Remodeling a Calico Critters House

I’ve decided it’s time to remodel the Cozy Cottage Starter Home I have from Calico Critters. I’ve seen some amazing tutorials on using egg cartons to remodel the outside walls into stone (right now they’re ugly yellow plastic) and I’m just waiting to use up the eggs in the fridge so I can get started on this. I’m sure I’ll post my progress pictures here, I may even film some of it. Keep watching this space!

Hobbies – Round Three: Cross Stitch

My Mom taught me to cross stitch when I was around 10 years old. It was her main hobby (besides reading) and I always admired the pieces she created. She would do these elaborate, sometimes blanket sized, pieces full of colours. It was no surprise when I wanted to take it up, but it turns out that I do not have her patience or perseverance when it comes to this hobby. I would get bored easily, want to start new projects constantly, and I’ve never completed anything large. Now that I’m older it’s a bit easier, but because of the number of hobbies I have, cross stitch is probably one of the more neglected ones. Especially since my eyesight has been going. I’ve been thinking about investing in one of those magnifying glasses that you can clamp to the couch, so that I can see my stitches clearly.

Cross stitch happens exactly as it sounds. You stitch tiny little X’s over and over. Sometimes that’s mixed in with other types of stitches (back stitching for outlining, half stitches just for a different look, knots, etc) but the majority are the repeating X’s. I have a huge collection of kits, as well as patterns I’ve bought online or ones I’ve printed out. I subscribed to a yearly magazine for a while that included a tiny little seasonal project, but they mostly sat there, unused.

I have bins of canvas, threads neatly organized in craft cases, bags of threads less organized, and everything in between. The size of my cross stitch collection is (IMO) under control and quite small (I have one plastic tote dedicated to it, I make sure everything can fit into the tote minus my containers of floss) compared to other crafts I have (knitting, I’m looking at you) and I prefer to keep it that way. Like most of my hobbies, if I don’t set aside dedicated time to it, it tends to get neglected. I’d like to do a little stitching each day and then at least over time I might be able to see some progress. As it is now, I tend to rotate my hobbies in and out, so I’ll work on knitting for a few months, then swap over to cross stitch or miniatures, then swap over to my 4th hobby which I’ll talk about in tomorrow’s post.

How do you handle having multiple hobbies? Do they all get an equal amount of attention or do you tend to hyper focus on one and rotate them out like I do? Let me know in comments!

Hobbies – Round Two: Miniatures

Miniatures are a relatively ‘new’ hobby of mine, but I’ve been obsessed with them for years. I don’t necessarily mean the little tokens that people paint for TTRPG or the ones that sit on giant tables depicting massive wars but I suppose they can fall under the umbrella, too. I mean miniature anything. Small. Tiny. Adorable. I love creating tiny scenes and all the little items that go into those scenes. My facebook is filled with miniature groups that I belong to, and it is my happy place.

I bought a few small kits to start with, but kit bashing is incredibly popular, and I can see why. So far I’ve only built one of the kits from start to finish. It took a few days, but I loved doing it. Even learning how to do the wiring so the lights work.

The kits I had purchased were VERY small, I think 1:12 range is more comfortable. My eyes are not the greatest and I need progressives so I’m constantly taking my glasses off so I can see what I’m looking at. Not to mention my hands can be very unsteady some days.

I tried to get into polymer clay miniatures, but it just wasn’t for me. I would much rather build with paper / wood / glue than create with clay and not for lack of trying.

Of course the other issue with having so many different hobbies is the storage issue. I like to keep everything neat and tidy in its own little section, but it’s all too easy to have things get out of hand. Especially when you add children and inquisitive cat to the equation.

There’s two more hobbies to go, and then after that maybe I’ll get back to writing about video games!

Hobbies – Round One: Knitting (Little Sock Arms 1)

There are a lot of things I enjoy doing besides video games. For the longest time, I thought there were too many other things I enjoyed doing, and I would actively try to narrow them down only to feel their lure once again after some time had passed. Unfortunately, I do not have all of the free time in the world, and trying to make sure I dedicate time to everything rarely ever happens. One of the main hobbies in my life is knitting (and other fiber related activities, including spinning) and above is a sweater in progress that I’m knitting for my 5 year old daughter. Eventually it will have rainbow striped arms, and it might even be completed in time for use this fall / winter. I’m knitting it in fingering weight yarn which is perfect for socks but takes FOREVER for garments. I think the last time I knit such a garment I swore I’d never do it again – and yet, here I am.

I try to knit for at least 30m-1h each day, but if I can’t manage that even 10 minutes is enough to see a bit of progress. I feel like if I can just dedicate a little bit of time each day to the hobbies I enjoy, then slowly over time I might see results. Whether those results are getting better in a craft, or a completed piece, depends on the craft.

I love talking to other fiber lovers about the hobby, too. I love sharing projects, seeing what others are up to, and learning what yarns they enjoy using. I have any close friends who spin yarn, but I do know a handful who knit or crochet. It’s a subject I could go on about for some time. One of my major motivators is this blog, DailyCreativeThing. I’ve been following it for years now and it always makes me smile.

Have a crafty blog to suggest? Let me know in comments and I’ll add it to my to-read pile.

Blender? Let’s Learn Blender

For a few years now I have been following some 3D artists who use Blender to render World of Warcraft scenes – and I have wanted to do exactly that. I love the idea of making a scene with all of my characters, or just creating little scenes for friends. Or just on a whim. The problem is it involves using a handful of programs that I know NOTHING about – the biggest one being Blender. I’ve been meaning to try to learn it for a long while, but I never made time. That’s the biggest downside to having so many interest and hobbies, finding / making time.

I am working out a schedule where I can dedicate two days (evenings) a week to this, and hopefully I’ll make a little progress. I’ve downloaded the programs required and started with the YouTube video above, and joined a discord owned by the same person. I know it won’t be a quick learn, but I feel like this is a natural progression from my digital art that I’ve been working on. OK maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but at least I’m hoping it will be interesting.