Images on aqua background depicting girl doing yoga, girl reading, and girl with pan.

Rating Quarantine Activities from Best to Worst

By Jess Bazaldua
Web Content Contributor

I consider myself to be realistic.

At this point during the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel that “Stay Home” orders are likely ahead. Even if they’re not, compliance with a recommendation is arguably one of the best ways to overturn the spread of the virus and ensure that you, your family, and others are safe. During the first lockdown, many could not fathom how to spend their time outside of remote schooling and work. 

However, as a proud introvert, I’m glad to share some of the best and worst ways I spent my time.

The Absolute Best

Online Reselling 

If you read my previous article, you’ll know that I have fallen into the rabbit hole of online reselling and thrifting. Through apps like Depop and Mercari, I have been able to sell items from my closet that no longer fit, unused makeup I never wore, and over things I didn’t need.

In addition, I’ve formed a new perspective on shipping and the postal service, items people are willing to buy second-hand, and the importance of maintaining a good relationship with buyers.

Jewelry Making

Image of miniature hamburgers as earrings on multicolored background.
One of my earring creations. Photo by Jess Bazaldua.

Along with opening my Depop shop, I opened an Etsy shop where I sell all the jewelry I’ve made. I have earrings created from small toys and beaded necklaces and bracelets. The act of beading is time consuming, and often goes along with my cats chasing stray beads while I work, but the payoff is wonderful. I love knowing that everything I create has some unique aspect to it. 

Great If You’re Not in a Hurry

Embroidery

Image of muslin cloth with embroidered lettering.
Embroidering an inspiring quote. Photo by Jess Bazaldua.

As one of the older hobbies I have, I decided to return to embroidery at the beginning of “Stay Home” orders. However, I wasn’t satisfied with some of the cutesy patterns that were available, I created my own. 

To be honest, this was before I learned about iron-on tracing paper, but I still made it work. While this is a great activity to do while listening to music or having a movie on in the background, it is a tedious act at best, and I am an impatient person.

Sewing Face Masks

Arguably the most useful activity I have done is create facemasks. Initially, I had trouble with mask sizes and utilizing my sewing machine, but slowly got the hang of everything after a week or two. The slow outcome does not justify the repetitive nature of this activity, but the fabric choices I have are really cute. 

Resin Crafts

I will admit that I jumped into using resin without doing much research. I bought the resin and hardener online and eyeballed the mixture before pouring into a cute mold from Etsy. The result was sticky and extremely pliable. I shelved the bottles before reaching for them a month later and actually reading the instructions. 

After carefully measuring each liquid, mixing them together and with the glitter I wanted to use, pouring into the molds and patiently waiting for twenty-four hours, I got the best results possible. I have some pigments that are now waiting to be used, but only when I have the patience. 

Please No

Floral Arranging

Image of faux pink roses on green vine surrounded by other fake flowers at Michaels.
Still trying to make “fetch” happen. Photo by Jess Bazaldua.

Imagine this: you’re shopping online at Joann Fabric and you see that florals are fifty percent off. That’s what happened to me. I decided to choose the prettiest (and cheapest) arrangements, which happened to be various colors of roses and poppies. 

When they arrived at my house, I attempted to arrange them onto a wreath, which didn’t work. Once I gave up, I asked my grandma if she wanted to use the poppies, which were just lovely. During a separate project of restoring a thrifted headboard, I hot glued the roses to the top as a finishing touch. 

My cat, Biscuit, thinks they’re real.

Coloring My Own Hair

No.

I experimented with bleaching and coloring a lot during my undergrad days. Perhaps it was the Manic Panic kit I used to use, but a recent bleach job led to some unsavory results. When I attempted to cover the reddish-blonde strands with a teal (including my mom’s help), the resulting color was a deep merlot.

It looked like a very dark brown (my original color) in natural light.

Conclusions

For those not used to it, spending time away from crowds and friends can be hard. Luckily, there are so many other activities to try. With some experimentation (and honestly, a bit of cash), you can easily find your quarantine niche. We need to do our best to keep each other safe, and if we work hard on staying home now, our end-of-the-year holidays will thrive.

Featured image by Jess Bazaldua.

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