#1 | Craft
There’s something deeply satisfying about making or fixing something. Sophie – our Global Content Manager – has always had a penchant for replacing lightbulbs, fixing a broken plug or building an IKEA cupboard. But she’s taken things to more crafty landscapes since the lockdown. Over the last few weeks, she’s embarked on a few projects that you could try out too:
- Make a sock or glove toy for your kids or nephews and nieces. Take to the internet and find out really easy ways to turn your odd socks and gloves into cute animals. Here’s a little elephant Sophie made; all she needed was a sock, thread, a needle and some toy stuffing. She’s also made a giraffe out of an old pair of knee-length socks and a squirrel out of a glove.
- Art. All you need is a few paint brushes and the primary acrylic colours (blue, yellow and red) to make any other colour you need. Sophie researched some of the art on her wish-list and has been trying to recreate them with her own twist. She’s also been taking inspiration from the view out of her window to try to lift her mood a little and bring nature in wherever possible.
#2 | Indoor plants
It’s widely known that tending to plants can help people with their emotional wellbeing. And it’s been doing exactly that for Alison – Global Comms Manager – while she’s been at home. Before the lockdown was announced, she had dabbled with buying a few house plants. But now she’s been indoors all the time, she’s been weaving caring for her plants into her daily routine. Here are a few ways she’s been doing it:
- Daily watering. By putting a finger into her plants’ soil, she can check which ones need watering each day. If it’s dry, she waters them; if it’s still wet, she’ll check back the next day.
- Cuttings. The more the merrier when it comes to our green friends, so Alison’s been making use of old yoghurt pots and containers and taking cuttings from her favourite plants. A few tips: take a healthy growing stalk that’s 3 – 6 inches long and cut with a sharp knife or scissors. Remove any low leaves and immediately put into moist soil. Your wait might be a few months, but you’ll soon have lots of lovely new plants.
- Repositioning: Now that Spring is, well, springing, the light is a little different. Make sure you don’t expose your windowsill plants to too much light and burn them. Each plant has different requirements, so do a little bit of research and move them accordingly. Maybe you’ll find a new favourite spot for them to flourish.
#3 | DoodleAre you a chronic conference call doodler? Well, Frankie – our Global PR Manager – is, and she is taking her unconscious doodling to the next level while she’s indoors. She’s taken inspiration from artists like Mr Doodle and is laying out large sheets of paper to see where each doodle takes her. Although Mr Doodle is cartoon-esque and monochromatic, you can play around with colour and types of doodles; flowers, lines, shapes. You could also download a few templates to work on colouring in some pre-made doodles, and use them as inspiration or just enjoy the colouring in.
#4 | Sewing (sewing patterns)
Sewing might have been something you thought of as your nan’s cup of tea. But not anymore. Now, it’s one of the best ways to revamp your wardrobe. Emma – our Global PR & Comms Executive – has been using YouTube videos to inspire some changes she’s making to old t-shirts, jeans and jumpers. Think flowers, polka dots, lemons; anything you fancy.
There are also a host of free clothes patterns online if you have some spare material around and want to try your hand at clothes-making. You never know; you could unearth an unknown talent!
#5 | Bread making (how to make easy homemade bread)The world and its neighbours are making bread during the lockdown. And if you can’t beat them, join them. Caio – our Global Website Manager – has been perfecting the skill, much to his pregnant wife’s joy! Here is his recipe, straight from his grandmother’s recipe book:
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 8g yeast or 1x small sachet
- 100ml milk
- 100ml water
- 100ml vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Tomato, to taste
- Hard cheese (we like slices, but try cheddar or parmesan), to taste
- Ham slices, to taste
- Dried oregano, to taste
- Heat the oven at 180°C.
- In a medium bowl add the salt, sugar, milk, water and yeast and stir until the yeast grains have dissolved completely.
- Stir in 3 tbsp pf flour and leave the bowl to prove in a warm place for 30 - 40 minutes.
- After the rest time has been completed and the dough has started to grow, add 2 eggs and the oil, and stir again until fully mixed and smooth.
- Once the mixture is smooth, start adding the flour, 3 spoons at a time, and stir. Repeat this process until the dough is firm and can be rolled out.
- Split the dough in 4 parts and roll each into a long flat shape.
- In the middle of the flat dough, add the filling; a slice of cheese, slice of ham, tomato slices and oregano.
- Fold the dough in half so that the filling is fully covered and use the yolk of the third egg to baste the top.
- Bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes or until it grows and turns a golden colour.
Top tip: you can freeze the dough before it’s baked. And once you’re ready to bake it, you can go ahead from frozen.
#6 | DIY and home decor ideas
While you’re changing your winter wardrobe and giving your home a deep clean in time for Spring, why not make a list of a few things you’d like to work on around the house? Genelle – Global Digital Marketing Manager – has been getting her house ready for the arrival of her baby. Here’s what her household has been up to:
- Wall colour: Whether you’ve got your own place or you’re renting, you can play around with wall colour. For those who own a home, try one of the many free virtual reality (VR) decorating apps. All you need to do is take a photo of the room you want to redecorate and add colours to see which one you’d like most. For the renters of the world, a great alternative is to use temporary wallpaper. You can also use a VR app to decide the kind of wallpaper that you like and hop on the internet to buy some.
- Change lightbulbs from bright white to warm yellow: It seems like a small step, but it makes a huge difference. White light shows up all the lumps and bumps you don’t want to see, while warm light is more natural and makes for a cosy space that guides your eyes to the things you’re most proud of.
- Make space: An uncluttered space can give you a sense of clarity and calm, which we all need at the moment. While you’re doing your wardrobe swap from winter to summer, make a heap of clothes that don’t fall into either seasons and put aside to send to charity, recycle or to throw away. Now do the same throughout your home, moving from room to room, even the bathroom; we hoard so many beauty products or half full bottles of shampoo. Just make sure you’re giving to charity and recycling where you can. Have a look at Sophie Surridge’s tips for interior styling.