Getting Crafty at Home: Creative Projects for Lockdown #AD

THIS POST CONTAINS GIFTED ITEMS FROM LOVE CRAFTS
Although the beginning of June has seen lockdown measures easing in the UK, staying at home as much as possible is still of the upmost importance. To keep my mind (and hands!) busy whilst being in the house all day, I've turned to crafting. Making or creating something is one of the best ways to prevent yourself from going stir crazy. Like exercising or cleaning the house, it keeps you occupied and prevents anxiety from really setting in. You also get a wonderful sense of achievement when your creative project comes together at the end! To get you inspired, here are my favourite recent makes...


Macramé

Macramé, a knotting and weaving technique using yarn, took the world by storm in the 1970s. It was used to make wall hangings, clothing, bags - you name it! Recently the crafting craze has come back with a bang and you'll see gorgeous macramé pieces adorning the homes of even the most discerning influencers. I'd never tried making macramé before but when the lovely people at LoveCrafts reached out to ask if I wanted to give it a go, I said (a very nervous!) yes. They kindly gifted me some of their recycled t-shirt yarn in a beautiful yellow colour as well as the tapestry needles I'd need to get started. 

I decided to dive right in and make a market bag - it certainly was a challenge. There were times when I had to unpick several rows of my knots because I'd made a silly mistake but I still had such a great time doing it! LoveCrafts have a handy tutorial and a YouTube video talking you through all of the steps, so I just had to keep referring back to it . The end product came out so well! The bag is a lot stronger than I thought it would be and I love the look of it too. If you want to pick up a new craft whilst staying at home, I'd highly recommend you check out the LoveCrafts beginners' hub. You can also watch a time lapse of me making my market bag over on Instagram!

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Watercolour

My Mum is a really talented watercolour artist. She has painted everything from pets, houses and landscapes to fairies in beautiful naturalism, whereas I'm usually a bit more comfortable doing a technical drawing with a pencil in my hand. But during lockdown, Mum has been sharing her artistic skills with me and I've been so proud of the results! My first attempt was this face of an ancient Roman sculpture from my favourite museum. Although the sculpture is white in real life, I chose to paint him in blue to capture his melancholic mood. I used him to practice tonal painting skills, where you leave the brightest part of the object you're painting completely white, deepening the shadows with colour to give a 3D effect. I think it worked really well and I already have my next piece in mind!

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Embroidery

As a child, I really loved sewing. I had a big sewing box full of embroidery thread and so many cross-stitch kits! It's not something I'd done for years, however, but when I moved to Cork, Ireland in February of this year, I decided that I wanted to take it up again. My Mum kindly bought me an embroidery kit with an adorable fox and wreath pattern and I've been slowly but surely working on it over the last few months. I'm definitely not a pro with a needle and thread - some areas of my picture do look a little ropey - but I've thoroughly enjoyed working on it. I'll be treating myself to another kit once I've finished this one.
 

Plaster Casting

Those of you who have been following me for a while might remember that my PhD project is based in a sculpture gallery. Due to the lockdown, the museum where my sculptures are housed is currently closed, so I'm not able to go there to conduct my research at the moment. But instead of letting this get me down, I instead decided to have a go at making some sculptures at home! I purchased simple materials like modelling clay and Plaster of Paris on Amazon and had a great time casting my sculptures. I produced a  video demonstrating the process, which I shared on my research-focused YouTube account. You can watch the video below:
   
The process is pretty easy and is so much fun, so if you have the space to do so, I'd highly recommend giving it a go at home. Making the casts like this really gave my mental health a boost and made me feel like I was still doing something productive towards my PhD even while being stuck at home, so never underestimate the powers of being creative to improve your day!

Have you been getting crafty during lockdown? Please let me know what you've been making!

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