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Thursday, 10 October 2013

A Few Comfort Tips From A New(ish) Crafter

As someone who's recently taken up home crafting as a personal hobby (I say "crafting" so generally because I've dabbled in everything from needlework to some amateur woodworking), I thought I might share a few helpful tips I've compiled over my first few months. I've always had a creative mind, but haven't applied it in a physically artistic manner in - well, decades - so naturally my new(ish) crafting endeavors presented me with a whole bunch of new experiences, along with adjustments that needed to be made.

The first, quite honestly, was that I had to work on my fingernails. Truth be told, nibbling at my nails is one habit I never quite kicked growing up, though to be honest it wasn't too difficult to stop. If this is an issue for you and you really have trouble quitting, you can usually find a few different products to help your efforts at the closest Walgreens, but really a little discipline should do the trick. I can't count on both hands the number of times legitimate fingernails have come in handy in crafting projects, however, so this is something to keep in mind!

Another serious adjustment for me had to do with vision, and if you're over the age of 35 or 40, you'll likely have similar issues, from what I've heard. My specific vision issue is known as "presbyopia," and though that sounds rather dramatic it's really just a fancy name for far-sightedness. Not that I have eagle vision at long distances, but as I've aged I've had more trouble getting a clear look at what's right in front of me (such as needlework), which is a problem for a lot of crafting and artistic tasks. I'd recommend reading up on the condition at Acuvue, where there's helpful information about what presbyopia means and how you can correct it. The right contact lenses or reading glasses can work wonders.

And then finally, there were the rough fingertips and borderline calluses that I occasionally began to develop through two of my favorite new artistic activities - drawing by hand, and, again, needlework. When these activities are new to you, your fingers can easily develop a bit of roughness and irruption (or at least mine did), and it can make it a bit uncomfortable to keep going with your projects, at least for a short time. Crazy enough, I found someone having similar issues at the site needlenthread.com, along with a quirky but oddly helpful remedy involving a mixture of olive oil and sugar! It's worth a shot, and simple enough to try.

So there are my two cents about a few mild discomforts and issues I've encountered since getting into crafting hobbies. Of course in addition to managing these issues, there are plenty of little skills and tips to learn along the way - but the first step, for me, is comfort, and the above tips and tricks helped me enormously in that department.

Happy crafting!

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