress.





Old school skills are skipping a generation, but baking is officially cool again. This might not seem to be the case if you are stuck in a kitchen already, working hard but for many of us, developing our baking and cake making skills has become a really fun pastime.


Baking is a great way to learn about what goes into your food. Its super rewarding to discover that you can create a fantastic batch of cakes, muffins or cookies from scratch! There’s no shortage of information on the web, and it’s so easy to share recipes and tips.


Making bread is a useful skill to have. Who can resist the aroma of fresh bread? With so many allergy-related issues these days, baking gluten free bread is just as easy. From French sticks to Ciabatta, and from pizza bases to rustic loaves, baking will make just about everybody happy. Once you have the basics mastered there’ll be no stopping you. You could invest in a bread machine, but baking requires little more than a bowl and work surface.


Sewing, Knitting and Quilting.


Textile arts were once survival skills of the homemaker. Those were the days before superstores and online shopping. Today though, it’s no longer a necessity. A whole new generation is coming to find that there is real artistic value in developing these skills.


Sewing, knitting and quilting are not only a great way of passing the time, but they are a great way of sharing and learning. There is nothing better than sitting around and hanging out while working on a really special project. Quilting, in particular, attracts a loyal and dedicated following. It is a real journey of discovery learning about quilting blocks and starting to create your quilt. There are so many templates or patterns that you can learn from and even adapt. Quilting is a lifetime skill and creating and finishing a quilt you are proud of is a monumental achievement. You’ll need a beginner sewing machine to get started, but after that, the skills you pick up will last forever. There are hundreds of possible sewing projects around the house. How about making cushion covers or oven gloves? If you are feeling ambitious, you could even sew covers for your sofa!


I love the simplicity of knitting, and it’s quite addictive. You can invest in a knitting machine, but the real pleasure is just the simple rhythm of the knitting needles. You’ll be transforming wool or yarn into something really special. There is no end to the patterns available, and a wool shop is a treasure trove just waiting to be discovered.


Painting, Drawing and Photography


Never think that it is too late to follow an artistic route. Maybe you have studied one of these before and would like to get back in touch with your inner artist. Now could be the time. If you are nervous about starting there are excellent online art courses or you could sign up for classes in the New Year.


Drawing is as elemental as it gets. You’ll need a few pencils or charcoal and a good quality drawing pad. There are few better ways of gently coaxing your creativity out than studying and drawing still life. Why not go out and try to capture a scene in nature? If you prefer to draw people, there are life drawing classes in most towns. You’ll get to meet and hang out with some amazing artists, who will only be too keen to share their skills and give you encouragement.


If you feel like you need some color why not get into watercolor or acrylic painting? Watercolor sets range from inexpensive beginners to top quality professional sets. Again there are all sorts of samplers and courses you can enroll in. You may prefer to simply get a book and try your hand at some guided projects. These can be really rewarding and allow you to get used to working with the medium and understanding things such as color and composition.


Photography has been liberated by the internet. Most phones have cameras but for real professional results, it is well worth investing in a digital camera. It might take a while to get the hang of it, but what have you got to lose? There’s no expensive film to develop, and you can take hundreds of pictures. You’ll be surprised when you upload your photographs to find that some will be stunning. These are the keepers and working on a site such as Photoshop, you’ll be able to crop and tint. You can take the results to a copy shop and come away with a fantastic set of prints that you can frame and hang or give away as presents.


Getting into a therapeutic hobby can be a life changer. You’ll start seeing the world in a different way. You’ll be able to relax and de-stress and each of these hobbies brings you into the ‘zone’. That is the place where everything else just melts away. Not only that, you’ll meet a whole bunch of fascinating people who share your passion.

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