Creative Resources During Quarantine

Leanne Rhem

 I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe at home if you are able. If you are not at home and are one of the many first responders and essential workers keeping us fed/healthy/our world functioning I'm thinking of you everyday, thank you!

I know lots of people that aren't used to spending this much time at home, it can feel very isolating. It can be hard, but you're not alone in those feelings.

I'm in a unique position since I run my own business from home, I'm a stay at home mum to our 3 year old Freya, I'm used to cleaning and preparing most meals, coming up with craft projects and being the emotional support in my family. I'm used to juggling a lot ( I don't actually know how to juggle though, Zac does haha). In a lot of ways being in self-isolation and only going  grocery shopping every two weeks hasn't felt like a big change other than missing my family and friends. We spent years where Zac was working from home and we got into a great routine so having him back in the house and still able to work has me reaching out to others that might need help.

I've been using our Instagram account to share some tips, recipes and fun moments from our days as a family. I've encouraged anyone who needs help to reach out in an email ( or a private message through Instagram if you don't know what to cook for dinner, what to make for snacks for your family, how to entertain your kids or how to re-work the way you work under stress and distraction. I'll do my best to get back to you and help in any way I'm able! 

So...since many of us are at home, let's try and have some fun! I know many creatives are feeling too distracted to be productively creative and that's ok too. What I'm hoping to do here is create a list of some great online resources (supporting Canadian institutions and businesses as much as I can) to jumpstart some creativity at home regardless of your age or ability. I'm hoping you'll find something here that makes you smile and brightens your day! If you come across an activity that you think should be on this list, send me an email.

Collaborate Online

  • Sparkbox Studio  the awesome artist residency in Prince Edward County (run by our friends Chrissy and Kyle) has been active on their instagram account with lots of ideas about what to do to keep creative. One activity included picking an art book off the shelf, flipping to a randomly selected page and creating an artwork based on what you saw/researched about the subject/artist/artwork that you saw. Freya and I did this together based on the image Chrissy found in her art book so don't think you have to have your own selection of fancy books at home. You could even scroll through pictures you have on you computer and make an artwork based on that or have a friend or family member pick the reference photo for you so you have to check back in with them to show off the finished piece.
  • #CreativeDuet is something I first saw a fashion illustrator I love do with a friend of hers. Katie Rodgers of Paper Fashion took to instagram posting a video of side by side time lapse videos taking place continents apart. One artist began and created the first piece while documenting their process and the other made an artwork inspired by the other's. I loved this so much I decided to do one with Chrissy of Spark Box! Video available in my saved instagram stories under Art challenges!

Video How-to

  • Zac Kenny is the other half of Gold and Ginger but I bet you didn't know he has a masters in Art Education and made a Kids TV show for his thesis project almost 10 years ago! Now is the perfect time to re-release his show called The Art Room because the premise is to use recycling to create Art! There will be little need to order from any art store with these projects. Please show your love for this video and maybe we can convince Zac to make some more!!!

Dress Up!

 You can dress up in your own living room while video chatting with friends, swap clothes with your partner or do some of these funny things and post them on social media for all your friends and family to see!

  • Dress up like you're on the runway and copy haute couture looks with supplies found around the home and don't forget to use the hashtag #homecouture click for the article at Vogue.
  • Dress up like a work of art! Museums like The MET in New York city are adopting the "if you cant see the art, be the art" mentality and asking you to pick a piece of art from their museum by perusing their online tours and catalogues and try and recreate it then post it using hashtags like #METtwinning and #METanywhere

 Virtual Museum Experience

  • The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has launched #AGOfromhome on their instagram page promising videos, tours and DIY ideas like creating a still life artwork with objects in your home #SlowLifeStillLife
  • The County's own Oeno gallery is hosting virtual and interactive talks with artists every Tuesday and Friday afternoon where you can even email questions ahead of time or ask them live.


  • Pinterest is a rabbit hole of DIY ideas, crafts, home projects, teaching aids and makeup and hair tutorials haha. Have a look at my account to get you started then find your own rabbit hole of inspirational ideas to save for when the mood strikes you.

Art Kits

  • Low Poly Crafts is a great business we have done lots of shows with in the past that makes pre-scored and cut card stock sculpture kits that you fold and glue together in the comfort of your own home. We've made a giraffe head and it was lots of fun! They are offering 20% off using code: StaySafeCraftAway in addition to having free print at home kits that they are releasing everyday along with live streams of assembling kits on their instagram.
  • Kiriki Press is an indie design company producing embroidered doll kits and embroidery samplers. We've got quite the collection of these kits at our house. Some kits are finished, some in progress, some still in the box, they're really fun and relaxing to do if you like embroidery. If you're interested in learning then there are different skill levels and samplers to practice new stitches. If you don't have any of the embroidery tools then they even have a starter kit which will set you up with everything you need! They offer free shipping over $100 (usd) and have a coupon code for 20% off: CANADA20 
  • Dawning Collective is a beautiful whimsical jewellery company and they made a print at home paper doll house kit that you can find on their website here.


I'll just highlight a few Canadian pattern making companies that have some great patterns as well as free patterns, tutorials and resources. I'll compile a bigger list of indie patterns designers in another post if there is interest!

  • Closet Case is a Montreal based company that has beautiful patterns and some great freebies one that I'm particularly excited to make is the floor poof/cushion that you can fill with all your sewing scraps! I know lots of us are cleaning up our spaces and often that includes finding all kinds of bits in our studio that are destined for the garbage.
  • Victory Patterns is another great pattern company I love based in Toronto and for newsletter subscribers they have a great tote bag pattern, we may not be headed out anywhere but why not sew yourself up a bunch of grocery bags to use once all this craziness is over with?!

Colouring Pages

  • Our favourite cartoonist Niall Eccles has a bunch of colouring pages available for download as well as some great comics and characters with lots showing the "in progress" sketches, I can't think of a better time to start drawing your family members or politicians on TV with all the stuff they say during this time...could be a cool comic time capsule.
  • Alexandra Finkeldey is the person behind Scaterbee her illustrations are super cute and often feature animals so it's no wonder I like her stuff! She's got some awesome colouring pages available too, check out her instagram here.

Drawing Prompts

  • Emily Taylor is one of my favourite Canadian surface designers and she has saved 20 great drawing prompts in her instagram stories for you to check out if your well of inspiration every dries up!

I Only Want to Listen/Read About Being Creative

  • My favourite creative podcast is Creative Pep Talk it's insightful, honest and full of interviews with some of my favourite creatives.
  • The book that has gotten me out of a creative slump the most is Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. It's great and a super quick read full of good advice. Something the author talks about in the book is having time to be bored being great for generating new ideas so, let's let our minds wander and find a new groove. 

I hope this list helps in some way! Let's keep creating, sharing art and design with each other and reimagine a better world for after we get through this.



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