Friday, January 6, 2012

Hobby Overview

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In a recent series about "How I Do It..." we talked about hobbies one week ( I thought it would be handy to list hobbies we do along with some information on what it takes to do that hobby. I will analyze the training required, money required, time it takes from family, and difficulty level. Obviously these are pretty subjective from person to person. What is hard for me might be easy for you.

One of my favorite things to do is sing. Singing is great by itself because you can sing anytime and anywhere you feel comfortable. I enjoy the challenge of singing with a choir, though, so I like to do more than just sing around the house.
  • Training Required: No training is required, though I did take vocal lessons for 6 years.
  • Money Required: None is required. I spent money in my days of lessons. Another thing I like to do is buy those cheesy karaoke Wii games so I can sing to those. 
  • Time from Family: If you sing around your piano or with Karaoke, it can be something that includes your family. If you do a choir, it takes some time from the family. When I have been involved in city choirs, practices are typically in the evening right before bedtime, so I am not away very long.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy-moderate depending on natural talent.
Dancing is something I just do with my husband, but I love it!
  • Training Required: No training is required, though you can obviously take dance classes if you want to learn certain styles of dance.
  • Money Required: Most places will require a fee to come in and dance. We organize a dance at our church every year that is free, and that is a lot of fun. We also enjoy the Just Dance Wii games to play with our kids. 
  • Time from Family: A date night as often as you like.
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate. Some people have natural talent for dance, but if you want to learn certain styles, it will take some practice.
Sewing is probably the hobby I do the most, though ironically it is not my favorite. I enjoy it, but have other hobbies I love a lot more. It is, however, a very functional hobby. 
  • Training Required: Training is required to sew. You can take classes, watch YouTube videos, or get a friend who knows to teach you how to sew. 
  • Money Required: It will take some money to get into sewing. You will need a machine, pins, bobbins, thread, scissors. A cutting mat makes life easier as does a rotary blade. Then you have patterns and fabric. You can find a lot of free patterns and tutorials online, though. You can get a machine for around $100 that will work well enough until you know how much you do or don't like to sew. You can buy lots and lots (and lots) more accessories if you get into sewing. I have to say that these days, sewing does not often mean the item is less expensive. In fact, to make a Halloween costume costs me more than to buy one. What you get with sewing is A) you make exactly what you want (style and fabric) and B) It is a much better quality.
  • Time from Family: Other than the training, sewing does not need to take time from family because it can be done during naps or independent play. Actually, it needs to be done while children are occupied in some way. 
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate-Difficult. I remember in high school in my first sewing class. Several of my friends and I took a class as seniors for our first time. Some of us had an easy time while others struggled. Basic sewing is easy to do, but you can get into difficult stuff.
A special note, sewing is significantly easier to do if you can have a space set up for sewing exclusively. It is hard to get a machine out, set it up, get your stuff out, sew, and then clean up in a 1-3 hour stretch. It can be done and I have lived that way for most of my marriage. It is, however, easiest when you have things set up and can leave it out.

This is where my true passion is. Other than singing, it is my favorite hobby. Ironically, I do it the least often. I think I hold it out there for a carrot for myself. I plan to hit scrapbooking hard this year! I love to scrapbook. I love to look at pictures and relive memories. I find the whole process relaxing.
  • Training Required: None! 
  • Money Required: It takes some money. How much is up to you. It also will depend on if you go digital or traditional.  
  • Time from Family: This can be done during nap time and independent play, so it does not have to take any time from the family. 
  • Difficulty Level: Easy. 
This is like sewing where it is easiest if you can leave it out somewhere while you are working on it. I also think digital is the fastest and cheapest way to go (or it can be), but I do "hard copy" because I find it therapeutic. 

This is one of my newest hobbies. It is great because you can take it with you on long drives or while you watch TV.

  • Training Required: Some, but can be self-taught with YouTube and/or books. 
  • Money Required: Very little. Crochet hooks and yarn. A book if you buy it. 
  • Time from Family: Very little. This is the great multi-tasking hobby.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy-difficult. Crochet can be as hard as you make it. I did find it a harder thing to learn to do than sewing because your tension and stitch form changes. It is easy to catch on to, though.
Making Jewelry

  • Training Required: You need to learn somehow--at least some initial basics. My sister-in-law taught me very little, then I self-taught myself the rest.
  • Money Required: This takes some investment initially. You need your tools, which aren't too bad, but then materials can get spendy. The first time you buy is the worst because you are buying your wire, clasps, hooks, crimp beads, etc. That stuff all lasts a long time, though, and then you are only spending money on the beads you buy. In the end, it is of course cheaper than buying jewelry already made.
  • Time from Family: Very little. This is like so many of my hobbies where they can be done while kids are sleeping or in independent play time. You can even get them some string and beads and have them do bead stringing while you make jewelry.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy-moderate. You can do more difficult things, but you can also keep things quite simple.

This is my newest hobby--as an official hobby. I have always loved taking pictures but I recently took my first class.

  • Training Required: In my mind, you need some training, but one of my best friends and favorite photographer really had no training that I am aware of. She hasn't had classes. Maybe she asked her sister how to work a camera? I am not sure. She takes all of our pictures and is fabulous. So people exist who don't need training. People like me need training.
  • Money Required: This takes some investment initially. I think you can do photography as a hobby without a super nice camera, but obviously the nicer the camera, the better your quality of pictures.
  • Time from Family: Very little. This can be time with family. My favorite thing to take pictures of is my kids, so they are my hobby :)
  • Difficulty Level: Easy-difficult. It isn't hard to just take pictures, but it takes time and artistry to get amazing photographs.


  • Training Required: You don't have to have real training but you also can get some.
  • Money Required: As much as you want. If you want to buy videos and some small equipment, it can be inexpensive. You can also just find routines online and/or rent videos from the library or netflix. You can run outside for the cost of running shoes. You can also spend a lot of money on equipment and gym memberships. 
  • Time from Family: Very little. This can be worked in around sleeping children. My older children even enjoy doing exercises with me.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy-difficult. It is as hard as you make it.
This is the best hobby all around. Anyone can do it no matter what the age and stage of their children. You can read while nursing. You can read while kids are sleeping or playing. You can read while sitting in the room with  your children while they play. You can read outside while you watch your kids. You can read just about anywhere you want to.

  • Training Required: If you can read this, you can take up reading as a hobby :)
  • Money Required: None is required. You can borrow books for free.
  • Time from Family: Only what you let be taken.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy.
I think it is important for me to point out that I do not do all of these hobbies at all times. For example, it has been over a year since I scrapbooked (sad I know!). I don't have to the time to do all of these at all times. They come and go and I focus on different hobbies at different times. I hope to hit scrapbooking hard in 2012 :)

If you have a different hobby I haven't listed, please share your thoughts on the four categories I covered (time, money, family impact, and difficulty). If you have a hobby I listed and want to add your own experience, please do! I will add your info to the body of the post. 


karen said...

I'm sorry, I just had to post because I'm laughing at myself. When I first saw this post, I misread the title and thought it said "Hubby Overview." I could not figure out why on earth we needed an overview of your husband! :)

Plowmanators said...

lol Karen :)

maria smith said...

So many ideas! I need to get more into a hobby. It's hard to find the time. For the past few years my "hobby" has been deep cleaning. I'm thinking a fitness related hobby.


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