January is National Hobby Month

Time to get your creative groove back.

Now that the holidays are behind us, you can get back to your own hobbies and crafts. You can also learn something new.

Fortunately, January is National Hobby Month, so please consider it as both your incentive and permission to get started.

If one of your resolutions for 2017 was to take time for yourself, coloring is a good way to go. The range of adult coloring books at Dover provides you with choices from figural to abstract. The different coloring lines each have their own flavor and there’s a variety of formats. The Bliss line of coloring books are a compact, 5” x 7“, which makes it easy to drop one in your purse or book bag with a few markers or pencils, and super-easy to be creative during downtime.

The Creative Haven line also has color-by-number books. You can learn a lot about shading, shape and hue by using a color-by-number format, plus you’ve got something nice to show for your all your work at the end!

Stone painting is a neat craft that might be new for you. Doesn’t take much in initial outlay: the canvas is any smooth stone you find on the ground. Acrylic paints and paint pens are the only tools you need. Dover just published a book by artist and archaeologist F. Sehnaz Bach that has wonderful and clear instructions that will help you create designs that work anywhere.

Dover’s also got a wealth of information on traditional crafts, like basket-weaving in the style of the American Indians. Baskets are an ancient and beautiful technology and the simple form can be appreciated as-is or become the basis of modern interpretation to create more abstract works of art.

Reprints of lace and decorative pattern books could pique your interest in a forgotten craft, like ribbon flowers or a specialized one like millinery.
Puppetry would be an amazing craft to start with you kids, especially home schoolers or kids needing a school project. You can do so much with just one or two people, each taking multiple parts. Plus kids can make puppets, from paper-bag puppets to sock puppets, before they try their hands at marionettes.

The robust crafts — things that can get rained or snowed on, for example, and still function — are also represented, like fence-building and iron-smithing. If you want a totally manly project that will be the envy of the neighborhood, there’s a book on building back-yard barbeques and fireplaces. Some of those things are huge and were once a more common site in homes across America. If you’ve visited older state and national parks, the plans in this book will remind you of Civilian Conservation Corps projects you might have seen. 
These are inspiration-producing books. If you spend time looking through this category, you will be moved to try something new or to put a new spin on something old. There is so much neat stuff you can do that it’s almost maddening — start with rock painting or with linoleum cutting? Egg decorating or marionettes?

You get to decide. Go forth and make!