Winter is fast approaching in our neck of the woods, the Midwest. Our average first frost is just around the corner and by the time you read this, I’m sure we’ll have had several and possibly even be firing up the woodstove. There are parts of winter I dread, such as the extreme cold some years, and parts I love, including cozying up to the woodstove. But regardless, winter is coming. One thing I don’t want to do is waste my winter only dreaming of spring. So here is how I plan to redeem my time.
Get a New (Indoor) Hobby
We live basically smack dab in the middle of the U.S. and our winters can range from mild to very cold and miserable. Even in the mild winters, having an outside hobby can be unpleasant, so it’s a good idea to find a useful indoor hobby you can do in nasty weather. This year, I have a few things planned.
One, I am going to make several brooms from broom corn. Second, I’m going to get a spoon-making kit and make some wooden spoons. And third, I may pull out my basket-weaving and quilting supplies. All of these are incredibly useful and fun. None require large spaces or create a huge mess and I can involve my kids in them.
You can also find a new hobby this winter. Here’s some suggestions:
Choose a Useful Hobby
Pick something you’d really like to have but can’t afford or can’t find locally. This was what originally led me to making handwoven baskets. I wanted one so badly but couldn’t afford the price tag. So I bought a book and supplies and with my 3-year-old and newborn napping, commenced to basket making. I found out I loved it and made several dozen baskets for myself, friends and family and as sale items.
Convenience and Expense Considerations
Make sure your new hobby is affordable, easy to do indoors and doesn’t take up too much room (unless you have plenty of room to spare). Watch online videos before buying your supplies or attend a training class to make sure you actually enjoy it before investing time and money in it. There are a ton of benefits to learning a new hobby from potentially creating a new income stream, saving money on gifts and tools to bettering your brain. The possibilities are endless but if you’re looking for one you might consider these: sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, woodcarving, basket-weaving, painting, drawing, fly-tying, wood burning, or even writing.
Space and Storage
When you do pick your hobby, carefully plan what you will store your tools in and where you will store them. Be sure to consider whether you have young children into your hobby choice. If you do, it might be best to pick a bit simpler hobby than if you have older children or are an empty nester.
Children can make a hobby really fun or if it’s too delicate and complicated can turn something into a stressful session so it’s wise to plan ahead on that. If you do have young children and need quiet for your new hobby, then try to do it during naps.
Getting Started with a Winter Hobby
Make certain you have all the tools and instructions necessary before starting your first project. If you need safety equipment, such as woodcarving gloves, don’t forget to get those before starting. A trip to the emergency room is not the way to start a new hobby!
And yes, while you will develop your own style on pretty much everything you do, its wise to listen to others who are already doing it. After you learn a standard way you can tweak it to your liking.
So remember: Do some reading, watch some videos, and pick a new hobby this winter. You’ll be glad you did and who knows, you might run across something that becomes a passion instead of just a hobby! Regardless, you’ll be redeeming your winter well.
Jenny Underwood is a homeschooling mom of four who lives in a fifth-generation homestead in the Missouri Ozarks, where she gardens, forages, hunts and preserves food for her family. Connect with Jenny at Our Inconvenient Family.
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