Ecological writer and former Jain monk Satish Kumar once wrote that the happiest people he ever met were those who worked with their hands: not typing on computers, but artists, carpenters etc. If your dad spent his life pottering in the garage or shed, you will know that doing something creative can send people into a kind of meditative trance, no yoga required! It’s good to make things. And even better to make things from junk.
It’s a sad symptom of society that the furlough scheme was needed to bail out millions of workers. Who then were asked (or forced) to risk their health to serve things to people that were flown in from abroad (often made by people with poor welfare laws). How about just making things locally, from recycled rubbish? The ‘manufacturing industry’ should be about this, not about importing cars or handbags made from leather, in countries with lax animal welfare laws. Here are nice ways to help planet and pocket. If you get any good, you may start having an idea for a little home cottage business, if you get any good.
- You Should Be Writing encourages you to journal to help depression, and protect time and space where you write. A journal to keep your pen moving, for aspiring writers everywhere.
- Conscious Creativity is a playful guide to bring more colour into your life. Artist and photographer Philippa Stanton guides you to notice hues around you: create an abstract textured image using herbs, spices and other dry ingredients from kitchen cupboards.
- Draw Breath is an award-winning book to help you explore your breath mindfully through creative drawing exercises. You don’t have to be good at art, to benefit. Combining health, mindfulness and yoga alongside art, this is the perfect book to relax. Tom has a degree in philosophy and has studied yoga for 10 years.
- Petal is a compendium of floral wonder. Botanical artist Adriana Picker includes stunning illustrations with words by Nina Rousseau’s words on the meaning of blooms and herbaceous curiosities. The book features over 200 flowers from 27 plant families – from elegant roses to otherworldly orchids and magnificent magnolias – as well as a dedicated chapter for unusual specimens.
- Woodcraft is a beautiful book to carve your own spoons, bowls, shrink boxes and other objects (using fallen logs too). Make simple items of furniture like stools and side tables. Green woodworking saws fresh wood with water, so there is no electric saw like with air-dried timber. Most wood is naturally felled, so you can work outside with hand tools. No sawdust flying everywhere! If you use glue, Coccoina is non-toxic but avoid the tin version, as the brush contains boar bristles. All glue is toxic to pets.