Saturday, March 16, 2013

Want a Relaxing Stress-Free Hobby or Pass-Time?

Well, many, if not most of us, at times lead a somewhat stressful life. How do we cope with that? How do we relax? How do we unwind? Is there an ideal way or method? Any criteria to use in a search of a stress reliever?
Well, many of us turn to booze, though it actually doesn't seem to work, at least not long-term and for many it just adds to the ongoing stress level as well as adding more problems that in turn create even more stress.
OK, back to the criteria.
Let's see. Ideally, it'd be nice to be inexpensive. Not require a lot of equipment or paraphernalia. Be portable. Not disturbing to others who may be around you. Be able to do anywhere.
Well, I have two that you might want to consider.
Many years ago, in another lifetime if you will, I lived on a boat for a few years. Yes, it was overall a peaceful existence and a pleasant way to live. I at that time did not watch TV and my entertainment, to use that word, was a decent car radio (remember, I'm on a boat that uses 12 volts) and CD player.
Though I am not sure how or why I started, yes, I tried cross stitch. Yep, that stuff that many old ladies do. Hey, Rosey Greer, was a cross stitcher. Do you remember him? A football player. Yep, Rosey, at least at one time did do cross stitch.
Well, it sure doesn't take much to try cross stitch. In fact, you can buy kits with the canvas (or whatever material is used), the thread, and so on for a few dollars.
Recently, I've started back trying to lean how to whittle. Yep, whittle. It also is quite relaxing, is portable, and you can give it a try for not much money.
What do you need?
Well, at a minimum a knife. Many of us have a pocket knife, though one problem may be getting it sharp enough to use for whittling. The last thing you want to do is to try to whittle with a dull knife. First off, you're more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp knife. Also, trying to whittle with a dull knife is not any fun at all. In fact, I doubt many of us would last long if we did try to whittle with an unsharp knife.
If you can't get your present knife sharp enough or do not have a knife, then you can buy a pocket knife or a knife especially made for whittling or carving. A made-for-carving knife can be bought for as little as $12 or so, and that will get you started. I have far too many knives, and at least one pretty pricey pocket knife made expressly for carving; however, there seems to be a huge difference when you use a knife made specifically for carving.
You should buy a protective glove and a thumb guard. Period. These are essential, especially for someone just beginning. A well honed knife is extremely sharp and you surely don't want to end up at the ER seeking stitches because you didn't buy the safety equipment.
Some folks use twigs and branches found in their yards as carving wood. Most consider bass wood about the best, especially for someone just starting.
I bought some 1" X 1" basswood and am trying to whittle what are generally called little people. Yes, these little guys are generally at most 3" tall.
Well, as we all know, the Internet has it all. Good place to seek information about what to carve or whittle and what to use.
I think that either of these pastimes or hobbies can give us a break from it all. Give us a few minutes, here or there, to sit down and just relax and if only momentarily allow us to forget the problems that we may have. Yes, you may want to consider giving one or both if these a try.
Good luck.

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