A hobby has been described as “An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure”. Over the years, my hobbies have met this description and I’ve learned a few crafts that have provided me both pleasure and in some cases, practicality either for others or myself. Being introduced to the basics of crafts at Chatsworth Street School and home economics at St. Hilda’s I found myself venturing into various crafts, mostly involving embroidery and/or sewing. I recall one of the easiest assignments at St. Hilda’s was to personalize my kitchen apron with my initials. However, it got a little challenging when we were assigned to sew, from scratch, our gym uniform. It was the first time in my life I’d ever sewn a blouse (with buttons) and a skort. Regardless of how it turned out, you had to wear it!
I tried my hand at decoupage and iconage. While decoupage involves a process of cutting out pictures and gluing them to a medium, iconage is actually the process of treating the medium with an epoxy-like substance several times, and once dried, the picture is actually rubbed-off creating a plastic sheet with the image embedded within it. Once this final process has been reached, the “plastic” can be applied to a number of surfaces. About 25 years ago, I created two Iconage projects~a matching set of Sarsasparilla girls (classic advertising images from the 1930’s). After paying an entrance fee of $2.00 to submit my entries to the local Dorchester Fair, I won First Prize. That was the good news - the bad news was my monetary prize was $1.50! So, it basically cost me $0.50 to win 1st Prize!.
I also dabbled in ceramics and made some nice pieces which I gave away as presents. Some special pieces included a Raggedy Ann, and two classic Pitcher and Bowl sets.
After starting employment with the City of London, I found myself doing a stint at modeling some very pricey duds for a family-owned fashion boutique in London. Unfortunately, I ended-up buying some of the items I modeled (some up to $400.00 a piece). I was earning $9,000/year and quickly discovered that as much as I loved these suits, there had to be a more economical way of getting them. So, after purchasing a new sewing machine, in a cabinet no less, I set to making my own two and three-piece lined suits; blouses, skirts and so my experience at St. Hilda’s had paid off - literally! Other sewing creations along the way have included curtains, cushion covers, shower curtains and miscellany items for the house.
Following the basic embroidery lessons, I ventured into needlepoint and cross stitching and made a myriad of items including Christmas Tree ornaments and then more practical items such as personalized tissue boxes which were given away as gifts.
One of my proudest accomplishments was that of a Wedding Sampler which I made for a friend and colleague at the City. The 11 x 17 piece took me almost 3 months (24/7) to finish and was a labour of love. I felt proud when I delivered it to Deb just prior to taking her nuptials - a very special creation for a very special lady!
Traveling, although not a hobby has become a pleasurable pastime; whether it was camping or going south to the islands. At one point, after visiting Cuba for several years, we decided to learn Spanish. It became a short-lived hobby as the books and CD’s have gathered dust on the book shelves.
Growing up with a dad who liked to dabble in photography inspired an interest in me too. However, it wasn’t until September of 2008 that I really started to take photography seriously.