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Guest Bloggers: A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder
Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Simple Pleasures – Draw by the Fireside

As Delilah gets ready to give her Plotting Bootcamp in Oklahoma, Rachel and I got to thinking about the opposite of traveling: the pleasures of staying home.  While travel is tremendous fun, and there are some lucky folks in Oklahoma with Delilah, there are many good things to be said for the fireside – especially if you’re fortunate to live somewhere with an actual fireplace!

When I talk to people about doing things like crafts, the biggest complaint I get is that folks have no time to do crafts, even if they wanted to.  As any crafter knows, this doesn’t have to be a deterrent.  While there are, of course, wildly complicated crafts, there are also simple but fun things one can do as a pastime that are enjoyable and give you a finished product you can display afterwards – a double win.

Here are five suggestions for fun but simple things you can do by yourself, with friends, or with your family as the year winds down toward the holiday season – and, if you think ahead, you can use some of these for gifts!

1.  Coloring Books

I know, I know; not really a “craft” in the strict sense of the word, right?  But give it a shot.  Think about it: you don’t have to think a whole lot, you can just color in the designs.  There are some amazing books available – have you seen the Dover Stained Glass Coloring Books?  If not, check them out – well worth the investment of a few dollars (most of them are under $10 USD).

2.  Knit or Crochet a Scarf

Knitting and crochet are easy to do and have the advantage of being inexpensive and portable.  If you, like me, have trouble sorting out three-dimensional stuff from two-dimensional, consider taking a quick class at JoAnn’s or Michael’s.  Or, to really get into it, check out your friendly, neighborhood LYS (Local Yarn Shop).  You can find listings of them on the internet or, if you’re in the states, look at the TKGA site (The Knitting Guild Association).

3.   Makit and Bakit

These are a lot of fun and I wish they were more popular, because they’re super easy.  Some of the designs are cheesy but if you poke around you can find some cool ones (my favorite, personally, is the coyote howling at the moon with a cactus in the foreground).  Tip:  use your toaster oven tray, and line it with tin foil.  Use a tweezer to place the little color beads into the frame.  When you bake it, the plastic melts and you have a real, live, stained “glass” ornament.

4.  Polymer Clay

There are so many kinds of polymer clay available now that your choices are endless.  The two biggest brands are Femo and Sculpey.  They both can be baked in your toaster oven.  You can make figurines, buttons, beads, and all sorts of little animals.  If you have no idea how to do anything with ceramics, this is a great book to try:  The Incredible Clay Book.

5.  Check out Klutz Press

If you think you’re all thumbs when it comes to crafts, and that the nearest 8-year-old has more talent than you, then you owe it to yourself to check out the offerings of Klutz Press.  You can find stuff on all sorts of topics.  Have some fun and let your inner child out to play.  All you have to lose is your skepticism.


“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
- E.E. Cummings

Noony’s links:  Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | LinkedIn | Pandora

Knoontime Knitting:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Ravelry
Noon and Wilder links: Blog | Website | Facebook
Team Blogs: Nightlight | The Writers Retreat Blog | Beyond the Veil | LGBT Fantasy Fans and Writers
Publishers: Samhain Publishing | Torquere Press

Check out BURNING BRIGHT, available from Samhain Publishing.
Check out EMERALD FIRE, available from Torquere Books.

Check out “Taking a Chance“, part of the Charity Sips 2012 to benefit NOH8, available from Torquere Books.

11 comments to “Guest Bloggers: A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder”

  1. Angel Shaw
    Comment
    1
      · September 19th, 2012 at 8:51 am · Link

    That’s what I’m doin as Christmas gifts looming hats foreveryone in the family



  2. Angel Shaw
    Comment
    2
      · September 19th, 2012 at 8:52 am · Link

    That’s what I’m doin as Christmas gifts looming hats foreveryone in the family :wink:



  3. Stacy Wilson
    Comment
    3
      · September 19th, 2012 at 8:36 pm · Link

    I have great pine cones littering my yard. So, I started to collect some. I decided that my kids and I will soon be making Christmas ornaments out of them with spray paint and glitter. ;)

    Stacy Wilson

    dragn_lady at yahoo dot com



  4. Becky H
    Comment
    4
      · September 19th, 2012 at 8:59 pm · Link

    I always have several different crafting projects going at any given time. I have to say, it is very hard to read and knit at the same time. Both are passions that I work at making work for me. Right now I am making socks for Christmas. Always a popular gift from me. Family loves them. In fact, if I don’t give a gift that year for what ever reason, I hear about it. Staying home is very nice. I frankly do not have time to travel. I have too much crafting and reading to do.



  5. A. Catherine Noon
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    5
      · September 19th, 2012 at 10:47 pm · Link

    That sounds fun, Angel! I hope they enjoy their hats! I haven’t tried the loom weavers yet, but they look fun. :)



  6. A. Catherine Noon
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    6
      · September 19th, 2012 at 10:48 pm · Link

    Wow, Stacy! That sounds fun. I love pine cones!



  7. A. Catherine Noon
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    7
      · September 19th, 2012 at 10:49 pm · Link

    Hi, Becky! Yeah, I know what you mean; reading and knitting at the same time is problematic. I like books on tape because it lets me do both at the same time. :)



  8. Mary Preston
    Comment
    8
      · September 20th, 2012 at 3:24 am · Link

    I love making things. I have always got some sort of project on the go. Home-made make great gifts.



  9. A. Catherine Noon
    Comment
    9
      · September 20th, 2012 at 6:43 am · Link

    Hi, Mary! I like the idea of “Projects on the go.” It makes “going” so much less stressful, don’t you think? You know you always have something to keep the fingers occupied. I agree, handmade gifts are awesome.



  10. ELF
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    10
      · September 20th, 2012 at 2:29 pm · Link

    I tend to crochet on long car trips since I get carsick when I read nowadays. I was doing booties for the premies at the hospital but figure it’s probably time to start thinking about scarves for Christmas!



  11. A. Catherine Noon
    Comment
    11
      · September 25th, 2012 at 6:31 pm · Link

    Wow, ELF, that’s awesome! My knitting guild does charity knitting every year, and I’d like to participate this year. I haven’t done so much in the past but it seems like a satisfying use of the work of our hands, you know?

    Thanks for stopping by to comment!