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13 Jan

National Hobby Month: Tips on Turning Your Hobby Into A Business

hobby

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National Hobby Month.

Every year, at the beginning of the year, our nation celebrates National Hobby Month. 2017 can be a much more interesting year if you spend some of your time honing skills and pursuing special interests. Hobbies get a boost from blogs and how-to websites at this time of year.

What? You didn’t know it was National Hobby Month?

Well, you aren’t alone.

Yet  according to the U.S. Census Bureau, people in the United States spend around five to six hours per day on leisure and sports activities, their personal interests / activities, and hobbies. It takes into account that weekend days are more filled with hobby pursuits than weekdays. Still, that’s a lot of time doing something for no other reason than it interests you.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics , watching TV was the most popular use of leisure time in 2014.

national hobby month

 

I think we can do better than that. It is, after all, National Hobby Month!

Not So Boring Life has a list of hobbies that numbers more than 300. TV watching is number 283 (they’re listed alphabetically), but I’d drop it from the list altogether. Because, hobbies.

The list is not, obviously, all-inclusive, but it does give you some hope if you haven’t found a hobby that suits you.

Discover A Hobby.com also has a list that is more than 300 items.

With the prevalence of hobbies, crafts, and DIY posts on Pinterest, there is sure to be something you want to do with your spare time.

If you have spare time.

It’s a known fact that we all make time for the things that are really important to us, and for many, hobbies are important. Even a few minutes a day can help you start and keep a hobby.

Some of us spend so much time on our hobbies that we decide to turn it into our business. Whether it’s blogging, reading, making. or doing, there is probably a niche you can fill with the thing you love.

Here are a few tips on how to make your hobby into a dream job.

Be innovative.

The market changes, and what was once popular may wane in demand. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up doing what you love. Instead, you need to be ready and willing to make changes to your business to keep it relevant.

Stay steady.

Turning your hobby into a business takes word. Hard work. Probably more work than if you had a “normal” 9-5 job. A schedule is the best way to be sure you’re moving toward your goal. Commit to at least 15 minutes every day of doing something related to your business.

Don’t go it alone.

You have family, friends, peers and professionals who can help you succeed in making your hobby your profession. Listen to what they say, even when it’s criticism. It’s possible that you are so close to a problem that you can’t see it, and the perspective of other people can help you solve problems you might not even realize you have. Join a Facebook group or find a networking group that focuses on what you love doing.

In addition to joining groups that target your hobby, think about those that spotlight small businesses, too. There’s valuable information resident in other people.

Keep it simple.

It’s easy to go overboard with your ideas and try to focus on too many things at once. You can go really big and still keep it simple. Stick to one aspect of your hobby until you are successful with that area, and then expand. Nothing creates success like success.

Stay true to authenticity.

Your brand is unique. It is the thing that sells your product, even more than what you do. Nothing is more important than finding your voice in the public arena and staying true to it. Your vision shouldn’t waver based on what somebody else is doing. Be authentic.

So should you turn your hobby into a business?

There are some cons to going professional with your favorite pastime. Making 25,000 (fill in the blank here) may not be as satisfying as the few you make in your spare time. Maybe your hobby isn’t worthy of being a business. Just because your friends and family admire your work doesn’t really translate into market research. There may not be a market for your interest where you live. Or perhaps your hobby isn’t deep enough to sustain your interest long enough to make a business out of it.

Maybe you just need to have fun with it. And remember to celebrate National Hobby Month.

Pretty Pintastic Party

 

 

 

11 Mar

Glass Pebble Magnet Tutorial

glass pebble magnet tutorial

glass pebble magnet tutorial

MAKING GLASS PEBBLE magnets is one of the easiest crafts there are, and they make some of the nicest magnets around, perfect for giving or to put on your refrigerator. I’ve created a simple tutorial for you to follow if you’d like to make some of your own.

Gather your supplies

You’ll need:

Glass marbles
Decorative paper
1″ hole punch (not shown)
3/4″ magnets (not shown)
Glossy Accents dimensional glue
Hot glue gun and glue sticks

glass pebbles supplies

Glue paper circle to glass pebble

I’ve tried adding the glue to the glass pebble and adding the glue to the paper circle, and found the second way much more effective. Just add a swirl of Glossy Accents glue to the circle on the right side of the paper and then adhere it to the pebble. Let dry completely.

glass pebble backside

Add glue to the magnet

Using hot glue, add just a dollop of glue to the magnet.

glass pebble magnet with glue

Adhere to the back of the pebble

Add the magnet to the back of the pebble, over the back of the paper circle.

Finished magnet

When the hot glue is dried, you have completed this simple craft! Now you can hold several sheets of paper to your refrigerator, or a photo, or anything else lightweight (the magnets are not really that strong and won’t hold a lot of weight). Of course, it totally depends on how strong the magnets are that you use. I used ProMAG Flexible Magnets that I bought at Michaels, but I’m sure there are stronger versions if you look for them. An office supply store is a good place to look.

For an alternative look, draw on the backs of the glass pebbles with Sharpies and glue the magnets to them for a very colorful, one-of-a-kind look that you can customize anyway you want to. This is a great idea for kids crafts, too!

finished magnets

 

I’m linking to That DIY Party!

17 Feb

Sharpie Pens: 8 Tutorials for Things to Do With Them

EVERYONE HAS a Sharpie or two lying around.  At least, if you don’t, you should. These pens are like magic! Just them and a little creativity and you have a masterpiece.  Sharpies come in multiple colors and several tip thicknesses, so you can have just about anything you need for whatever craft you can think up.  I’ve scoured the internet and come up with eight tutorials that are diverse and interesting, and require more dedication than skill. None of them are very time consuming, either, so you can decide today and be done today, too! Instant results!

Tutorials for Things to Do With Sharpie Pens

From Kimmykats, Sharpies and washers tutorial.
What magic can happen when you combine a sharpie,
some muratic acid and hydrogen peroxide…

By Stephanie Lynn, Sharpies and dishes tutorial.


Once the designs were drawn, the dishes were set on a cookie sheet and baked at 350º for 30 minutes until the designs were set.
From Homespun Happenings, a Sharpies and sign tutorial.
With dark stain, the effect was perfect.
Doodle Easter Eggs from Alisaburke tutorial.
Eggs this pretty can be for any day!
Just Crafty Enough brings you Marimeko Shoes tutorial.
Give plain sneakers a whole new look!
The Thirty Sixth Avenue gives you a Christmas ornaments tutorial.
Get your Sharpies, some fun stencils, and give those ornaments a makeover!
Tye-Dye some shirts with Markers and Alcohol from Genuine Mudpie tutorial!
Pretty flowers effect with just a couple things you already have around the house!
Dear Lilly had a Christmas Project tutorial.
With fabric from your stash, some old pillows and a Sharpie, no cost pillows!

I know you have a zillion more ideas of what to do with your own pens, and I’d love to hear some of them. Leave me a comment and tell me your favorites.

What will you do with your Sharpies?

16 Feb

Little Wooden Houses: Building a Tiny Neighborhood

LITTLE WOODEN HOUSES

I LOVE LITTLE wooden houses! So when my son told me he had some scrap wood and asked me if I wanted it, I eagerly said yes. He cut it into house shapes for me, and I spent the day painting and sanding them. I did 13 today, and would have done more, but I ran out of houses. There’s something therapeutic about painting and then sanding little wooden houses. Mine range in size from fairly large (about 6″ tall at the peak) to really tiny (about 1″ tall at the peak).

 

 

I sent him some pictures (which he declared cute) and asked him for as many more as he wanted to give me, according, of course, to how much scrap wood he has available at any one time.
I made a Christmas village for my coffee table with the larger ones, and some of the little ones became pendants on necklaces or Christmas ornaments for gifts. The third one from the left in the picture above is my favorite, and will become a necklace for me.

 

They couldn’t be simpler to make, yet I see some of them on Etsy selling for a pretty penny. But you can make them easily. I guess I could have sanded them first, painted them, and then sanded the edges again, but I figured I’d get pretty much the same result if I just painted them and then sanded them. And they turned out just the way I wanted them to.
All you need is some house-shaped wood, or get someone to make peaks (roofs) on some blocks of wood for you. Then paint them the color of choice and when they dry, add details like windows and doors. Sand all the edges and some of the flat surfaces if you want a really old look, and then seal them with varnish. You could rub some oil on them first, which would give them that antique-y look that’s so popular, too. Easy-peasy!

05 Aug

Doll- Primitive Collectible

primitive doll
doll-3.jpg

Actual baby dress

image image

THIS ONE-OF-A-KIND Primitive collectible doll is hand stitched and sculpted to have an unforgettable face! She’s approximately 18″ tall and is made in the primitive style. Hand dyed for a slightly aged look, she wears an authentic baby dress fit for a newborn. Her hair is the softest, silkiest, orange yarn tied in pigtails.

I really like making primitive dolls, whether animals or people. This one was particularly fun, because her face is needle-sculpted and she has eyes that aren’t just flat—painted or stitched.

The dress was one I made for my granddaughter, who wore it only a few times before she outgrew it.

The doll’s hair is made from a very fuzzy yarn in a bright orange color and is sewn one strand at a time on her head.

Want to see some more primitive art examples? Here’s a Pinterest link that will give you a thousand ideas!

I’ve been collecting pins on my own Pinterest board, too, so feel free to take a look here.

Want to make a primitive doll of your own? Here are some links to tutorials for you!

Old World Primitives

American Prim Primitives

Sewing Wonder

Lucyz Lazy Dayz Primitives

Sweet Bear Creek Whims

eHow

Tattered Sisters

Love to Sew

Instructables

Fig & Me

And some links to free patterns, too!

Glen Oaks Primitives

Prim Mart

The Pattern Cupboard

Sassafras Hill

Mercantile Gatherings

The Primitive Hare

Old Road Primitives

Red Dirt Primitives

The Garden Web

There are a multitude of patterns you can buy, too. Here’s a few from Etsy.

CCC Primitives

Pearces Craft Shop

Two Girls Laughing

My Primitive Salt Box

Mustard Seed

Old Rag Doll Cupboard

Cindy’s Homespun

Sew Many Prims

Sweet Meadows Farm

“And I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others.” ~ Wole Soyinka