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Save money and relax by rediscovering hobbies

By ALETHEA PRICE

COUNTY EXTENSION AGENT

Hobbies can help you relax, take your mind off worries, or fill extra time. Save money as well by rediscovering old hobbies and using what you already have at home. 

I’m not a crafty person. I have a short attention span and not a whole lot of crafty skills up my sleeve, but I certainly do like trying little projects. Needle felting is something I was introduced to several years ago at a craft workshop held at the Extension Office. Now I have needle felting supplies at home I’m seriously considering getting back out during this quarantine.

Scrapbooking can be a way to both pass the time and enjoy your favorite memories. Use printed photos and paper craft supplies to make a traditional scrapbook if you have those on hand. Or create digital photo albums using online services and have the finished glossy book shipped right to your door. Look for discount coupon codes to reduce the cost of printing or shipping. 

If organizing your thoughts makes you feel more in control of life, try making a bullet journal. Like a cross between a scrapbook and a day planner, bullet journals have risen in popularity in recent years. Journaling and creative writing can be a helpful way to process your thoughts during times of limited communication or contact with others. Supplies can be as simple as a blank notepad, pen, and your imagination.

If you love to sew or quilt, you probably already have some supplies on hand. Work on a project that is at the right skill level to keep you engaged without being frustrating. Spending lots of time at home can be the perfect opportunity to complete any unfinished sewing or quilting projects that have been sitting in the corner of your craft area.

Self-expression through art can also be relaxing. Painting, drawing, sculpting, and other forms of art use supplies many of us already have at home. Again, keep the skill level of the project in mind.

Most people who have a smartphone have a camera. Photography can be a satisfying hobby or artform. You can document your family life while learning new skills. Resources to learn new skills — whether it’s photography or any other — abound online. Or you can use digital library accounts.

If you do need supplies, many hobby supply stores offer coupons or discounts and occasionally run promotions for free shipping on online orders. Research these options before making any new purchases.

Hobbies can be great for keeping children engaged at home as well. Many crafts and activities can be completed using objects around the house. Find ideas online with sites like Pinterest.

Hobbies can be more fun with friends. Use technology to “visit” remotely with your friends while working on hobbies. Share photos by text or email, or video chat to mark your progress and get feedback. This also can be a great way to socialize while keeping your distance from others.

If you need ideas for hobbies, or information on how to start some crafty hobbies contact the Boyle County Extension Office. Feel free to email me at a.price@uky.edu. 

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