Lockdown Hour of Craft

We are four months plus into lockdown now. I made it to my summer break from work thanks to some wise advice from a mentor or two and being told to add an extra week onto the front of my previously booked holiday. So that meant having three weeks to fill for me as well as for the kids (see below for how to keep them occupied). The first week is done now and involved a spot of camping and the associated recovery. Now, as the second week looms, how to make it both interesting and useful?

As I was lying in bed thinking last night I was wondering what I was going to do today. Sometimes, the prospect of a whole day with nothing in the diary means that I end up bumbling about never actually doing anything. I decided that today I would do lots of things, but only for an hour. After that I would swap to something else.

Lying about the house in various states of incompletion are a great many projects and pastimes. I often find myself fascinated by how a craft works and wanting to get the basics and have a go. Some of them stick and some don’t. They are worth putting an hour of time into even if it is not going to be my major craft obsession.

So, here is the progress for today’s Hour of Craft:

Hour 1 – Church. It is Sunday and, even though I am not at work, I still feel the need to do Church. Today I joined in the national online service, which was led by the Youth Pilgrimage to Walsingham.

Hour 2 – hand-sewing. I found some part-finished pillows for the Barbie house which needed stuffing and hand-sewing the final seam. Project finished in 30 minutes. Soundtrack – Bill Bryson’s The Body on Audible

Hour 3 – Creagami. J got this kit for Christmas and needs time with a parent and a screen to help her follow the instructions. We finished off the butterfly today and she was very pleased.

Hour 4 – Ravelry Stash organisation. The kids were going to watch a film with P so I had to move to my study for crafting. This involved a significant amount of tidying. I also discovered that I have not updated the stash with the various bits I have bought since lockdown. That involved some photo-taking and some data entry. It is all up to date now I think.

Hour 5 – Mosaic Crochet. As I was browsing through some Youtube videos, I came across this one. Despite having learned to crochet well before I started knitting, I never quite feel as if I know any more than the basics so I’m always interested in learning more. This tutorial was 45 minutes long and resulted in a swatch of the new technique.

Hour 6 – Cross stitch. Cross stitch was my craft of choice during my teens and early twenties. Mum bought me a lovely Discworld kit, which I took away to university and then hardly touched. Every so often I get it out and do a bit more. Today was one of those days. Soundtrack – Bill Bryson’s The Body on Audible.

Hour 7 – Cooking. Today’s menu plan was quiche, made from scratch. Phil made the pastry. I did the rest. No photos for this. We ate it too quickly.

Hour 8 – Blogging. It’s all gone a bit meta now.

Crafts not attempted today

Spinning with a wheel, spindle spinning, knitting, machine-sewing, luceting, lace-making, calligraphy, painting.

Still plenty to occupy me in future days.

How do you occupy the kids without resorting to screen time all day?

A few years ago I came across a suggestion for stopping your kids from demanding screen time from first thing in the morning through to the end of the day. It is called THE LIST and goes like this:

Every day, before screen time is allowed, they have to:

  • Make bed, get dressed, have breakfast, brush hair, brush teeth
  • read for 20 minutes
  • write or colour in for 20 minutes
  • tidy up one room
  • help a member of the family (if any help is needed)
  • spend 20 minutes outside
  • make or build something creative

This works so well for us as all we have to say is “have you done the list?” whenever screen time is mentioned.

Once the list is completed, they can have an hour of screen time, then a 20 minute break then another hour and so on. Bizarrely, they have accepted the premise of the list. They do still try to avoid or evade the more dull bits of the list but they haven’t figured out that they could rebel. Of course, that would mean there would be no screen time at all so maybe they won’t do that.