As we ease into the New Year many of us have goals and aspirations for the year ahead. Frequently people aim to lose weight, exercise more, or meet financial targets. This year I’m suggesting that you consider a new hobby. News stories frequently identify relationships and interests as being good for our health and wellbeing, hobbies can provide both! Personally hobbies allow me quiet time to myself as well as an opportunity for social connection through craft groups. So how do you find a new hobby? Look no further than the shelves of your local library.
I started my quest for hobbies for this column with BiblioCraft: A Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects by Jessica Pigza. This book has over twenty projects inspired by library materials, be still my heart! Pigza provides information on searching library catalogues for material, libraries (both physical and digital) where you may find inspiration, and over twenty projects that artists have created based on materials they found in the library. Within these pages you’ll primarily find paper crafts and stitched objects, but the ideas could be expressed in other media.
Speaking of other media perhaps all this inspiration from books has you thinking about books themselves. Look no further than Bound: Over 20 Artful Handmade Books by Erica Ekrem. The early part of this book features information on the basic materials, tools, and techniques to make your very own books. Subsequent chapters cover Vintage Books, Nature Books, and Leather Books respectively. Have you ever wanted to make a notebook out of a shell? Now you can! Ekrem’s love of books and bookbinding comes through on every page of this beautifully photographed volume and intriguing projects.
From paper we can move on to wood and woodworking projects. After all both come from trees and provide ample opportunity to create. My first selection in this area is Making Rustic Twig Furniture by Bim Willow, which contains directions on making three projects using readily available or even waste wood. Willow‘s passion for using wood that might otherwise be scrapped is abundantly clear reading through his book.
If the rustic twig look isn’t your thing, but you’re still on the re-use train consider Wood Pallet Projects: Cool and Easy-to-Make Projects for the Home and Garden by Chris Gleason. While many can think of simple outdoor projects using pallets, Gleason has created some truly elegant pieces for the hobbyist to make at home. With projects ranging from simple accessories (think tea light holders) to a coffee table that at first glance I would never have guessed came from a pallet, this book has variety.
The four books I’ve shared with you are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to resources you might find in our collection. We have materials on painting, cooking, knitting, stamp collecting, sewing, embroidery, leatherwork, metalworking, and more. Beyond our physical resources you may find items in our databases such as the Home Improvement Reference Centre, Hoopla, and Overdrive. Maybe the hobby you wish to pursue is in small engine repair, we’ve got a database for that!
Ultimately, my wish for you this year is you discover something new or build on current passions. We have many resources to help you on the path as you sample new hobbies and develop existing skills. As Dale Carnegie said “Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”
Ruth Hamlin-Douglas – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!