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If you had to start a new hobby this month, what would it be?

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#1 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 07:41 PM

If I had to start a new hobby this month, I think I would like to learn to dye yarn with natural plant dyes. Do you hear my hubby screaming? "No, NO! No new hobbies!!" :lol:
I think it would be great to indulge in color this grey winter month.

Who is next? What would you like to do?
Jeannie McClelland
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#2 mando621


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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:09 PM

Hi Jeannie,

I think that sounds lovely. I'm sewing handbags, so far I've made about 8. I started making them for myself, and now I have had two requests for them from friends and acquaintances.

I'm still knitting and I have 3 current projects. My knitting group is doing well and we are still meeting twice a month. I was playing at an Irish session nearby until the establishment decided to close on Sundays so I don't have a session to play at unless I drive an hour one way.

I was thinking it is about time to make another batch or two of homemade soap. It is about the only soap I can use repeatedly and not get eczema blisters from. I wash my hands so often when I'm cooking that I had to design my own recipe that had lots of non-reacted oil so it would keep my hands from drying out.

I'd start a new hobby if I had time. I'm not sure what, I've tried lots and I wouldn't go back to some of them. I thought of spinning my own yarn, but buying the spinning wheel isn't a good thing right now. I am contemplating a new heavy duty sewing machine, though I would probably buy it used on eBay.

I need a new bow for my fiddle, mine is not performing well now that I play better. Oh well.....

If I were starting a new hobby, I'd have to make sure it doesn't use my eyes too heavily. I had tear duct plugs put in on the lower ducts, and it was amazing at first how much they helped. Now, I think my eyes have adjusted to them slightly and I seem to be back where I was. So reading is out for a while. My eyes get too dry and fatigued.

Let me know if you decide to create your own line of fabulous yarn. I'd think about buying some.

Lori. (mando)

#3 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:16 PM

Many forum members are strong believers in the power of hobbies to help restore us to sanity in the wake of chronic illness. Often our symptoms make it impossible to continue with old hobbies or exercise programs, or we need to make adjustments in how we go about them.

I read somewhere once that everybody needs at least 100 interests/hobbies to see them happily through old age. I thought I had a lot of hobbies, compared to most people, and was shocked when they added up to "not much", or at least not enough to get me through a happy old age. So then I set my sights on developing new hobbies and trying to add a few each month. For example, tonight we played a new dice game, and we started a very large jigsaw puzzle that will reside on our coffee table until it's finished. Hobbies or new interests don't need to be extravagant with huge investments of time or money, so "not enough money" is not an excuse with this question.

The question I'm posing is, if you absolutely had to start a new hobby this month -- let's say to keep your sanity or to cope with illness -- what are some of the hobbies you'd consider, and what would you pick first? One thing to look at is favorite things from childhood. For example, if you enjoyed playing the piano then, odds are excellent that you'd still enjoy playing piano (or an electronic keyboard) today; and if you aren't up to that, perhaps you'd like to explore listening to piano music on CDs or even plan to attend a piano concert.

We do have a subforum for fun, non-scleroderma conversations. However, I consider hobbies to be so vital for helping us incorporate and keep fun and happiness in our lives, that I think it bears discussing in the main forum as truly one of the best ways to cope with illness and to fight back against fatigue, boredom that can set in with the loss of activities that we can no longer do, and loss of work. Some hobbies can even help us build a new social network and boost our often languishing self-esteem.

If you already have hobbies going, do you think they help you with illness? Have you had to modify them to accommodate your symptoms? Do you already have 100 or do you have room for more? Can you devise a new hobby to start today?

Even playing a game of tic tac toe counts, so no fair saying there's nothing you can do, either. Everyone should be able to pitch in something on this thread!
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#4 ladyhawke


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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:04 PM

AS long as I have a computer or a laptop and the internet, I would never "not" have something to do. I dabble in photoshop and microsoft publisher is my favorite program. I make calendars, bday cards, holiday cards, and with the wizards that it offers, there's just never an end to what you can come up with. I work with wildlife and take in bottle babies all summer long for a wildlife centre. That is the most rewarding thing ever. If I had to choose a "new" hobby, I think my biggest problem would be "which one"? There just is no end to what you can do these days. Whether you're limited or not. When I couldn't get out of bed, I had the laptop and the TV and my cats. Now that I'm up and about, there's just no time to be bored. I downloaded Bejewelled to my cell phone for when I'm waiting at the Dr's office. Gotta love today's technology! :emoticons-yes: - Lisa
Life is NOT meant to be a struggle. Life is meant to be joyously abundant.

#5 enjoytheride


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:40 AM

I have always want to learn to crochet and last month I actually sat down and tried it. I made a cap with a part that folds down to cover my nose and cheeks (where Raynaud's bothers me the most.) I have decided my next project will be a shopping bag.
My hands get stiff if I do it too long but I figure that it will be OK for a half hour or so every night.
I also have a couple of bird ID books and a pair of binoculars next to my most frequented chair. There are birds all over the place here and I just like to look at them. I also enjoy spying on my goaties- they are always good for a laugh. I told a lady a couple of days ago that my own goats are chosen for their "chucklibilty"- how funny and endearing I find them.
I also have a gardening binder where I put ideas cut out from magazines that I find helpful or interesting. It makes a good reference so I don't forget the many great ideas out there.
I can't wait to hear other ideas.

#6 uknlv18


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 06:57 AM

Hi all,

I love to do creative things and have tried numerous hobbies, I tried pottery on the wheel, but after making a dozen plates I got really bored hehe. I did clay sculpture which I really loved doing, but having to rely on the facility where I was taking classes to fire my sculture, they would dry out and crack when fired so I decided that wouldn't work and thought I could buy my own kiln, priced them and decided that was a no goer at the moment hehe.
I play the violin and have done so for years, but my shoulder and elbow joints have gotten so bad that I can no longer bend my arm in the right direction to play. I did try the Tin Whistle but air became an issue lol, so I have decided to start playing the mandolin, I can hold the pick without to much trouble and do the fingering ok, it also helps to keep my hands loose and mobile, so double bonus. I had thought about going into the cake decorating business and am taking a class in March to learn to make sugar flowers, can't wait!
I like to crochet and have been looking for the grips to put on my needles so I can hold them better, and I crochet my own fingerless gloves now, saves money and I get all the wacky colours I love so much :VeryHappy:


#7 red


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 07:51 AM

I've always enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, we always have one going on our dining room table, same as my dad always had one going during my childhood (much to my mother's dismay when she was planning a big family get-together!). When family come to visit, they frequently sit down with us and put a few pieces in while we chat. Birdwatching is another favorite hobby which doesn't take a lot of energy, and is very enjoyable, especially in the winter because the birds so eagerly await the morning refill of the feeders. It's very endearing to hear their lively chatter just outside our windows.

As it happens, a change in my health over the past couple of months has prompted a new hobby for me. I've had an increase in pain, stiffness and fatigue, and a combination of 2 new medicines have made me mildly dizzy and my brain is a bit fuzzy lately.

I was resting in my recliner again, bored but without enough energy to get up, and I noticed a book my teenager was reading on the table beside me, so I picked it up and started to read -- the book "Twilight". Certainly geared to a young audience, but an easy and pleasant read, an interesting but not too complicated storyline (I can never follow mysteries, too convoluted!). Also, it gives my daughter and me a common interest to discuss, and we've watched the first movie as well. Best thing is, there are 3 more books in the series, have just started the 2nd book! I'm hooked!

Looking forward to reading what hobbies others have tried...

#8 enjoytheride


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 11:10 AM

Uknlv- you might look into terra cotta sculpting. I did that years ago and they can be air dried. Beautiful color too but not durable for outside- they need to be glazed and fired for that.

#9 Joelf


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:28 PM

Hi All,

What an interesting thread; I'm fascinated reading about the hobbies we all have. :)

I have always been a very active, outdoor sort of person and love all animals, particularly horses and dogs. I don't have my own horse anymore, but tend to ride other people's (much cheaper and less worrying! ;)) although I don't ride as much as I used to. I do spend quite a lot of time taking our two dogs out and also going to the gym where I usually go six days a week. That has most definately helped me, as otherwise I would probably not have noticed my worsened breathing or how tired I felt so quickly, which enabled me to investigate the cause and be treated so successfully. Also, because my lungs were in such a good shape to start with due to my fitness, I feel this has contributed to the excellent result I had from my treatment (and so does my consultant!) The gym I go to is very sociable and I've made some really lovely friends there; it's not the sort of gym with a lot of poseurs and 20 year olds leaping around in lycra!! :lol:

I also like singing (my long suffering husband isn't so keen, though!! :lol: ) and whilst I definately can't sing like Katherine Jenkins (I wish!! ;) ) I can actually sing in tune, which is a bonus. I did consider joining an amateur dramatics singing society, but was put off by the amount of commitment needed; if I do a thing I like to give it 100% and I didn't feel I could spare the time that's required to do justice to it.

Since joining this forum and working as a support specialist, I've also got much more interested in computers; previously I never really did much with them and in fact was a bit frightened of pressing the wrong button, but thanks to Jeannie's tuition I'm a little more confident with them now (I still do press the wrong button even so! :lol: ) Unfortunately I'm not very creative; I wish I could do the clever things that Ladyhawk does on the computer; it sounds terrific and I'm very envious! :D

I'm really looking forward to hearing about everyone's hobbies. :)
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#10 ladyhawke


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 04:21 PM

Joelf....if you can get a program like microsoft publisher, you will have so much fun with it! It's totally user friendly. Whenever you open it, it comes up with a ton of "wizards" and it just walks you through them. Don't be afraid....the "undo" button is the one I use the most...LOL And if all else fails, just close it out and start over. - Lisa
Life is NOT meant to be a struggle. Life is meant to be joyously abundant.

#11 queenie


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 04:46 PM

Hi everybody,

What a great idea this post is. Not only is it a great way to discuss our interests and hobbies but also a great way to discover new hobbies that maybe we never thought about before.

I have noticed a few people have stated that they like too use the computer, and this can be painful to the hands however I have just invested in a headset with built in microphone that just plugs in and you dictate what you want to do which saves your hands. Which for me is great and now makes using the computer fun, and add was only cheap and easy to install.

My other hobby is card making which at times is a struggle :angry: but my younger children are enjoying helping me and it is a way for us to spend some fun and quality time together. :VeryHappy:

Take care cuddles and love
Queenie :emoticon-hug:

#12 CraigR


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 06:50 PM

I've always been endlessly curious about how anything works, so I've always gotten something taken apart. I find that pain, illness tends to be forgotten during such activities. Trouble is, I make terrible messes and have no inclination to clean up. There are too many other projects beckoning...
Main hobby for the past 30 years has been rebuilding pneumatic player pianos from the early twentieth century. But they make a terrible mess (about 10,000 parts that have been rotting and gathering dust for 90 years). I'm about to finish one that I've been working on for a few months, and I can finally see the surface of my dining room table! Always plenty to keep me busy, as I've accumulated 10 pianos over the years - 8 grands and two uprights in various states of repair. Fortunately I have a large walk-out basement.

Also love gardening. Unfortunately I don't have the strength to do much of it, so the challenge has become communicating to hired help my wishes. Big into roses, which I like to propagate from cuttings, and fruit growing. Citrus and avocado trees are just getting big enough to bear fruit. I'm overwhelmed with lemons, limes and tangerines. Fortunately my dog loves tangerines! Also have a big garden of California native plants. This has become more popular because they require little or no water, and the water situation in the southwest isn't getting any better. There are so many beautiful native plants that take no care at all...

Aside from taking your mind off of less pleasant things, hobbies also give a sense of continuity (what I plan to get done, next thing on the list, etc.) I can't imagine how people cope when they don't have interests like this. When I've been too sick for any of these hobbies, I must pile up some books to read for fear of being idle and getting depressed.

One last thing (before the welcome end of this post...). Pets are a wonderful hobby, especially for people who live alone. Their needs also add structure to existence. Being "owned" by a dachshund keeps me on my toes (if, at times, just figuratively).


#13 martinisweetie7


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 07:58 PM

Hi Everyone!

I've always wanted to learn how to knit. I absolutely adore chunky scarfs and knitted mittens. Would certainly save money by making them myself. I have a reputation in work for being the "scarf lady" since I have so many :lol: Maybe once this cold subsides here in NJ, and the swelling in my hands goes down, I can start on this one. Now if only I knew someone who could teach me...

Hugs for everyone !!:emoticon-hug:

~ Jo

#14 jillatk


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:16 PM

What a great topic. I have so many hobbies I barely have time to go to work. The absolute love of my life is being in the mountains. Before my diagnosis I spent a couple of months a year out in the high Sierra's climbing peaks and hanging out in really cool places. Since being diagnosed I have had to rework how to be in the high alpine environment comfortably. In fact my rheumatologist predicted that my days of climbing were over. Well, I am happy to report that in September I climbed my first 14ner since my diagnosis. Managing my temperature was a challenge, but I had been practicing all summer with climbs to 12 and 13,000 foot peaks. In October I was also able to do a week long backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon. I have found that it takes a lot of support and work arounds, but I can do it. Now that winter is here I am out every weekend snow shoeing. It takes lots of support from friends, but it is important to me to do it. I have had to give up doing overnight winter trips in the back country, but that is liveable. I have also given up my dream of major climbs such as Denali. I also know that I cannot hike as fast or as far, and cannot carry the heavy pack I once did, but I can still be out there.
I also have goats, chickens, a llama, bees and several dogs. I read and have just started to learn how to knit. I have a couple of pairs of socks that a friend knitted for me and they are so comfortable because they don't restrict blood flow to my feet. So I decided it was a good idea to learn how to knit. In the summer I love to garden and cook good foods from my bounty. The last thing I really love is riding my motorcycle. I gave it up for a couple of seasons until my husband could make some accomodations for me so I can ride comfortably. I always hesitate to give up something I love until I have exhausted every avenue for making a work around and so far I have been pretty successful. I have fabulous friends who are willing to be my support team when I am out and I think that is so very important. Without their support I would be way more limited.

Climb on!

#15 Buttons


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Posted 06 February 2011 - 06:22 AM

It is fascinating reading what others do has hobbies. I like photography & like to get out into the countryside taking landscape pictures or of wildlife, have done a few courses at night school and so use the computer a lot to improve my images. I also knit, I used to design & machine knit but found the machine to much so now I just knit small items by hand. My hands do get stiff so just do a little at a time. I also do machine embroideries and make cards for family & friends. I do like to be doing something & hate just sitting.


#16 lizzie


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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:24 AM

I work fulltime and have few ( well to be honest, no) hobbies - evenings consist of cooking a meal and slumping in front of the TV. Weekends are not much better- shopping, cleaning and sometimes make the effort to see friends/go to the cinema or theatre. I decided I really should get a life while I could, so have just started doing a class in mosaic. I'm really enjoying doing something creative, although clearly have a long way to go until I reach the 100 hobbies/interests recommended. Next I intend to enrol in a Zumba class-looks such fun.


#17 miocean


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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:24 AM

I am just amazed at what all of you are able to do with your lives beyond this disease!

I always had a lot of hobbies. Besides teaching art to little kids, a VERY active job, I dabbled in many artistic areas on my own. I was primarily a painter and potter. I truly loved working with clay and dreamed of making it may career but became a teacher, allowing me to share my love of art with others. I painted in watercolors, I guess you would call it impressionistic, but about 12 years ago switched to large abstract acrylics. I've woven baskets, done needle point, sewed, and dabbled in knitting and crocheting. Problem is I hate to follow directions so many of those things just don't work for me. I took metals classes and fabricated and cast pieces in silver, not being able to set up a personal studio or continue classes I turned to beading jewelry. I became interested in the computer and made multi-media presentations for my students. I loved taking pictures and dabbled with Photoshop. I was very active, running and swimming in the ocean, walking the beach for miles and then...

WHAM, BAM, SCLERODERMA!!! and kidney failure. Over a period of six months my life slowed down and then suddenly stopped. For almost six years I did very little but go to dialysis and sit around. I tried beading but dropped more beads than I got onto the pins. I really had no desire to paint. I used the computer, but mostly for communicating and research.

Feeling MUCH better almost a year post kidney transplant I volunteer for a non-profit, am their Public Relations coordinator, and am using my creative skills again, but in a different capacity, all on the computer. I am back to photography and creating presentations and am just getting interested in video. Tomorrow I have my first workshop in this. My hands greatly limit me as to what I can do, but fortunately, I am still able to handle a keyboard and mouse. I can no longer hold a large camera, but things are so small today I can manage those. I "try" to do the eNewslettter for ISN, but cannot do the html so what you receive is really a little done by me and a LOT done by Shelley (thanks, Shelley!)

I never gave up the beach and although I can't walk or swim anymore, I enjoy my time there. We are renovating our townhouse right now and I have created a ton of stuff that is all over the place. So my question is, what do you do with the stuff? I love it and it is special to me but I have also collected and my husband is an artist as well so every bit of wall, floor and counter space is taken. :rolleyes:

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#18 barefut


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Posted 06 February 2011 - 01:19 PM

I found some glass beads in my china hutch that I bought at a garage sale 10 years ago. Although it is sometimes challenging to make my hands and eyes work to get those tiny little things strung, I am finding it a relaxing and satisfying hobby. Only problem - I am running out of beads and am wanting to go to the bead store.....danger! danger! It's one of those places you can't visit without wanting everything in there and I cannot afford anything!

However, I have plenty of photographs waiting for me to organize, frame, make cards and collages of, and give away to friends and family. Once I get started on that I am lost for days in memories of years long past.

Thanks for this post Shelley. Now I am wanting to go spend some ME time on MY stuff. (but it will have to wait until after SUPERBOWL BABY!!!

#19 mando621


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Posted 06 February 2011 - 06:54 PM

Hi Jean,

Hi to a fellow mandolin player. That is how I picked my username. I was playing mando rather than fiddle because of shoulder surgery.

Cake decorating is very fun, but also hard on the hands and wrists. Make sure you don't overfill the pastry bags or you make it much harder than it needs to be! I took a cake decorating class for caterers just for fun and I really enjoyed the decorating, not the other people in the class so much. Thank goodness there were two women from Tijuana Mexico taking the class and we got along fabulously.

I still play Mando. With Jeannie, myself, and you we could put together a sclero session... Virtually or by skype. Right now, the foreign exchange student we are hosting is using the web cam, so that has to wait a while.

Lori - aka Mando

#20 Lynnie


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Posted 06 February 2011 - 07:32 PM

Hi Everyone :happy-day: to all!

I love to read and lose myself in the story! espeacially if its a "poor" day :VeryHappy: I can finish a book in a day if I really get into it..total escape from the rigors of the day.

I love being around people, friends and my work at the local hospice as a manager 2 days a week, its puts things in place when I see people a whole lot worse off than me,and what I do and the care I give is humbling and gives me a help up to not be down and do the "woe is me" thing!.

And been creative making bead/crystal bead jewelery got quite a following for it,earrings and necklaces the threading helps to keep my hands nibble!.

Enjoyed reading what you all like to do :VeryHappy:
hugs to all :emoticon-hug: