Life Skills from Nana’s Era are Cool Again

Life Skills from Nana’s Era are Cool Again



Practical life skills and crafting has certainly had a resurgence over the past 5 years, and with extended periods of lockdown due to Covid19, these skills are more popular than ever.  People are at home flexing their creative muscles, learning to live with less and inspiring local communities.  

There is a big draw towards conscious consumerism as many people are tired of purchasing goods where they don’t know the back story to a product – who made it, what they stand for, where is it from?   


You are in good health

Crafting and other life skills are superb ways to actively relax.  Bags of research shows us how working with your hands reduces stress and depression, builds self-esteem; it can even postpone age-related memory loss.  And, after a spot of therapeutic weaving or knitting, you know exactly what they’re on about.  

Young folk are taking these life skills to make really cool stuff too!   Yarn bombing (beautifying public spaces) tiny food, jam making and upcycling furniture. They are learning a new skill and there’s a motivation for self-pride.

Here is a list of what’s cool again…



What a great skill to have!  Before taking a beginner sewing class I spent an absolute fortune on clothing alterations (comes with the territory of being 155 cm tall). Plus, I’m tired of seeing retailers offering clothes made of polyester.  Sweaty armpits are NOT ladylike!



Wool crafts

Knitting clubs pop up all over the place.  You can find them at the library, community centres and through knitting retailers.  Why not create your own? Whether it’s knitting, crocheting, pom poms or felting, we have tips to organise your own crafternoon tea.   



Once you weave, you’ll never go back!  It’s an addiction you don’t help professional help for and takes me right back to happy childhood days.  If you’ve never tried it you can start your macramé love affair today.




There are few homes in New Zealand that don’t have the classic Edmonds Cookbook. Not simply good for traditional baking– it taught me time management, improvisation and that entertaining met spending time with good people.

Fruit cake, sponge or scones – at least one was always on the menu at Nana’s old house.  We’d sit on the sunny porch with our treat admiring her rose garden, while the grown-ups drank strong tea from china cups.  


Where to learn new skills

Wellington’s Made Marion has crochet, sewing and lampshade making classes, The Warren in Auckland teaches woodworking and Studio One has courses dedicated to adults and teens.

Keep an eye out for local markets in your area too like the General Collective Lifestyle Market and Crafternoon Tea at various locations.   Local community centres, libraries and Neighbourly are good places to find out what’s in your immediate area. 

Unfortunately, adult classes in local schools are shrinking but offer such great classes. You’re sure to find something of interest and can support the school at the same time:






Handmade online

Websites like Etsy showcases handmade products from around the world and local sites  General Collective and Felt support many New Zealand-based small businesses.                               

If there isn’t a class in your area CreativeLive and Skillshare are online schools offering lots of different projects. 

Don’t forget to check out MakeKits video tutorials too.  Time to start making people!

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