Creativity has continued, but slowed since those first weeks. Parenting, exercising and working have taken a front seat more often than not. Still, we’ve been busy, individually and collectively.
Baking has definitely continued to be a major part of life, both pragmatically and for culinary delight. Bread a couple of times a week means some form of cinnamon roll, or pesto roll or pizza alongside the bread. Various cakes for birthdays and just because…
No knitting or crochet, though the yarn keeps peeking at me, especially when we rearranged all the furniture the other day which involved unpacking and reorganising all the fabric and yarn stash…
Lots of ‘art’ with chalks and stamps and paints. We’ve even lured the Tall one into our creativity…sometimes protesting gently that he’ll just sit and watch, but almost always unable to resist the temptation to get involved. Just today we’ve tried out making some white clay to imprint flowers.
Sewing though, little bits here and there and a pair of cobbled together dungarees – no printer = no pattern. They work though, and I know what I’ll change for next time. There’ll be a next time!
All links to any recipes or instructions or patterns at the end of the post.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten something along the way, but if I have the spirit of it is here in this collection. I’m loving that Small one talks about ‘doing craft’ and that she wants to do her own sewing and knitting. Our favoured quiet time activity is watching the Sewing Bee or Bake-Off. She just doesn’t understand why someone always has to go home…
Things are changing up again, within the next two weeks we will, perhaps, know how soon we will both be back to work and pre-Covid life…mixed feelings about this as I for one have finally settled into a happy groove of working, family adventuring and creating. Just being…
These are indeed strange times we are all living through just now. I’m sure there are more eloquent voices than mine chronicling our collective and individual journeys through this, however, it felt like the ideal time to revive my blog, as isolation has brought with it time to create. Creativity as necessity – food and grocery shopping being a challenging experience, but also as stress relief for me and active engagement for an vivacious pre-schooler.
To start this is just a collection point for all the things we’ve done so far, in no particular order. Going forward I have an idea to try to post every few days, we’ll see.
Baking has been our primary occupation I think. Comforting body to comfort mind. Also, Jamie Oliver has put out there so many straight forward and inspirational ideas, it seems rude to ignore him! Around Christmas time I was asked to bake a Camembert Christmas tree (yes, Jamie’s influence on my cheese obsessed husband!) so tried to get to grips with making yeasted bread, something I’ve not baked in over a decade…it did not go well, but laid the foundations of a desire to get it right. Queue plenty of time at home, a pre-schooler to occupy and Jamie on the telly box showing just how easy it could be. Bread abounds in our house – with the new favourite being a cinnamon roll created from my own imagination. Just too yummy. Too yummy when you’re still hitting up the slimming world group via Zoom every Friday 😜 Bread has also been baked in the form of flatbreads to go with soup at lunchtimes and turned into lunchtime pizza.
I’ve made several other new to me recipes in the past four weeks, curry veg fill pie (thanks BBC Good Food for the inspiration), what turned out to be epic quantities of Jamie’s (yes, him again, sorry) baked beans from the Veg book, a deep pan ‘pizza’ from his ‘Keep Cooking and Carry On’ series (soooooo good, especially with added mushrooms) and tonight getting thrown in the oven will be spicy roasted chickpeas as a snack. This new situation having driven me to finally get to grips with how to cook beams successfully from scratch. Note to self – slightly less time than the BBC Good Food site says for chick peas next time.
Then there’s the cake and flapjack baking. To be fair, flapjacks happen whatever the situation but they still deserve a mention. we had to bake a cake in honour of Grandad as we couldn’t see him personally for his birthday, doesn’t stop us having cake for him! Small girl required both strawberry and rhubarb jam to be added to the middle of the Swiss roll. I mean, why not? It certainly tasted good… finally yesterday a rather good all-in-one chocolate beetroot cake recipe. Definitely counts as one of your five-a-day, even in cake, yes? It’s also completely delicious. Thank you once more BBC Good Food.
There’s also been non-food related crafting. The trend for creating rainbows to show our thanks for keyworkers we’ve embraced. Creative coloured paper and sticking, we have no paint at home; followed by a crochet rainbow from me. That one’s just waiting for some wire to help it be a little more rigid for hanging.
The crochet rainbow came about after making a bunch of Easter eggs for our own little garden hunt. A lovely little pattern which was so simple and only involved around 14 rows. I’d also made some small felt ones (not shown here) out of bright green felt and bright blue thread. Some were delivered to neighbours but most were used for the hunt. This year that really came alive for our small peep, she really got into it. She also enjoyed delivering the egg gifts to the neighbours in her ostrich chick suit.
Knitting has had a look in too – I made a pair of mittens late last year to keep little hands warm, one was lost on Christmas Day. It’s taken isolation for me to find the motivation to finally make a replacement.
One morning of inspiration while the small peep ate breakfast – and 20 minutes later a pair of ‘binoculars’, she’s been almost inseparable from them since. They come on every dog walk and most scooting exercise outings. She regularly pauses, lifts them up and takes a look to see what she can see.
An abortive attempt to make egg bunting for Easter – not pictured here but eggs of varying sizes on various patterned paper. They didn’t quite look right in the hanging so will get put away for recreation next year. There’s been gardening too, and doing our faces as Harry Potter for a virtual birthday party and singing and dancing and Cosmic Kids Yoga. Making silly faces on video calling with family and friends. All these things I count as creative. We’re creating the most healthy environment we can, both for us as adults and for our small peep who is missing her friends so much.
On Twitter, Instagram and Facebook I’ve been using #covidbaking #covidcraft #covidcreative by all means jump on in.
I’m going with the ‘art’ category today. It’s my Dad’s birthday and I’ve travelled home to see him. An epic (kind of) journey across two days. I’ve seen some floods, a little rain, and LOTS of sun, which has been simply glorious. Oh to drive whilst wearing sunglasses *happy sigh*. Snowdrops in verges bringing the springtime with them. I’ve spent time with friends and family, enjoyed laughter and hugs.
Been privileged today to read some of the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother in the weeks before they were married. Now that has been illuminating, seeing a side to him I never saw as a child, or teenager, whilst he was alive. It tugged at my heart, I missed him, the parts of him I never knew and will never know as he is long gone from this life. To me all of these things has filled the ‘creative’ brief, topped off with painting my nails in a way I find creative 🙂 I’m cultivating a cold and really have no energy or inspiration for anything further today, tomorrow though…that’s another story, I’ve plans for my Mum!
So yesterday I was messing around with some paper cutting, and this ‘happy birthday’ began to take an interesting form as the letters stood up. Today I finished off cutting it out and decided to attach it to a piece of black card – attached with some glue tape, some of the letters would have stayed stuck down altogether so I dug out some star ‘glitter’ I’ve had since forever (I think since I was about 9!) and stuck stars on to all the exposed glue.
I didn’t want all the letters to stay stuck when removed from the envelope. I had almost forgotten about the ‘glitter’ pieces, there are stars and hearts. I remember being given them as a child – I still have them because partly I didn’t have ideas on how to use them, but also because I remember thinking them so pretty I didn’t want to ‘waste’ them. This is a tendency I work hard at shaking – it’s not something I struggle with so much these days, holding on unnecessarily!
On the ‘front’ I’ve fixed the Cinderella paper cut from yesterday, I like how it stands out against the black. Hoping the recipient likes it too, but I’ve had fun making it. Then of course we need to make the envelope equally pretty …
Today I’m playing with paper cutting – never done it with such deliberation (obviously I’ve cut paper before 😉 just not like this) and it’s not as easy as the outcome might look – not my outcome you understand, like, really proper outcomes!
Paper cut Cinderella
I’m playing with this as an idea for a birthday card/gift later in the week, though I’ll have to have it finished tomorrow evening if it’s to reach its destination in time! After the Cinderella cut from a template I found on a delightful blog called Scherenschnittewhere she has many delightful templates and instructions.
I had printed out several different fonts for ideas – started cutting and realised that I could stand the letters up, I quite like the effect, thinking though I should maybe print onto some coloured paper and cut from there – some ideas to allow percolation time to, I can decide tomorrow.
Truthfully I’m not sure this is a craft for me, I’m a little impatient I think, maybe not precise enough – but I’m not ready to move on just yet, a little more playing might be needed first.
A day of cake! The one on the left is the remains of last evening’s offering – enough icing left to make lemon fairy cakes for a bake sale at work this week, unintentional organisation!Another fudgy raspberry cake ready for that birthday tomorrow I’ve been mentioning 🙂
I’d planned to brave the breeze tomorrow and cycle to work…not sure this plan will work 😉
So the trial last evening had to come apart as I’d made an error – but I’ve made a complete set today, I like them! Think I may have to make something similar for myself in a different colour. I think the friend they are intended for will really like them as they marry modernist monochrome with ‘old-fashioned’ craft.
Once I got going they were really quick, well about 30 minutes a piece – I reckon that’s quick 🙂 They’re just four rounds each in variations of trebles. I’m mostly impressed that they are the same size. If I make them for me I think I might use a magic loop for the centre so that it can be pulled tight – there would be no hole. Worth experimenting with anyway.
I’ve also been baking this evening – a lemon cake with lemon drizzle topping and grated white chocolate! Friends are coming around the dinner, so we need dessert!!! There will be more baking tomorrow – that will be my creative time. A birthday cake for the recipient of the coaster and I’ve promised some cupcakes for sale at work – ah the things we promise 🙂
acknowledging the importance of creativity in my daily life