I saw this title as a blog prompt, and thought it a great idea. There are times when the writing just isn’t working, for whatever reason, or my brain just needs a break. So what to do that still keeps the creative juices flowing, but is completely different from writing? Here are a few of my favorite non-writing creative endeavors.
- Quilting. This is my biggest non-writerly hobby right now. I started back when I was a teenager, hand-sewing a baby quilt that eventually went to my best friend’s first baby. I made a few more quilts, but didn’t really get into it until a few years ago, when another friend whom I’d given a quilt to for her first baby called me up and asked me if I could teach her to quilt. Nothing like teaching somebody else how to do something to get thoroughly involved in it yourself! I’ve taken it up in earnest since, and I love it. I’m not at all artistic, and quilting gives me a great outlet to test different forms of creativity. I’ve even started creating my own patterns, which don’t always turn out so well, but are so much more satisfying than following somebody else’s. Right now I’m hand-quilting one quilt for a friend’s baby, planning another (my friends seriously need to stop having babies so close to each other; I can’t keep up), and hoping to get a quilt done for my little Grace, who moved to a “big girl” bed this winter, and who has been sleeping under a drab brown comforter until I can get her sunshine quilt made. Then, of course, Carl has been after me to make the quilt I’ve been promising him for years for our bed … I even have all the fabric, just haven’t had a chance to cut it out yet!
- Cooking. This is another fairly recent discovery. A love for cooking runs in my dad’s family, and apparently I inherited that gene, because I have been taking great joy in the last couple of years in finding and trying new recipes, both for baked goods and meals. My absolute favorite thing in the whole world to make is homemade bread. It always reminds me of my grandmother, who made the best bread in the world, and my mother, who never really enjoyed cooking but always made sure to have homemade bread on hand for my sister and me (we, ungrateful children, always wished we could have Wonder Bread like the other kids – until we tasted it and realized it had neither flavor nor texture, and was somewhat like eating air). Plus, there is something both soothing and stimulating about kneading bread dough. I need to get a batch whipped up today, as a matter of fact!
- Scrapbooking. I don’t do this much anymore, but I would like eventually to finish both Joy and Grace’s first year scrapbooks, and maybe even eventually get around to putting wedding photos in a nice scrapbook. I think once the girls are older and I don’t have to worry so much about them getting into my supplies this might become more fun again!
- Music. This is something else that runs through my dad’s family. Unfortunately, though I inherited the love for it, I did not inherit the knack (that gene went to my sister instead, who also got the cooking gene – talk about unfair!). I can read music, and play a little on the piano and the guitar, and I took voice lessons for three years, but I’d never be considered an expert. It’s still something fun I like to work at when I get the chance, though. I keep promising myself that someday I’ll take piano lessons again, maybe actually memorize the bass clef properly this time around.
- Photography. I’m a complete amateur at this, but I do so enjoy taking pictures, and not just of my littles! My digital SLR is a constant companion on all our family hikes and outings, and I love getting unusual shots that most people wouldn’t consider. So fun!