Friday, January 09, 2015

5 Vintage Hobbies to Bring Back

Written by Victoria Candland

In this technological world, sometimes we get overwhelmed with social media, new gadgets and gizmos, computers, video games, and continually having to get the latest and greatest computer or smartphone. This technological lens can be hard to sustain and can make us lose interest in other, just as important pursuits.

That’s why bringing back vintage hobbies is so important: these hobbies help us get back in touch with our roots and help us be creative in other ways besides making up a clever caption of our filtered Instagram picture.

Here are 5 vintage hobbies that you should consider taking up:

Canning: Canning may be something that your grandma or great-grandma did years ago when preserving food was more important. Canning prevents fruits and vegetables from spoiling by applying heat to the food in closed glass canning jars, and ultimately removes the air from these jars to create a seal. Water Bath Canning and Pressure Canning are the most well-established forms of canning. Water Bath Canning is best done for foods that are highly acidic like tomatoes, pickles, relish, fruits, and fruit juices. Pressure Canning is best done for preserving vegetables, meats, and seafood. Pressure Canning heats the contents to 240 degrees Fahrenheit, which destroys any possible foodborne bacteria. To mix acidic foods with non-acidic foods, use the pressure canning method.

For canning, you need a canner with a canning rack, preserving jars with bands, and common kitchen utensils like a sauce pan, measuring cups, ladle, measuring spoons, cutting board, and non-metallic spatula.

Canning helps you get to your domestic roots and become one with your kitchen. When you crack open that jar of your homemade canned jam and spread it on some fresh bread, you’ll be quite satisfied with your efforts.

businesswoman with a note-book

Letter Writing: Back in the good ol’ days, people didn’t text or message each other on Facebook.  They wrote letters, often long ones that communicated their feelings in a deeper way.  Even today, there’s nothing quite like receiving a hand written letter from a loved one.

Try beginning a pen pal exchange with a friend from high school who lives across the country or with your aunt whom you hardly see. Or you could even write letters to your husband and stick them in his lunch when he goes to work, just for an added spice of romance in your life. An added incentive is that letter writing costs very little. All you need to pay for is the postage, some envelopes and stationary. You could even go above and beyond and purchase some personalized stationary with your monogram on it.

Letter writing can help you form deeper bonds with your loved ones and can help you express your feelings through a different avenue.

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Swing dancing: Gone are the days of the big bands bellowing catchy jazz tunes. But, you can bring back that vintage vibe by taking up swing dancing. Swing dancing made its mark from the 1920s to the 1950s, but there are still many who dance today in swing dance studios and classes.

All you need is a partner and a club. You can go to classes to learn fun moves like the jitterbug or the Charleston or the Lindy Hop. Class prices range from studio to studio, but oftentimes you can get the first class for free so you can try out different studios until you find one that works for you. And you don’t always need a partner—in many ballroom classes, the men and women are put in a circle and you rotate partners regularly, giving everyone an opportunity to dance with each person.

Record Collecting: According to vinyl record enthusiasts, vinyl records play a much more profound sound than CDs, our computers or the radio. Record collecting was very popular in the 1960s and 1970s, but has made a comeback today.

To start, you’ll need to buy a phonograph or record player, which can range from 50 dollars to 600, depending on the style and the sound you want. But, once you have that player, records are relatively inexpensive, but some may cost about 25 dollars.

Store your vinyl records vertically, not one on top of the other like pancakes. This can be done on a bookshelf next to your phonograph. And you may want to buy a humidifier or dehumidifier since vinyl records do best in humidity of 35 to 40 percent.

Collecting vinyl records will help you experience music in a whole new way.


Quilting: Quilting has been done for centuries, and many of us think of the pioneers crossing the plains with the women hand sewing beautiful quilts to adorn the beds of their wagons or log cabins.

But, quilting is now a lot easier than those times. Instead of having to hand stitch everything or use a clunky machine, there are modern quilting machines that help you quilt much faster and with more confidence and ease. There are new, computerized machines that can help you create patterns on your quilt, from initials to the Statue of Liberty.

The most important thing to purchase is the machine, which can cost between 70 dollars to 600 dollars. Computer machines with programmed stitching and embroidery patterns in them tend to be more expensive, but they are worth it. You also need to get fabric, scissors, thread, and sewing needles as some necessities.

Choose any of these activities to unplug from technology and learn a new skill or develop one you already have!

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