Sunday, May 17, 2009

Flex Your Creative Muscles

You can't go to the gym and work out, but you can still keep at least a few muscles in shape. Today I will discuss getting a little creative while minding your doctor's orders to stay in bed.

You have probably thought about taking up or working on a hobby in the past, but you've been too busy or just haven't gotten around to it. Well, no better time than the present! Depending on what your dream hobby is you may be able to make good use of your time in bed to improve you skills. Not every hobby is bed rest friendly, of course. If you have always dreamed of taking up cabinetry, soap making or gardening you may need to modify your expectations. On the other hand, if you are interested in knitting, crochet, drawing or scrapbooking or something similar you may be in luck.

Knitting/Crochet - If you don't know how to knit or crochet there are tons of books and web sites that will help you get started.
Lion Brand Yarn - Learn to Crochet
Lion Brand Yarn - Lean to Knit
If you already know how to knit and crochet you can easily access tons of free or inexpensive patterns online.
Knitting Pattern Central
Crochet Pattern Central
You will also need yarn and needles and other accessories. If you already have a favorite yarn store you can probably call and ask them to pull some of your favorite yarn for someone to pick up later. You can probably even pay for it using a credit card so your husband doesn't know how much you have spent. (If you are new to yarn crafts you will soon find that it is not the frugal habit that you were lead to believe that it was.) If your local yarn store doesn't carry the yarn you are looking for you you don't have a local yarn store there are dozens of places to buy yarn online. - they carry their own brand of yarn as well as discontinued yarns at about 50% off what you pay regularly
Jimmy Bean's Wool - If you are looking for a specific yarn you can probably find it here. This isn't necessarily a discount yarn site, but they will likely have exactly what you are looking for.
KnitPicks - Another shop with it's own brand of yarn. These yarns are really beautiful and affordable. They also carry a nice selection of knitting needles.

Maybe you are leaning more toward scrapbooking. Unfortunately, you will probably have to defer your dreams of actual paper scrapbooking since reclining and precision cutting may not go hand in hand. You can however try digital scrapbooking. Digital scrapbooking is essentially using graphical software to doctor up your digital photos to look like regular scrapbook pages. I personally prefer digital scrapbooking because I just don't have the space to store hundreds of sheets of paper and ribbons and other scrappy stuff. That and I am not physically able to cut anything in a straight line. Digital scrapping also has the advantage of the UNDO button.
There are several sites dedicated to digital scrapbooking, but I think that this one is the best.
Scrapbook-Bytes - this site has lots of members with some really amazing scrapbook pages. There are also a bunch of tutorials as well as a guide for beginners.
One of the big decisions that you will need to make is which software to choose. You can spend anything from $700 on Photoshop to absolutely nothing on GIMP and Artweaver.

These are my two favorite bed rest compatible hobbies. You could also try your hand at writing the next great American novel or consider taking up beading or needlepoint. Anything you can think of will likely have lots of information online and you can likely buy your supplies and have them delivered right to your front door.

I'm sure that I have forgotten some creative endeavors - leave a comment with your favorite bed ridden craft!

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