REST: #YAKGVirtual art project

To need to rest is nothing to be ashamed of, we all need it from time to time, sometimes more than others.

If you need a nap in the middle of the day or when you get home from work? Go for it. Fancy an early night? Why not? 

Living with kidney disease, even after transplant means sometimes you might get exhausted to the point where you feel like you can’t do anything more that day and that’s ok. Have a rest, a break, refresh and rejuvenate ready for whatever might need to be done next. 

Look at the mighty oak, through spring and summer, standing tall, leaves of green and producing acorns for the next generation of oaks. Come autumn time they’re starting to get tired; they lose the colour in their leaves and they drop, the acorns begin to fall and the job of planting most of them then goes to squirrels (mainly by accident when they can’t remember where they’ve stashed them!)

Then comes the winter, time for them to rest, they don’t need to worry about the upkeep of their leaves, they don’t need to worry about producing acorns. They rest. They rest for months until it’s time for spring when they can start to think about new shoots, only tiny little ones to begin with, which can grow in time. They don’t even need to think about acorns until later on in the year. They take things one step at a time, just like we all can. No point in rushing to get everything done at once, take your time and do things slowly, when you’re ready for each step. 

To make the salt dough


  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g salt (normal table salt)
  • 125ml warm water


  1. Mix together the flour and the salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add the warm water, slowly mixing at the same time. 
  3. When combined, turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  4. Knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  5. Once made, this dough can be kept for a couple of weeks in an airtight container or a zip lock bag.

To make the ornaments

The dough can now be used to make the ornaments or decorations of your choice. You might choose to use the theme of trees, leaves, acorns or pine cones. 

You can create your ornaments by rolling out the dough and using cutters or a knife, or by building by hand.

Or if you wanted to anything that helps you sleep/rest – e.g. sheep for counting, books, beds, mobiles – over the bed kind, not texting at 3am kind, although if that helps you sleep why not? 

If you want to hang your ornaments, be sure to make a hole in the top to be able to tie string or ribbon through.

Once made, you can bake it in the oven at about 150C degrees for around an hour, maybe a little longer if you’ve used thicker dough in places. 

Once cooled, you can either paint it or leave it as it is. You could also use PVA glue to coat the ornaments and give them a bit of a shine and add string or ribbon to any you want to hang.

If you make these, we’d love to see your photos on Twitter or Instagram, tag us @YAKidneyGroup and #YAKGVirtual!

This art project has been designed and prepared by Amy Parkes, a member of the YAKG peer support team.