Artistic & Creative Hobbies You Could Try Out

Artistic and Creative Hobbies You Could Try OutThe world of hobbies goes beyond the Sunday afternoon’s of stamp collecting, a hobby you enjoy can help improve talents or realise passions. While it can be argued that nothing beats sitting down and reading a good book, there are plenty of things out there to try which can even be hands-on. The perfect present can be made from crafting items such as homemade candles or beauty products. Don’t fear that you’re not skilled enough, the main joy of trying a hobby is finding something to play with that can relax you or take your mind off things.

Below is a list of hobbies that you can try out:

Painting:

Creative hobbies are the classic ones, which can range from sewing to paper craft. The first and most simple step into a creative hobby requires buying some paints, paper and brushes. Watercolour sets can be a great way to start getting into painting, as they are easy to use and relatively cheap. Any art shop or even local stationary shop will have some watercolours and brushes. The next step is chosing your subject, it’s best to paint from life at the start to get a sense of what shapes and colours you enjoy experimenting with. From there feel free to get more abstract or conceptual releasing your inner Mondrian.

Other possible paints are acrylic and oil. Acrylic is also a good choice for beginners and can be applied more thickly. Oil paints cost a bit more and require practice to get the hang of, but once mastered is an extremely enjoyable medium to use. You also don’t have to rely on paint brushes! Anything can be used to put paint to paper, such as ping pong balls and the base of old glass bottles. Whatever junk you have lying around the house may come in handy.

Marbling:

On the inside of antique books there is often a page dedicated to a print of marbled ink, these mesmerizing prints are surprisingly easy to create yourself. Not only is it a calming activity but it can be great for making your own cards or home decorations. A number of tutorials can be found on youtube or websites. Marbling sets can also be picked up from art shops but if you plan to make the hobby more longterm you can buy the parts yourself. What is needed:

  • Oil pants
  • Turpentine (Keep this away from children and always use with an open window)
  • Uncoated paper
  • Baking tray or any other shallow rectangular tub.
  • Rubber gloves
  • Items with which you can mix the paint – old combs, tooth picks or tips of paint brushes.

You then pour a little water in the tray, about an inch. Mix your oil paints with a little turpentine (wearing gloves is advised), and the ration is a teaspoon of turpentine for every half a teaspoon of oil paint. Pour your paints in the water, and mix away until patterns you like are formed in the water. Lay a piece of paper gently across the water and once it is completely flat across the top quickly remove. Lay flat to dry and voila, you have a marble design.

Paper crafts

This can be all manners of things, and is a fantastic activity for kids as well as adults. Papier-Mâché is used in primary schools for good reason, it is easy and relaxing. There’s a lot on online about how to begin Papier-Mâché from creating the pulp to possible designs.

Paper can also be used to make three-d sculptures, with a number of videos on youtube showing how to make honeycomb structures and paper vases. Origami is also an excellent hobby and there are more than enough brilliant origami folders out there to learn from. You can begin with the site papercraftsmag.com, offering extensive projects and downloads.

Sculpting

A step up from Papier-Mâché, sculpting can be done at home or in workshops. Lots of places have pottery workshops or other sculpting workshops with equipment that can be so readily brought for home. Unless you plan on buying a ‘firing’ oven. However, for home sculpting, oil-based modelling clay can be easily brought. It may not appear to be the most refined and difficult for detailed work, but it is easily workable and stays soft whilst being manipulated.

Woodworking

Whistle while you whittle, there are all kinds of high end equipment you can purchase for advanced wooodwork but you can also begin at basics. At home you can make wooden candle holders or simple boxes which you could later paint and decorate. A drill and shaping tools are essential items for anyone wishing to begin woodwork. Local hardware stores are more than happy to help in advising beginners so that you can swiftly start to make your own furniture and abandon Ikea for good.

Linocuts:

Linocuts are a perfect harmony between sculpting and painting, they require a focus and detail which may not result in a 3-dimensional object but you can create deep lines and depth. The choice of how deep you cut into the linoleum affects the shade and detail of the picture you wish to print. Art shops and craft shops will supply the necessary linoleum sheets and tools, from there it is up to you. The beauty of linocuts is that even the most simple design can come out looking incredible, the resulting prints can be great gifts.

Finally, if the creative crafts aren’t so appealing for you then there are many practical options to take up. Become a master of chess of start learning a language. Not only are there websites for such activities but also books that can be picked up at second hand shops, following that it is a case of practice makes perfect. Making your own soap and candles is a skill anyone can pick up with a bit of patience. the foundation of both these is picking essential oils and scents that you like. Homemade candles can even be made from using leftover candle wax from old candles. Fortnum & Mason’s of London began on the idea of selling left over candlewax from Queen Anne’s household.

Most importantly make sure to have fun with which ever hoppy you select and not to turn it into a chore.

As Long as There is Memory, Arts and Culture Will Be Preserved

girl-1063434_960_720Given the tragic events of the last few weeks across the world, it is imperative that we continue a discussion on the consequences of destroying symbols which reflect or memorialize our legacies and histories. We will also counter what misinformed men have been doing to our cultural heritage and worse. We will most certainly remind the rest of the world that as long as we have our memories, our cultural heritage will always live on, with or without tangible objects of art. And where art is absent or destroyed, art will always be recreated.

 

Memory will ensure that art continues to evolve

Let us emphasize that last statement. Where art is absent or has been destroyed, someone will always rise up and create something new in its place. But, historically, men and women have always been able to utilize their artistic gifts and restore something old to what it was before. Another post reflected on the evolution of art. Going forward, whether reprising the old or creating something entirely new from scratch, this evolution will continue. It will continue for as long as the rest of humankind has the memories to aid them.

Even the tools that men use today, technologically advanced and more streamlined for ease of use rely on ancient skills of craftsmanship. The table fixed router has all the characteristics and functions of a saw and axe. The only difference is that craftsmanship is enhanced with speed, efficiency and accuracy, further characteristics which reflect a modern era which is influenced by present time. Many other tools of craftsmanship continue to match the twenty-first century pace of present-day artistic evolution and expression. The misinformed destructors of everything that is valued by the majority of the world’s citizens have, in turn, been wrongfully influenced by just a few men who only have aspirations to sow evil and not propagate ideologies.

 

Memory helps to put out the fires

Behind every ideological and threatening speech, lurks an evil design. In order for this design to bear fruit, it must wreak havoc and everything that blocks its path must be destroyed. Evil, it is plain to see, is a short-sighted fallacy. History has shown humankind time and time again, that it never lasts. What was once destroyed is quickly or gradually re-built. And if the evil mind is blinded by its rage and cannot look back over a period of thousands of years, it should be reminded by recent history, not yet twenty years old, that the destruction of one nation’s (or entire nations’) cultural heritage and the icons that reflect it will resolutely rise up from the ashes and be re-built or re-imaged elsewhere.

Even if this were not the case, memories never fade and people can still silently hold on to what is precious to them in art, culture, and religion or self.

So, while the world continues to mourn at the few warped fundamentalists’ misguided demonstrations, it also smiles silently to itself because it knows that as long as its memory can never be destroyed everything that is still good in it will, somehow, be preserved.

Know the Best Wood Types for Wood Carving

Know the Best Wood Types for Wood CarvingWood carving is among the most accessible and fun art forms. It doesn’t normally require costly equipment or studio. You simply need the basic set of carving tools, a wood and place to work in. In fact, anyone can enjoy wood carving. The difficulty, safety and quality of wood crafts will depend on the wood type used.

There are many wood varieties that can be used for wood carving. Each of these wood types has individual characteristics (color, hardness, texture, striation and grain), which make them suited for specific wood carving techniques and purposes. As such, it is very important for wood carvers and sculptors to know the different types of woods that they can use. Here are some of the different wood varieties for carving:

Basswood

Basswood is soft-wood type that is popular for hand carvers. It is close grained but relatively soft which allows it to hold detail very well. You can use a power tool, such as a reciprocating saw (find out more about this wood carving tool by visiting this review site), for cutting or shaping the wood.

This wood type has little grain pattern which may appear bland. Usually, basswood crafts need to be painted to accentuate the grains and carving details.

Northern White Pine

Under the pine category, the Northern White Pine has similar characteristics with basswood. It is readily available and also affordable, making it a favorite for avid wood carvers. Sugar pine is also another good wood type for carving.

Know the Best Wood Types for Wood CarvingCottonwood

Cottonwood has a characteristic white color which looks very attractive even when unpainted. It is a soft wood type that is easy to carve, however, has the tendency to split.

Butternut

The beautiful grain and color of butternut make it a favorite wood carving canvas. It has similarities with walnut except it is much easier to carve and with a lighter color. The cons with butternut are: it can be difficult to find and often attracts insects. Usually, this wood type will have wormholes in it – a feature unique to butternut.

Walnut

For advanced wood carvers, hardwoods such as walnut are the usual picks. A Bosch reciprocating saw or similar power tool comes in handy when working on hard woods. The tight grain and rich color make it a popular furniture wood and carving.

Mahogany

The reddish colored mahogany is a strong lightweight wood with characteristic straight grain. It can be easily worked with hand or power tool, but is also prone to splitting.

Basically, there are thousands of wood varieties that can be used by carvers. Other common wood types that are often worked with power tools include rosewood, fruit trees, maple and teak. The type of wood can have a huge impact on the final output, so make sure to choose the right one.

Honing your skills with creative hobbies

Honing your skills with creative hobbiesAll great works started out as hobbies or side projects but turned out into valuable skills as they were nurtured and improved upon. So if you are worried about spending more time on your hobby or side project, you can rest assured. The time you spend in this manner is the best way to make you productive, healthy, and happy.

This is a proven fact as seen by the policy of Google, which granted its employees to spend 20 percent of their office time exploring fun filled projects and those that they were passionate about. The company saw an increase in productivity and boost in creativity.

This is not the only example you have of how effective side projects are. A study done in San Francisco on about 400 employees revealed that those with a creative hobby were more collaborative, helpful, and creative in the way they performed at work. Moreover, they were more in control and relaxed after work than the other group, which did not involve in creative activities.

Thus, organizations would benefit greatly, if they motivate employees to take up creative hobbies. Such hobbies will help them experience better control and mastery and influence their work performance positively.

When viewed from a psychological angle engaging in hobbies, which are challenging helped people to improve their mental health. But for most of us a hobby entails an escape from our work pressures. Thus, hobbies that are more of a passive or boring nature are chosen, which actually increase the depression and apathy that they intended to avoid.

But with a creative hobby, you can nurture a better downtime that is fulfilling and creative. Fishing, for instance, is seen as a passive hobby because it doesn’t pose much of a challenge. But in essence it is a very motivating hobby that teaches patience, perseverance, and skill. When you have the proper tools for fishing such as the spinning reels at http://spinningreelpro.com/, it is actually easy to get a good catch.

Why you need creative hobbies

Creative hobbies are entirely different from your work projects. While travelling to places is part of my work, it is a hobby for many. I love fishing and the sense of relaxation it provides and is a hobby for me while fishing is a lifeline for some.

So, a hobby is one which does not earn your bread and butter. Even without it, you can survive. And you don’t have a deadline threatening, if you didn’t finish the activity. With no pressure or risk present, you are free to take it up and give your best shot at it. This makes you pursue the hobby with love and passion, and whenever you spend some time on it, you feel invigorated and alive.

While a hobby comes with low pressure, low risk, and love, you cannot find the same at workplace. If you get an assignment at work it is attached with high pressure and high risk. To counter this you need a low risk and low-pressure hobby you love to do. When you balance your work with your hobby, you can become creative and improve your skills in many areas. This makes you come up with fresh and revolutionary ideas, which is what makes you more productive and happier.

The Natural Beauty of Water

waterfall-335985_1280Years ago, a comedy was released. It was simply called Water. Starring British-born actor, Michael Cane, it was a parody of the last days of British colonial rule over one of their last remaining dominions. The details of the story line are not important and ultimately this show failed because it was barely funny.

But a point was made over the continuous battle for natural resources between the haves and have-nots. In this case, it was water that was being fought over. Whether it’s slapstick or cleverly written dialogue that passes for dry, intellectual humor, comedy only ever works if it can get audiences and readers to laugh.

The message doesn’t seem to be getting through

And if the device deployed in this sub-genre works, the message sometimes gets through. But today, surely no-one needs to be reminded just how precious water is in today’s times. Naturally dry regions, mostly on the continent of Africa are experiencing critical water shortages. Some of these regions are now in the throes of full-fledged droughts. Arguments are persistently being put forward that the increased incidence of dry, barren regions and their subsequent shortage of water is directly related to the harrowing phenomenon of global warming and climate change.

It was former US Vice President, Al Gore, who highlighted this in his best-selling movie and book series, An Inconvenient Truth. The graphs and photo’s he showed his audiences at the time were quite disturbing. Gore did not need to show future projections. He already had the evidence. Previously fertile regions were shown drying up at different stages over a period of years.

One of the factors contributing towards the extreme weather patterns being experienced today is the continued melting of ice in the Arctic regions.

Water is precious

Roland Emmerich’s breathtaking The Day After Tomorrow for-grounded the phenomenon of ice caps breaking up and spectacularly showed what could happen as a result. Sometimes it takes a fictionalized epic of reality to give humankind a shock. But most people have, in any case, become desensitized by what they see on the screen, so this shocking technique is not really effective. Another movie Emmerich made had to do with a different scenario but ended up becoming ludicrous because the event never happened. 2012 came and went.

2015 is drawing to a close and still nothing has happened. So most people complacently carry on with their lives without another thought of what would happen if, for instance, they had no water. But do those people who have water in abundance know that their water is contaminated? You can read more about the harmful effects of polluted water at Water Softener Land. What people really need to realize is that every natural resource left to them, particularly water, is precious and needs to be conserved responsibly without a second thought.

Apart from water being precious, it is also beautiful, soothing and good for us, particularly when it remains pristine and uncontaminated. Think about this the next time you go swimming at the beach or fishing near your favorite stream.