Riceford Streams

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Play: Photography and Sewing Just for Fun

Do you need a break from The Overwhelm, the constant coverage of tragedies streaming over TV, radio, and social media? Then take time to play — no deadlines, no pressure — have fun! Spending a few moments doing something you enjoy each day will contribute to your overall wellbeing.

Faffing About: Spending Time in Fun

If you’re an Instagram fan, chances are you’ve heard of faffing: engaging in an activity that’s actually wasting time, not productive. Often photographers who photograph flatlays of objects, such as food or flowers, tag their art #faffing. But don’t think of it as a waste of time, rather it’s engaging in recreational activity — play!

Here are two examples of my faffing about home this week.

Pecking Order PincushionSawtooth Star Pincusion

These photos of my handmade pincushions aren’t especially spectacular; however, I spent at least fifteen or twenty minutes scouting out locations in my home, rearranging backdrops, adjusting lighting, snapping many photos from slightly different angles, and finally editing the shots.

When I faff about, my husband usually asks me what I’m doing, scurrying about — looking busy — but nothing of obvious importance seems to be happening. (Sometimes I put him to work, like when I asked him to hold an electrical cord for my lamp so that it wouldn’t dangle in the background of my photo.)

My dog paces the floor as he watches me, and often he pops his nose or head into my shot. If I move to quickly to flick a light switch, he rushes at me with concern, usually colliding with me and causing a bit of an upset. Perhaps I’ve turned faffing into a family sport.

Sometimes You Need a Nudge to Play

“Come and play with me!”

It’s always more fun to play with someone else, and it’s feels so great to be invited to participate in someone else’s game.

On Instagram, some photography hubs will hold weekly challenges, inviting photographers to join in the game of capturing an image with a particular theme. Instagram has it’s own Weekend Hashtag Project — check it out! This weekend is #WHPdayoff to show how you spend your free time. I love scrolling through the photos to see everyone’s creative spin.

Quilters also like to play — alone with their fabric or stitching along with others.

This week I decided to join in on Moda Fabric’s 12 Designer contest on Instagram. “Simply make a pincushion using any Minick and Simpson fabric and post a picture on Instagram with the tag #12contestsminickandsimpson. It was the perfect nudge to join in the fun, see what other sewists were up to, and play with my fabric tucked away in my Vault of Happiness.

When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” – Walt Disney

The first pincushion is a spin-off from Missouri Star Quilt Company’s pattern, Pecking Order. Instead of putting together five-inch blocks, I started with a 2½″ block and trimmed to 1½″. The finished pincushion is 4″ square. The second pincushion is the traditional Sawtooth Star block (finishing at 4″ square) and the only the center red square is filled with crushed walnut shells to form the pincushion.

It’s raining outside today, so I plan to spend a little more time at my sewing machine. How are you going to play today?


Today I’m linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts. Have some fun and see who’s joining along.

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1 Comment

  1. I so enjoy your posts, Tracie! I come from a long line of adults who like to play… my oldest brother collects old toy cars; second brother collects model trains; my younger brother builds models. My dad taught us well, always tinkering, just for the fun of it. I know my job has taken far too much of my fun time away the last few years, and I’m thrilled that my principal allowed me to return to part-time this school year, so playtime, here I come!

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