Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Grouchy
    • By Grouchy 18th Apr 17, 6:07 PM
    • 344Posts
    • 472Thanks
    Grouchy
    Hobby/craft suggestions
    • #1
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:07 PM
    Hobby/craft suggestions 18th Apr 17 at 6:07 PM
    Hello
    I wasn't sure where to post this, so hopefully here is ok.
    I hope you don't mind me asking, but I have no clue about crafting or sewing etc.
    I have a family member who is starting to have problems with her memory (long story) and seems to be struggling to find things to occupy herself as her current situation is quite confining (another long story). Her doctor has recommended among other things hobbies to challenge the grey cells and provide a pleasant passtime etc.

    She has always been fond of sewing and has done a number of projects in the past, buying material oddments from charity shops and making them into tea towels, handkerchiefs etc. This has got a bit boring so she has stopped this.

    I'm wondering if someone could kindly recommend something she might like that I could send her (she lives abroad). Something akin to her previous type of thing she has enjoyed but perhaps different to stimulate her interest again and to give her something pleasurable to do that will employ the grey cells at the same time. Perhaps something that might make suitable small gifts for others? I would imagine it should not be terribly complicated, but something I can buy online as a kit (so nothing additonal needs buying).

    I had wondered about an embroidery kit or something but I have no idea what would suit (e.g. be a project but be simple enough not to frustrate but be interesting enough and a nice outcome).

    I know it is a difficult question but would appreciate any suggestions I might look into.

    Thank you
Page 1
    • YorksLass
    • By YorksLass 18th Apr 17, 6:14 PM
    • 252 Posts
    • 3,186 Thanks
    YorksLass
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:14 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:14 PM
    How about cross-stitch? These can be bought online as kits or you might even be able to find some in charity shops. They come in different levels of difficulty, from beginner upwards; they're light so postage abroad would be minimal; they can be used as gifts e.g. greetings cards, book-markers, framed as pictures etc.
    Be kind to others and to yourself too. Life has its ups and downs, use the ups to overcome the downs!

    Sep GC: £160 - £108.22 = £51.78 NSDs 15/28
    Aug GC: £200 - £115.38 = £84.62 NSDs 28/35 July GC +£7.98 June GC -£3.13 May GC +£10.37

    • Islandmaid
    • By Islandmaid 18th Apr 17, 6:17 PM
    • 2,233 Posts
    • 32,787 Thanks
    Islandmaid
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:17 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:17 PM
    What a lovely thought

    I would suggest a cross stitch kit, when I was pregnant with my eldest, during the last few weeks, I had to lay up a fair bit and bought a cross stitch set which had the pattern was printed, and all the needles etc were enclosed, as a first timer, it was very relaxing.

    Edit : Yorkslass - SNAP
    Note to self - STOP SPENDING MONEY !!


    Sept GC £250/£0.00
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Apr 17, 6:39 PM
    • 59,894 Posts
    • 350,160 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:39 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:39 PM
    Knitting can be good because you can create patterns/shapes in the things being knitted, for variation - or you can make small exciting items - or you can just knit squares for charities or build your own blanket over time (I figure 10 years the speed I knit at).

    But - knitting's got a benefit that other needle-based crafts doesn't - you don't have to look at what you're doing if you don't want to. Growing up my mum knitted all our clothes - and she could knit away while watching telly, or having a conversation ...

    You can also knit anywhere, nothing "small and fiddly" to transport/drop/find.

    It's very versatile really .... easy to knit at the Doctors, or on the way somewhere ... or just because you can knit anywhere. No special lighting needed either, nor good eyesight. You can knit in the dark if it's just a scarf!
    • Anne_Marie
    • By Anne_Marie 19th Apr 17, 7:51 AM
    • 2,081 Posts
    • 3,435 Thanks
    Anne_Marie
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 7:51 AM
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 7:51 AM
    Loom knitting is also a good idea, and there are plenty of free patterns and easy instructions on the web and videos on youtube.
    Have a look on somewhere like Amazon for loom knitting kits.
    • YorksLass
    • By YorksLass 19th Apr 17, 3:26 PM
    • 252 Posts
    • 3,186 Thanks
    YorksLass
    • #6
    • 19th Apr 17, 3:26 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Apr 17, 3:26 PM
    What a lovely thought

    I would suggest a cross stitch kit, when I was pregnant with my eldest, during the last few weeks, I had to lay up a fair bit and bought a cross stitch set which had the pattern was printed, and all the needles etc were enclosed, as a first timer, it was very relaxing.

    Edit : Yorkslass - SNAP
    Originally posted by Islandmaid
    Obviously we're thinking on the same lines! I have a couple of cross-stitch Xmas tree decs that I did many years ago and they still get used every year. From memory, I think the kits cost about 50p each including the printed canvas, silks and frames; I bet they'd cost more than that now!

    But - knitting's got a benefit that other needle-based crafts doesn't - you don't have to look at what you're doing if you don't want to. Growing up my mum knitted all our clothes - and she could knit away while watching telly, or having a conversation ...

    You can knit in the dark if it's just a scarf!
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    DH doesn't "get" how I can knit and watch TV at the same time. But I don't let on it's only with fairly simple patterns.

    A couple of other suggestions: Crochet? Or art therapy colouring books (colouring-in for grown ups ); these could be made into greetings cards, framed etc as gifts and you can get them in most supermarkets, even £ shops I think?
    Be kind to others and to yourself too. Life has its ups and downs, use the ups to overcome the downs!

    Sep GC: £160 - £108.22 = £51.78 NSDs 15/28
    Aug GC: £200 - £115.38 = £84.62 NSDs 28/35 July GC +£7.98 June GC -£3.13 May GC +£10.37

    • Grouchy
    • By Grouchy 19th Apr 17, 4:47 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 472 Thanks
    Grouchy
    • #7
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:47 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:47 PM
    Thank you for all the suggestions.

    I think the knitting and the loom knitting is perhaps too ambitious at present, also she has never been into knitting, also it would be rather bulky to supply etc.

    I think the cross stitch idea sounds a good one as she is familiar with sewing and if I recollect properly has done the Home Sweet Home type sampler many years ago. So it will not be a new thing to learn completely. Her self confidence has been terribly knocked by the memory loss so I think something simple yet satisfying is probably the best.

    I have looked at the cross stitch possibilities and tried to get to grips with the lingo involved and have come up with these as possibilities, what do you experts think as to straightforwardness with a bit of application?

    https://www.amazon.com/Bucilla-Counted-Bookmark-45709-Inspired/dp/B0094E0B7U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1492616019&sr=8-2&keywords=cross+stitch+kit+bookmark - but this has some bad reviews indicating complicatedness, so unsure of this one.

    https://www.amazon.com/Good-Value-Cross-Stitch-Beginners/dp/B01EULDKXS/ref=sr_1_25?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1492616573&sr=1-25&keywords=cross+stitch+kit+cat - she likes cats, and this one says it has a pre-printed fabric, so a good choice?

    Many of the things I looked at seemed quite complicated or dense if you see what I mean.

    I'd appreciate any pointers as to possible suitability. I'm looking on A .com as it is the easy way to send them to her in the US.

    Thanks again.
    • YorksLass
    • By YorksLass 19th Apr 17, 6:36 PM
    • 252 Posts
    • 3,186 Thanks
    YorksLass
    • #8
    • 19th Apr 17, 6:36 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Apr 17, 6:36 PM
    Grouchy – Of the two that you’ve given links for, I think the second one (the cute cat) would be the better of the two for your family member but, as you mention memory loss, I’m wondering if even this might be a little complicated for her? I’d be tempted to go for something simpler (such as the sampler-type you say she may have done in the past) as a starter just to see how she gets on with it.

    These are the things I’d be looking for in a kit (preferably a stamped one):

    Fabric:
    Aida is best for beginners as it has regular woven blocks and obvious holes. 14-count is the most commonly used.

    Threads:
    Stranded cotton with DMC, Anchor and Madeira are the three main brands. They’re all smooth, easy to work with and colourfast.
    Are the threads ready sorted or are they all in one big bunch? If the latter, they will need to be separated into the different colours before using (and I know from experience this can be a really fiddly job ).
    Too many colours can be tiring on the eyes (e.g. several shades of blue that are very similar but hard to tell apart).

    Needles:
    A tapestry needle that has a blunt tip and larger eye than a regular sewing needle. For 14-count Aida it’s usually a size 24.

    Stitches:
    Does the design use only whole stitches (these are much easier), with maybe just a little back-stitch? Fractional stitches, half stitches and French knots are more suited to experienced stitchers.

    Design:
    Is it stamped onto the fabric (preferably in the same colours as the threads)? This is much easier to follow than a chart and having to count blocks in the fabric.

    Does the kit include a hoop that can be used to hold the fabric in the stitching process (it helps to keep the fabric at the correct tension and thereby makes the stitching easier)? If so, it can also be used for framing and hanging the finished item.

    Hope this helps.
    Be kind to others and to yourself too. Life has its ups and downs, use the ups to overcome the downs!

    Sep GC: £160 - £108.22 = £51.78 NSDs 15/28
    Aug GC: £200 - £115.38 = £84.62 NSDs 28/35 July GC +£7.98 June GC -£3.13 May GC +£10.37

    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 19th Apr 17, 7:02 PM
    • 9,673 Posts
    • 104,413 Thanks
    LameWolf
    • #9
    • 19th Apr 17, 7:02 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Apr 17, 7:02 PM
    I endorse every word that YorksLass has said.

    I do a lot of cross stitch, and for me to bother, the subject matter has to interest me, so persevering with finding something relatively simple depicting cats (as that is something your relative likes) would likely pay dividends.

    I'm afraid my walls are adorned with Celtic imagery, Native American imagery, wolves and dragons.... but that's another story...
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • Grouchy
    • By Grouchy 19th Apr 17, 7:51 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 472 Thanks
    Grouchy
    Thanks Yorkslass and LameWolf that is very helpful. Thanks YorksLass for going to so much trouble, but it is very much appreciated. I now know a little better what to look for. I think you are right in thinking both of the ones I originally linked to are perhaps a bit complicated. The easier the better to begin with I think to build confidence, even too easy would be better than thinking it intimidating. So thanks for that insight. Yes I think the subject is important too LameWolf, though simple cat ones are hard to find, but she loves flowers also.

    Having looked through your guide on what things mean, I have come up with some other options, hopefully more suitable. What do you think of the following?

    https://www.amazon.com/Good-Value-Cross-Stitch-Beginners/dp/B01ERF1M2I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492626608&sr=8-1&keywords=cross+stitch+kit+beginner+flower - The seems to meet a lot of the criteria YorksLass mentioned, though not all, but if suitable, there are other similar ones I could look at to include. Still too complicated?

    These are even simpler, though lack the printed fabric

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cross-stitch-Bookmark-Floral-Design/dp/B00YN58A7I/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1492627094&sr=8-6&keywords=cross+stitch+flower+kit+bookmark

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-count-cross-stitch-bookmark/dp/B00V0GLM4G/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1492627450&sr=8-15&keywords=cross+stitch+flower+kit+bookmark - this says suitable for children, so I would order this sent to me to ensure it doesn't indicate for children on the packaging (could offend, if you see what I mean).

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vervaco-Cross-Stitch-Cushion-Multi-Colour/dp/B0063G0CB2/ref=sr_1_32?ie=UTF8&qid=1492627699&sr=8-32&keywords=cross+stitch+flower+kit+cat - a bit of a wildcard I just happened to see ....

    It is all trying to find the right balance and I appreciate all your input.

    Can you give an opinion on the above ones?

    Again thanks kindly.
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 19th Apr 17, 8:04 PM
    • 23,201 Posts
    • 48,439 Thanks
    VfM4meplse
    Or art therapy colouring books (colouring-in for grown ups )
    Originally posted by YorksLass
    I was thinking the same. They've come down in price now: I saw them in Poundland, and Lidl for 99p this afternoon.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • YorksLass
    • By YorksLass 20th Apr 17, 6:03 PM
    • 252 Posts
    • 3,186 Thanks
    YorksLass
    I was thinking the same. They've come down in price now: I saw them in Poundland, and Lidl for 99p this afternoon.
    Originally posted by VfM4meplse
    I'll be having a look at these with a view to buying and putting aside for Xmas presents. My local sm (Sainsbobs) only sells the more expensive ones.

    Hi Grouchy - I think the bookmark ones would be ideal especially if you could find them with a printed canvas; other than that they might be a good starting point if you think your relation could follow a chart. After that, the daffodil one would make a nice follow-up. The last one (the cat cushion) looks OK too but again it's perhaps one for further down the line. Good luck in your search for the "right" one!
    Be kind to others and to yourself too. Life has its ups and downs, use the ups to overcome the downs!

    Sep GC: £160 - £108.22 = £51.78 NSDs 15/28
    Aug GC: £200 - £115.38 = £84.62 NSDs 28/35 July GC +£7.98 June GC -£3.13 May GC +£10.37

    • Grouchy
    • By Grouchy 21st Apr 17, 6:45 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 472 Thanks
    Grouchy
    Thanks again YorksLass. It is indeed difficult getting all requirements met, but at least I know what I'm looking for ideally. I have found out that I have a Hobbycraft near me and so I might venture there to see what they have.
    • TiredTrophy
    • By TiredTrophy 21st Apr 17, 8:13 PM
    • 339 Posts
    • 5,957 Thanks
    TiredTrophy
    What about a jigsaw as well?
    You can get a special board to put them on which means they can be moved from the table for meals....the puzzles can often be found in charity shops....visitors might be able to join in.
    • Aril
    • By Aril 21st Apr 17, 9:04 PM
    • 1,875 Posts
    • 16,620 Thanks
    Aril
    A friend put this link up on her blog. Lots of different images to choose from.
    https://www.justcolor.net/our-galleries

    Arilx
    Aiming for a life of elegant frugality wearing a new-to-me silk shirt rather than one of hair!

    Not Buying It 2016
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 22nd Apr 17, 3:54 PM
    • 9,673 Posts
    • 104,413 Thanks
    LameWolf
    Another vote for bookmarks. Even if you need to follow a chart as opposed to printed canvas, they're small enough that it's pretty easy to do; they won't take forever to complete, and you have a useful item at the end of it.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • Grouchy
    • By Grouchy 22nd Apr 17, 8:25 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 472 Thanks
    Grouchy
    Thanks LameWolf, yes those are the reasons I had too for it being the best choice. I am going to go to Hobbycraft and see what they have, if they have some ideal options then at least it will not be too expensive to post to the US.

    Thanks for the other suggestions, but I think the adult colouring books wouldn't be appropriate - I could see how giving such a gift to someone who is aware and very self conscious about something like memory loss may be taken the wrong way. In any case she has never shown any interest in such things so it would appear to an odd gift. The same goes for puzzles which I think she has said in the past does not interest her.

    Thanks anyway for all the replies, the bookmarks seem a good choice and reflects her own interests so it will most likely be received as a nice out of the blue gift and not something geared to address the problems she has gradually got up the nerve to talk to me about.
    • Callie22
    • By Callie22 22nd Apr 17, 9:07 PM
    • 2,842 Posts
    • 7,790 Thanks
    Callie22
    Would she perhaps like some magazines, the kind that come with a craft kit attached? I'm thinking of something like some back issues of Mollie Makes or similar, where you get a little kit - I've seen back issues on ebay and they're not that dear. That way you could send her a few different things, like a crochet kit, a sewing kit etc, and she can try out different things without it being too challenging or too much of a commitment.
    • franticflyerSue56
    • By franticflyerSue56 24th Apr 17, 8:16 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 182 Thanks
    franticflyerSue56
    Hi Grouchy,
    While all the preceding are excellent thoughts, I've another! I've recently taken up a hobby I loved as a kid. I bought myself a Spirograph!

    Apparently it helps with hand/eye co-ordination and I found it very soothing. I suppose if your relative has very poor eyesight there could be a problem, but I had my 83 yr old mum mucking about with it recently, and her eyesight isn't good. Just a thought!

    😊
    • ejbg2001
    • By ejbg2001 24th Apr 17, 11:53 AM
    • 67 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    ejbg2001
    Hi Grouchy,
    Mouseloft cross-stitch kits are small and easy to do, they are very cute and they are sold at Hobbycraft and other crafty shops. I love them and used several designs on clothing as well as on the aida.
    EJBG2001

    I'm not complaining, I'm supporting the process of continuous improvement.

    Stepping off the property ladder for now, may climb back on later.

Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

273Posts Today

1,378Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Shana tova umetuka - a sweet Jewish New Year to all celebrating. I won't be online the rest of t'week, as I take the time to be with family

  • Dear Steve. Please note doing a poll to ask people's opinion does not in itself imply an opinion! https://t.co/UGvWlMURxy

  • Luciana is on the advisory board of @mmhpi (we have MPs from most parties) https://t.co/n99NAxGAAQ

  • Follow Martin