As we all know, “the world shut down” on March 13, 2020. Many people have a lot of complaints over the past two years. I’m not here to say those people are wrong–but I would like to say what I think went right in that time. 

We were unable to, or unsure, about going places. Getting certain items was difficult. We had the time to get creative, messy [or organized] for the first time in a long time, maybe ever for some.

For my family, we finished an empty unfinished room into a guest room/craft room. Me? I started needle felting. It has now grown to be a small source of additional income for my family, as I am now making custom newborn photography props. My husband started working with leather. He has made bags, holsters, sheaths, pouches, bookmarks, and more. As a family, we have learned how to make homemade gnocchi, as well as bresaola, which is a cured beef (that is so unbelievably amazing and tasty)! We already made homemade wine and homemade soppressata, so we added some new recipes to our repoirtoire. We also got chickens. My daughter and I started a veggie garden. My teenager started working with making knives. My husband learned how to weld. I made bread, yogurt, bagels, pretzels, from scratch. I learned how to make disinfectant cleaning solutions from everyday household items. My seven-year-old started learning how to code. I started canning tomato sauce. We taught our 18-year-old niece how to play classic card games. We took a 3 week trip across the country, up one coast and down the other, from Pennsylvania to Maine, and back. My husband and kids butchered their own meat from hunting season. 

All of this to say: these are all things we didn’t know or do previously. Things we didn’t see our parents doing growing up. The things we hear stories about our grandparents and great grandparents doing.  

Over the last two years, we have been getting back to the basics, appreciating the love put into handmade and homemade items, and slowing down to enjoy every minute. Learning to rely more on ourselves and what we know.

Thus, we have had to learn more!

The last two years has been a whirlwind of creativity and education. Messes and mistakes too, of course! I aspire to learn how to do more “old school” things, like basketweave. Make soaps, shampoos, face wash, all from scratch. I want to feel the quality of items crafted by hand, taste the difference in real made foods, be the reason teenagers still play card games.

Though things seem to be calming down a little, finally, in regards to all of the last two years, I have a feeling the creative juices and urge to know more will not be slowing down around here. 

If you have more suggestions on “old-school” things I should learn, or questions about any of the things I played around with, please reach out!