How have you coped through this Coronavirus Pandemic? Have you, like me, been catching up with projects and rediscovering your creative side? Since 23 March when Lockdown commenced and we all became embroiled in a different way of living, I decided that I would use the time to catch up on some tasks that needed doing as well as tackle some new projects.
On that first Monday, I gathered up three hoovers and sat in the sunshine in my courtyard, taking one by one apart. I managed to dismantle them clean them up, tackle the issues and put them back together again. What I liked about this time was that I did not feel guilty spending time on doing something that was useful and helpful rather than spending time on my business promoting it as, at the time. I thought there is no one to promote to, or well there is, of course, but who was listening?
One of the best things I did was complete my knitted jumper that had been on the go since 2018, when I was knitting it, whilst visiting my mother-in-law in hospital. It was completed in April – just at the time when I was storing away my winter gear! Next, I found my lovely doll, Susan, who had been with me since I was a little girl, and knitted her a brand new outfit. This comprised of a long jacket and a sleeveless dress in soft red wool. I also knitted her a navy woollen vest but she doesn’t wear this very often as it is too rough. To complete her wardrobe, I sewed her a cool red gingham dress with a cream satin belt for summer. Now she looks super smart.
I am currently in the middle of knitting a stripey sock that I started about two months ago and have not yet managed to complete, but I will. As I have quite a lot of wool, I made tassels and pom poms too. I have yet to find an outlet for these to go to. Any ideas?
I got re-energised to begin sewing again when I watched The Great British Sewing Bee. I sewed myself a lovely towelling shift dress with straps and two bright yellow buttons. I created this from a lovely (brand new) soft stripey towel that I purchased online. I have also sewed some lovely red and decadent satin cushions – one for a bedroom chair and the other for my typing chair. Incidentally, I also covered the bedroom chair with the same gorgeous fabric. A Gonk was next on my sewing list, and this was sewn from different shades of pink felt with some cheeky eyes.
I arranged lots of my bright accessories into little groups and photographed them to show off their glamour and posted on my Instagram page. Some of these are vintage and some are more modern pieces. I have also been dabbling in Sharpie pens and using them to create pictures, one of which was a rainbow
which I coloured in and displayed in my window in honour of the wonderful work that the NHS were (and are still currently) doing. I took inspiration from Instagram and experimented with my own designs. I found colouring, using felt pens and creating art work, so calming for my stress levels. I also “wrecked my journal” with all sort of scribbles, stickers and black Sharpie pens with no inhibitions and even got embroiled in a life drawing class online and managed to work with charcoal and create one or two – not masterpieces – but nevertheless such fun to do. They were displayed on my fridge for a while but now they have been recycled although I took pictures.
I was practical, too, and there was a leak under my sink. I read how to and fixed it myself. Result – one non-leaking sink and the pipes are all intact. I have also taken down a shelf and intend putting up a new one, or two in due course.
I made tea and sat out in the garden catching up with reading material and devoured so many books that now I am hungry for more.
I started typing up favourite quotations with purple ink onto lovely paper, sometimes flower sprigged and sometimes pink, and typed out Psalms and poems. Tried to sell these via Etsy but, so far, no sales. I have written some letters, and postcards, in my spare time, using a fountain pen, and then posted them off with glee to friends and family. We all love to receive news through the post.
I have found keeping in touch with friends and family either over the telephone or through WhatsApp or Zoom absolutely life-enhancing and I am amazed that I hadn’t even heard of Zoom until this all started.
We have been for long walks in the lovely park where I live. I have got up early to hear the birds chorusing, and took photographs of bluebells, daffodils, primroses and wild strawberries and lately some white foxgloves. Our little cat, Speckle, also came for walks even as far as the castle.
We have cooked soups and baked cakes, and bread and scones. We have made Elderflower cordial and even tried to make Daisy tea. This was foul, so never again. We picked wild strawberries in my garden and if I had been too busy, I might have missed these jewels.
I tidied up all my books and put them into genres, and created a little corner for my baby grandson when he comes to stay. I put my favourite Snoopy, my doll Susan and other soft toys out so that he can enjoy these too.
I have done some writing, website and beauty blog posts, and written some snippets. I have also created some poetry and am currently fashioning a poem entitled Trembling and there have been others written in response to the current crisis.
One of the crafts that I like to do is to create lovely quotations in Pitman’s Shorthand and add these to my Instagram page. This is very encouraging and relaxing and as shorthand is a dying art, it does keep it in front of people.
I have also enjoyed glancing through the web and ordering online, and the thrill of receiving a parcel never leaves me. My daughters and I like to buy local and support small businesses, if at all possible, and I like to think that I will continue this.
Last year, I started a Bullet Journal which I had been adding to over the last few months. The list still remains uncapped, but I am sure that, given this unusual time, I will carry on and do the best I can. It is a lot of fun to tick off something that has been on the list a while. Somehow though some ideas do not get ticked off as they are ongoing. These are activities like playing the piano, hula hooping, skipping, dancing, singing, writing poetry, and all the other things that I love to do.
You may be wishing this situation to be over and yes, of course, I do too but I will relish the time that I have and keep on creating and doing, Pandemic or not.