Random yet fun winter-proof hobbies to get you out of your post-lockdown rut
16.06.2021

Random yet fun winter-proof hobbies to get you out of your post-lockdown rut

Words by Bethany Long

Keep your idle hands busy.

Coming out of lockdowns (no matter how short) there is always a little adjustment period while we get back to normal life. So, coming out of this lockdown, I’m going to try and use this little adjustment period to build in some new hobbies and habits. Because let’s be real, going into winter it is very easy to get into a bit of a slump and become a little too reliant on Netflix and Uber Eats to fill those chilly nights and frost weekends.

Plus, last winter we were allowed very few hobbies – cooking, candle-making, walking, and brewing limoncello were my lockdown hobbies – so, as we emerge into freedom, we should be making up for all that lost time!

But, if you’re a little unsure on what hobby you could take up, let me give you some inspo – who knows, you might even bump into me at a class!

Bouldering

Ok, so I have wanted to try bouldering for the longest time, but never actually realised there was a bouldering gym in Geelong. I had planned a night with some friends to go and try it out, but low and behold, COVID had other ideas, so that’s on the back burner until indoor gyms can reopen and we all manage to find a free night!

BUT, it will be one of the first things I book into.

Why? Well, I don’t know about you but whenever a friend had a birthday party at the Rock as a kid I was so there. Rock climbing felt so adventurous and exotic and novel that going was such a special occasion.

So nostalgia, for me, is a massive player here. But also, who doesn’t want to challenge not only their physical selves but their mental self as well? I can’t wait to get down to Industry Boulders and master some of the colours. Plus, if (I mean, when) I fall, it’ll be on the safety of padded mats – the adrenaline rush without the risk of injury.

Candle-making

Last year, when everyone was on the bread train, I got onto the candle-making train. Locked down with my family, we tried a fair few things to keep ourselves entertained, but my personal fave was candle-making.

The process is so meditative and leaves your kitchen smelling divine, although I will admit the clean-up is a little annoying. But, that small fraction of time spent cleaning up afterward is so worth it for the satisfaction of burning (and gifting) the candles you’ve created.

Plus, you have complete creative control! I’ve put crystal chips in my candles, dried flowers and put those in, and created sunset-inspired candles. Plus, you can make them out of whatever you want! Take a trip to your local op shop and pick up some old tea cups, glassware, whatever your heart desires (just make sure it’s heat-safe!). I’ve even made candles out of shot glasses!

Then stick a bougie label on it (or a comedic one as we started doing) and Bob is your bloody uncle. You’ll never have to buy candles again!

But, if this sounds a little intimidating to do on your own, Brush and Bubbles have you sorted! They’re offering a Soy Candle Class later this month! Perfect for bringing some warmth to your home this winter!

Looking for more classes? Here are 11 of Geelong’s best workshops sure to get your creative juices flowing

Making reusable beeswax wraps

We lovvvvvvvve a sustainable option, and beeswax wraps are so gosh-darn cute! But you know what makes them even cuter? When you get to pick the design of the fabric!

Super easy (Google it!) as long as you’ve got a functioning oven, this is a quick and easy way to take up a low commitment hobby that results in an item you’ll use every day! And you only need beeswax and fabric! So, so easy!

This is especially handy if you’ve also taken up candle-making! Any leftover beeswax can be used to make reusable wraps to keep your food fresh!

Upholstery

Ok so, this is a bit of a bigger commitment, but this winter I have become obsessed with the idea of learning how to upholster furniture.

So much so, that I’m eagerly awaiting an upcoming course from Eclectic Boogaloo in Moorabbin.

I am constantly seeing furniture on the side of the road (it’s almost like I have a sixth sense for hunting them down!), and am always upset when I see them splayed on the side of the road for multiple days in a row. I just want to give them some love, add some style and re-home them (or keep them, let’s be real!).

So, if you’re anything like me this could be the option for you. I’m holding out for the two-day Chair and Cheese class – a fitting introduction to upholstery for this cheese-fiend.

If I feel proud every time I light one of my own candles, imagine how indestructible my ego will be when I sit in a chair I saved from the side of the road and upholstered!

Get creative using up your foods

If you got caught by the COVID-gardening-bug last year (don’t worry, this is way less dangerous than COVID-19) and might be finding yourself a little overrun with fruits, veggies, and herbs. Got more rosemary than you can ever feasibly use? Your lemon tree is going nuts. What are you to do? Get creative.

Personally, there’s something incredibly satisfying about taking my homegrown heroes and turning them into culinary gems.

Think oils flavoured with chilli, garlic, or rosemary (or a delectable combination of the three!). Try drying out your own herbs, so you’ll always have them on hand. Or even creating spice or salt mixes. I love dried lemon zest with rosemary and chilli – the absolute best for roast potatoes.

Wanting a boozier option? Limoncello with homegrown lemons is amazing (like, incredibly amazing – Jamie Oliver has a pretty rad recipe). But if that seems like too much effort, you could always just flavoursome vodka with citrus rinds.

Drawing – Life Drawing at the Art Gallery

I always wanted to be that person that could pick up a pen and effortlessly doodle and leave my page filled with incredible designs. Yeah, sadly that was not me.

But, as the nights get colder, I’ve found myself reaching for a pencil and paper and doodling just before bed – kind of like journaling, but visual. And now that I’m drawing somewhat consistently, I’ve decided that I’d actually like to be good at it – there’s only so many lopsided flowers I can draw, you know?

Basically, that longwinded anecdote leads me to say, I’m super keen to develop my art skills. And where better to do that than at an art gallery?

I only learned this recently – when I was attending the RONE exhibition and was mistaken for a budding artist – but the Geelong Gallery runs art classes!

Once a month on a Thursday night, wannabe artists descend on the Geelong Gallery and settle in for a night of life drawing – complete with a complimentary glass of wine.

The best part for me? They specifically note ‘all skill levels welcome.’ Check it out here.