Do you have a hobby or some sort of activity you enjoy doing? What is it that you enjoy? There are so many different sorts of hobbies – from the physical (sports, golf, rock climbing, hiking, skydiving, yoga. etc) to the home-based (gardening, cooking etc.) to the social (dancing, Italian conversation classes, chess, mahjong etc) to the creative (painting, drawing, acting, sewing, knitting, crochet, sculpting, woodwork etc.)
I’m pretty sure that understanding colour and style, creating outfits and discovering your style is a hobby that many of you may have, not a traditional hobby, but it could be classed as that none-the-less.
So given that colour and style are my work, what are my hobbies?
For many years when my kids were younger, hobbies went out the window – there just wasn’t time for them. But as they’ve grown up to teenagers, I’m now getting more time back for myself, and I know for my own mental health that I have to avoid working on weekends as otherwise my brain just doesn’t get a break. You see, I spend a lot of time in my own head and it’s good for me to get out of it.
How do I do this?
Some physical exercise – I enjoy some yoga and was running (up until I injured my toe) so now take nice long walks instead. When I could I’d tap dance, (sadly I can’t find a class anywhere near me at a time I can do around my daughters non-stop (if feels like) gymnastics classes), I did.
One of the things I enjoy doing that gets me out of my head is some sort of creative art therapy. I’ve done a few classes in fused glass (high recommended) but that’s not something I can easily do at home on the weekend when I have a couple of hours spare.
I do enjoy making some jewellery (beading) and also have gotten a little into knitting and crochet (particularly in the cooler winter months, but don’t like them in summer). Recently I’ve gotten out the sewing machine more and started making a few more clothes (to start with because I was so annoyed that I couldn’t find a skirt I liked in a fabric I liked that was the length and shape I wanted), and also as a way to create some unique pieces for my wardrobe.
Paint By Numbers Review
Over Christmas, I was scrolling through Facebook and some “paint by numbers” kits came up and I thought that this could be a bit of fun and relaxation for my brain, so I ordered one.
It arrived and I got to it and found it a brilliant way of relaxing my too-busy brain. The methodical nature of it meant that there’s no over-thinking involved and I enjoy the way the picture gradually appears.
What I enjoy about doing it is that it’s easy to pick up and leave so you can do it in short bursts, no need to put hours aside (in the way that sewing usually needs a bit more time).
So what are the results like?
My experience is (after doing only 3) that it varies, depending on the complexity of the pictures and the style of the artwork and the paint colours sent.
For example, one of my first attempts was this still life vase with flowers. In your kit, you receive the canvas that has all the numbers printed on it, and a set of paint (and a few brushes, though I recommend going and buying a few brushes from your local art store) plus a card with your design printed on it (this is the image on the left below).
As you can see, that my version (the image on the right) really doesn’t look anything like the image on the left. It’s certainly no exact replica. The colours are clunky in comparison, the image feels flat, and I ended up having to do some extra ‘work’ to the painting to give it more depth and definition. But then, I’m no painting master, no Van Gogh or Monet, so I can’t expect that my paintings will actually turn out like those originals!
But if you look at it by itself, imagining not having seen the “photo original” It’s not too bad.
So for my next attempt, I thought I’d get set that had a more simple image that needed more block colours rather than blended colours, so I went for this three-part koi pond. When this kit arrived the canvases had been folded (some are rolled) for shipping, so I ironed out the creases before I started painting.
Once complete, I made a simple wooden frame to wrap the canvas around and hung them in my front hallway (behind the pot plant, so you can’t look too closely).
One thing I do once I’ve “finished” the painting by the numbers, is that I will blend some paint colours together to create a new colour that may soften off edges or help transition one colour to the next so it doesn’t look quite so “paint by numbers”.
For me, paint-by-numbers is an easy way to get into a meditative state and really helps me to empty my mind.
What are your hobbies? How do you de-stress and decompress?
Hi – one thing I’ve noticed is that a glossier finish can make a painting look richer. For your (lovely) flower painting, I wonder if you’d prefer the look if you sprayed or painted on a higher gloss finish.
I probably could – I didn’t know there was such a thing!
Those paintings look lovley. Such a nice thing to be able to decorate your home with something you made.
I totally agree on the need for relaxation and do all sorts of things to get out of my head or regain my focus. One of my favourite activities for that is dancing, in my case linedance, but I think any kind of dance would do the trick. It’s the combination of physical activity, the beat of the music and need to focus on the steps that does the trick for me. I simply cannot leave a danceclass feeling anything but happy.
Timely post,Imogen. I’ve been stuck in my head a lot lately or stuck with my phone mindlessly. I’ll probably go buy a colouring book … or maybe get back to sewing … your paintings are beautiful so is the custom skirt.
Since hitting my 50’s I’ve had a yearning for a creative outlet. I tried jewellery making (beaded necklaces etc). The one day workshop I did was great as even though I’ve given up making jewellery, I can easily alter anything I’ve purchased. After never having an interest in sewing when my mother made all our clothes (including hand and machine knitting) I enrolled in sewing classes as I too got fed up with cheap materials in none of my colours or patterns in the shops. I’ve made easy skirts and tops and altered many things in my wardrobe I used to take to a tailor! Its a really satisfying process to do it myself. I also love refashioning clothing. So many great ideas on-line. I love browsing through quality material shops “seeing” all the possibilities – not to mention the savings. Just doing that gets my creative juices flowing!
I really like your skirt. That whole outfit is very pretty on you! And it is interesting to hear your take and see your results on the modern paint by number kits. I haven’t done one of those since I was a kid and they have definitely improved! I think both you did turned out well. I, too, enjoy knitting and sewing. I agree that finding the right piece in the right color, print, fabric, and/or style can often be really discouraging, so I turned back to sewing about 5 years ago. It helps that my mom is a home economics teacher and really talented seamstress, so she can help me through projects that I might not be brave enough to tackle on my own. As a result, I have made some really high-end pieces such as lined suits and jackets. I often get more compliments on the clothing I make because it is more distinctive and when I tell people I made it myself, they often can’t believe it. And, the process of setting down to my machine and turning flat fabric into a garment is often just the thing I need to clear my head and release tension.
Ah to have some help with your mum – how wonderful!
Using watercolors to paint cards designed for coloring so the drawing is there, waiting for me to play with paint and color. It is zen-like to do and then I can send the card.
I like the painting with the fishes so much that I found the set online and will try to paint it myself,
this will be my first attempt with “paint by numbers”. Thank You for giving me the inspiration!
The skirt looks fabulous on you.
Enjoy! I found it quite addictive