Irish Times reader lockdown plans


Aoife Hester, Co Wicklow

Last year, when I was spending a lot of time at home due to the restrictions, I felt creative and decided to take a look at the objects that surround my office area. The Lego minifigures were sitting on a shelf and I started to imagine small, fun scenarios with them interacting with human objects and food.

These ranged from little figurines running away with a (real) giant donut, watching a movie (on an iPhone), climbing on a guitar, pouring coffee, and more. These images formed a series of interlocking Lego photographs (and can be seen on my Instagram: @ahphotos_ie). They really helped pass the time and keep my mind creative and fun during a very strange and often worrying year.

Betty Furlong, Wexford

Mosaic by Betty Furlong

Since the mid-1800s, pieces of pottery from a shipwreck have washed up on a three-kilometer beach in Rosslare harbor. Like many locals, I have collected them over the years and decided to do something with them while in lockdown.

I created a mosaic on a wall in my garden depicting seagulls and waves. It was such a rewarding and therapeutic project that kept me away from constant negative news and helped me express my creativity in new ways. I look forward to doing more in the coming months as friends and neighbors have asked me to help them create similar work.

Mary Nohilly, Greystones, County Wicklow

Mary Nohilly's three-generation containment project

Mary Nohilly’s three-generation containment project

Some of Mary Nohilly's grandchildren are enjoying their new playhouse

Some of Mary Nohilly’s grandchildren are enjoying their new playhouse

This is our three-generation containment project, built by my son, painted by grandmother (me) under the watchful eyes of three grandchildren who love their new ice cream hideaway. We had so much fun sharing this experience – all from a safe distance of course. Therefore, the following:

The Little House made with Love
Every plank of wood, every nail that we used
Was chosen with so much care
To make this special little house
For our three children to share.
An ice cream parlor was the brief
With a lot of flowers around
Some little creatures hidden there
I’m just waiting to be found
Our lockdown project was fun
All hands on the deck to do it
It took a long time to get it right
But brought us all a lot of joy and pleasure.

Layla Kenny, Dublin

Layla Kenny's ring

Layla Kenny’s ring

I was doing my certificate of departure this year which was understandably stressful so I decided to start making rings and earrings while on lockdown to sell them on Depop as I found it to be a really fun and creative way to relax. Orders coming from my Depop account mean it’s not a hobby that I can just let go of when I get demotivated, which I think is really important. It also prevents me from using my phone, which I have become increasingly attached to over time.

Fiona Cooke, Arklow, Co Wicklow

Fiona Cooke macrame backdrop.  Photography: Magda Lukas

Fiona Cooke macrame backdrop. Photography: Magda Lukas

I discovered a hobby called ‘Macrame’ during the first lockdown – and it turned into a business. While locked in, I created this macrame wedding backdrop that was used for a professional wedding photoshoot. Making macrame is simple to start and yet truly therapeutic and meditative. I would recommend it to anyone. With a few simple knots, you can create something big in no time.

Over time, I have received many inquiries from people wanting to get into crafts and make hangers and parts for their homes. So now I’m helping others get creative with macrame. I spoke about it on the radio and ran a free workshop for university students on the trade. I’m also running a blog with all the info you need to get started. You can find me on

Rob Tobin, Dublin

Rob Tobin's craft beer

Rob Tobin’s craft beer

My interest in craft beer began in the late 2000s with the emergence of exotic faucet handles, bottles and cans among the counters and refrigerators of Dublin bars and off-licenses. After seven years in London and traveling around the world tasting beers, I returned to live in Dublin in 2017.

I had feared my cravings might be sated here, but to my surprise, I discovered a growing market for varied tastes. At the start of the pandemic, I felt a nostalgic longing for days spent searching for incredibly dark beers in even darker glassworks, so I bought several varieties of hop plants from a nursery in Germany to get started in my business. own microbrewery expedition.

As the summer sun worked on my seedlings, another crucial piece of the craft brewery puzzle was placed when Ailbhe – my wife and veteran brewer hunter colleague – bought a 25 liter brewing kit for my birthday. . Our evenings and weekends are now punctuated by the donning of aprons and our rigorous sterilization of the brewing equipment, the precise weighing and association of the ingredients of the must, intermittent measurements of gravity, siphoning, bottling. , settling and cooling until finally, after about 33 days, we open a new one.

To the delight of other beer lovers, our first beer was a US West Coast style Chinook IPA, while our second was a British Kentish Challenger IPA. The latter made an excellent stocking filling for the family as well as a good barter in the neighborhood WhatsApp group before Christmas. Our third and final brew was a warming barley wine which was perfect for slowly sipping on colder evenings.

What does the future hold? I can’t wait to see how my young hops fare and the addition of a young rescue dog – who is determined to destroy – to our modest Rialto garden. With a suitable hop yield in the fall, I would like to brew some more single hop IPAs, maybe a German sour and a winter beer. Sláinte.

Jim Keeler, Hurricane, Utah, United States

Jim Keeler's model car

Jim Keeler’s model car

I am a miniature car maker. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. I like to design a CB model and then execute it with detail and precision. It is important that the details are realistic and that the paint job is done well. I won several national model making competitions.

Ann McQuillen, Arklow, Co Wicklow

Ann McQuillen's cover

Ann McQuillen’s cover

Over the past few years, while visiting the Lake District of Cumbria, I have purchased some beautiful wool from the local Herdwich sheep and added it to my wool supply for future use. During confinement I finally decided to use it and designed and knitted my first blanket.

John browne

John Browne's art sculptures

John Browne’s art sculptures

Art has always been a passion for me. Ever since I retired last September after 52 years in the restaurant industry, I knew that with another lockdown looming, it was time to get back to my shed and get creative. I have always enjoyed all forms of sculpture, and a new avenue I wanted to explore was creating life-size animals, using as many recycled materials and textiles as I had around the house.

To create these sculptures I used a wood based skeleton, newspaper to make a papier mache body, burlap bags to create the textures on the skin / outer fur. To bring the sculptures to life, I end up using acrylic paints to mimic the pigment in animal coats. The first dog I sculpted took some trial and error. Long hours were spent in its manufacture.

I was thrilled with the way life turned out. I had great satisfaction watching the reactions of my grandchildren, when I showed them our new pet sculpture Roly. In the most recent containment, I created more detailed sculptures. It helped me stay positive, keep my mind busy and so the days never seemed long.

Tony Mahony, Bray

Tony Mahony's Fairground Caravan

Tony Mahony’s Fairground Caravan

At 82 I had little choice but to cocoon and my wife and I have been doing it since last March (apart from the weekly trip to get the messages across). To keep myself busy, I did a number of puzzles but they didn’t scratch my creative itch. So I downloaded images of carnival caravans and fairgrounds and calculated all the measurements. Between the pieces of wood I had lying around the shed and a few old broken toys, I was able to make a reasonable representation of one of them.

Lara Hill, Dublin

Lara Hill Cards and Masks

Lara Hill Cards and Masks

During the first confinement, I lived alone because my partner was in confinement in Oslo and could not return home. Since I couldn’t visit my family or friends, I started a project to make cards and masks and post them to family and friends. I made these linocut cards because I could repeat the print multiple times and send messages to people I was separated from. I enjoyed every aspect of it: cutting the linoleum, making the print, writing the cards, posting them to the world, and hearing from people when they received them.

Clement Moylan, Galway

Collage by Clément Moylan

Collage by Clément Moylan

My name is Clément Moylan. I am a 62 year old living in Galway living a semi independent life. I want to show people my work of art because I am so proud of what I have done. Since the confinement I have discovered that it is not easy to go through all the hours of the day. So, with the support of my art teacher Lilly, I got the idea to use any recycled material.

I had to think about what I could do, sitting in my apartment. Normally I attend an art studio twice a week but not from confinement. I have worked with paint until now so this is brand new to me! Lilly provided me with stickers and I left. There are many models out there, but my favorite is the “Mug and Coaster” I made. The photo behind me has already been sold. When I’m in my apartment, alone, it makes me happy to do my collage. We all need to find something that makes us happy.

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