What I've Been Up to In Quarantine | Sewing, Gardening and More

Saturday, August 29, 2020

It has been almost six months. 

Six months since my world was turned upside down, I say "mine" because for some of you quarantine started in January or February, and for others, it wasn't until April or later.

These past six months have been eventful (good and bad), filled with anxiety, confusion, and stress. 

As of mid-August, my province is mostly opened up, everything is slowly going back to "normal" and I'll be starting school once again in a couple of weeks (online) so life is feeling semi-normal again.

But before I started school again, I wanted to share a post of what I had done during this quarantine period, like a journal of sorts.

During this period of #stayhome, I did more than I've done (craft-wise) in the last three years and so I thought to share what I did during quarantine (mid-March to early July). From gardening to sewing to procrastination and more!

Quarantine was not easy. 

One of the ways to protect oneself and others from COVID was (and is) by staying home, which like many of you I was able to do from mid-March when it all started to mid-June when everything started to open and restrictions were lessened. 

By the way, just before I start I want to thank all the healthcare and essential workers who were in the frontlines of this pandemic. Life would not have been the same without them, so remember to wear a mask and keep a distance!

It is stressful being at home 24/7 as I mentioned in my being mentally healthy during a pandemic post, doing nothing, and only watching the news can make the situation worse and instill fear in you. One of the tips I shared was focusing on your hobbies or yourself, trying to mentally remove from one's situation. 

And so I followed that tip.

*Also, this is somewhat of a long post and may contain affiliate links (marked with an *), meaning that at no extra cost to you I get a small commission which helps upkeep the blog*

What I Did During Quarantine 

(well the extraordinary parts)


I'm not going to lie and say that I was busy all the time and never procrastinated, worried, or just did nothing. 

Because I did.

March and April were extremely tough for me and besides freaking out over school and having a small breakdown I did nothing else.  All of the activities that follow were done after I had realized that this was not going to last better. 

Worrying every day about the virus was probably make me sick and going to the hospital was out of the question. 

So I decided to take the matter into my own hands and do something about it, I didn't do all of the following activities every day but it did help brighten my cloudy weeks. 

So here we go!

 I (obviously) sewed

You all know I love sewing unless you're new here, then welcome to Plaid and Sugar! I LOVE sewing, I've been doing it for years and strangely enough, between April and July, I did more sewing than I had all of last year!

Here are some of the things I sewed:


In late March/early April going out to go grocery shopping was scary, especially since there weren't many regulations to follow in the beginning. All we knew thus far was that face masks helped contain the virus and so my mom and I decided to make some.  They are part of life so might as well make some cute ones!


Right before everything started to close down, I had borrowed a sewing book from the library and in May I finally got around to making the cutest summer linen shorts. I loved the pattern and style so much I made two!

You've all seen the skirt I made for my 21st birthday but did you know that months prior I had turned an old pair of jeans into a skirt? It was harder than expected but it is perfect for casual wearing (unfortunately I don't have a pic). 



I also made a hoodie, but I think that will be a post of its own.

There's a garden in my backyard!


After years and years of wanting my own vegetable garden, I finally got one. Who would've thought that it would happen in 2020 in the middle of a pandemic? 

With my parents being home, the weather warming up, and having most of the materials I decided to finally make my own vegetable garden in my backyard.  

I made two raised garden beds from repurposed wood, bought some soil, manure, and vegetable plants at the recently opened greenhouses (this was late April-early May), then put a lot of energy and bam! I had a garden of my own. 


It was quite a new and exciting experience (so many ups and downs) and is wonderful for one's mental health.  Even though I don't like tomatoes, going out to harvest them every day makes me joyful and hopeful for the future.

 


If you have the time and space (even just a pot indoor), I definitely recommend gardening as a relaxing and rewarding experience.

I'm thinking of making a separate post explaining everything I did/used, but I'm not sure if I should wait till next spring or just post it next month. What do you think?

reading


Surprisingly, this bibliophile did not do that much during this period for two reasons. 

A) all the libraries were obviously closed and could not get new books 

B) As mentioned before, March through May was a very stressful time both schoolwise and mentally healthwise.

 


With classes being moved online, assignment dates being moved, and the overall uncertainty of what was going to happen, reading was the last thing in my mind. Especially as my province had the highest number of cases/deaths.


I did read a couple of books one of them being The Proposal*by Jasmine Guillory and to be honest, it was a waste of my time. The characters were unlikeable (and at times stereotypical) and the plot was boring, I was expecting it to be like the Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock film* that I absolutely love.  So that was a disappointment. 1.5/5

Another book I read was Natural Born Charmer*by Susan Elizabeth Philips and I loved it! It's not perfect but I laughed, got mad and had a great time reading it. The author puts so much emotion into the characters, and you just fall in love with them especially since they are not perfect and realistic.  4/5

There's a river about a 20-minute walk from my house so sometimes on my walk I'd try to get a little reading done when I'd get there (see above picture) 

clean, clean, clean

Surprise, surprise being at home all day means cleaning more often. 

I know very exciting. 

There was so much to do (plus so much time) that it feels like the house was cleaned from top to bottom. Plus if you're at home 24/7 you want your place to look nice and clean. This was (and is) a great time to declutter your home, clean all the windows, and just make the house look brand new.

My closet also was organized and through the process I found enough unused clothing to fill a garbage bag to take to Goodwill (a thrift store). 

I love to organize and keep things in their place so doing so actually did help me take a breath and just relax.

fixer upper Loren Style

In June, I "fixer-upped" an old rocking chair my dad found for me and I had such a great time turning the old chair into a cute modern piece without having to buy any fancy or costly equipment. 


If you want to see how it looked like before and the whole process, you can check it out here

In that same vein, I got into the fixing/renovating mood and so I started making over my bathroom, making and staining some floating shelves, painting the walls, and just making it look better.  In an upcoming post, I'll be sharing the whole process, so keep an eye out for that. 

But for now, here is one of the things made. Found some frameless mirrors, got some 1X4, glued and stained them and this is how it turned out! 


furniture making

While making my aforementioned garden bed, my mom and I put together a makeshift bench with some repurposed lumber and two cement blocks so we could sit and take a break outside. And that got me thinking: why not make a bench with the wood? 

And so I did. It was probably the easiest project I've done this summer and after painting it I placed it on our front porch so it can be cozier and a great place to just sit and relax. You can also see the bench in the background of the rocking chair picture.


After realizing that I still love to construct furniture (it had been years since I picked up sanding paper or a drill), I decided to make more which you've probably seen my progress pics on Instagram or Twitter.

One of the privileges I have is that my father has a garage full of all types of tools that are available to my use which makes the whole furniture making process much easier.

Using those tools, my mother designed a simple console table and together we construct it since it was a bigger project we did have some issues but it was so worth it! I can only imagine it styling it in different ways or themes!
This is the only good picture I have so far of the console table.

Console table DIY by Plaid and SUgar

Along with making a cushioned bench we also made a simple tv console table thing that I absolutely love. It looks mid-century modern and I'm obsessed! Just like the console table I've yet to style it, but can't wait to share with you all when I do.

WHat I've been up to during quarantine

I also made (well I'm currently making) a simple coffee table that will soon make an appearance on the blog. I had forgotten how much I enjoy working with wood and making large items and just making long term things that others will use.


Final thoughts


But besides doing all the aforementioned things, I did spend many a day wasting time by scrolling through Twitter, Pinterest, or just procrastinating (see this blog post? it was supposed to be published two months ago). 

And thats ok too. 

It's normal because at the end of the day this was not a competition or just another (super long) summer break, this all happened because of an unforeseen pandemic that is still going on. 

This #stayathome period also made me realize that I'm quite privileged.  

I had the materials and the space to do most of the activities above, for the many months I stayed home my worries were less than most peoples around the world. The Canadian government had monetary emergency benefits that were, for workers affected by COVID and couldn't work, lifesavers. 

I also was able to stay home away from the virus while healthcare and essential workers could not, they were the ones keeping society from collapsing and for that, I'm grateful for them. They fought hard and long and thanks to them my province is doing much better than before,

Even though my province has mostly opened up the best course of action to prevent spread is always: stay home

Has your country/province opened up? Or are you still in full lockdown?


Stay safe and take care,

Loren Camila

17 comments

  1. Hi Camila✨ you have awesome skills with sewing, gardening and fixing up furniture.. you can do it all! Thank you for sharing and hopefully you get some delicious and juice tomatoes��

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    1. Thank you, Catarina. It'd be great to make some tomato juice/sauce, I'll see if I can make some. Thanks for the tip!

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  2. Quarantine made me being creative as well. I'm loving those masks!

    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box

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    1. Sometimes a forced break time, makes on more creative or at least gives the time/energy to actually make it. Thank you, Simone!

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  3. I know these last few months haven't been easy but it genuinely looks like you made such good use of you time! I SO wish I had decided to do more gardening and crafty things like this. I just worked and worked and watched Netflix. What you did is much more wholesome! x

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    1. Like I said there were times where I didn't want to do anything and my mental health wasn't at it's best, but I pushed through and tried to enjoy myself as much as possible as it would help. Thank you, Jenny.

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  4. I love that you have stayed productive, even if it is hard sometimes to get used to the quarantine. I absolutely love the sleek design of the console table and the color of your skirt is eye-opening!

    Am having serious jealousy over those raised beds . . . and there is nothing more refreshing then eating sun-warmed tomatoes.

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    1. Aww thank you, Jaya. It took a while for me to feel productive and once I started i couldn't stop, lol! Growing food is so rewarding and it tastes 100 times better!

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  5. Your masks are so cute and I think that's so awesome how crafty you are! I, unfortunately don't have a green thumb like my grandparents. They have a few gardens in their backyard, but quarantine plus needing a little greenery to decorate my office has made me become a plant mom of 9, soon to be 10, plants lol.

    Deandra| theblackprincessdiaries.com

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    1. It's so cool that your grandparents have multiple gardens, that's my goal! Congratulations on becoming a plant mom, Deandra! Isn't growing/raising plants great!

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  6. You have been super busy this quarantine. You have made some lovely pieces. You will have to share that hoodie post! Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren | www.bournemouthgirl.com

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Lauren! The hoodie post will be up soon (hopefully).

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  7. Wow you ave been super busy. It is a great skill you have to sew and make furniture. Procrastination gets to all of us in one form or another lol. It is important not to beat ourselves up about it to much. Things have opened up but I fear we are heading for a second wave aka lockdown. I hope you have a great week ahead Loren : ) xo

    www.juanitalikes.com

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    1. aww your're too sweet, Natoya! So true, it's important to understand that procrastination is part of the process and the body sometimes just needs a break.

      Oh no! Hope your city gets better a second lock down would be a nightmare. Stay safe!

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