Finding a Hobby For Creatives

As I now have more time on my hands, I have been sorting through a large pile of magazines I was given and came across an interesting article. This was called Get a Hobby by Marisa Bate, a journalist and writer.

According to research from Sheffield University having a hobby unrelated to your job can make you happier at work and boost your confidence. I can see the truth of this and I would agree that doing something that is enjoyable and also absorbing enough to take your mind of things could be a godsend during stressful times. Whilst making or doing something unrelated to work can really help you to achieve Flow. (in layman’s terms-being in the moment)

The article stresses that this hobby should be for yourself, for your enjoyment rather than for results. Which is not to say that a hobby cannot lead to more, but in the first instance is more about having a go and enjoying it rather than by judging the results. I often hear people saying they have taken up a new hobby, and then follow though my saying they are not very good yet. Marisa, says that you should not judge what you do as good or bad, as its not a race. Now everything has to be posted to Facebook or Instagram so there is more pressure to show your best side so to speak. When you start something new, it takes time to learn and practice to improve.

As a creative person, I have worked as a designer and had my own crafts business, as a design student, at a highly competitive Art School, we were judged harshly on our design work often with a degree of cruelty. Producing design work of a high standard was instilled in me from an early age and it has taken decades for me to just have a go and not worry too much about the results. Having sold what, I produced also means having had to produce commercial work to a hard standard often to a tight deadline. Its fair to say at times I didn’t fully enjoy producing design or art work. However, this changed from doing craft projects with my nieces and nephews. Young children have such fun and love what they achieve naturally which we all should do!

I have drifted a little from the point, but doing something in a light-hearted non-judgemental way and having fun sounds like a great way to relive everyday pressures.

Creative folk, myself included in this are not always great at finding something which is not work related, as our work can become all absorbing and there is little time for anything else, particularly during a large project. I know myself I find myself looking through magazines and Pinterest and saving items that I can use later, rather that just in the pursuit of pleasure. Perhaps we need hobbies more than anyone?

I started and still write blogs as a hobby; this is more for myself that as a professional tool. I do write about subjects related to my work, I didn’t for many years of blogging link this to my website or social media, I wrote because I enjoyed it. Some of my first blogs were really bad, but with practice I got better and are still getting better.

I guess my last words are to have fun and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Buy Local- Buy in Season

I have written about this before in my previous blog, but today this is even more important than ever particularly with food.  to view other articles.

Because of the closure of restaurants and hotels many local food producers have lost their clients, but farming still has to continue; crops have been grown and animals reared etc. To combat this many have started selling food boxes directly to customers rather than just to businesses. This is a great opportunity to try seasonal, local produce and also champion local companies. Small farm shops and local shops are also still trading as well as supermarkets. This also encourages us to think seasonally rather than expecting to purchase the same foods all year round. We have got into the habit of eating summer fruits and vegetables in winter, these are grown under polytunnels even in countries like Spain. It is quite shocking to see how many blight the landscape and beautiful vistas.

Our ancestors ate seasonally, often growing their own fruit and vegetables. Is it not more interesting and healthier to vary our diet?

If you look online in your area you will be able to see who can deliver to you. Why not try it?


buy localvegs 1

You Are What You Eat

I have for several months been going to a set of talks at Neals Yard about diet and nutrition. I have always tried to have a well-balanced diet but I do have a sweet tooth and drink large amounts of Tea, so there was room for improvement!

During the talks, our wonderful advisor Becks, explains about digestion and why some foods are beneficial, we also find out what harm certain foods cause to the body. (This was a real eye-opener) We do know that sugar and salt and processed foods are not our friends but don’t actually know why that is the case and why we should drink more water.

I am much more informed now; we got to try some foods and drinks like Kefir, Kombucha, green smoothies and sugar-free treats, I found that a small amount of dark chocolate ( not several Bounties) can even have some benefits. Soaking dried fruits and nuts can aid digestion and that even a light sprinkle of Chia Seeds or Linseed on your porridge in the morning can make a difference.

Now whilst, I can’t say that I loved everything I tried, I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised and I have introduced many new things into my diet. I have even bought a Nutribullet blender and make my own smoothies, which are much tastier and healthier than the shop brought version and Green smoothies: using Kale or Spinach, after a bit of trial and error can be great!

Book shops are crammed with books on clean living and detox diets, but many of these can be very extreme and often difficult to achieve if you have a job and don’t have hours available to shop for and prepare food.There are alot of mixed messages about what healthy eating is and it can seem very confusing. We were advised that small steps are better than large changes. Strict detox regimens should be under observation as you can become very unwell. Drinking more water, reducing salt,sugar, caffeine and alcohol and adding more vegetables to your diet would be a good start, particularity if your current diet is highly processed.

I have been replacing cups of tea with herbal drinks and in the morning and evening I drink hot water with lemon. I still love my cups of tea but enjoy them more than before as less frequent so they are more of a treat. It helps as my colleagues have been going to the same talks so we have all been encouraging each other and have been trying different herbal teas and swapping our unhealthy snacks.

It is a move towards a balanced, enjoyable diet of wholesome, natural food and away from processed foods which can be lacking in key nutrients and lead to poor energy levels.

Drinking more water was the biggest challenge but adding a slice of lemon or cucumber did help and I have noticed improvements from just this small change. I have started to prepare more food myself, it has taken more thought and planning but it is quite exciting to try new things. Why not have a go!

Enjoy x

health 7

Scrapbooks for Adults

iPiccy-collage scrapbook

Hello from lockdown, we all wish we had extra time to do the things we would love to do if we had more time. Now we have plenty of time on our hands!

Since I was a design student a few decades ago, I have kept scrapbooks, I still have some of the orgional items I started collecting. More recently I have been using pinterest, which is great fun as well as a quick and easy way of finding images. However, there is something quite special about cutting up articles and actually sticking these into a book.

Maybe this is like going back to childhood, certainly it makes more mess! But still it’s a great way to kill a bit of time and have fun.

Why not give it a go, you might even enjoy it!

Curation and Why?

Why did I call my blog Created Curated? I was looking for a title which brought everything together.  I had a website, 3 blogs and 2 online shop, as well as accounts on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.  Just trying to keep on top of my various social- media accounts and post regularly was becoming a full-time job.  So, what could be better than having one main blog/ website etc.

Like most creative people to create, I shift through books, magazines and other sources of inspiration (often online) and then let aspects of this inspire me to produce something else. Then having produced an item show this in some way, be it as a listing in my online shop or a social media posting. So, I guess really this is Curate- Create- Curate- Post.

I have listed a dictionary definition of curation, although I am sure there are quite a few more out there.

Curation– using acts of selection and arrangement or refining, reducing, displaying, simplifying, presenting and explaining- to add value. The Latin for Curate is to take care of, which is a very different version to the one we use.

I found an interesting book called Curation- The Power of Selection in a World of Excess by Michael Bhaskar. I think I could write numerous blogs based on the topics covered in the book but for now I just wanted to touch on a couple of the points raised.

We are all curators now- whether curating our holidays, books, music, TV etc.

I guess most of us, have wish lists on Amazon and Airbnb and use websites like Goodreads to post the books we have read or want to read. Pinterest folders are using for planning special events like weddings or parties these can even be shared with others so they can also add pins. It doesn’t stop there; we even have additional ideas added to our daily feeds based on our past trends. So, now our interests are been curated by others, choose this holiday or this recipe, exercise, TV programme etc.

The point made in this book is “ in a world of too much, selecting, finding and cutting down is valuable it makes sense of the world”  I would also add to this, are we all so busy now that having someone else suggest something to buy or something to do, saves our valuable time? I pose this as a question rather than a statement. What took hours, days or even weeks to research before can now take a much shorter time with the help of Suggested for You and the google search engine. Sometimes an answer can be found in minutes.  Is this a good or a bad thing?  Again, like most of us I do check my various feeds daily, I particularly find it useful on the bus or in my lunch hour to kill time. I don’t need to spend hours looking through magazines etc as I often find what I am looking for in a flash. On the other- hand sometimes whilst researching one thing you can find a different direction or stubble across an interesting diversion does relying on feeds stop this as it reduces rather than increases a search. Would on occasion popping a completed random and unrelated theme into a feed create a new direction? Or would we, as now programmed to shift through information quickly, just query as to what is that doing in my feed or not even notice. Do we to a certain extent have tunnel vision. We all know a little about a lot rather than knowing less topics but understanding something very well. Was it not very enjoyable to spend hours looking through books and magazines, is this not a treat in its self?

I will return to this subject again, as it opens a few discussions but I hope you do find the chance to read it is a short but thoughtful read.