Five Ways To Stay Sane


Faced with any crisis, people can react in one of two ways: work yourself into a paralytic frenzy, effectively preventing yourself from getting anything meaningful accomplished, or find alternative ways to utilize your skills, your energy, and your creative spirit.

Naturally, Elbert Hubbard had a quote for it:  “Work your grief up into art and it is gone.”

As the experts have advised, you and I cannot eradicate the virus, but we can prevent ourselves from becoming transmitters. As we each stay in our safe places, we need to do more than simply stare at our televisions. Here, then, are a few Arts and Crafts projects you might consider.


1.) Make a video inventory of your collection. Your cell phone can do more than take selfies. Use its video and audio capabilities to slowly walk through your home, room by room, and make an audio-visual inventory, appraisal, and history of each piece in your collection. Hopefully you will never experience a fire or burglary, but why let yourself suffer an even deeper loss when sitting across from a somber insurance adjuster armed with a calculator and asking for documentation?



2.)  Rearrange your collection. Seen in a different light, we always appreciate a vase, textile, piece of furniture, or work of art even more. And speaking of light, if you don’t change their positioning, the sun will rob your furniture of its color and leave dark spots under lamps, art pottery, and metalware you left too long in one location.



3.) Protect your furniture. A simple coat of paste wax will give your antiques needed protection against glasses, cups, and daily wear. Avoid the cheap, thinned waxes, as they offer little protection and often turn hazy. Go with a high-quality paste wax by a trusted name in wood care products.



4.) Build a birdhouse. At next February’s National Arts and Crafts Conference we will host the first annual Arts and Crafts Birdhouse Competition. Entrees will be on display for all three days and a panel of judges will award cash prizes to the top three birdhouses designed and built in the Arts and Crafts style. Details are at


5.) Get published. Write just 500 or so words on your favorite Arts and Crafts piece, collection, experience, or historic firm, such as an area Arts and Crafts enterprise in danger of being lost to history. Email it and four photographs to us for publication in our weekly Collector’s Guide.


Stay safe, stay sane. Handed a lemon, make your own unique version of lemonade.


Until next week,


“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx




PS – Got another suggestion? Post it at our Facebook page! See the rules and details about our upcoming birdhouse competition on our conference website at