Five ways to beat the boredom

Painting, dancing, learning to code and more
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Categories: Life & Arts

In photos: Instructors Diane Lachtrupp Martinez and Johnny Martinez are shown in January 2018 at Newberry Music Hall in Saratoga Springs during Tango Fusion Latin Night dance class. Inset: One of the Take N’ Paint kits from Saratoga Paint & Sip Studio, courtesy of Jane McKenna.


Many in the Capital Region are feeling stuck and are missing out on some of the things they enjoyed doing before the pandemic.

Some businesses and organizations have found ways to keep their doors open, offering virtual classes or take-home kits, in an effort to lessen this feeling.

Paint & Sip
“People are stuck at home and they’re looking for things to do. We need to do whatever we can to keep people [from] just watching the news day in and day out,” said Catherine Hover, owner of Saratoga Paint & Sip Studio. 

While the studio has been closed for several weeks, the painting hasn’t come to a halt. She’s been offering take-home kits filled with everything one might need to create one of the studio’s classic Paint & Sip compositions, including a canvas, paint, brushes and instructions. People who would normally come to a class have been picking up the Take N’ Paint kits right from the curb outside the studio. 

They started selling out during the first few days and she’s already had to order more products to make the kits. 

“I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude that it’s not even funny. Never in a million years did I think we would be able to provide our service if we weren’t able to hold an event,” Hover said. 

She’s also been able to offer the “sip” portion of Paint & Sip, selling bottles of wine with the kits for $15.

Beyond painting, Hover has collaborated with Darn Good Yarn and the Bohemian Company to create crafting kits. 

People have already reached out and thanked her for helping them beat the boredom of being in quarantine. 

“It benefits everyone, right?” Hover asked. 

Take N’ Paint kits are $15-25. For more information visit paintandsipstudios.com

Tango Fusion 
If you’ve come down with cabin fever, turn to Diane Lachtrupp Martinez and Johnny Martinez of Tango Fusion.

They’re offering free dance classes online via Facebook Live and Zoom. They also offer group and private sessions featuring a variety of dance styles including salsa, West Coast swing, cha-cha, etc. via Zoom.

For more information visit tangofusiondance.com or Tango Fusion on Facebook. 

Albany Can Code, Inc. 
Some have used this time to try out a new hobby or learn a new skill. It’s part of the reason Albany Can Code has begun offering free coding classes to kids and adults. 

“As we look ahead to next week, we’re inspired by the many people who have joined us to improve their skills during this challenging time. . . . We don’t know what the future will hold, but we know that every day is an opportunity to grow and improve,” the organization posted on Facebook. 

The classes are hosted on Facebook Live and cover HTML, CCS and more. The classes continue throughout this week. For the full schedule visit Albany Can Code on Facebook. 

Local libraries
From craft ideas to spring cleaning tricks, local librarians always seem to have a solution to boredom. 

On the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library’s Facebook, librarians have posted videos on everything from genealogy to how to create musical instruments using only items from your kitchen. 

This week, librarians at the Saratoga Springs Public Library will offer a virtual session on English paper piecing, a hand sewing technique. The class starts at 11 a.m. on Friday. Participants will need thread, fabric scraps and paper. Instructions and a Zoom link to join the virtual session will be sent to registered participants. To register, visit sspl.libcal.com

Preserve history 
The Schenectady County Historical Society is asking people to become a part of the local historical record. 

“We are all making history right now, as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an emergency of historic proportions and has been compared to the Black Plague, or the 1918 Spanish Flu. Like those past crises, COVID-19 will be a major topic of study for future historians,” read a recent memo from the Society. 

They’re asking community members to submit their scrapbooks, photo albums, letters, songs, poems, short stories and other works created during the pandemic. They hope by collecting these documents it will help future historians get a clear picture of what it was like to live during this pandemic. 

They encourage community members to keep a personal diary, scrapbook or photo album of the things they notice about their lives. Then share it with the Society or with a global collection. For more information on submitting visit schenectadyhistorical.org or contact the SCHS librarian, Marietta Carr, at [email protected] 

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