Even without concerts, parties, or really any reason to dress up, I’ve still managed to find excuses during the pandemic to indulge my greatest guilty pleasure: online shopping. I’m trying to spend less of my money on fast-fashion retailers and instead opt for more sustainable options, such as small businesses and vintage shops. While scrolling through Instagram, I came across Lucid Voyage Boutique, which has since become one of my favorite finds.
The Austin-based shop features reworked vintage pieces selected by owner and creative director Veronica Hood, who offers free pickup options locally and ships worldwide. I was first drawn in by an incredible sage-green suit set, but I kept coming back for the bold patterns, bright colors, and the repurposed seventies and eighties pieces that Hood alters (sometimes dyeing them or adding new buttons) to create a fresh, modern feel. If you’re not typically one for color or statement pieces, Lucid Voyage might persuade you to spice things up—even if you’re just stuck in your apartment.
—Cat Cardenas, associate editor
Taking an Online Class at Austin Bat Cave
One surefire way I’ve found to accomplish a goal (a “resolution,” if you must) is to lock myself into a commitment, whether by investing money or pledging to some accountability apparatus. To that end, I’m a habitual class-taker. I pay money to pledge that my butt will be in a seat (or my mug in a Zoom square) come class time. As I’ve committed to making more art this year, my preferred classes include Austin Bat Cave’s adult writing workshops (all virtual) and the Contemporary Austin’s art offerings (some virtual options). But you need only think of a hobby worth pursuing—fitness, cooking, blacksmithing—and it’s likely that some form of instruction exists, whether locally or on platforms such as Skillshare and MasterClass. As for me, come Tuesday I’ll be writing the reams of sentences I resolved to create when I enrolled in my latest Bat Cave class, “From Start to Finish: The Art of the Concept Album” with Bridget Brewer—I swear it.
—Taylor Prewitt, social media editor
Embroidery Patterns by Maggie Jo’s Studio
After working late on Wednesday night—and having spent the day on Twitter, horrified by the news from Washington, D.C.—my mind was still racing after I logged off. So I picked up my embroidery project, a floral hoop by the Bryan-based designer Maggie Schnücker. Stitching has a meditative quality; the repetitive motion of drawing a needle and thread through fabric lets me zone out and feel my worries fade into the background. I’m still a novice, but the detailed, step-by-step patterns that Schnücker sells in her Etsy shop give me the confidence to tackle new stitches; I recently mastered the lazy daisy and the woven wheel. (Along with my love of tea and Masterpiece Theatre, it seems I’m well on my way to being an old lady). Embroidery is affordable, too: you need only a needle and thread, a wooden hoop, cotton fabric, and a pencil or tracing paper to transfer the design. This can all be found at any craft store for about $25, or you can opt for one of the many prepackaged kits on Etsy. Stitching is the perfect antidote to doomscrolling.
—Rose Cahalan, associate editor
Following Texas-Themed Instagram Accounts
If your Instagram feed is anything like mine, things are getting a little bland as we head into the tenth month of quarantine. With nowhere to go and not much to do, I found myself scrolling through masked pictures outdoors and selfies on the couch. To perk up my feed, I began following a slew of Texas-themed Instagram accounts.
My favorite is @atx_barrio_archive, an account celebrating the culture and history of Austin’s Latino and Black communities. If you’re looking to travel vicariously across the state, @instagramtexas has a glorious hodgepodge of Texas photos, from the tiny town of Marathon to big-city life in Houston. Another great account, @traces_of_texas, is run by a photographer who has driven almost 250,000 miles over the last thirteen years to document the people and culture of the state. You can also use the hashtag #tmwanders to share your own photo, which we might feature on our page, and browse other adventurers’ shots.
Scrolling through my feed, I now get the special treat of seeing everything from a herd of horses in West Texas to a nineties mural of Selena on East Sixth Street in Austin. Since following these accounts, I have once again enjoyed the escape of being on Instagram.
—Sierra Juarez, assistant editor