Thursday, September 13, 2012

I need your help!

Hey guys, off topic post for today.

I've been really down in the dumps lately with stress and anxiety. I really want to find a creative outlet where I can turn some of this negative energy into something positive and fulfilling. Nail polish is always awesome, but I want something different.

I've always loved art/crafty projects, but I'm not really proficient in anything. Do any of you have an creative hobbies that you find are easy to pick up, and don't require a lot of money to get started on? Please let me know in the comments!

Thank you!

55 comments:

  1. I replied on your Facebook post but I recommend trying a cake decorating class at Michaels to see how you like it. You can do it at home whenever you want and it brings a smile to someone's face when you show up with a cake that you spend time and creativity on:)

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  2. I've gone through a similar experience. If you like writing, sometimes writing in a journal helps out- like what I like to do is write random little stories or write comedy sketches just for kicks and giggles and that normally puts me in a better mood. Or maybe you can go to the craft store and buy glitter or rhinestones and pimp out a pair of shoes or something! That's always fun too!

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  3. Emerald CopperspriteSeptember 13, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Baking is therapeutic. Pounding that dough releases a lot of stress. And you get fresh bread too :)

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  4. I think jewelry making is a great hobby/craft. Lots of tutorials online or kits at craft stores. You can start out as simple as you like and in the end you get something beautiful to keep or give away. Giving away handmade stuff in itself can be quite fulfilling. Also not a craft, but something I've been thinking of doing is volunteering at a nursing home to give some of those sweet ladies manicures. I think that would be really fulfilling.

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  5. I love crafting and jewelry making. Friendship bracelets are really popular right now. Maybe you can give some to friends? What about reading? I am extra late but I just started reading Twilight. I am also reading Secrets of a Shoe Addict, its pretty good so far.

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  6. Knitting or crochet are both fantastic creative outlets. They are very cheap to start, you just need some yarn and knitting needles or a crochet hook from Michaels or similar craft store. You can learn everything you could possibly want to know from the amazing youtube videos that are out nowadays. I picked up knitting about 5 years ago when I needed a good creative hobby to do in my free time, and I haven't looked back since I started. Ravelry.com is a fabulous social networking resource of people who knit, crochet, spin, and weave. Everyone is very helpful and there's a wonderful database full of free or cheap knitting and crochet patterns.


    I hope you are able to find something that suits you. It can be so frustrating when you feel like being crafty, but don't really know how to get that energy out. Good luck, hope you are able to lower your stress and anxiety soon.

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  7. Last year at this time, I was in treatment for an eating disorder. I was extremely depressed and my anxiety was through the roof. The girls I was in treatment with made friendship bracelets (those ones made out of embroidery floss - they have tutorials online!) and I picked up crocheting. It's really easy and you can find tons of tutorials and patterns online. Doing anything "hands on" was a great coping mechanism. I really hope you find something that can help you, but remember that there is no shame in reaching out to talk to someone if you're really struggling. Don't struggle in silence! Sending love and hugs :)

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  8. After a bad breakup two years ago, I was completely depressed. While I'm not super creative, I got really into painting ceramics, i.e. mugs etc. that I bought cheaply at Michael's. Polish jewelry is also affordable and combines your love of polish but it takes forever to ship from China, where I ordered my supplies. I've also always wanted to learn how to knit so I can make myself scarves, which would also be a good thing to potentially get your anxiety out. Wishing you all the best!!!

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  9. Take up cooking really healthy thing only - dump any high sugar cravings - and exercise - even if it's just a daily walk around the area you live in for 20 mins. Then while it's not crafty but you said you like crafts yet not that good at most - try music. Learn the guitar or some instrument you can maybe rent or borrow to see if you like it first...or go take a social dance class even if you don't have a partner to go with you - many are there as singles. Look for out of the normal places you might see/listen to music - try on a local symphony, or local groups that are not the ones preforming at bars only which I find bar mentality can be depressing...but I find home concerts, outdoor venues with music, bakeries, coffee houses, small community centers and/or libraries that support local music - some art galleries too hold music events where you can get in for like $5 often.

    I am affected with seasonal affect disorder so I really have to watch my interests and stimulate them which helps pull me out of the doldrums.

    If you want to take on something bigger, look into volunteering to help say with a grade school classroom or Sunday School if you go to church - they both always need helpers big time. Giving time to others helps tons I find - yet I never have time to take the whole enchilada on for my own. I need things I can pop in and out of due to some orthopedic ongoing problems I have.

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  10. I love to draw or make miniature food out of polymer clay for charms / magnets .. You can make anything and it is cheap and relaxing . :)

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  11. I would suggest cross stitching. It doesn't take any pre-existing skill, is cheap/easy to pick up and run with, and you can find thousands of free patterns online from traditional to nerdy to cutesy. I can seriously get lost in stitching for hours, it keeps my mind & my hands busy when I need it. It's also a hobby that can be put away for months and picked back up right where you left off.

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  12. Running or jogging definitely helps with stress plus you feel great afterwards :)

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  13. I like making friendship bracelets, pretty easy to pick up and all you need is some cheap embroidery thread :)

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  14. Ditto on cross stitching. I like to buy the kits that have everything already with them. They are very cheap with a coupon from Michael's and you can give them as gifts. Also, I like to do jigsaw puzzles. They make my mind focus, and I choose ones with pretty patterns, like art deco Disney princesses. If you do them on a three poster board - like the ones you used for science fairs in elementary school - you can fold them up and stash them!

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  15. Make stretchy bead bracelets. Just go to the craft store & buy the roll of stretchy nylon thread & check out all the pretty beads they have. I made ton's of them & all you have to know how to do is tie a knot:) Easy great therapy!

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  16. Kumihimo and tatting are excellent projects that are relatively quick to pick up, are relatively low on mess and special tools, and require only as much attention as you feel like putting into it.


    Kumihimo weaving can be accomplished with a hand-made cardboard disc and some embroidery thread, and tutorials for the basic weaves are available all over the 'net. If you find that you really enjoy it, rather cheaply you can make or buy foam discs that last much longer and give better tension to the weave.


    When it comes to tatting you just need to pick between the basic styles: thin thread that you might crochet with and a blunt needle about the length of your index finger that is the same thickness as your thread OR thin thread as described and a shuttle that feels good in your hand. Tiny-headed crochet hooks are always helpful, too, but not required. Having done both, I'd suggest starting with the needle as it's a bit easier to learn on your own. The internet has a lot of information for beginners as well as starter patterns, and tatting once you get the gist that it's just a pair of mirrored knots repeated over and over? Is really fast. You can do an entire pattern in a very short amount of time--talk about instant gratification!




    Whatever you opt to do out of the amazing list set before you by the others who have already commented, I really hope you get to feeling better. I've been in a low period myself lately and crafting is my biggest go-to for pulling myself out of a slump. I hope that it works out for you, too! *hugs!*

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  17. I like jewellery making. You can buy "kits" at craft stores to complete. They have all the materials that you need plus the instructions....or you can venture out on your own, buy the beads etc. and make up your own designs. Another thing is rug hooking. This is extremely easy, (really mindless) but I find it can get your mind off of things. Again, you can buy a rug hooking kit complete with the pattern coloured on the backing, the pre-cut wook and the rug hooker tool. They have very small kits that can become pillows, larger ones to make mats, even bigger ones for area rugs.

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  18. I agree with the cross-stitching suggestion. It takes a fair bit of
    focus (I tend to get lost if I'm not paying close enough attention), but
    you can also watch TV or something while you're doing it. You can buy a
    small kit for fairly cheap that will have everything you need to get
    started.

    I also like crocheting. You can find patterns online, and you only need some yarn and a crochet hook to start. And, last but not least, I write fanfiction. I don't post it anywhere or anything, but it helps me work through my stress. :-)

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  19. Cris at Let Them Have Polish has been making friendship bracelets...seems fun and creative! :) Hope you get feeling better!

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  20. There is really a lot of things you can do, with not so much money spent =)
    without any purchase you can start doing paper quilling ( you probably have some coloured, just cut them in thin stripes, take a wooden skewer, cut it in the middle with a knife, so you get a place to put your paper in, and get started). This is really easy and you can make really gorgeous floral birthday cards for you friends
    there are also a lot of other cheap activities: knitting, crochet, friendship bracelets with names, doing polymer clay jewellery, origami...
    You can just repaint you room, and add a little spice with some art or something,I once draw floral border on hallway with glow in the dark colour, and now I can go to the toilet without turning on the lights and it really looks like you are in a dream land =)
    You can buy some cheap carton boxes and decorate them with napkins, you can use them as a gift box instead of gift bags =)
    Also jogging usually helps me to stress out.
    I do hope you find something that will help you relax, I really know how it's like to be under tons of stress. The thing that I wish the most is that the stress factor in your life disappears!
    Good luck with your crafting, and please show us some of your work, I already know it will be aesome

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  21. There are already some amazing ideas here, and I have one more! I spent every single spare moment of an entire summer decoupaging literally any surface I could get my hands on. I was working at summer camp, which I loved, but I was having a rough year and needed something kinda messy, creative, and beautiful to keep my mind occupied. By the end of the summer, I had decoupaged jewelry boxes and mason jars and flower pots to give as gifts to all my campers! And almost 10 years later, I still have the folding chair that I covered in tissue paper and Mod Podge (and a coat of waterproof varnish) in my apartment! I don't feel like I'm very good at drawing or painting, and too often I'm disappointed when I make something and it doesn't come out EXACTLY how I envisioned it. But you can't mess up decoupage! This chair is probably one of my most prized possessions—it still cheers me up whenever I sit in it.

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  22. I'm really sorry to hear that you're dealing with those things. I deal with anxiety and depression and sometimes I have days where I'm okay but for the past few days I have been feeling down too. I really love to draw, read, and write and personally I find them not only fun but really therapeutic when I'm not having a good day. I also enjoy cooking, making jewelry, and even though I'm not the best at it, watercolor painting. I've found that these are great ways to take my mind off the negative stuff. I really hope you find something that works for you!

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  23. Origami helped me through a couple bad spells many years ago. It's fun to make a small piece of paper into something 3D and beautiful!

    It may sound hokey, but I find that yoga is an amazing way to destress and calm anxiety. It encourages you to accept what you feel and what you are, and then exhale it all out and focus on what you and your body can do to make you feel better.

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  24. I highly recommend Book of Days with Effy Wild. Mixed media art journalling! Even if you don't start a book of days, watching her videos and getting inspired and maybe throwing some stuff on paper can be sooo stress-relieving. http://bookofdays.org/ is the main website; click the BOD Basic link to see the free content (which is GREAT). For me, I <3 BOD because it's a mix of EVERY CRAFT EVER. I've even used nail polish in my pages. :D You don't have to be good at it because it's not about a finished product, but moreso the process. :)

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  25. Like Emma, I'm a friendship bracelet maker. Embroidery floss is super cheap, and there are endless free patterns on friendship-bracelets.net. I've found that keeping my hands occupied while I'm stressed out really helps, and focusing on the patterns is oddly soothing. Aside from that, running and boxing are the two most effective stress/anxiety relievers for me. I hope you feel better soon!

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  26. My drug--I mean craft--of choice is knitting. And crochet. And spinning. But if you're going for cheap and easy to pick up, try embroidery. You can do just about anything to anything, floss is less than $1, you can embroider things you already have, and it won't mess up your manicure (for the most part). It's also really easy to make a pattern from pretty much any image, or you can freehand.

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  27. Collage! I love putting together collages from old magazines or even old books. Decoupage glue is cheap, everyone has leftover magazines (or friends with leftover magazines), and you can paste them on to any old piece of cardboard you have lying around, even cereal boxes and the like. You can make some really impressive pieces, and with your probable knowledge of color from nail polish, you could probably make some gorgeous things.

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  28. Thank you, B! I don't think what you said about yoga is hokey at all. I think that would be really helpful to me. Thank you for the suggestions!

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  29. I used to love making friendship bracelets! This is a good idea. Thanks!

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  30. I'm sadly a terrible runner/jogger. I do like to swim laps in the morning though, which really does help with my mood and how I feel. Exercise is definite stress reliever. Thanks!

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  31. That's exactly what I need..something to get lost in that keeps me busy. I'll look into cross stitching. Thank you!

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  32. I am taking a trip to Michaels this weekend for sure. I'm hearing cross stitching from a quite a few people, so it's looking like a definite winner for me right now. I love doing puzzles too. I used to do them a lot, and I really should get back into it. Thank you for the suggestions!

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  33. Good ideas! I remember playing with polymer clay as a kid. I always liked it. Thanks!

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  34. Thank you for all of your great suggestions! I used to play flute for 8 years. I really should try playing again because I really enjoyed it.

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  35. These are great ideas. I like the idea of painting ceramics. I know you can buy a lot of those for you money. Thank you!

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  36. Thank you so much for sharing Jamie. You are so right about doing hands on things. I really need to do something where my focus is on that task rather than the constant worrying about things over and over. Friendship bracelets sound like fun. You are also so right about not struggling in silence. While, I do see a therapist for my anxiety issues, sometimes I don't like to ask for help from other people. I internalize things a lot, when I really could use some support from friends and family. I will try to let people in more. Thank you for kind words and advice. It truly means a lot. :)

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  37. I had no idea friendship bracelets were popular right now. I remember making them when I was in grade school. I'll definitely look into trying that again. I love reading too, but I think in this case I want something that I can create! Thanks for your suggestions!

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  38. Thank you Anya for your great suggestions. I used to make jewelry more often, and enjoyed it. I should try to pick that up again. Volunteering is a great idea too. I think I need that type of fulfillment in life. I know to be able to give back to others in some way would be very rewarding for me.

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  39. That's a good idea! I've never tried baking...well not from scratch. Betty Crocker cake mix doesn't count I'm assuming? Haha, just kidding. Thank you!

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  40. Thanks Brianna! That's a great idea. I really love writing, but I only really do it for school or this blog. I usually get a great release from being able to journal thoughts or write out ideas. I should pick that back up. Buying glitter and pimping out shoes sounds like fun too!

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  41. I love your cakes! That does seem like a lot of fun, and not something I've ever even tried myself. Thank you for the suggestion!

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  42. I love this idea! That sounds like fun, and really easy to create. Thank you E F!

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  43. Thank you Sophia. I've been getting a lot of recommendations for embroidery and similar things. I'm going to go to the craft store this weekend, and see what I find.

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  44. Thank you for your kind words and great suggestions, Melissa. I would love to try watercolor painting. Painting seems like it would be really therapeutic to me.

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  45. This is such a great idea, and thank you for sharing a bit of your own experience. Your chair sounds very special. I love the idea of decoupage because I am not really that great or drawing. I like how much freedom you seem to have with i. Anything that doesn't have to be precise or perfect is my kind of thing! Thank you Emily!

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  46. Thank you so much for all of these great suggestions! I have a lot of stuff to choose from now, and I'm really excited about it. I SO wish I could repaint my room, but I'm leasing from an apartment and that's a no no. If I could, I would of been on that yesterday!

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  47. Thank you for the suggestions Aylene. Rug hooking sounds really cool. I may look into that.

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  48. Thank you so much for your kinds words and suggestions, Brandi. I had never heard of Kumihimo and tatting before. I like the idea with tatting that you get instant gratification. It sounds like fun! I'm glad crafting has helped you get out of your slumps. That is very encouraging!

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  49. Great idea! Thank you, Pamela. I'm sure I'll look at all the beads like nail polish.."Must get ALL The colors!!!" :D

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  50. There are already so many great ideas on here! I've been dealing with a lot of stress and stuff and painting my nails has actually helped in dealing with that! lol. Also things I really like to do is knit or crochet. There are all kinds of videos online to help you learn, that's how i taught myself to knit! It really is very meditative and zen-like. Same with the friendship bracelets. On channel on YouTube that I follow is BeyondBracelets. She has really great tutorials and explains things really well! I really like embroidery, too! Cross-stitch was a bit too hard for me because I have a hard time seeing things so small, but I had a better time with embroidery. Check out ebay for kits and embroidery floss. I got a set of 100 skeins of floss for really cheap! I also doodle a lot. There's a huge craze going on (for the last few years actually) called Zentangling or Zendoodling. It's really popular with middle aged women for some strange reason, but I like to do it as well. There are some really talented people out there and make some great things with their doodles. Again, check it out on Youtube. One last thing that I started doing was Calligraphy and working on my penmanship. That has a zen-like quality to it as well. Anyway, you have LOTS of ideas here and I hope thins calm down for you!

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  51. write stories or poems... for me, my emotions pour into poetry and then i feel quite better.

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  52. Crocheting always worked for me, though I dabbled in painting, cross stitching, etc. However, if you're looking for cheap, easy and fun? Check out on pinterest. There are about a thousand great ideas. I'm going to buy cheap wooden frames soon to doll up, then frame some fabric swatches to hang around my house soon. :)

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  53. Jamie @ Polish, Please!September 14, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    I think maybe we're the same person. :) I totally get where you're coming from, and I hope that you can find a fun new craft to keep those hands busy! Keep up the awesome blog work, too!

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  54. jewelry making is a nice hoby :-D
    or decoupage, that is definitely not so expensive :-D
    wish you luck <3

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  55. There are tons of DIY blogs around, I love the bracelet tutorials specifically! My favs are Honestly WTF, Stripes and Sequins, and Swell Mayde :)


    I also reorganize and go through "stuff" drawers and get rid of old clothes when I'm feeling antsy. Stepping away from the computer helps!

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