So... these are really strange times, yeah? Yesterday, I was talking to my husband, and I realized about ten minutes into our conversation that we hadn't said one non-coronavirus thing to each other. We were exchanging the newest information, making decisions accordingly.
In that moment it occurred to me, somewhere - everywhere - regular life is happening too. There are toddlers taking their first steps, puppies being house-trained, people planning their spring gardens. Every day, babies are being born, writers are finishing their books, couples are celebrating anniversaries... just the ordinary-extraordinary things we do all the time. The everyday of our lives.
Where I live, we've been sheltering-in-place for a couple of weeks now, implementing protocols to keep the house clean and as safe as possible. We're more anxious than we might otherwise be because my mom lives here and the mortality rate is much higher for people 80 years old and over. So we wash our hands a gazillion times a day, sanitize counter tops, wash towels daily. We limit trips out, maintain social distancing with our neighbors, and wear gloves to buy groceries (waiting to enter stores in lines where everyone stands six feet behind the person in front of them).
In this new reality, I found it comforting to realize that regular life was actually still happening all around me - birthdays, and anniversaries, and first words, and phone calls, and texts, and tears, and belly laughs. Still. Just like always.
Because life goes on, however altered. And we are resilient and innovative. And there is always love.
In this weird world where isolation is required, it turns out we're pretty ingenious when it comes to staying connected. How wonderful (and reassuring and hopeful) is that?
Here are some things I've created for you, fun ways to spend these unplanned days at home...
I've decided to create a series of photo-tutorials. The first in the series is up - a little greeting card tutorial for you. It's easy enough that older kids will be able to do it on their own, and younger kids could help you make it. There are photos to guide you through each step.
Social distancing may keep us safe, but it means there are fewer hugs, less hand-holding, not so many reassuring pats on the back. I wanted to make a card that feels like a reassuring pat on the back.
Please don't hesitate to tag me if you post your finished masterpiece!
I created a quarantine edition page of coloring sheet downloads that will last as long as the quarantines do. I've started with six pages, and I'll be adding new illustrations every week until we come out the other end of this pandemic. You can get there through this link, or right from the regular coloring freebies page on my site. Realizing many of you are home with school-age children, I've tried to pick illustrations I thought youngin's would like. If you have coloring illustration requests (especially requests from kiddos), definitely let me know. I'm taking requests.
For anyone interested, I also have a coloring downloads page for subscribers only. That's one of many perks subscribers get via my twice-a-month-ish newsletter. Interested? Subscribe here.
My online Whimsical Watercolor Gardens class is finally live, with 21 videos and over 4.5 hours of fun and instruction. I've packed this course with everything you need to create whimsical watercolor gardens, from initial sketch to final piece, step-by-step, plant by plant, critter by critter.
Because I want to encourage you to explore your creativity during this unexpected stay-at-home time, I'm offering this class, and all my online classes for just $15. (Except for the free classes. They're still free.) 🙂
Check out the intro video below, and then tap into your inner Spring!
Art & Illustration
Though my 28-day watercolor challenge officially ended in February, I've continued to zen out in my art journal. I created this illustration to convey my gratitude for the people in my orbit who make this scary, lonely time, less scary and way less lonely.
If you'd like to share the sentiment with someone, you can get this illustration as a card in my Etsy shop. Plus, as I complete them, I'm adding new whimsical watercolor prints to the shop, all at 15% off at least through April, no code necessary. Shipping in the U.S. is always free, so feel free to stock up. 🙂
That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more love, and art, and fun things to do.