How making makes you feel good

Over the past couple of weeks, Alex and I have busily and happily worked on a project that’s really brought home the mood-nudging effects of throwing yourself into a ‘making’ project, even more so when you’re working with someone else.

In our case we were hand-crafting the first batch of our new WellBee cards (see below), but I wonder what it is that you do which brings you similar pleasure? Perhaps it’s some kind of craft, baking, woodworking, or home-decorating?

wellbee-tins_wellbeeWellBees, tinned and ready to fly

It’s invaluable to identify some kind of productive activity that you love doing, and even better to find some reason for scheduling it soon, even if that reason is simply the knowledge that you’ll enjoy it.

Making the WellBee cards, which are going in the mail today to the first wave of new ‘keepers’, was incredibly enjoyable. Every single step of their fairly complex production was carried out by our own fair hands (rather glue-encrusted in my case) with fantastic help from our two girls, Samantha and Megan.

sam-and-meg_wellbeeSamantha and Megan packing WellBees

WellBee enables you to measure your level of well-being, and then track it over time. As you’ll read on the page below, it does this by asking you to rate yourself every day in twelve different dimensions – such as Loved, Cheerful and Tired – which define your overall level of well-being. Each of these dimensions is represented by a hexagonal playing card, and the cards – along with a 48-inch-long graph enabling you to track yourself for 365 days – are housed in a snazzy steel tin (hexagonal again).

alex_wellbeeAlex hand-folding the four-foot graphs

Learn more about WellBee

We’ve worked in our garage in Redwood City, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each set of WellBee cards has involved around 100 individual hand-made cuts with, I’m pleased to say, no fingers lost. Gluing with spraymount was best carried out in the backyard, using an old ironing board as a stand-up desk. And we spent a full day at our local print shop, ensuring that all the component parts were impeccably reproduced.

jon-outside_wellbeeJon at the old ironing board

Perhaps best of all, using our own prototype WellBee cards every morning allowed us to see the beneficial well-being effects of working together on this manufacturing project – but it has also enabled us to identify small ‘hiccups’ which we’ve been able to address. When it showed that one or other of us was tired, we took a break. When my level of anxiety rose a bit, Alex suggested that I took half an hour to make a list of everything we needed to do, which was calming and settling.

Setting up the WellBee home-manufacturing process means we’re now able to offer  more hand-made sets for sale. Those who’ve already seen them have loved them, so if you’d like your own set, we’ll be only too happy (as evidenced by our graphs) to get back to our cutting and gluing. Here’s how to order one now:

How to get your WellBee cards

Finally, please do put some thought into the activities that bring you pleasure, then get out that calendar.

4 thoughts on “How making makes you feel good

  1. I’m so glad you documented the WellBe production process with these wonderful photographs. They give me a feeling of connection, even before my set makes it across the Atlantic. Can’t wait to receive this meticulously crafted tool – from your hands to mine. Will keep you posted on how my tracking goes!

  2. What makes me feel good? Going to an art class. I now go to 2 a week and we all have a great time – companionship and creativity combined. I’ve found its important to ‘shop around’ to find the right class for me as they are all very different. The balance of ambition/focus and a relaxed atmosphere is important! In the summer I go out in the country with a landscape painting group, made all the better with lunch in a pub.

  3. Art has returned to me after a long confidence ridden spell. It can be frustrating and disappointing, but also absorbing and a great joy. Making cards for specific people is nice, because not only are you being creative, you are focusing on the recipient, hoping to please them.

  4. I’m thrilled to hear (and see!) that this has gone so well, and can’t wait to receive my set – I feel certain they’ll be of great benefit to myself and many others 🙂 you’re doing a wonderful job, thank you for all your hard work!

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