staying home New Ways to Get Creative at Home

New Ways to Get Creative at Home

Show us your quarantine masterpieces. 
Show us your quarantine masterpieces. 
Photo by Getty Images
How Virtuoso travel advisors and our own editorial team are making the most of time in isolation.

Just call us Frida Kahlo. Or Ansel Adams. Or Mary Berry. Sheltering in place is fueling a serious creative streak. While we’re waiting for the moment we can travel again, Virtuoso travel advisors and editorial team members are passing the time dusting off old creative pursuits – and undertaking new ones.  

I’ve basically transitioned to full-on granny mode. I’m embracing my crazy plant lady (is that a thing?) and filling every corner of our balcony, patio, and parking strip with green things. I also ordered a basic embroidery kit from Purl Soho. I used to embroider as a kid and thought it would be a nice way to pass the time in isolation. Tip for parents: The Purl Soho site has a great “Crafting with Kids” section.
– Marika Cain, managing editor

Embroidery: a skill that clears the mind and produces an eye-catching result. 
Embroidery: a skill that clears the mind and produces an eye-catching result. 
Photo by Getty Images
My wife is a professional standup comedian, and since all of her shows have been cancelled, she’s at home making me do silly dance videos and funny sketches for her online audience. Getting to laugh and make people laugh during all of this has been the best medicine.
– Jeremy Hall, travel advisor
 
I have an antique teak bench from Indonesia that has been weathering on my porch for ages. My next-door neighbor (a carpenter) explained to me, step-by-step, how to refinish it. The process involves sandpaper, paint brushes, linseed oil, and marine varnish (all available on Amazon). This project is my ticket to lounging comfortably on the back porch, reminiscing about past trips to my homeland, and dreaming about trips to come.
– Melanie Fowler, design director

During my daily walk, I look for the most interesting house and snap a picture. By the end of this pandemic I’ll have a photo book of beautiful New Orleans homes. I’ve also been taking the time to learn how to use photography and editing apps that I’ve downloaded but never actually opened, such as FaceTune, Canva, Planoly, and Quik.
– Amina Dearmon, Virtuoso travel advisor
Find new views in your favorite neighborhood.
Find new views in your favorite neighborhood.
Photo by Getty Images

Our stay-at-home decree makes it difficult to pretend I don’t have time for home-improvement projects I’ve put off for too long, so I’ve been systematically knocking ours out with the help of Tom Silva from This Old House. Who knew that boring holes for passage-set knobs could be so satisfying and (sort of) fun?
– Joel Centano, senior editor
 
I’ve started to organize my digital photo library by creating digital albums and documenting past trips. This daily one-hour activity brings back memories – and helps me stay sane. It also inspired me to create dishes from past trips, like Hungarian goulash and pastéis de bacalhau (Portuguese cod fritters).
– Rene Schneeberger, Virtuoso travel advisor

My years of hoarding collecting art supplies has paid off during quarantine. Last week, I tried my hand at Suminagashi, a Japanese marbling technique. All you need is sumi ink, water, and watercolor paper. The process is meditative and the results are beautiful. I plan to use my marbled paper as envelope liners for all the snail mail I’ve been sending to friends and family during this challenging time.
– Korena Bolding Sinnett, art director

Your new art gallery at home. 
Your new art gallery at home. 
Photo by Korena Bolding Sinnett

I’m relearning my Italian from when I studied abroad in Florence seven years ago. The Babbel app makes it fun and interactive. I like to practice while unwinding at the end of the day with an Aperol spritz!
– Chelsea Martin, Virtuoso travel advisor
 
By no means is this an original hobby right now, but I’ve fully jumped on the bread-baking bandwagon. I started with Basically’s no-knead focaccia last weekend (easy and delicious!). Next, I’ll dig into The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking that’s collecting dust in our kitchen (an impulse buy after a Netflix marathon last year). Getting creative in the kitchen is a challenge for me – my baking go-to is tossing a roll of frozen cookie dough in the oven – so there’s something both thrilling and calming about following a recipe and seeing it pay off. Plus, the smell of fresh bread baking reminds me of early-morning boulangerie visits in Paris to pick up still-warm baguettes for breakfast.
– Amy Cassell, manager, digital content 

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