Pandemic Projects 5

In Creativity, Education/School, family, Gallery, Holiday, Projects by Brenda7 Comments

Finally! “Will she ever be done with this?” you ask. Yes, rest assured, this is my last post about my Pandemic Projects.  Phew! 

First, a few stragglers to share: My youngest grandson Mitch and I did a project together last year.  We planted a packet of zinnia seeds and watched them grow.  And did they grow!  I forgot how prolific zinnias can be.  We watched a YouTube video of how to harvest the zinnia seeds, and now have large Ziploc bags full of zinnia seeds to plant soon.  It was a big project to harvest them all, as we had a LOT of them!  It was a fun project to share.

I also finished a project I started months (years?) ago for my niece Abby.  She gave me some yarn and I made her a hat and scarf in the colors of her alma mater, Ohio State.  She says she will wear them in her Florida home.  Those Florida types cannot handle a chill. ;-D

For Alex’s birthday, he wanted to spend some quality time with me learning to make noodles like his grandma Mary Johnson used to make.  She was a champion noodle maker among other things.  We miss her and this was a great way to share a memory and remember her. 

As we looked towards Christmas, there is always the big question, wondering what to get people. I first decided to make the boys matching shirts.  It was a fun, fairly quick project with composing the lettering on the computer and reversing it to print out on an iron-on for the shirts. (Gram loves to encourage the boys to work as a team.  It sure beats fussing with each other!)

Next was the gift for their family: the big finale’!   This year, my hubby thought we should consider getting Alex’s family a large bean bag chair he had seen advertised.  I looked into it and we quickly learned that it was more like the price of a used car.  It was still a good idea, so my wheels started turning and I did a little searching of the web.  I was thinking of what it would take to make one and realized I owned many of the components.  There was that upholstery fabric a lady gave me when I stopped in at the end of her garage sale.  Well, I JUST found a purpose for it!  And then there were the 6 old seat cushions for our sectional that were taking room up in the attic.  That was really nice foam, and I bet we could find a way to cut it up (electric knife?).  I started reading tutorials and watching videos and soon I had a plan to make the homemade version of the Love Sac!  Love Sacs came in many sizes.  I fashioned ours after the one that was made for at least 3 people.  I also made another bean bag chair that was smaller from another concept.  I had some denim fabric and some plaid for that.  The chairs don’t coordinate with one another, but I figured they would not be in the same room.  The big one upstairs and the smaller one would coordinate with the downstairs couch colors.  We dove in right away.  This became a great project for Mike and me to enjoy working on together… for hours. He remarked that it was what made Christmas special for him this year.   

Interestingly, the fabric pouch was the fastest part to make.  The smaller bag was made with two rectangles sewn together in an interesting fashion.  I decided to make an inner sac out of old sheets to hold the stuffing as the outer sac has a zipper.  I figured one quick unzip could pose disastrous if an inquiring grandson got any ideas. (Please don’t give them any ideas!)

The larger pseudo-Love Sac wanna-be was made like this.  Imagine a tuna can.  Two circles for top and bottom, and a loooong rectangle for the whole side to wrap around.  After all is sewn together, stand the tuna can on its side, and sit on the long rectangle. It would squish into the rest and form a seat. That was the plan. 

But the BIG job of this whole thing was cutting up the foam.  On a video I watched a girl cut up three king-sized mattress toppers with a pair of scissors!  I think she said it took her 21 hours.  Or was it more?  It was insane.  I soon learned with my arthritic hands that scissors were not an option.  Here is what we came up with as our system: First Mike would make slices of foam with the electric knife (until the knife motor got so hot, he had to give it a break).  We found another electric knife and alternated between them. Then he would give me the slices. 

I used my paper cutter (like the ones they had in our elementary art room) and removed the guards from it.  I sliced the foam slice into strips, then chopped the long strips into cubes!  A lot of static electricity was going through my living room for a LOOOONG time. 

We mixed these cubes with the regular Styrofoam balls you usually use to stuff bean bag chairs (found them at Meijer).  It made a good mix.  I think the Styrofoam helped the foam to roll and shift into any shape needed.  We wished we knew how many hours we both poured into chopping foam.  We watched many a movie while doing so.  We still find a Styrofoam ball rolling around somewhere now and then!

Then came Christmas!  It was a gift for the whole family.  They were all pleasantly surprised and loved it!  Nathan (7) told me he liked it better than anything he could have imagined.  Made my day! So this thing is gigantic and as you can see, the whole family could about sit on it. 

So after that, what could be bigger than that pandemic project?!?  What could shock you from this old bird?  Here’s what I’ve got…

After being out of high school for over 40 years, on January 11, on my mom’s 81st birthday, I became a student at Wright State University. (Raider Up!)

I am a part-time student.  This semester I took English 1100 and Drawing 1.  It was a great experience.  I am signed up for fall classes also in Drawing 2 and 2D Color Design.  I will include a few of my charcoal drawings from class that were part of my presentation for my final in Drawing 1.

Master transcription of “Narcisuss” by Caravaggio: (Interesting story about the subject matter if you want to read about it. He is looking into the river Styx, that separates him from the afterlife.) (Click on preceding text for the link.)

Master Transcription of “The Bridge at Narni” 1826 by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

So there it is!  I’m finally wrapping up my postings of Pandemic Projects!  I doubt I will ever have another year (or have ever had such a year) as productive with creative projects in my lifetime.  I used to dream of being locked in my house for two months so I could get all my projects done.  Well, this was close!  The absence of outside expectations certainly changed priorities.  It was a year to remember for many reasons.  There were hard times during this pandemic for all of us and very hard for many of you.  I wish we never had to experience it for all the losses.  But for these brief blog postings, I hope you could escape the hard parts long enough to enjoy some of the fruits. If you made it this far, thank you for your patience through this long series of posts. I enjoyed taking you along for the ride! Blessings to you all! 


  1. You are an inspiration of ways to make memories with your family ♥️ Love your gift of creativity!

  2. I enjoyed reading about all your projects! Love your creativity and ingenuity, Brenda!

Leave a Comment