Tolstoy said “Boredom is the desire for desires”. I’m definitely feeling that want-to-want something lately and a pandemic induced restlessness. I feel that uneasiness of not knowing what to do, too, when I finally get the desire to do something. All this got me thinking about boredom to a point where I decided to delve into the psychology behind boredom. Don’t worry, though, that’s not what this blog post is about.
No, this post is all about fun stuff to make to kick boredom’s ass!
(I have, nonetheless, provided you podcast links and a book recommendation at the bottom of this post if you’re a nerd like me who wants to know all about boredom.) One thing I do want to share that I learned though is this: boredom isn’t a circumstance. It’s not, strictly speaking, a state of being, not like being awake or asleep. Rather, it’s a thought. It’s a thought that we create in our minds and that gives us a feeling of being bored. I found thinking of it this way kind of comforting because I feel like it’s something we can control to some extent. Cool, right? BB #1 Make something for the birds
I made 2 types of bird treats. The first requires simply putting a toilet paper roll into the other (to make a stronger structure. You need to squish it a bit), cover it with peanut butter and roll it in bird seed. Then add a branch inside to give the birds a landing spot, and a string to hang it outside. Try to put it somewhere where squirrels can’t get it. The bird seed cake is made by melting coconut oil in a bowl and mixing in bird seed, then pressing it into a cookie cutter. For 1/2 cup of bird feed use about 2 tsp of coconut oil. Put a small hole at the top with a straw and then place somewhere cold for it to set. When solid, slide out of the cookie cutter, thread a string through the hole and hang outside.
Photo credit Grenville Wilkinson
BB #2 Small Sewing Project – Oven mitt Covers
Even if you’ve never sewn anything, you can easily make something from scraps of fabric, either by hand sewing or digging out that machine you’ve not used in a while. I had a cute piece of fabric someone gave me that wasn’t big enough to make anything substantial. I also had oven mitts that had stubborn stains on them. I decided to keep them rather than replace them (did I mention I like to reuse stuff and save money?). I didn’t have enough printed fabric to do both sides, so I used a couple of cloth napkins I hardly ever use for the underside. I really like how they turned out! What little sewing project could you do? Maybe just mend a favourite piece of clothing that’s in need?
BB #3 Watercolour I’m still learning about watercolour after playing with it on and off for years, but find I can get not bad results with limited talent. It’s such a simple – and not messy – art form and has limitless opportunities for experimentation. It’s inexpensive, as well, in comparison to other painting mediums. I like to make things I might pop in the mail with a note to a loved one like these cards, bookmarks, and weird little papercut experiments.
BB#4 Embroidery is my jam Again, like watercolour, embroidery is inexpensive, requires little equipment and is fabulously portable. I get almost all of my materials second hand and reuse fabrics. It’s such a meditative practice, relaxing, and perfect for doing while listening to audiobooks and podcasts. A small embroidery flower or symbol is a good way to hide a stain or rip on a favourite piece of clothing or bedding, too.
BB #5 Bake many muffins!
Enjoy a tasty, healthy muffin every morning by baking a dozen or more at a time. I do this and freeze them, then take one out each night before going to bed so I have something delicious to look forward to with my coffee in the morning. Freezing them also prevents me from eating 6 muffins at a time when they come out of the oven!
Below is my recipe, which is plant based, and can be switched up with different fruit combos.
Classic Bran Muffin Recipe – Makes 12 Preheat oven to 375〫F
Place 1 1/2 cups of wheat bran in a bowl and cover with 1 cup (250ml) of “buttermilk” (I add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to a plant based milk and let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle).
In a separate bowl or measuring cup, mix well: 1/3 c (80ml) vegetable oil ( or mix half this amount of veg oil with applesauce to cut the fat) 1/3 c (80 ml) brown sugar 1/3 c (80 ml) molasses (or you could use another type of liquid sweetener) 1 flax egg (1 tbsp of ground flax mixed with about 2 tbsp of water) I’ve made these without and they wewere fine but flax is good for you. 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
Pour this mixture over the bran mixture and mix briefly. Don’t overmix.
Gently fold in ingredients below. Again, don’t overmix. That’s what can make any muffin tough. 1 cup (250 ml) all purpose flour 1 tsp (5ml) baking powder 1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup (125 ml) raisins, dates, or chopped dried apricots,. Frozen blueberries is good, too.
Spoon into lined muffin tin. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. ___________________ “Boredom is fascinating” resources: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/mind-at-work/id1541093656?i=1000499309582 https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/all-in-the-mind/id73330911?i=1000475551820 Book: Out of my skull: The psychology of Boredom If you find this blog useful or entertaining, please consider hitting the “follow” button. I’d really appreciate it. Until next week, stay well. Christine