got hobbies?

  1. Manya

    thought id drop an idea - see lotsa people posting on forums bout things like knitting, coloring, pottery, paper cutting, etc, we could totally use a few pages on these things - how coloring/knitting/etc is helpful to you as an abuse survivor for grounding/anxiety/depression/overall peace of mind, what it feels like to do it, why you like it, how long you been doing it, how long it took to learn the skill, how much the materials cost, pics of your projects, links to helpful sites, books, supplies, youtube tutorials, etc. 750-1500 words, 5-10 paragraphs. cuz, i mean, these are great grounding techniques, and very rewarding an great for self-esteem too, an can be lotsa fun - something many of us survivors could use, just need inspiration. so yeah, feel free to share
  2. weepingwillow
    never thought of this, great idea!
  3. eagle22
    I do paper cutting. I find this relaxing and a way to help me be "in the now"

    I get many templates from a UK based website: and also from books I've got from Amazon.

    The main items you need for this hobby is a scalpel ( I use a Swann Morton one),blades ( I use no:11) and a A4 cutting mat...oh,and a lot of patience too.

    Here is the Amazon link:
    and the blades:
    and the mat:

    I know that most on Fort are in the USA and believe all of the above Amazon links can be bought there too.

    A paper cutting blog:

    Here is a Youtube tutorial:

    Here is a selection of books on the subject:

    and Amazon supplies everything you could need..

    Finally here are some examples of truly lovely paper cuts ( if only I was that clever!):

    Hope this helps to inspire some of you to take up this hobby...but mind your fingers as scalpel blades are very sharp!
    xxxx M
  4. Manya
    great links eagle, tysm for sharing! would love to publish, but need text too, bout what is paper cutting and why its helpful for abuse survivors, 750+ words, regular post size. hope someone writes bout it, sounds like an amazing grounding technique, and the project pics are lovely
  5. eagle22
    Hi all,

    I do paper cutting as a hobby. I started this as I was living in a flat,it was dark,miserable and wintry outside and I needed something to do which was cheap and because of my chronic agoraphobia would allow me to do it indoors in a relatively confined space.
    My daughter suggested paper cutting after looking at some designs online.I duly sent away for a starter kit and was instantly hooked on it. It requires a lot of concentration which I like and offers me the chance to be "in the moment" something I struggle with due to having DID.
    You need very little for this hobby other than a scalpel,blades and paper. You can download templates or if you are arty can make your own. The paper is cheap to buy and I started practicing on old rolls of wall paper that you can often pick up in charity (thrift) shops for a few pennies.
    For me paper cutting offers a creative and therapeutic path through my day to day dissociation problems. You need to be aware of just what you are doing or you could cut yourself very badly thus it makes me very much "present" as I concentrate on carefully cutting around what could be exceptionally thin lines.
    As money is so tight for many of us here on Fort I think paper cutting offers a real hobby,one that can produce beautiful works of art you can make as presents for others for very little outlay.

    I will list below links to sites.I get my supplies mainly from Amazon and although I am in England you can get these in other countries too.

    Equipment you need:
    Scalpel: I use a Swann Morton one...

    the blades I use are these:

    and you will need a A4 size cutting mat:

    plus any kind of heavy paper

    Here is a paper cutting blog:

    and the site I first started with that sell starter kits for those who want to try it first:

    here are some books you may wish to read:

    Here is an example of paper cutting:

    And here is a Youtube tutorial on paper cutting:

    I hope this is helpful to others out there....give it a try and see ..but mind your fingers!
  6. Manya
    yay tysm for text
    this is about 250 words, not enough for a separate page, but if more people write short things like this bout their hobbies - we could combine them in one page
  7. Tasha1701D
    Wrote this up about how painting has helped me.

    How Painting Has Helped Me During and After Abuse

    I've drawn and/or painted most of my life as a way to express myself in a way that words couldn't. While I was in the abuse, I used it as a way to feel disconnected and separate from what was happening to me. Now that I'm out and working through the trauma abuse caused me, it has been an invaluable way for me to explore immaterial concepts, express my feelings, release pent up emotions, put ideas in a physical form, and ground when I'm feeling upset. It is very helpful when I don't have words to express what I'm feeling, thinking about, or experiencing. I've found it very helpful in dealing with trauma work in therapy. The physical activity helps release tension, seeing the results in front of me gives me a sense of accomplishment, as well as a sense that what was bothering me is now put somewhere, so I don't have to hold onto it in my mind.

    I don't attempt to paint realistic images any longer, as I prefer abstract forms and concepts. I can paint and draw realistically, and it took me about six months to develop that skill when I was in college. I do prefer to paint and draw abstractly though, so I'm not as good at realistic images as I used to be. I like to let the abstract shapes, colors, and forms speak for themselves, to express the concepts, ideas, and feelings that I'm trying to convey. I like the freedom that painting abstractly affords me--the freedom of expression, and the lack of restrictions and expectations from the audience.

    When I draw, I do so mainly on paper, plain notebook paper mostly, and usually with pencil, charcoal, or pen. However, when I paint, I use many different surfaces, with very diverse media. I'll paint on wood, cardboard, fabric, walls, sheet-rock, and occasionally on canvas. By far, my favorite surface to paint on is cardboard, such as boxes that dishes or furniture come in, or even the paper cases from work. I get all of these boxes for free, and they usually end up different from each other every time. I start by tearing the box I've chosen to a size I like, leave the irregular edges, treat the cardboard with gesso, regular indoor house paint, varnish, or something else that will prevent the paint from bleeding into the cardboard. I also tend to build up the surface with spackle or other such things, and then treat it so that the pain doesn't bleed through.

    I sometimes paint with oil, but I far prefer to paint with acrylic, because it is a lot easier to manipulate and clean up. Adding varnish, house paint, oils, and other substances to my acrylic paints can give the effect of painting with oils but without the mess, the smell, and the cleanup. I find that far more satisfying, because I'm able to get the effects that I want much faster than if I were to use oils.

    I get most of my supplies from places like local craft stores (Michaels or Hobby Lobby), home improvement stores (Lowe's or Home Depot), and amazon. I don't spend a lot on my supplies, except the gesso tends to be somewhat expensive, because it's a “real” art supply. I'm always amazed by what I can do with the things I find at the home improvement stores, and the best part is that they'll cut what you find to the size you want, because if you're like me, you don't have lots of heavy duty tools at home. I like to look through their scrap wood areas, because those tend to be on sale, and you can find some amazingly interesting surfaces there.

    I think that I like to paint so unconventionally because during the abuse there was always a certain way that things had to be done, so now when I paint, I throw out all the “rules” and paint with my fingers and hands instead of brushes, I use unconventional surfaces, and I paint concepts instead of objects. I feel free when I paint, even though I am allowing myself to be vulnerable by expressing what I'm thinking and feeling. It's especially helpful now that I'm doing trauma work, because I was so controlled for such a long time, and painting is allowing me to safely explore giving up some of that control. It also allows me to express who I am myself, without the restrictions from other people, without the expectations other people have for me.

    Painting also helps when I have urges to self harm, because the way I paint, I'm doing something physical with my body, I get sensory feedback from it, but it's not harming my body. I guess it's a huge release of emotions, and a way to safely explore expressing myself without being extremely vulnerable, but putting myself out there in a small way. I've had to revise how I paint due to physical disabilities, but I do like that I can still do it to some extent even if my disabilities are giving me a rough time. The hardest thing about it is finding enough time to really get into a project. I like to work on a project from start to finish in one sitting, because then I don't lose the ideas and feelings that brought on the inspiration. If I think I won't have time in one sitting, I try to write down what I was thinking, as well as choose a song or a show that can provoke the emotions again, so that the project stays on track.

    I have sold some of my art, but now I tend to keep it in my own home, and sometimes I'll go back to a project that I did years ago and revise it, so that the same painting may change over years, as I work through whatever the inspiration was. Overall, painting and other forms of art are incredibly helpful for grounding, expression, redirecting impulses for self harm, and for working through the trauma abuse caused me. I probably do need to work on feeling comfortable sharing my work, but I haven't quite gotten there yet.
  8. Manya
    tysm tasha, posted here
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