Friday, 20 May 2011

Fun Things For Free (Well, Almost) - The Make, Do & Play Edition

Sorry for the delay, I managed to suffer a huge migraine since writing my last post and it totally knocked me out (so much I ended up sleeping for thirteen hours straight - migraines are not fun people) so I had to recover from that before I could really do any more work on my Fun Things For Free series!

Anyway, Fun Things For Free... today I'm focusing on things which fall under the category of Make, Do & Play. I know plenty of people who love nothing more than knitting, sewing or beading and there really is a lot out there to get into without spending too much money! So I've made a list of things which you might just be interested in... and things which might not be crafty, but kind of are. So there. *raspberry*


Looking Ghetto.

Do you have a lot of spare time on your hands? Are you patient? Prepared to learn new things? Want a scarf? If you answered yes or more to any of these things then knitting sounds like a great new activity to pick up and learn! All it takes is a pair of knitting needles and some wool to start off with, and maybe a book from the library (or cheap on Amazon) to help you pick it up. Even better, if you have a relative (for example, your Nan or an Auntie) who knits then even better, as if you ask them nicely (and maybe give them a slice of homemade cake) then they'd be more than happy to show you how it's done! It requires an awful lot of patience, you may get irritated when you drop stitches but once you complete your first square you'll be dead chuffed! And, thinking about it, you might be able to knit hats for tiny ducks soon. Think of the ducks!
Cost: A ball of wool and a set of knitting needles will set you back just under a fiver if you head for the cheap acrylic stuff (you would be best starting on that first if I'm honest)... a book (Stitch & Bitch is the best I found) will be about £6 if you shop around. Elderly relatives who know their stuff - priceless.
Time taken: An afternoon.
Top Tip: Make sure you know which end of wool you are knitting with so that you don't end up knitting in the tail end of the wool...


CD Love

One of my most favouritest things to do in the world, ever ever ever - is make a playlist. I have a huge iPod, loads of really dodgy music and a love of making playlists which sync together and flow nicely. Think of it like this, if you have a CD player in your car and you're getting fed up of the stuff you're listening to, a new CD with loads of new and old stuff you love is ideal! (Yes, I know that's my dodgy taste in music above, but I don't care, I love it!) Either way, if you have a computer, it will most definitely have a CD burner inside of it. And if you have an MP3 player, you will definitely have a load of MP3s kicking about on your computer. So, do it, you know you want to! And if it's your friend's birthday coming up or they're feeling a bit sad, make them a CD. Even make a cover and tracklisting for the inside too. It's like the good old fashioned olden days without the cassettes. And your friend will love it!
Cost: Barely anything - chances are you'll have a load of blank CDs, an old case (if you're making it for a friend) and the cover and tracklisting you can make yourself using anything you like, felt tip pens, collage, the works.
Time taken: An hour
Top Tip: Never put more than one song by each artist/band on a CD. Also, you can now make playlists via online music programs like Spotify which means you can share them online on Facebook/Twitter... easy!


22 22

If you've got a friend or a relative you've not seen in ages, or you just want to make someone's day write a letter or a postcard! It's free, it costs the price of a stamp and more importantly, it's fun! Especially if you haven't seen this person in ages, or they moved away, or even if you go on holiday sending a postcard is a great idea just to say hey. In the age of text messages and Facebook it's worrying how many people have forgotten to write a letter, and even though it's not as instant as sending a quick email, the thought is the most important part. Although I strongly advise against sending a letter declaring your undying lurve to the boy next door. Ahem.
Cost: The price of a stamp. If you are a stationery fiend like me, you'll probably have the pretty writing paper in order to do it, if not there are loads in places like Paperchase, and Cath Kidston sell letter sets for the princely sum of between £3-£5 on Amazon. Gorgeous.
Time Taken: Twenty minutes to an hour, depending if you're writing a short note or an essay!
Top Tip: If you keep in contact with the recipient on a regular basis, keep your letter writing missives a secret until they receive it. Simples!



No longer the preserves of geeks, if you have a console like a Wii (with added Wii Fit) which you haven't used in ages, dig it out and get using it, get your friends and family around and have competitions on who is the fastest at jogging or something! Even better, how about digging out old board games gathering dust in the attic? Go retro and play really old favourites like Guess Who or Mousetrap or even just Uno. Go on, channel your childish side, you know ya wanna. And even better if you have young children or cousins coming around, play hide and seek! Either way, if it involves something you already own or is totally free you'll not only be using something old you've not seen in a while, but you'll be getting more from it. Especially if you buy expensive gadgets, use them a little bit and then forget all about them until they're languishing in a drawer somewhere. Use what you have! Have fun with it.
Cost: Totally, unbelievably FREE. If you have the goods, and you definitely will, as we all do, it's free.
Time Taken: As long as you like.
Top Tip: Wear something sensible if you're playing on the Wii Fit and be careful with that remote! </oldladywarning>



My favourite activity is just to go looking. You know, go outside, and walk to or visit somewhere new you've never explored before, whether that's a local castle, a nearby woodland or lake, or if you live near the beach (you lucky person), the coastline. Take your camera, a sandwich and just get out there. Fresh air + pretty new place + food + family = awesome. It really doesn't cost anything to walk, you'll be exercising without noticing and having time just to be yourself and chat. I think we all forget sometimes the art of chatting with so much distraction around us, and once you've removed yourself from using technology the focus changes from gadgets to the people around you. And it will feel brilliant.
Cost: Free, although if you drive somewhere you'll only really pay for petrol.
Time Taken: A day.
Top Tip: Wrap up warm, bring a coat, and be careful around coastlines. </oldladywarningagain>

More free fun coming soon! Have a fab weekend guys! :D

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