Advice: Hobbies foster creativity and joy

I started to needlepoint when I was a newlywed and living in Laredo. My husband worked long hours and the hobby helped me pass the time.

Needlepoint is a traditional art form that can be done on fabric or on a stiff open weave canvas.

The canvases I work on are hand painted and over the years I have made beautiful pieces of art.

Needlepoint is very simple and repetitious. There is something very soothing about the process. Some of the pieces I have worked on have had a variety of different stitches, but for the most part, a simple tent stitch is what you use, and the design is created by the different colors of silk yarn.

Life is so complicated and we are always in such a rush that doing something as simple as needlepointing is very relaxing. Each section I finish reminds me to appreciate the small victories.

Making something with your hands helps you tap into your creative energy, and there is joyful self-expression in the process.

I made my husband a southwest work of art for his home office, and made our oldest son a needlepoint of a majestic buck that is framed and hanging in his trophy room. I am now working on a replica of a Gustav Klimt painting for my younger son and his wife. Once I’m done my daughter gets to choose what she wants me to make for her.

Hobbies foster creativity and can enrich our life and well-being. There is something very satisfying about finishing a project you have been working on for months.

I get immense joy doing something by hand the old fashion way. Every stitch I make is connected to my heart and I hope my children will look back on these gifts, and remember how much I love them.

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certified parent coach with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @ PowerOfFamily, Instagram mlsalcinespoweroffamily or contact her on her blog FamilyLifeAndFindingHappy.com.