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Relaxing by Being Crafty

by Danielle Jackson

I’m one of those people that doesn’t do well sitting still, and my multitasking often follows me from work to my home. I rarely read one book at a time—I have four started right now, Entice by Jessica Shirvington, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Abhorsen by Garth Nix and Lady Be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (for fun mind you, not including the books I’m reading for work)—I watch TV/surf the internet/write at the same time, and I’m always looking ahead on my social calendar so I have “something to do.” So how exactly do I relax? By being crafty.

I blame the popularity of Pinterest, Etsy, and other sites like Craftgawker—I see things all the time and say, “I could do that.” So finally, I think after hearing me say it so often, my boyfriend said, “So do it.” Naturally, I took this as a challenge, and our small apartment was turned into a craft zone!

My first big endeavor was making bowls out of magazine pages... in addition to all those books, I read magazines like crazy, and have a hard time just recylcling them.. But this is a fun way to use them, and a great gift to give (though you spend A LOT of time folding paper):

I also decided to give our bathroom a bit of a revamp, with new paint on our cabinet—don’t you love that lime green trim?

And this is my recent favorite—a wall decoration, made out of toilet paper rolls… it’s funny, because it’s in the bathroom and made out of toilet paper rolls!:

And finally, I painted some small canvases to go above our headboard-less bed:

I’ve also been making a ton of coasters out of bathroom tiles (great for hostess/housewarming/bridal shower gifts!), homemade body scrub (another awesome small gift), and paper flowers (just because they are pretty and fun to make). And to top it all off, I received a sewing machine this past Christmas, so who knows what I’ll be up to next…

What do you do to relax? Any fellow crafters out there?


  1. Really great work, Danielle! I loved all your pictures. It's fun to be able to create something that others believe look so good, they have to have been commercially produced!

    I make teddy bears from scratch and embroider their paws often, but I have also hooked rugs, embroidered Christmas tree ornaments, made quilts, cross-stitched and embroidered pictures, pleated, made cloth dolls and bears and the list goes on! :) I enjoy making bears while watching a movie or listening to an audio book, always have to do something else too!

  2. Lovely, Danielle!

    This isn't really crafty, but I love to sketch when I have the time. Put a pencil in my hand and a creamy sheet of drawing paper and I'm a happy camper.

  3. Gorgeous stuff, Danielle! I love the bowls, and the toilet paper roll decoration is ingenious. The paintings above the bed look professional!
    I used to do a lot of drawing and painting, but now my creative outlet is writing and I don't have time to paint much - I keep thinking I need to get back to it!

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone! I find it so interesting that creative people are often "creators" of various things with different mediums.

    It's also nice to know I'm not the only crazy person who needs to have something to do all the time! :)

  5. Danielle,
    You are a master crafter! Lovely work! Congratulations!

  6. Love all your crafts. I use to be very crafty. Taught myself to crochet, some knitting, needlepoint, xmas ornaments, sketching etc. but now I tend to spend more time behind this computer. The TV is in the same room so I'm still doing two things as once lol. I do enter a lot of contests so at least something comes of it lol.

  7. I love those bowls, Danielle. Maybe if I made some I'd feel less guilty about how many magazines I subscribe to!

    Though I don;t have as much time to do it as I used to, I enjoy making contemporary quilts.

  8. I am not a craft person.. I don't have the patience for it. But I admire other who do... I can put together flower arrangements okay, but that's about it.
    My relaxing time is reading. Or on the internet and my book chats and blogs.. I like to watch TV and listen to music..
    I tried to learn to knit and crohet, but I just don't have the talent for it. I did do a needlepoint one time, but only once.
    Oh well, we all have those that we are good at and I have always been told i set a nice table... So I have one talent at least.

  9. Absolutely beautiful! Love the bowls and that toilet paper wall decoration!
    I used to dabble in oil painting and did seamstress work for years but alas, my cowboys have taken over my life!

  10. Wow, Danielle! Everything looks great...I love the bowls and the green trim. :)

    My mom used to have a handcrafts business when we were kids. It's been a while, but I used to crochet, sew clothes, paint, decoupage (when it was popular- LOL) among other things:)

  11. Thanks again for all of the comments. It's interesting to hear what else people like to do. I will say that my true relaxation comes at the end of the day, when I read before bed... I save my favorites (Little Women, any Austen titles, Harry Potter, etc.) for that time, and fall asleep with old friends :)

    I do want to learn how to quilt--might be my next project!

  12. Danielle, those look professional. You need to come to my house. I can hardly hang a picture straight. I am not at all artistic. People always try to get me to help them with decorating or art projects because they think I'm creative. But being creative with characters and a plot is a lot different than drawing or painting or making something.

  13. I love crafts but unfortunately have trouble finishing and I certainly have never made anything as beautiful as the works spotlighted in your photos. Very impressive!

  14. I cross-stitch while I watch TV, and it drives my hubby crazy. I’ve also started making cloth dolls which is loads of fun picking fabric and trims.

  15. Neat stuff, Danielle! I would do better to relax by being crafty than trying new recipes. Much better for my health!


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