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…life in lockdown, documented…

I’ve always loved mini books. Even in my project life days, I still loved to pull out an event or a theme, and create a mini book about just that one topic. Holidays and challenges were especially good for the mini book treatment. It’s been a while since I’ve made one, and like any habit that falls away, I forgot how much I loved the format and the process. A few weeks ago, The Minister For Shenanigans hit me up for a mini book making challenge based off a post she saw on Instagram. I didn’t have the supplies I thought I did, but thankfully I had a husband who was a) going to town and b) has a healthy respect for my crazy ideas and knows not to ask too many questions. A little screenshot and some less than subtle hints, and half an hour later, I had the paper I needed. It was a great little Sunday arvo project, cutting and folding and gluing and stitching. I absolutely loved the end result, and I knew immediately I wanted to use it as the base for a mini scrapbook.

I went through several ideas of exactly what to record in it. I had a cute paper pad I’d picked up at spotlight that I knew I wanted to use, so any photos I used would have to fit within that feel. I almost settled on a book of our coast trips over the last 12 months – until recently, our state was pretty much back to normal, and we’d been making the most of it. After two years of moving between our two homes, we’d finally moved full time to the farm, and then lockdown hit pretty soon after that, so once lockdown lifted, we were all about the weekend escapes. I was about to start printing those photos, when I came up with a better plan. I would use it to document lockdown 1.0. It did cause quite the giggle as I ran the idea past the board, who was in the midst of lockdown 5.0. This was the fourth of August I came up with this idea. Six days later I started building my print files, creating 4-up prints via the project life app. The day after that, the 11th, I started printing while the kids did school

Three days later, with 2.5 hours notice, regional and rural NSW joined Sydney on the delta lockdown train. A week, the original stay at home orders said. We’re now in week three and I have almost zero doubt we will be extended again.

Lockdown last year taught me a lot about focus and productivity and creativity as a survival tool. Lockdown this year looks a bit different, as I have a teen who is considered an essential worker, so I’m still running in and out of town. There’s still that pandemic fatigue hovering though, the temptation to doomscroll waiting for the 11am numbers to drop, and just that general blah-ness that comes with lockdown. I let myself sink into that for exactly two days, and then I dug out my faithful lockdown list notepad, and got to work. On the list, amongst other things, was the lockdown 1.0 scrapbook.

I’ve really gotten stuck into it this week, and have 7 pages under my belt already. I am loving being back into the scraping groove, playing with paper and tape. Being in a small space, I need to be able to pack up with almost no notice, and have limited options for storage, so I decided to skip any mixed media elements, and am working with what would normally be a travel style kit (travel?? Remember that? Good times, good times). Paper pad. Tape runner. Paper trimmer. Felt tip pen. That’s it. It makes me efficient, but I think it also pushes me creatively having a limited range of products to work from.

Such a fun little album to work in! All those flaps and folds crying out for tags and overhangs and fun layouts. Today I got a double page spread on my lockdown reading done, as the kids attended a virtual excursion. They are working on projects inspired by another virtual excursion this afternoon. I’ve got those first day of spring mojo feels, and have been doing All The Things. I added 685 words to my current creative writing project. I stitched two colours on the top block of my Wizard of Oz cross stitch. I’ve been out in the greenhouse tidying and inside the house polishing lights and sitting at the table writing spring cleaning lists. The sun is shining and I have the back doors thrown wide open to make the most of the mild fresh air. As I type, I’m looking at the peach tree covered in blossoms. There just something so magical to me, about this first week of September, and the start of a new season. I’m shaking off the winter blahs, and lockdown or otherwise, I’m going to enjoy every last minute of it.

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