In the midst of enduring COVID-19 restrictions, many Manitobans have embraced hobbies to help them get by.

Kandy Signorino lives in Steinbach. She says got into pottery making back in March when COVID-19 first hit. Since then, she notes she has bought a pottery wheel, a kiln, and even started an Esty store called Kandy’s Pottery Shop.

"It has become a huge therapy for me. It is definitely a good outlet. It keeps your mind off the not-so-pleasant things in life and gets the mental juices flowing and I have been able to interact with a lot of people I would have never met."

Jess Goertzen, on the other hand, picked up an old hobby that had fallen by the wayside years ago.

"I picked up my camera again. I used to do it in high school and I forgot how much I loved it and so I have been doing pictures of landscapes because there is not much else you can do right now during the pandemic."

Similarly, Daniella Hildebrandt decided to get back into leather-working which she used to teach at Camp Arnes. She notes the internet has been very helpful.

"There are some very generous Youtubers out there that give their patterns away for free and it has been cool learning different things."

Joanne Dalton says she has started crocheting again in the midst of this most recent COVID-19 lockdown.

"I mostly do baby blankets for friends and family. It's something to keep my hands busy. It was something really great to stop that 8-10 P.M. snacking when I would sit down to watch Netflix. That was the original goal."

Dalton says she recently found patterns for incredibly cute cup cozies that look like dogs. She notes they don’t take too long and make excellent gifts for her animal-loving friends.

Kathy Wiens also likes to use her love of crafts to bless others. She notes she’s into everything from soap making to wood-burning.

"I am going to make Valentine's bags with my body scrubs and my soaps. I gifted lots at Christmas time. When COVID first started near Easter, I made Lego soap and the kids all helped bake lots of cookies and we went around delivering all that then too."

Meanwhile, Alan Fehr, who is known throughout the community for his event planning and theatre productions, has recently started a VLOG in which he interviews event planners in many different fields and has also taken to planning virtual get-togethers.

"Historically we've done murder mystery nights. We gather together at a venue and then we play out this murder mystery and the guests try to guess from the actors who-done-it. Now we are looking to do that virtually because we can do it virtually."

While Fehr considers event planning more of a career than a hobby, he notes it has been a good way to keep his creative juices flowing. Fehr says he feels COVID-19 has helped get exponentially better at digital communication. He notes he expects this to be beneficial long after COVID-19 is gone.