Growing up, I always had hobbies. I was fascinated with putting things together and watching television shows that were educational in nature. One year for Christmas, my mother bought me a cardboard dollhouse. All the furniture was printed on heavy stock paper and I happily spent hours putting it together. I also loved playing with paper dolls. I would carefully cut out all the clothes and then spend hours putting on and taking off all the different outfits.

My mother was a fabulous seamstress. She had one of those old black Singer sewing machines, and she would always make me a new dress for the first day of school. It would never fail that I would go to bed hearing the clickety-clack of the sewing machine as she worked furiously to get my dress ready. And sure enough, when I got up the following morning, my finished dress would be hanging on the utility room door.

My mom never could teach me how to sew as she didn’t know where and how to begin. Fortunately I could take sewing in high school, and from there my love of sewing blossomed.

One of the first items I had to make was a “pressing” cloth. The teacher had us learn four different kinds of hems using that yard of fabric. Even though it is starting to get holes in it, I still have that cloth and it has been over 40 years since I made it. By the time I graduated high school, I was able to make a garment a week. It wasn’t unusual for me to watch Cher on Sunday night and then try to recreate what she wore. I never sewed to make money, but it is a talent I have that if need be, I could do to make extra money.

As an adult, I continue to sew. When my daughter was a baby, I made a number of outfits for her. I was partial to cotton dresses for her, seeing that so many of the clothes back then for children were made out of polyester.

When my son came along, I learned how to put together model cars. It was a wonderful chance to spend quality time with him while building something together that, 15 years later, he still has on display in his bedroom.

I am a major advocate of hobbies. Besides giving an individual something to do, hobbies help keep one’s mind stimulated. Having a number of hobbies is the reason why I don’t sit in front of the boob tube. It is also the reason why I’m never bored.

Some hobbies are expensive while others are cheap. My latest hobby is glass painting. It is a natural extension of having done ceramics for years. I was originally putting whimsical character faces on glasses when one of my friends commented that she really liked the glasses and wanted one.

As I browsed her Facebook page, she had a beautiful picture of her daughter in three-quarter profile. I used that photo to create a caricature of her daughter on a glass. It was so well received that others have asked me to do the same for them.

Viola! A hobby has turned into an opportunity for me to make a little extra money.