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July 27, 2020

Coping with COVID Using Creativity: Explore the New Creativebug Database

By: Pam Lamberger

How are you coping with the unexpected change of pace while spending oodles of time at home during the interminable days of COVID-19? It seems we’ve been sent into a parallel universe, where all the rules have changed and there is no playbook! In an effort to find productive ways to use my elevated level of home time, I have turned to creative pursuits.

First, I dug through my scrap-box of old sewing supplies and stitched myself some masks for the days that I must venture out. Then, I started shooting and posting to social media, photos taken on my early morning walks. This helps me to connect with online friends, easing the sense of isolation. I recently became aware of a newly available database among the library’s online collection. It is Creativebug, which is chock-full of delightful ideas and techniques, complete with a plethora of How-to videos. I invite you to explore this fun, FREE resource along with me.

From the HEPL homepage, under Services, you can click on See A-Z Databases, or just click here and scroll down to Creativebug.

The screenshot illustrates their welcome page. Enter your library card number (all the numbers omitting any spaces, please), then create an account using your name and email address. Next, create your password; be sure to make note of it so you can return as often as you wish.

When you log in, you’ll land on a page with lots of options for currently featured content. I previewed a class on How to Mend Clothing, which I found quite engaging and professionally produced. When you select a class, you’ll see its viewer ranking (1-5 stars), a brief description of its length and content, a breakdown of chapters, needed materials, a photo gallery, previous viewer discussion, a place to keep personal notes, a watch-list of similar videos, and a text transcript of the video.

You can also navigate the site using the headings at the top, which include: Classes, Inspiration, CBTV, Daily Practice, and Live Events. Classes are subdivided into helpful categories: Art & Design, Sewing, Quilting, Paper (including book-binding!), Knitting, Crochet, Food & Home, Jewelry, Holiday & Party, and Kids. There is something for everyone here – don’t you agree?

Under the Inspiration heading, I noticed a Pattern Library that contains a generous collection of knit and crochet patterns for beginner and intermediate skill-levels. Patterns are curated, downloadable and free! If you’ve recently shopped for patterns, you’ll know this is a valuable money-saving feature. Another point of interest for parents, in the Class Collections portion of the Inspiration section is a Kids’ Art Camp. It features loads of introductory-level classes, perfect for the young and young-at-heart.

If you prefer live over pre-recorded instruction, you can register for Camp Creativebug Live Events. At the time of this writing, two of the three summer events remained, for July and August. I registered for both – one on friendship bracelets/lanyards and the other on creative T-shirts. All you do is register your email, select the classes of interest and you will receive emailed instructions on how to participate. How fun is that?

I hope you’ll find something in Creativebug to inspire your own creative spirit and take your mind off the dreaded you-know-what. Writer Julia Cameron describes the purpose of creative pursuits in a way that really resonates at this time, “Using our creativity is therapeutic, not because we need to be fixed, but because we need to be expressive.” Be well as you unleash your creativity on our struggling world!