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Up-cycled, Handmade Sewing and Art in a Pandemic

How my online art and sewing classes began!

It was always my intention to get into online teaching one day, but the voices in my head kept me from going there. It has taken a global pandemic to force me into it!

We came home from Uganda back in mid March to a different world, an alternate universe where we couldn't (and didn't want to) leave our own house. The rest of our family even moved out while we quarantined for 14 days. There were hasty drop offs of provisions at the front door and we even had coffee and cake with my parents with us on the veranda and them in the yard.

There was one particularly sweet moment when my 2yo grandson sat on the garden seat and "read" a story to me through the window.

I got a funky hello from Aaron through the kitchen window!

And we did puppet shows and played "hide and seek" through the windows!

As time went on it became apparent that I would not be going back to teaching art and sewing face to face any time soon. The time had come for me to gather my gumption and start videoing. I began with a few videos of me talking to myself to see how I looked. "Hideous" said my self critical voice. Never mind, I carried on anyway.

Eventually I decided to do my Covivid 19 Abstractions series on Instagram. I made myself post a video of me showing a quick art process each day for 19 days. This lessened the volume and negativity of the self critical voice enough for me to decide to make some actual teaching videos and put them out there. Covivid 19 Abstractions is now available as a free series of art prompts at my website shop when you use the promo code: makeitfree

Now right here I need to give my son Aaron all the praise and thanks for being my technology expert and editor. He got me set up with sound and how to video and he interprets everything I do into something sensible.

I began filming my first art course, Stain and See while still in lockdown so I wanted to create from materials which could be found already around the house. From tea and coffee stains to old art pages for collage we create landscapes, people and crazy creatures.

My second art course, Print and stamp with all the things is similar in that everything used for the printing and stamping can be made from what you have, up-cycling found items into stamping and printing tools. There is wide scope to adapt from the lessons to what you can find to use.

I have completed my first run through with these courses and I am in the process of putting them together in Google Classroom where they will be available as courses that you can work through at your own pace.

I also decided to sew a quilt using only pieces of fabric that I already had during isolation (this wasn't difficult because I have mountains) and I thought others might also like to make a memento of this time in history, so I have been filming a 12 simple patchwork block series which has been running live over the last few months. We are up to week 12 and then there will be some videos on putting the blocks together. This too will be available to work through at your own pace.

I have also turned 2 of my previous face to face up-cycled sewing classes into video lessons. Washable kitchen towel and pouch and Sew fruit and vegetable bags from muslin baby wrap.

I don't have the most fantastic video equipment and I often still feel hideous so I mostly film with the camera between myself and my work rather than fully on me but I'm getting there.

I guess from all of this I have gained a little more of that gumption, but there's still a heap more to find. I get to go back to some face to face classes this term (while ever the dreaded virus stays at bay) but I am now determined to keep exploring the world of online everything, and hopefully I am speaking someone's language so they might join me for some parts of the journey!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you do you will find that I am giving you a promo code to get 10% off your next purchase from my website! use promo code: blogread

Love Suzanne

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