Category: Hobby

Turn Your Hobby into Cash: Teach Workshops

Ten years ago, I signed up for a Collage Workshop, because I had learned how to make paper in my backyard and didn’t know what to do with the paper I had made. I signed up for a collage workshop, and then I spent the next few years learning the craft and eventually I was good enough to begin selling my work. People began asking me if I taught classes on how to do collage. I thought I would give it a try, and now, a few years later, I have my own studio where I teach weekly collage workshops. I am meeting interesting people who share my passion for being creative, and making some extra money in the process.

If you ever thought about teaching workshops to share your passion, here are some tips to help you get started.

Workshop Topic

What’s your specialty? Cooking, sewing, camping, gardening, or are you a whiz with computers? Choose a topic that you are passionate about. Is there anyone else in your community teaching this topic right now? If not, then this is your chance to see if people what to learn what you know about. And even if there is someone else teaching this topic, you should still give it a shot, because you will be able to offer a new perspective.


Workshop Structure

First, you will need to think about the format of the class. Will you simply talk about the topic, do a demonstration, go on a field trip, or do an interactive workshop? What materials and supplies will you need? Do you already have them on hand? How long will the class be? A few hours? One day? Or will it run for a few weeks? Will the participants need to bring any materials with them? Do the students need to do any work prior to attending the class?

Target Audience

Think about who might be interested in this topic, then gear your class for that audience. For example, kids’ classes will need a different approach than one geared for seniors.

Promote Your Workshop

How will you get the word out?, your local paper, other online sources, postcards and fliers are all excellent ways to get the word out. Check with your local community center or adult education program to see if they are interested in putting your class into their schedule. If you’re teaching a class about gardening, for example, contact your local gardening clubs to see if they can help promote the class. Or, if you’re teaching an art class, call your local art museum! Would your workshop be a good theme for a kid’s birthday party? What about a local women’s group or church? Think about offering a free “teaser” presentation to some groups so people can get an idea for what you are offering. Check out to see if it makes sense to publicize your classes there.

Workshop Logistics

What will you charge? Think about the preparation time involved, set up, clean-up, and the actual class time. You should also consider how much people in your town would be willing to pay. Will you need lots of tables and chairs or special lighting or electricity requirements? Will you be creating handouts for the participants? Will there be significant printing costs? Some instructors ask for an additional “materials fee” to cover extra paper, paints, or other materials used in the class. Where will you hold the workshop? At a community center? Church? Library? Art Gallery? School? Art stores? Is there a cost associated with this?

Teaching a workshop about your hobby or passion can be a rewarding and lucrative experience. Doing your research and being prepared is the key to success!

Aquarium Hobbyist Supply Kit: Items to Have on Hand for Treating Water and Fish Diseases

In the tropical fish keeping hobby, having only a fish net and fish food is not sufficient for taking care of your fish. Pet shops offer a wide array of essential aquarium supplies but many of them also carry items that are not critical, though they may be nice to have. How do you know what is a necessity and what is not?

Here is a list of basic items that you should have on hand in order to be prepared for quick action when you discover your fish are sick or for routine checking of water quality in your aquarium:

  • PH test kit for acidity in water
  • DH test kit for water hardness
  • Nitrate and Nitrite test kit
  • Ammonia test kit
  • PH Up and PH Down in case the PH levels of water have to be changed
  • Aquarium salt, sea salt, rock salt, and or pickling salts which inhibit bacterial growth
  • Malachite Green which treats a wide range of basic aquarium diseases
  • Methylene Blue which treats a wide range of fungal diseases.
  • Bleach for disinfecting tanks that have been emptied and (rinse well before adding new stock)
  • Antibiotics capsules – tetracycline is readily available
  • Antibiotic fish food sometimes needed for internal diseases
  • Copper tablets to fight parasites. Place the diseased fish in a hospital tank and use with caution
  • Mercurochrome or iodine for open sores or wounds on fish, only if you can quickly apply it on the fish
  • Q-tips to apply some medications to your fish

Experienced hobbyists observe their fish and learn what each fish is like in temperament, eating and swimming habits. When one of their fish starts behaving out of character, they know there could be something wrong. This should trigger a series of tests.

Use all the test kits for checking the water quality. If the PH balance is not within the acceptable range, use PH Up or PH Down to adjust it. Do a 25% water change to reduce ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. If the water is too hard, there is a hardness reduction chemical. You can also collect rainwater to use in your tank.

Check the temperature of the water. The ideal temperature should be 82F. You can add 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon of water in order to keep tanks healthy. If your fish have a bacterial disease, you can increase the water temperature to 85F and use 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon of water.

Some of the more common causes of diseases are temperature changes, overcrowding, lack of hiding spaces and bullying. You may have to add another tank in order to alleviate the crowding or isolate more aggressive fish. Be sure to provide hiding places with rocks, plants or decorations.

If you check everything out and can’t identify the problem, do some research on the Internet or look in reference books or ask experienced staff at a pet shop. You can also try joining a fish forum and ask for advice from other members.

My 7-Step Search for a New Hobby and How to Find Hobby Ideas

When I was 15, after a sleep-over at my house, I watched my best friend prepare to head off to her weekly netball game. I watched her put on her runners, and I pondered the long, seemingly infinite afternoon ahead, wondering what on earth I was going to do with myself all day. I asked her what her plans were after netball; she said she was going to catch the bus out to where she kept her horse. At that moment, embarrassingly, she must have sensed my desperation. She told me I needed a hobby.

Recently, ashamedly, my boyfriend said something similar, as he packed his bags for a weekend golf trip, and (yes, I admit it) I was whining that I would miss him. Still, I told him I did have hobbies. For after all, a hobby is merely an activity or interest, done for pleasure or relaxation. I spoke of my interest in cooking and reading, but he implied that I wasn’t passionate enough about them to be hobbies. It was true that my enjoyment of reading didn’t take me on weekends away! I realised that I needed to find a way to turn my interests into passions.

And so began my search for a new hobby.


I identified my field of interest through formal tests.

You can do this online; there are a number of websites that offer free tests that can help narrow your search.

CNN has a good one

I got ‘Food’, and yes this is pretty apt! I often sit browsing recipe books at home, and love food, drink, cooking and eating out. But I agreed with my boyfriend; these weren’t hobbies. Yet.

I identified my reasons for wanting a new hobby

I knew this would further help me narrow my search. Did I need an activity to help me spend my time? (Yes). Did I want to make myself more interesting? (I suppose so). Did I want a creative outlet? (Yes, actually). Did I want to meet new people? (No – not because I’m a hermit, it’s just that this was not my motivation behind finding a hobby). Did I want a way to relax? (No again). Your reason(s) will likely influence your choice of hobby. If you are revealed as ‘creative’, but you’re looking for a hobby because you think it might be a way to meet single men, perhaps knitting is not the ideal hobby for you.

I found a list of hobby ideas by googling ‘list of hobbies’

and found this website I went through the list, one by one, making note of any in my ‘area’ (i.e. food), as identified in the quiz. For me, the options I identified included: homebrew making, cake decorating, cooking, eating out, kitchen chemistry and writing (i.e. food writing). I also took note of learning a language and bicycling, even though they weren’t in my ‘field’, as they simply appealed to me.

I researched my options for a

First, I googled each one, to find out a bit about them. Homebrew beer making, cooking, learning Spanish and long-distance biking all sounded great. I have always loved writing, and writing about food sounded ideal, so I put a few asterisks next to that one. I was very interested in kitchen chemistry, particularly as I’d watched a documentary on Heston Blumenthal recently. I found his book on but the reviews warned his recipes – though wonderful – were likely to be costly and time-consuming to make. Although I’d be interested in learning more about kitchen chemistry (and believe Blumenthal’s cookbook might be a good starting point), I couldn’t see myself pursuing this as a hobby. Likewise, although I have decorated a few cakes in my time, I couldn’t see myself doing it regularly enough to be called a ‘hobby’, and so I disregarded it. I already list ‘eating out’ as a hobby so I disregarded this one, too.

I researched my hobby options in my local areaI looked in my local phone directory and found out there is a homebrewing shop in my town, where you can buy all the equipment needed to brew your own beer. I also located a few bike clubs that meet regularly to go on long rides. In my local paper, I noticed an ad for French lessons (no Spanish, though, although I remain on the look-out). Those in smaller cities, like me, might find it difficult to find a group specialising in their area of interest, and if it’s something you’re really passionate about I’d recommend trying to form your own group, or even advertising for it. I’m considering putting an ad in the paper for a Spanish teacher. I found a local writers group, that meets monthly, and, having explained my search for a hobby, and my interest in writing, a friend put me on to this website. I found a local cooking school which sounds lovely. I must admit, I’m interested to further explore whether cooking really does contribute to happiness.

I started sampling my hobby options

I’ll be heading to my local homebrew store next weekend; I’m also booked in to join in a bike ride next Sunday morning. I’ve put my name down for Italian cooking lessons at the local cooking school. And, as you can see, I’ve started writing, and having identified ‘food’ as being a real interest area of mine, I plan to start writing about it in the near future. Although I believe each and every one of these could turn out to be my hobby, I also think that situational variables like the people in the groups I join might lead me to enjoying some more than others.

I will make my new hobby…my hobby!

Once I’ve found something I enjoy, I plan on becoming passionate about it. If I choose to brew my own beer, I vow to tend to this regularly; to join online brewing groups; to have regular ‘tastings’ with family and friends (if they agree to it!); to read books about it. I already know writing is an interest of mine, but I plan to write much more regularly than I have been. I also plan to link in with the local writing group when it next meets, and to learn more about food writing. Do like I have – if you’ve just taken up tennis, start watching professional tennis matches on tv, get tennis lessons, join tennis groups (in real-life and on sites like facebook). Talk to people about your hobby and let them know it’s your passion!

Already, my boyfriend (you remember him, he told me I needed to find a hobby) is complaining I’m spending too much time researching and not enough time with him (*sigh* it’s a balancing act).

Antique Doll Collecting is a Fun Hobby

Antique doll collecting is a hobby for women of any age. The pastime of collecting dolls, is centuries old. Grandparents and great grandparents have passed down their favorite dolls from one generation to another. Little girls the world over have kept these collections so they can be passed down to their future daughters. But doll collecting is not just a generational pastime. The art of doll collecting has been taken up by collectors of all ages and nationalities.

The joy of doll collecting comes with many questions. These questions concern such things as the expense of this hobby, how to take care of a broken doll, buying and selling, where to find accessories and the advantage of doll clubs. The following paragraphs will briefly discuss some of these issues.

The Fun of Collecting

As a doll collector, the fun of collecting is the sight of all those beautiful dolls gracefully displayed in their proper spot. With this economic climate it can be difficult to amass more dolls. However, there are other ways to continue to enjoy this pastime even on a budget. Rearrange them according to dress color, age or nationality. Find a new place to display them or sew new outfits for them. Any of these ideas will lend a new atmosphere to the collection.

Instead of purchasing a whole new doll, consider the purchase of a little something to brighten up the outfit. The addition of a belt or bangle can rejuvenate any dress. A new pair of shoes or boots or perhaps a different type of wig can go a long way to revitalize any collection without breaking the bank. Another tip for securing a new doll without paying full price, is to search for a doll that needs a little tender loving care. An all-original vintage or antique doll in perfect condition, will cost you a tidy sum. Re-creating a doll that has seen better days, will fulfill any creative urge. Cleaning, redressing, adding some ribbon or fixing some minor repairs, could bring a real bargain on a vintage antique.

Locating Help

A slow economy can be a buyers market. Web sites like ‘e Bay’ will have fantastic, below market values. Those who peruse the web with ease, will find sites where dolls are categorized for convenience. The following websites may help you decipher the terms, obstacles and challenges of the hobby:,,


Belonging to a collectors doll club can also help find new dolls at a lower price. Often members who are tired of some of their dolls, will be willing to swap for one they like better. Creating equal values in the swap may mean a little creative bargaining. But that is just part of the fun.

Eco-Friendly Hobby Ideas

Some hobbies involve a lot of waste, but others are extremely eco-friendly. For anyone who is interested in living a greener lifestyle, choosing an eco-friendly hobby simply makes sense. Even a hobby that isn’t traditionally green can have an eco-makeover once someone with the desire to have a smaller carbon footprint starts to enjoy it.

Knitting and Crocheting Can Be Eco-Friendly Hobbies

About ten years ago, knitters and crocheters began to get interested in creating yarn from plastic grocery bags. Today, many people still enjoy making reusable crochet tote bags from yarn that was once just a few flimsy plastic bags destined for the landfill. Textile artists also recycle plastic grocery bags. They fuse a stack of bags together to form waterproof fabric that they turn into totes, place mats or even apparel.

Another way crafters stay green with their knitting or crocheting hobbies is to recycle garments to find yarn for their projects. While unraveling items that were crocheted or knitted in the past is an obvious way to recycle garments, generations of hobbyists also cut cloth garments into strips and crocheted or knitted with the fabric. My great grandmother and great aunt crocheted beautiful rag rugs from fabric strips.


Mixed Media Artists, Dollhouse Decorators and Other Hobbyists Recycle Trash

Most people look at bottle caps or buttons on the sidewalk and see trash. Mixed media artists see a backing for a beautiful piece of jewelry or the piece they’ve been hunting for to finish off a piece of bird art. People who create miniature scenes see the top of a little footstool or a round picture frame.

People Who Restore Vintage Vehicles Prefer to Recycle Parts

As anyone who restores vintage cars or motorcycles knows, being able to do the restoration with genuine parts from the era is a dream come true. These hobbyists check classifieds, estate sales, junk yards and more in their search for parts they can use to restore their vehicles.

People who have a passion for restoring old homes also usually prefer to recycle old parts from salvage yards or refurbish items in the homes instead of buying new products to do the job. When they do need to buy a new product, they often look for green alternatives.

Organic Gardening Can Be a Green Hobby

Not everyone who is interested in organic gardening as a hobby is also interested in pursuing the hobby in an eco-friendly manner. However, the majority of these people are very conscious of their carbon footprints and try to recycle items or use earth friendly products as much as possible. Some examples of gardening greenly include swapping seeds and plants with other local gardeners, using cardboard as mulch and salvaging cement blocks and windows to make cold frames.

Almost any hobby can be enjoyed in a way that reduces carbon footprints, recycles materials that would have ended up in a landfill or helps the environment in another way. The key is to be creative and adaptable as you pursue your hobby. Whether you enjoy building models, geo-caching, or dancing, you can find a way to be a little greener as you relax and have fun.

New cyber-hobby embraces outdoors: 'Geocaching' marries high-tech gadgets and love of outdoor recreation

Chances are that person wasn’t a burglar, but taking part in Geocaching, a new internet craze that combines geeky technology with a love of the outdoors. The hobby is simple – you buy a handheld Global Positioning System, then log on to There, you’ll find hundreds of “caches” posted by people using internet monikers.

You punch the longitude and latitude coordinates into your GPS and navigate to the site and try to locate the hidden treasure.

Last April Ottawa hobbyists took part in Go and Get ‘Em 8, a bi-annual event that continues to attract newcomers to the Geocaching community. There were only a dozen people and a total of six caches to find when the event began four years ago, recalls organizer Tammie Winsor. Now there are 104 participants and 60 caches.

“We had to find a bigger restaurant to meet at after the event,” Winsor says. A few years ago “we used to wait a few days for someone to post a cache and go out and find it.”

Times have changed. The United States released precise GPS signal use for consumers in May 2000 and inadvertently started the Geocaching community. The first cache was hidden in Portland, Oregon in celebration of the change, and trend has been growing ever since.

“Now there’s 500 within 25 km from my house,” says David Carrierre, an Ottawa Geocacher since 2002. He is better known to the online community as “Zartimus.” The event is all about meeting the people behind the internet screen names.

“I’m always amazed at the diversity of people you get to come out,” Carrierre says. It is “a great combination of the love of the outdoors and the love of gadgets.”

Many gadgets can be involved in addition to the GPS unit, which costs anywhere between $100 and $600. Cache hunters arm themselves with Palm Pilots, digital cameras, and cell phones. Website users can have posts sent directly to their phones, then post back instantly when they’ve found the target.

“I’m sure that everyone who doesn’t know about Geocaching thinks we are a bunch of computer weirdos,” Winsor says. But she enjoys it for the hiking opportunities it provides.

“For us, we like to hike and make other people hike,” she says.

Geocaches can have multiple waypoints. Once your GPS guides you to the first target downloaded from the webpage, you’ll find a new set of coordinates to punch in and hike off to the next waypoint. Eventually, you’ll find the cache.

A mystery cache requires hobbyists to solve a puzzle before they can decode the right coordinates. Some puzzles stumped the community for months before being solved.

A cache must be a container with a log book and pencil inside – though they may not be obvious.

“I’ve got one that looks like a rock,” Carrierre says. “A lot of people don’t find it, they say it is missing.”

Carrierre’s cache for the weekend event was tucked away in a tree along the Ottawa River near Island Park Dr. A short climb up is required to reach into the nook where the container is hidden, concealed by camouflage tape. It was one of many that Ottawans were scouring the city for during the 24-hour event.

There is no prize, but some are still competitive.

“The intent is not a marathon,” Winsor says. But “some people are either competitive or they’ve misunderstood.”

Carrierre says he’s stayed up until 5 a.m. in past events to find as many caches as possible. Others are known to go without sleep for 24 hours in an attempt to find every single cache.

“That’s becoming pretty impossible,” Carrierre says of the growing event.

Others are less competitive, making a family event out of the cyber-sport. Winsor will bring her two-year-old son Finnegan to find a cache. To make things interesting, they’ll secretly take along a toy and slip it into the cache when he is not looking.

“Wow, look there is a dinosaur in this one!” Winsor will say to her son.

Turn Hobbies into Extra Cash Online: Learn How to Earn Money Using the Internet

Just about everyone is searching these days for ways to make a little extra cash. Finding the right venue is easy for those who already enjoy hobbies like photography, crafting, knitting, doodling, and writing. All that is needed is access to the internet and the ability to collect money. In the following examples a website or HTML knowledge is not needed to begin selling right away.

Three Companies Provide Easy Ways to Make Money Online

Companies like, and are always looking for hobbyists and those interested in making extra cash online to join their communities. These companies provide the online shopping cart and in some cases a personal website and URL at no charge. They also do all the promotion and advertising online so that all the seller has to do is continue to provide their products or ideas to sell and collect money. a Place for Crafters to Sell Online is supportive community of crafters that create and sell everything from hand made paper, dolls, knit items, jewelry, pottery, baked goods and much more! Etsy provides a simple website and URL that can be used to promote the seller’s products for free. Sellers are responsible for keeping their site updated, and handling shipping and shipping charges. Etsy costs nothing but a small percentage of the price when a sale is made.

Amateur Photographers Make Residual Income at provides downloadable photos, illustrations, Flash, video and audio files online. It’s easy to use interface, inexpensive prices and excellent search engine make it the preferred stock company for thousands of users every day. New applicants must upload three of their top photos and go through a stringent screening process typically taking three weeks or more. Once accepted, however, there is no limit to how much a photographer can make.

Many photographers have made Istock their full time job just by taking photos like the ones listed here. These are just some of the preferred photo themes that are in great demand at Istock:


  • Corporate Shots: anyone in a suit and in particular groups of people in suits.
  • Action Sports: cycling, soccer, football, baseball, you name it, they need it.
  • Holiday & Seasonal Themes: all holiday themed ideas, but well in advance of the holiday.
  • Concept Stock: metaphors and conceptual ideas. Usually staged shots work well.

Doodlers Can Earn Revenue Selling Shirts, Mugs, Hats, Cards and More

For those who like to doodle or write clever sayings making money online is now possible. Cafepress will put anything on t-shirts, posters, mugs, bumper stickers and more, and also handle the credit card processing and shipping. A free website is provided that the seller can use to promote products, but Cafepress does everything else. All the seller needs to do is keep those ideas coming, and collect a check.

Hobby’s Can Provide the Means to Make Extra Cash Online

These are just a few of the ways that hobbyists can turn their passion into extra cash using the internet. As the web expands and grows and people from all walks of life continue to search for products and services online, the potential to make money online by utilizing one’s own talents and passions will only increase. The sky is the limit for those with the vision and of course a hobby or two.

Ways to Earn Money From a Hobby: Making Money From Hobbies Can Be a Useful Income Stream

There are many different hobbies, from birdwatching to metal detecting with much in between. Hobbies can vary from a vague interest, through to an all consuming passion. One common feature of a hobby, however is that it is likely to cost money. Whether the hobby requires expensive equipment, costly supplies, or simply a few magazines or publications to keep up to date with latest developments there is often a cost involved. Making a few dollars from a hobby is a useful aspiration. This is a great way to fund a hobby and provide enough money for new supplies and is also potentially the first step on a career.

There are many ways of earning money from your hobby and these include:

Selling Unwanted Magazines, Books and Other Supplies

Thanks to websites such as eBay and Craigslist, there is a huge market place for specialist supplies. Whereas at one time a few old magazines would have had no value, today with the opportunity to sell to the whole world, those old magazines that have been cluttering up the cupboard may well turn out to have a value. Even if the value is very small, this is still a bit of extra money that can be put towards ya hobby.

Speaking and Lecturing Engagements

Many clubs and organizations actively seek speakers to talk on a whole range of subjects and these groups will often pay for time and expenses. These include specialist groups or perhaps just associations of like minded people who put on regular activities for its members. Although public speaking isn’t for everyone, most experienced speakers will confirm that it is so much easier to engage an audience when talking about a subject that someone is passionate about, as this enthusiasm shines through. A good way to gain experience of talking about a hobby is to volunteer to talk at hospitals, church groups, residential homes and other organizations.

Run Classes

Running regular classes can be hard work, but it can also be financially rewarding. Many enthusiasts run classes and workshops and find the combined benefit of an income plus the sharing of knowledge with other people extremely beneficial. The Internet has also opened up the opportunity for running online classes and workshops. This is becoming increasingly popular and online workshops and classes can be found on a wide variety of subjects.

Tours and Excursions

Many specialist tours and excursions have experts as part of the team. A bird watching tour, for instance may have an expert birder to talk to and help the guests, or a local history excursion may want someone who is an authority on the subject to help. This type of assignment can vary from a couple of hours locally through to an all expenses paid cruise!


A great way to make some money from a hobby is to write about it. There is a large market place for well written articles including specialist magazines, websites, books and ‘new generation’ publishing opportunities such as e-books.

Making money from a hobby isn’t always important, as the satisfaction of learning and getting engrossed in a subject is often reward in its self. There is no doubt, however, that a bit of extra money is always useful!

Comping – A Rewarding Hobby: Tips on How to Win Competitions and Contests

Compers take their pastime very seriously, and with some time and effort the rewards can be phenomenal! There are even some who enter competitions for a living and report prize winnings to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

Sherry Sjolander, a committed Australian comper, has penned a top-selling comprehensive how-to guide on entering competitions titled How to Win Competitions, and her advice to those beginning this hobby makes for great reading. One basic premise remains, however, and that is: if you want to win it, you have to be in it!

Where to Find Competitions

Once you start looking, you will see that there are contest opportunities everywhere. Here are just a few places to seek out competitions with prizes on offer:

  • The grocery store – you may be required to purchase a product or even just drop an entry form into a barrel; keep a close eye out for promotional stickers and signs
  • Magazines – those you already purchase or subscribe to will often be offering a number of competitions per issue
  • Television or radio promotions
  • Newspapers – both local commercial papers and community newspapers will regularly offer prizes
  • Email – before automatically deleting junk or promotional email, first browse to see if there is a competition included
  • Websites – a Google search for “competitions” will lead you to a number of websites – some of which are forums for compers where current competitions are shared and other links will take you the many online competitions available at any time.

Competition entering is a hobby that mixes luck, effort, creativity and persistence. While the rules for comping are determined by the terms and conditions of each particular competition, there are some general guidelines and tips that diehard compers swear by.

Some Basic Comping Tips and Hints

  • You have to be in it to win it!
  • Spread your effort around – a single entry in many competitions is better than many entries in one competition.
  • Enter competitions that will probably be less popular – many people avoid the “25 Words or Less” competitions and so these are the ones you should have a go at.
  • Read all the competition terms and conditions carefully and stick to the rules to make sure your entry counts
  • When writing “Words or Less” entries, consider a rhyme, a witty one-liner, a mention of the product or maybe an acrostic poem!
  • Set a budget for stamps and phone entries and try to stick to it.
  • Keep all barcodes and receipts safely if purchase is a condition of entry.
  • If you need to provide answers to a question – double check that they are correct.
  • Make sure your writing is legible and that spelling is correct.
  • Competitions that offer a lot of smaller prizes rather than only one major prize only will offer more chances of winning.
  • Lots of people forget to enter second-chance draws – make sure you submit your entries for these!
  • The more obscure the competition and the less it is promoted – the better for you!
  • Submit “Words or Less” entries towards the end of the competition period so yours is fresh in the judges’ minds.
  • Keep an eye open for entry forms as you do your grocery shopping and purchase products if you can make use of them in your weekly menu or if they are a regular staple item.

Somebody has to win, so why shouldn’t it be you? For the cost outlay of some stamps, phone calls, SMS messages and your time you could be the recipient of some great prizes! Happy comping and good luck!

Cloud Watching: A Hobby That Costs Nothing!

Cloud watching is a hobby that is accessible to all and is absolutely free. Weather cycles can create a beautiful, mesmerizing visual display.

The sky is constantly changing, presenting the observer with endless opportunities to witness the beauty of cloud formations. From sunrise to sunset, the “ultimate art gallery above”, as it was described by American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, puts on an impressive display, including dramatic variations in colour, light and form.

In contrast to many hobbies, which require a great deal of time and money to pursue, cloud watching costs absolutely nothing and can be done at any time of day for any amount of time. Knowing a little about some of the different types of clouds can help cloud watchers get the most out of their hobby.

Basic Cloud Formations

Cirrus clouds are wispy clouds that form high in the atmosphere, usually higher than 20,000 feet. They contain ice crystals and are spread out by high altitude winds. Cirrus clouds can form “streaks” across the sky or more interesting phenomena such as the “Angels on Horseback” effect. The clouds are usually seen when the weather is fair and calm.


Cumulus are the familiar “billowing” clouds that often seem to make interesting shapes in the sky, such as castles or ducks! These clouds have a flat base and may only be 330 feet above the ground. These clouds can grow upward, forming thunderstorm clouds called cumulonimbus. Their height can range from 2 to 5 miles.

Stratus clouds are the sheetlike clouds that cover much of the sky. They can often be grey in colour. Fog is actually stratus clouds at a low level. These clouds bring rain or snow.

Spectacular Cloud Formations

Noctilucent clouds are the highest clouds possible. They can form 50 miles above the earth. These clouds can only be seen for a few hours after sunset, and they glow, as they reflect the sunlight from below the horizon.

Mammatus clouds have a “bobbly” appearance and are associated with unstable stormy weather. The shapes of these clouds can vary from long ripples stretching across the sky to more rounded formations.

A “glory” is an optical effect that looks like a small circular rainbow. it is formed when light is scattered back towards its source by a cloud of water droplets, forming coloured rings. They can usually be seen from aircraft windows when passing over areas of cloud.

You never know when or where you may witness a spectacular or dramatic cloud formation. It is easy to miss the beauty that surrounds us every day, so why not spend a few minutes in the simple pastime of cloudwatching, and enjoy the “ultimate art gallery above”?