Activity Ideas

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Credit: Pixabay

As we enter week 2 of our sudden and abrupt departure from ‘normal life,’ I find myself hunting for things to occupy my time.  It feels kind of like being forced into retirement – only without the income. :/

I’m trying to stay on something of a schedule, if just to force myself to get up, shower, and get dressed every day.  Otherwise it’s too easy to just sit around in my pajamas all day.  My husband is still working, thankfully, so it does add some structure to the day.

But even my introverted hermit self is struggling to find things to occupy both my hands and mind.  So I sat down and made a list of things I can do to keep busy.  I thought I would share it with you guys in case you were having the same issue.

I can:

  • Blog – which I am doing, or you wouldn’t be reading this. 😀
  • Read – I am currently participating in the 2020 GoodReads challenge – I’ve set a goal of 500 books read this year, and I’m already at 203.
  • Write lesson plans – rumor has it there will be a curriculum director position open at my job next year – assuming school starts as normal in August – and I would love to have it, so I’m trying to be extra prepared.
  • Take online classes – There are lots of different places to take online classes, including Coursera, Skillshare, Lynda.com, and CreativeLive, just to name a few.  I am taking CE classes required for my job – even though I’m not working.  I have no idea if I will still be required to meet the criteria this year, but I figured why not? I have the time and the information will still be useful later.
  • Draw Mandalas – I may even finally make some videos of doing this!
  • Exercise – I can still go out for walks, but even if I couldn’t, I have several pieces of exercise equipment in my home that I can use.
  • Paint miniatures – I have a whole pile of miniatures that I keep meaning to get to – now I have time, so I hope to take advantage of that.
  • Photography – I take photos both IRL and in a virtual digital world, and a lot of that was put on hold because other things were taking up my time.  Now I can do both of those – assuming my data cap doesn’t put a cramp in that!
  • Crochet – I have lots of yarn laying around that I planned to make into blankets for people.  Something to keep my hands busy while I’m watching the dumpster fire that is the news these days.
  • Puzzles/Games – I have a lot of puzzles and board games that I can pull out, as well as playing games on the various consoles in the house.  I’m currently playing Divinity on the PS4 – it’s already downloaded and it’s not an online game, so I don’t use any data when I play it.
  • Coloring – I have several adult coloring books that have been gifted to me that I can pull out and just zen out for a while and color.  I even found one that is full of curse words that feels like the right thing to color right now. 😛
  • Outreach – I’m trying to reach out to family members and friends on a regular basis to check up on everyone.  My sister has been sick, so I haven’t seen her in over a week.  We have an elderly aunt that I need to check on, and just keeping in touch with people helps with my own sanity.

We are still waiting on more information about when my youngest will start the remote classes to finish out this school year.  One of the ISP’s in our area (not the big one, but the small rural one) is setting up wi-fi nodes so that kids who don’t have internet access at home can travel to one of the nodes and use the wi-fi for free.  The latest email also mentioned they will be letting the kids know when they can return to pick up personal items.  I bet the locker rooms smell AMAZING after this long. :/

Create a Font from Your Handwriting

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Calligraphr.com

I’ve been busily creating things over the last several weeks.  Some things have happened at work that have me even more sure that I want to get my business launched so I can work for myself rather than depending on an employer.

In addition to creating new stickers, covers, and the like for my sticker business, I remembered seeing a video about creating a font using your own handwriting.  So I went searching and found the website Calligraphr.

Basically, you print out a template and then write in the letters (capital and lowercase), numbers, and punctuation in your own handwriting.  You then scan and upload the template with your writing and the site will create a font for you from your handwriting.

You do have to create an account and provide an email address, but you get one font for free.  Delete your one free font (after you save the files and install the font on your computer) and you can then create another free font.  (You can only save one font file at a time with the free account.)  When I made mine, my hand was a bit shaky and some of the capital letters aren’t that neat.

I also noticed that when I tested out the font in a document, it was very small.  At 12 pt it looked like this:

MyFont12pt

As you can see, it’s small and pretty hard to read.  I tried making it larger:

MyFont24pt

Much easier to read, but I’m curious if there’s a tweak I missed somewhere to increase the size before the font file is created.  I’ll check next time – I want to try creating one that’s more of a calligraphy style font, but still in my own hand.

When you generate the font, you can also choose from two file types – OTT or TrueType.  The OTT file lets you add fancy flourishes and such, but unless you’re a professional font designer, the TrueType font is usually sufficient.

Calligraphr states that your font files are yours to use whenever and wherever you see fit, including commercial uses.  You can also upgrade to a paid account, which lets you create multiple fonts with additional features not available with the free account.

It was cool to see my handwriting in use as I typed, and even though I can’t make fancy flourishes and such, having a font that looks my own handwriting will surely let me be kinder to my carpal tunnel.  It means I can type notes that look handwritten and personal, something I’m sure I can use with my sticker business.  I may try some digital journaling using this font and see how I like it.