For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has kept us close to home and away from the hobbies we’d cultivated in our pre-pandemic lives.
In the beginning, there was a whole lot of bread baking happening (remember the yeast shortage?)
But as time marches on and the pandemic remains a major disruptor, many have looked for other ways to pass the time or keep their hands and minds busy.
We asked to see what you’ve been working on during the pandemic, whether it’s a new hobby or a finely honed skill, and we were blown away by all of the submissions. We have some very talented and creative readers!
Check out some of the most unique and inspiring submissions we received.
(Reader descriptions have been edited for clarity and length.)
“When the pandemic really got going, I started doing something I hadn’t done in decades… I began drawing again. I quickly discovered that not only could I still do it, it gave me greater joy than what I’d been doing. I draw tiny things on canvas and add color with alcohol inks and water-based brush markers.
“Creating these miniature worlds of mine has been invaluable in helping me cope with the ongoing global mayhem. Fun, imaginary miniature worlds are vastly better than the ‘real’ world.”
A late-night show for Canadians
“I am an actor and comedy writer who specializes in political satire and late-night writing, and this spring I created an entire first season of a weekly Canadian late-night show called Late Night in Canada, in response to the fact that Canada doesn’t have its own late-night political show.
“I created 13 episodes written, produced, and shot entirely by myself in my apartment. It was a mixture of Colbert meets Last Week Tonight, and definitely helped occupy my time for about six months!”
— Clare Blackwood, Toronto
Started a podcast
“I started a support group and podcast to help parents overcome anxiety and depression so they can give their best to themselves, their loved ones, and their career.
“After struggling for decades, I finally found my way out of my struggles on my own. I decided to pursue my passion in helping others, because mental health is only getting worse before it gets better. I want to give the help and support that people may have never had, but have always needed.”
New to painting
“During the paramedic I took up painting. I have always enjoyed art but never really put time into it, always something else to do. It started with one picture for me and went from there.
“Late last year, as my pandemic project, I tried my hand (pun absolutely intended) at painting in the wet-on-wet painting technique made popular by Bill Alexander and Bob Ross.
Stained glass mosaic guitar
“I used an actual guitar. I used stained glass, tempered glass, beads, millefiori, and ball chain mainly.
— Constance Huls, Blind Bay, B.C.
Metal paper cranes
“My COVID project was to show solidarity with communities facing racism. I am a hobby jewelry maker and I wondered if I could fold an origami crane from sheet metal. The answer is yes, and my silver and copper cranes turned into an art project!
Painting pet portraits
“I started rug hooking just before the first COVID-19 outbreak…and the timing proved to be quite opportune as learning a new craft gave me a creative outlet to focus on during the months that followed.
A budding artist
Yule logs for nature lovers
“In 2020, I spent my outdoor days filming the beautiful things around me and sharing online with others to improve my mental health and hopefully theirs’ too.”
— Tim Madden, Brockville, Ont.
“I have found a passion for woodworking. It all started back in March of 2020 when I decided to try my hand with building some outdoor furniture. After a few weeks I completed two chairs, a twin couch, and a table. I was hooked.
An uplifting Facebook page
“About a year into the COVID-19 pandemic I felt like everyone was in a wretched mood — not just in person, but even the internet itself seemed to shift into a more negative atmosphere. I wanted to do something — anything — to improve my corner of the world, and to make people know they are loved and supported.
“I’ve always believed making even one person smile can create a butterfly effect that passes through the world, so I started a Facebook page called Johan the Jomosexual, which has been growing steadily with a modest yet global audience — adding a voice for many minority fights, particularly the LGBTQ2+ community which I have come to love being a member of!”
— Johan Jomo, Tillsonburg, Ont.
A stop-motion music video
“I made this stop motion video for my band after our Europe tour was cancelled.”
— Lyndon Strandquist