Today, Monday 21 January 2019, has been named ‘Blue Monday’ as it is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. It is calculated based on weather conditions, time since Christmas and making/breaking New Year’s resolutions and debt levels, but the good news is that it should be seen as a day of action, to shake off the negative mindset and go for some enriching goals.
And we have just the thing – a Creative Bucket List!
We have compiled a list of 15 Creative and Crafty Activities that you should plan to tick off over the next 10 years (Bill Gates said we over estimate how much we can do in 1 year but underestimate how much we can achieve in 10 years…so let’s be kind to ourselves, and if we complete the list sooner - all the better!).
Some will be easy and quick to complete, others will require a bit of planning and research and some you may have already done – whatever your starting position this should be fun (and who doesn’t like to tick things off a list?!):
There couldn’t be anything more natural than working with wood to create a functional and familiar object. The hand feel of the wood connects you to our natural landscape and the traditional skills learned take us back to years gone by.
We are becoming more conscious of where the products that we use come from and what is in them. This leads us back to the traditional methods and ingredients used in previous generations – learn important soap-making and natural beauty skills and you will reap the benefits for years to come.
Learn to identify and harvest wild greens, edible leaves, herbs and mushrooms with expert foragers and herbalists in the picturesque wilderness of our green country. Food foraging and collecting natural medicines are ancient skills that gets us back to the very basics of human life, and is very cost-effective too. We think being able to forage for something should be on everyone’s checklist!
You could even step it up and really become self-sufficient with a Bushcraft course that teaches you about equipment, surviving in the natural environment and -most of all- the joys of having an outdoors adventure!
Baking (and eating) a homemade loaf of bread is one of life’s simple pleasures. Humans have a long history of making bread in a range of forms and it can be incredibly relaxing. Do it often enough and you will never ‘knead’ to buy a mass produced bun again!
You could start with a really simple soda bread – we like this recipe to get started.
Or to hone your skills and possibly venture into the digestion-friendly world of sourdough try a breadmaking course from expert tutors?
This is an exciting one, and one that everyone wants to have a go at but most don’t know where to start or are a bit afraid of! But the results are well worth the bravery. Glass blowing is a technique that involves using a blow pipe to inflate molten glass into a bubble and then shaping that glass bubble into an object of your choice.
Definitely one to take instruction from a tutor on!
Less waste is on all of our minds so why not try upcycling something in your home (or someone else’s) that was destined for the bin?! From upholstery to chalk paint and clothing to furniture this eco-trend is all about creating your own unique style from cast-offs! Choose a course to teach you one of the fantastic ways to transform unwanted things into something to cherish.
We are all trying to reduce the amount of plastic waste that we generate so why not handcraft a toy that will be cherished forever? From dolls, puppets and teddy bears to rocking horses – there is a unique toy to suit every child.
The nature of wax lends itself to a whole host of crafts and working with this material is incredibly satisfying.
Or learn to make your own beautiful candles for a hygge filled home.
And if you really love wax why not learn to keep bees for yourself with a beekeeping course? Honey and beeswax! Winner.
This is a whole world of opportunity to make garments and accessories for yourself, in your own style and using the exact materials of your choosing.
If you’re new to this then you could start by knitting or crocheting a hat or scarf but the possibilities are endless as you could learn to create your own bespoke tailored clothing and leather goods too from experienced craftspeople on a clothing and accessories making course.
This should be an easy one for most people to tick off, but it could also be the push you need to take challenge yourself to learning a new skill that you have been fancying.
Most people will tell you that they’d love to have a go at this. We say – just do it! Working with flames, hot metal and making lots of noise as you bash and shape your handmade piece. Forge something in fire for the ultimate feeling of achievement.
It’s lovely to receive a card with a personal message but even more special to receive a card that had been made just for you. You can make just one card for a loved one to achieve this, though we suspect the feeling you get from sending it will be so good that you might just start doing all your cards this way.
You can start off by adding your own sketch to a plain card or adding mixed media to create an attractive design – here’s some tips to get you started at home.
But to make real impact you could learn to do intricate papercraft and lino cutting (the techniques and styles are endless).
There are so many options: wet or hand felting, needle-felting, cobweb and nuno felting! Felting is used across the world in making decorative and warm slippers, bags, hats, decorations, sculptures, hanging art, brooches, trimmings, piano hammers, carpets, drum stands and roofing. Needle felting is hugely popular, with such wonderful courses as 'needle felted animals' whereas the technique of 'cobweb' or nuno felting are used to create beautiful flowing fabrics such as scarves. You can use just about any wool to produce wonderfully vibrant and unique felt objects – which everyone should feature somewhere in their home.
Make something, anything, and give it or send it to someone you don’t really know. It might be someone you see in the checkout queue, someone in your local hospital, someone you often pass in the corridor, someone you have heard about who is having a hard time or a complete stranger. Pay it forward and make their day. You never know you may make a chain reaction.