Spring break means people wish to go hang out with friends and family; however, under the quarantine and travel bans because of COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control and the president urge citizens to stay at home. Understandably, boredom may arise. Almost immediately after the cancellation of in-seat school, I began to lose track of time and the date, barely getting the rest of my assignments done on time before going back to play Minecraft or watch YouTube videos. To get imagination flowing again, below are some inventive ideas that will hopefully get allow one to refocus.
Creation through art
Outside of journalism and other classes’ assignments, I rarely drew this semester because I just didn’t have the time or energy for it. Now, however, I have too much time and energy, so I’ve decided to create art again for relaxation purposes. Drawing helps me center myself. After making a piece, I feel re-energized and ready to face new challenges.
In this sketch, I drew my cat, Daisy. I like to use the reference photo seen in the timelapse because not only does she look super cute, but it’s also great semi-realism practice to draw all of her white and cream-colored fur, complete with shading and highlights. To the side is my third attempt, complete with its timelapse.
Anyone can draw or bring about an art piece. Media like watercolor, markers and pencil are all useful in designing a masterpiece or a simple doodle. I highly recommend Peter Draws, not only because he is a wonderful artist but also because most of his pieces are incredibly abstract and make me think of all the wild lines I could sketch. Also, his voice is incredibly soothing, so even if someone doesn’t want to draw, they can listen to someone talk as they doze off or work on another project.
Creation with ingredients
Although I don’t cook often, preparing a meal while stuck at home helps me use my artistry and eat it, too. I mimicked this recipe for French onion dip by Bon Appétit but added my own twists to it. Originally, I wanted to find a food that used up my sour cream, as it was going to expire soon anyway. When my family’s tortilla chips began running out, I thought making a dip would be best.
Recipe for French onion dip. Makes about 1/2 a cup.
- Half an onion. For onion lovers, a whole onion works great, but increase the amount of other ingredients.
- Roughly 1/3 cup sour cream.
- 1/2 a tablespoon sesame oil. I didn’t have olive oil so I actually used sesame oil, which I prefer, but either work.
- 1/2 sprig spring onion, thinly diced.
- Salt and black pepper.
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
- Some chopped cilantro, add amount as personally preferred (optional).
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional). I used brown sugar because I thought that would go best with the onions.
How to make French onion dip.
- Chop up the onion into thin slices and sauté it and the garlic on a stovetop on low to medium heat until they’re caramelized. Toss in the sugar when they’re about halfway cooked. Add in a small sprinkle of salt and pepper, less than a teaspoon for salt and season with pepper as preferred.
- Mix sour cream, oil, cilantro and soy sauce in another bowl until smooth.
- Put the onions in the aforementioned bowl.
- Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes and dash on the spring onion before serving.
Recipe for salsa. Makes about 1/2 a cup.
- One of any tomato (even grape tomatoes work). I used Roma because that’s what we had.
- Cilantro, lightly chopped.
- 1/2 a jalapeno (if this level of spiciness isn’t preferable, use red pepper flakes and black pepper).
- ¼ an onion. Preferably red, but we didn’t have any, so I used yellow. The ratio of this recipe has a really strong onion flavor, so for onion haters, add less.
- Salt and black pepper.
How to make salsa.
I mainly made the salsa because I like eating it.
- Depending on the preferred consistency, chop the tomatoes into little cubes, around ½ inch by ½ inch, including the little splooge of seeds and juice that usually falls out.
- Chop the onions and jalapeno into the same little cubes.
- Put in the lightly chopped cilantro, onions, jalapeno and tomatoes into one bowl.
- Sprinkle on some salt and black pepper.
Serve both of these dips with chips; they are also spreadable and or addable to other foods. Salsa goes well with mac and cheese, while the French onion dip goes great on bagels.
Creation using paper
As I thought more about what I could fashion with my hands during this downtime, the origami paper hearts I used to make while I was bored at school popped up in my head. Then, I remembered the little stars I made while I was much younger, in elementary, with my mom and our family friends. These were both memories, old and new, of happy times.
The more I pondered about what origami designs I could make, the more ideas flowed to my head. But one that really stood out to me was the classic paper crane, which are adorable and fairly simple to make. To me, the paper cranes are a reminder of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr. That book was a tale I’d read in elementary school about how Sadako, a Japanese girl, got leukemia from the radiation from the atomic bomb that dropped on Hiroshima. She, her friends and her family made paper cranes in the hopes she would get better. Though I can’t spoil the ending of her story, Sadako’s story is about hope and perseverance — fitting for a similar fight against the COVID-19 pandemic today.
Below are step-by-step tutorials on how to make origami hearts, stars and paper cranes, which I hope will all bring good tidings. Please turn the sound on before viewing.
What creative ideas or projects do you plan to do over spring break? Let us know in the comments below.