In a time when almost anything you could ever want is only a click away, local crafters still find enjoyment making things from scratch and working with their hands.
Hobbies range from crocheting and scrapbooking to woodworking and painting, and each can and has become a source of relaxation and escape.
For Ginny Brady, 58, of Altoona, woodworking has become a way to wind down after a stressful day as a marketing account manager for a software company.
Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich
Cindy Burget paints a piece of what she calls “primitive folk art.”
"It's a really busy industry, everything is fast-paced," she said. "Getting home, as time allows, and going into the workshop is like a vacation. ... The smell of the wood, it's like standing at the ocean. Walking into the workshop, running my hands along the wood and feeling the softness, it releases stress."
Brady taught herself the intricacies of woodworking and specializes in making keepsake treasure boxes. She has sold many through her website or just by word of mouth, but it's not the money that will keep Brady woodworking into retirement.
"I have a need to create," she said. "Starting from scratch, building something and having a finished product at the end, it feeds my soul."
Aneesa Winrick, 55, of Altoona has also felt the need to create throughout her life. Her love of crafting was passed down to Winrick and her siblings by her mother, who crafted and baked to help make ends meet as a widowed single mother.
"My mom taught each one of us how to knit, do embroidery and a little bit of sewing," Winrick said. "She made beautiful socks and sweaters for us as we were growing up, and I still have a mohair coat Mom made for herself more than 40 years ago."
Winrick continues to pass these traditions along through her family line. She has made wedding garters, corsages, candles and favors for her two sons' weddings, and beaded one daughter-in-law's veil.
"You can't go out to Walmart and buy these," she said of her creations. "It's something that's very personal, and I think it's nice to pass it down."
Despite the digital age, the gratification of making things from scratch is not lost on younger generations. Nicole Moore, 23, of Mansfield, began sewing in elementary school, and now crochets to take her mind off of her studies for her master's degree.
"It's just become something that is so important to me," she said. "Everyone [at school] knows me as the girl who knits and crochets."
Because of this, family and friends know to get Moore yarn as a Christmas or birthday present. She has also passed her skill to at least six of her peers, she said, including one male friend.
"The only time he will crochet is in his room with the door shut so no one can see," Moore said.
Despite her friend's shyness, Moore said she thinks hands-on crafting will stand the test of time.
"It's something that is productive," she said. "When you're sitting crocheting or knitting for that long, you have something to show for it. It makes it worthwhile."
For Mary Grace Horton, 58, of Altoona, scrapbooking is not only worth the time, but helps her commemorate the time she's spent and the memories she's made. Old pictures no longer sit unused in boxes, and Horton finds great joy in bringing them to life on the pages of her more than 20 scrapbooks.
"It's a great stress reliever," she said. "If I need to come down a bit and settle down, that's what I'll sit and do. ... I even go to bed at night thinking about what I can scrapbook the next day."
For Cindy Burget, painting what she calls primitive folk art is what helps her get through the day. Burget has suffered from symptoms of lupus since she was diagnosed more than 30 years ago.
"I enjoy doing it because it gives me self-pride about what I can accomplish," she said. "When you have so many disabilities, it takes your mind off of it."
Burget works through the poor circulation in her hands to create vividly detailed landscape scenes. She said each painting could take her anywhere from 40 to 80 hours to complete. She hopes to sell more of her pieces in the future, but the sense of satisfaction painting gives her is a reward on its own, Burget said.
"You even surprise yourself," she said.
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.