These days, it's easy to lose hours in front of the TV or days attempting to pass the last level of a new video game. But when all is said and done, what do you really have to show for your time? That's not to say you shouldn't be able to relax and enjoy yourself — but what if you could have fun and do something productive simultaneously? These old-fashioned hobbies are great ways to be entertained and learn new, useful skills.
Sure, anyone can bake — but doing it from scratch? Now that's really special. All too often we come across recipes that instruct us to use a store-bought pie crust or incorporate prepared, additive-filled ingredients. We thinking we're doing the right thing by cooking for ourselves and our families when really we're just filling our bodies with the same old processed food. Baking is certainly an area where we can benefit from returning to the old-school way of doing things. Need some inspiration? Give this oat cranberry muffin recipe a try. You can really feel good about cooking from scratch because you get to see exactly what is going into the food that will eventually wind up in your body.
It's the more easily-accessible cousin of sewing. You don't need a machine or metres of fabric to take on this pastime. Just stop into your local craft store and pick out the design you want to take on. The options vary widely, both in size and in level of difficulty, so there's something for everyone. If you're just starting out, a small Christmas ornament or tiny coaster are great jumping-off points. And as you get more proficient there's no telling what designs you might be able to complete. Cross-stitching is a wonderful hobby because you can take it with you anywhere. Everything will be included in the kit you buy so a single purchase is guaranteed to get you hours of entertainment. When you've had enough of cross-stitching you can always give needlepoint or embroidery a try. They require similar skills but pose very different challenges so they're sure to give you something new to think about.
Knitting is another great workout for your hands that also happens to be easily transportable. It's a great hobby to pick up because it isn't too hard to learn the basics — and after that, there is always a new technique to learn, so you never get bored. A good place to start is by knitting a scarf in a plain stitch. You simply start with the desired width, and then keep going until it's the length you want. There are loads of helpful videos on the internet and guide books in your local library that can help you learn the basics. Or, consider taking a class or joining a neighbourhood knitting group. Spending time with new aquaintances or old friends while knitting can be a great alternative to happy hour. You get to make conversation, work on a skill, enjoy yourself and have something pretty cool to show for it!
None of these options capture your attention? Don't give old-fashioned hobbies the cold shoulder just yet. Our grandmas and great-grandmas had a whole lot of time to fill and a lot of that was spent on fun and productive handicrafts. Sewing, crocheting, smocking, rug-making and quilting are all excellent ways to pass the time. You can do them socially and enjoy the company of your friends while you embark on a new hobby together, or grant yourself some productive "me" time. Either way, these old-fashioned hobbies are too much fun to be left in the past!
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