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  1. #1

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    Crafts stuff for less-talented to do with our hands

    As I head in the direction of becoming a non-smoker I'm looking for stuff to do with my hands. This is real challenge because:

    a) I'm left handed so never did learn to knit or crochet - and doubt I ever will. For the same reason, I can't sew
    b) I don't have steady hands or much manual dexterity. Even threading a needle is difficult, so bead-work would be far too frustrating.
    c) I don't have talents for painting/drawing, nor any desire to paint/draw. Put it this way - when we paint, Mr. Japanfan prefers me not to wield a paintbrush.
    d) Weaving is most likely beyond my ability and I've no space for a loom
    e) It would be embarrassing to do paint-by-number at the age of 53

    So what else can I do with my hands to keep occupied? Something that isn't too difficult but might be creative as well?

    I do like to cook and am doing more of that, but one can only chop so many vegetables and wrap so many filo pastries. . .

    Today a friend gave me a big strip of bubble wrap and I'm looking forward to popping all those bubbles, so I'm rather in need of some inspiration.

  2. #2

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    Make friendship bracelets, they are easy and fun. You can hand them out to kids.
    http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com/h...bracelets.html

  3. #3

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    Origami? Good for Christmas tree decorations and presents.

  4. #4
    Reality TV's Bytch
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    My mom is left-handed and she crochets, so it isn't impossible if you really want to learn.

  5. #5
    From the Bloc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    d) Weaving is most likely beyond my ability and I've no space for a loom
    Yes you do! You can easily make your own loom with four pieces of wood and a bunch of nails. I did this several times as a child - if you need specific instructions and can't find them online, I'd be happy to write up for you

    The ones I remember were perhaps two feet long and 15 inches wide so you can use it on a table top or on your lap - nice and mobile. Then you can start with any scraps of yarn you have around, or get creative with torn strips of fabric, or even plastic bags woven tightly together can be useful. First projects can be placemats to get used to how it works, and then the sky's the limit.

    There are also proper tabletop looms available if you find you enjoy it and want to invest and pursue.

    People have been weaving since pretty much the dawn of time - fancy equipment, money and advanced skill are certainly not required!

    Otherwise, I suggest taking some classes at the local rec center or even a seniors centre (not sure how old you are ) to see what you enjoy. Remember that art is as much about the doing as the finished product - so enjoy!

  6. #6
    Corgi Wrangler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesla View Post
    My mom is left-handed and she crochets, so it isn't impossible if you really want to learn.
    Yep, as is sewing! Though I've never been able to crochet (I make one long chain that never doubles back on itself), I can only knit or purl in a straight flat sheet, and while I CAN do counted cross stitch I get bored. So I've taken up quilting--much easier than trying to sew clothes, and it's mostly about the piecing (fitting stuff together.) I basically am sticking to patterns only involving right angles, but for someone who has NEVER managed to accomplish anything with cloth crafts, I'm coming along quite well.

  7. #7
    Saint Smugpawski
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    I'm here to defend the honor of paint by numbers. There's nothing embarrassing about it! Have you seen some of those bigger PBN canvasses, they're HUGE and they're very detailed. It's a great pressure free way to pass some time and it gets you into the same "creative zone" frame of mind as other crafts. You don't have to show them to anybody when you're finished, you can simply tuck them away and never ever talk about them again.

    Look at these, they're certainly not built for kiddies! I'm thinking of picking up the Old American Gas Station for myself after having looked at it.
    The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket

  8. #8

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    Those look interesting Southpaw, thanks.

    How does a left-hander learn how to knit and crochet, if not from another left-hander? I don't know any left-handers who knit and they don't have courses on it at community college night schools or community centres.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    How does a left-hander learn how to knit and crochet, if not from another left-hander? I don't know any left-handers who knit and they don't have courses on it at community college night schools or community centres.
    Try YouTube videos?

    KinCommunity has a lot of fun crafty videos. I just saw a cool one on embossing paper with a stamp and heating tool.

  10. #10

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    This isn't crafty but what about one of the many smart phone hand held video type games? When I am waiting for something and am held captive so to speak, I play a scrabble game on the BB.
    What would Jenny do?

  11. #11
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    Collages or any kind of decoupage projects. They don't need to be perfect--in fact, the more random it is, the more interesting it might turn out! Here's a video of collaged wine bottle (but it could really be done with anything!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3S24U4_214

    Have you ever worked with polymer clay? Conditioning the clay to make it soft, pliable, and easy-to-work-with will keep your hands busy for sure. Of course, that and shaping it into whatever it is you want to make.

    If fleece fabric is on sale, no-sew blankets are also fun to make.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Yep, as is sewing! Though I've never been able to crochet (I make one long chain that never doubles back on itself), I can only knit or purl in a straight flat sheet, and while I CAN do counted cross stitch I get bored. So I've taken up quilting--much easier than trying to sew clothes, and it's mostly about the piecing (fitting stuff together.) I basically am sticking to patterns only involving right angles, but for someone who has NEVER managed to accomplish anything with cloth crafts, I'm coming along quite well.
    My mom doesn't have quite the hand-eye coordination that I do, but she enjoys quilting by hand. She doesn't do anything super-fancy either, but enjoys shopping for colorful fabrics to quilt with.

    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    Try YouTube videos?

    KinCommunity has a lot of fun crafty videos. I just saw a cool one on embossing paper with a stamp and heating tool.
    Yes thank God for YouTube videos! Sometimes I forget how to do something in knitting, and YouTube is there for me in a jiffy.

    Once you get the hang of it, it doesn't require as much concentration as it does when you're just starting. You just have to pay attention to which loop your needle is going into.

    Also, stay away from metal needles. I lost so many stitches on metal needles, it's not even funny. Just the worst when you're just starting out. Bamboo all the way!

    The knitting/crochet website community http://www.ravelry.com/ has a group for left-handed knitters, and I bet they have one for crochet too. Many left-handed knitters there report learning from books (making everything backwards) or by watching other knitters in a mirror.

    One of them even made this site: http://knittingleft.com/

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