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finding balance

From habitat magazine - issue 38, bright ideas

When the odds seem stacked against you, this mindful craft project is a way to find peace.

A mindful craft project

These wooden balancing rocks (Tumi Ishi) are stained in Resene Waterborne Woodsman in Resene Japanese Maple, Resene Warm Kwila, Resene Bark, Resene Driftwood and Resene Riverstone. Use Tumi Ishi as a mindful activity or play them as a game – the person with the highest stack wins. An international study from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Lausanne found that blues, greens and turquoise were colours that study participants associated with contentment and relief, making the wall colour Resene Welcome an apt choice for a wellness space. Tabletop painted in Resene Streetwise.

Balancing rocks is an ancient practice stacked with meaning. In ancient Scotland, rock cairns were used to mark safe travel on hilly terrain, while Norse sailors used stacked rocks as navigational tools in treacherous water. In Japan, balanced stones were used to remember loved ones and as a mindful zen activity. One thing is universal: balancing rocks, blocks or stones on top of each other takes patience and focus. Stonestacking in nature can impact wildlife such as nesting birds, so why not try Tumi Ishi, a Japanese wooden-block stacking game that allows you to take up this mindful activity in your home or garden? Numerous studies have noted that painting and arts and crafts can help relieve stress and focus a restless mind.

These Tumi Ishi wooden blocks are stained with Resene Waterborne Woodsman wood stains and combine the best of both worlds, an arts and crafts project that’s fun to play but relaxing to make too.

You will need

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1:  Cut your scrap wood into blocks of varying sizes. Use a handsaw to cut through each piece at different angles.

Step 2:  Using fine grit sandpaper, sand the wood until it’s smooth. Remove all sandpaper dust with a damp cloth.

Step 3:  Using a Resene testpot brush, apply a coat of Resene Waterborne Woodsman in the colour of your choice. Allow the stain to soak into the wood for three minutes, and then use a rag to rub off any excess stain. Allow to dry completely, and then apply a second coat if required.

Resene Welcome

Project: Shani Luckman
Images: Bryce Carleton


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Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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