Nothing too profound this snowy Saturday: just a list of some of my many hobbies. I'd love to hear your favorite hobbies, too, though I certainly don't need anymore of my own.
1. Jewelry making: I especially love making earrings, because they don't take long and they can be so lovely. This summer we made stretchy bracelets for my aunts and cousins, using stretchy bead thread. If you take your time with the knots, you'll be happier with the result. Cute, fast, and easy, just like me! (um...nevermind)
2. Quilting. You've read Languishing's award-winning Quilts of our Lives series, and I do love to quilt. It's hard for me to get inspired without a scheduled retreat or weekend set aside, because they are labor and logic intensive, and I don't have a lot of either to spare. But when I'm quilting, I'm a happy girl.
3. I make books. I can do more elaborate, formal bindings than those in the picture, and am particular fond of Japanese stab bindings (it sounds so violent! But it's not). They make lovely scrapbooks and guestbooks and journals. I taught a group of 5th and 6th graders to do that form several years ago, and discovered working with kids that age is remarkably similar to college age students, but with less swearing.
4. Crochet. My grandmother taught me to knit when I was about 10, but I lacked any semblance of patience, and it ended when I snapped my plastic knitting needles in half in frustration (Sorry, Beulah!). When I was in high school, my mother learned to crochet, and my sister and I followed suit. Mostly I make dishcloths & scarves, now: a girl only needs so many afghans, and the carpal tunnel keeps me from projects of that size. I like crocheting because, after this much practice, I can do it in the dark of a movie theater or while we're watching something at home, and not feel like I'm being indulgent quite so much. Idle hands do the devil's work, you know.
5. House plants. I have almost totally failed at this hobby, and I have a dozen dead plants in my house to prove it. But I also have a few (5 or 6, maybe?) that persist in living, and I adore the idea of healthy, happy houseplants. I just don't remember to water them regularly enough.
6. Collage: This is how many of my students spell "college." At any rate, I like to cut things up and paste things back together (which is a lot like quilting, now that I think of it). I use collage to make little trading-size cards, alter books, and jazz up my syllabus. Decoupage is my friend.
7. Card-making: Connected to #3 and #6, this was a natural outcropping. My mom and aunt and friend have a ridiculous collection of supplies, and when I can get there to play, it's a breeze to make cards. Lately, though, I've been sending Mary a card a day, which really ups the ante: I'm trying to keep things interesting but don't have access to the supply mecca. It's been fun, actually.
8, Facebook: Oh, facebook, you evil temptress. I came to this party late, but I find myself checking it time and again throughout the day, almost automatically, like looking at the clock. When I'm bored, I get irritated, and want it to entertain me. Gak.
9. Dexter: We don't have Showtime, but we recently discovered how to run Netflix through our XBox 360, so we can livestream all sorts of things, provided our somewhat pathetic internet cooperates (which, by the way, do any of you, gentle readers, have internet through DirecTV? Any thoughts?). We'd heard about this show, and just finished season 1. I love it: it's like CSI meets Criminal Minds meets the Sopranos. What's not to like about that?
These are some of the things (besides blogging) that I do in my spare time, or in my avoid-doing-what-I-ought-to-be-doing-time, like cleaning and/or grading. What's your favorite distraction?