Posts Tagged ‘self-care’

Crafting from Nature: Anita Avedian

Posted by: admin

March 25th, 2022 >> self-care

Nature can provide amazing artistic outlets and brighten up a space. From looking outside your window to integrating plants inside the house. However, what if you don’t have a green thumb or much of a creative bone in your body, if you do well. What is one to do when you still want the esthetic that nature creates in your dwelling? What if you could use elements in nature to create simple works that capture natural elements? Try this fun creative and crafting project that will give you nature, skill building, and a fun activity without much work.

Let’s use what we see in nature like a leaf and craft a small cup, bowl, or plate. 

Supplies needed: 

Flexible Leaf that is the size of the palm of your hand

Water

Rolling Pin or similar (can or bottle)

Paring Knife/ or similar (Small kitchen knife)

Plastic Wrap

A small cup, bowl, or plate (Depending on what you are making)

Tape (Optional)

Air Dry Clay

Acrylic Paint

Paint Brushes

Gathering supplies:

Take stock of what supplies needed can be found around your house or outside.

For example, if you take a walk around your home or a local park you will be able to find a leaf the size of your hand. Any leaf will do but try to pick a leaf that you like or has a unique color and shape. Let this be fun and be open to it resonating with you. The leaf should be flexible and soft to the touch. Collecting a hard or brittle leaf can lead to breakage which we want to avoid. Pro tip: Grab a few options of leaves just in case breakage does happen.

You can look in the kitchen and find a few more supplies. Once that is done run down to your local crafting store and retrieve some air-dry clay and any acrylic paint of your choice. You will use this paint after the clay is shaped and dried, therefore purchase a color you would like to see around your house. I recommend grabbing some natural colors and a metallic color like gold to provide an accent along the edges of the craft. Pro tip : Buy various size paint brushes to help you create the look you want especially if you are a beginner. Once you have all your materials from your home and the store, then begin crafting.

What are we making:

This is a crafter choice activity: You can opt to make a small cup, bowl, or plate.

Let’s get crafting – Steps to complete 

Organize your workspace and all your materials for easy access. Fill up a small cup of water that will be used to smooth the clay. 

First Step – Open your air-dry clay and rolling pin: Begin rolling out your clay using the pin until it looks like a thin sheet of clay. You are looking for the clay to be the thickness of about 1 centimeter . 

Second Step – Grab your favorite leaf and place it on the clay with the ridges of the leaf face down into the clay. Softly, roll the pin over the leaf to leave a light leaf impression. (think of this like a stamp). You are only pressing to leave the imprint but not to flatten the clay. 

Third Step – Take your small knife to outline the leaf, cutting as close to the edge of the leaf as possible. Once that is done gently remove the leaf from the clay. You can repeat the stamp process if you want more of a leaf pattern, if not that’s okay. 

Fourth Step – Go ahead and grab your water and smooth out the edge of the clay where you’ve cut with the tips of your fingers.

Fifth Step -What have you decided to shape the clay into? Grab your crafting muse (bowl, cup, or plate) that will be used as a mold.   Cover the bowl, cup, or plate with some plastic wrap first, making it as flat as possible trying to eliminate wrinkles. Tape the plastic wrap if need be. Place the clay with the leaf print down onto the plastic covered craft item and leave the clay to dry and harden.

Sixth Step – Once the clay is dry you can remove it off the item and begin to paint with the acrylic and metallic colors. Pro tip: Use a small brush to paint the veins of the leaf for more detail.

Crafting from nature can be simple and fun. This activity is great for beginners who want to express their creativity. This easy art project is also  great for bringing people together. Begin your crafting journey today!! 

Rethink Vacationing and Envision a Staycation

Posted by: admin

January 26th, 2022 >> Vacation

Rethink Vacationing and Envision a Staycation

By: Destiny Johnson

Since the pandemic began opportunities for travel have decreased. There have been many rescheduled or postponed vacations with individuals hoping for the end of COVID – 19. Many travel bans, restricted booking, and vaccine mandates resulted in many canceled flights, cruises, and vacations.  The devastating effects of COVID-19 and all its variations I’m sure has many individuals wondering when traveling and vacationing will be able to happen. 

Now that the pandemic has lasted longer than anticipated, should we rethink vacationing while the world is still influx?

Vacationing for many is a significant part of their lifestyle; a way to destress and re-center, while experiencing culture. Many view vacationing as a much-needed escape to relax. During the pandemic the need to get away or have an outlet to experience something new and entertaining is critical to people’s mental wellbeing

However, the challenges for vacationing are still felt and for many the options for vacationing have dwindled. Taking a vacation shouldn’t be a luxury or unattainable goal but a right to joy. A right to find clarity, find stillness, and to explore. Vacationing is a life changing experience and can be recalibrated.  

How can we re-think vacations and travel?

What if I provided an option for vacation that allowed you to not travel far but was full of new possibilities and experiences.   You can do this by creating vacations and getaways that are only a few miles away. Local vacationing can ease some concerns related to COVID-19, reduce restrictions toward travel, provide an unexpected escape that is affordable and most of all fun. This concept is called taking a “Staycation”.

What is a staycation?  A staycation is a local gateway or tourism site that is near your residence. Staycations are an alternative to a traditional vacation that is still fun-filled, free of expensive travel fees, and can eliminate the hassle that comes with flying.

Types of Staycations 

Overnight Stays– a vacation spent near an individual’s local home rather than abroad. That lasts overnight or a few days.

Day Trips – involves time being spent in one’s hometown or a few miles away. (The next city or an hour or two away) The day is filled with local attractions or activities that only require a few hours of travel to experience a day elsewhere and a fast return home.

What are the benefits of a Staycation? 

·       Contactless travel options to increase safety. For example, using your own car can help reduce exposure of COVID – 19 

·       Local travel means you reduce expenses and save more

·       May decrease travel time to destinations by attending local attraction

·       Ease of travel increases because you avoid airports, baggage claims etc.

·       Ability to help support local and community businesses 

·       Explore new things that are relatively close to your neighborhood

What will you find in your local staycation pursuit? 

Happy Staycation!!!