The world feels so fragile and surreal right now.
There are days when reality seems too slippery to grasp, and the hours between dawn and dusk end up being spent like an unexpected layover in an unfamiliar time zone where you have no idea what to do with yourself besides sit and wait. Like strangers stuck in an eerie airport terminal, we must find a way to pass the time beyond nervous scrolling, melancholic weeping, or sad napping, lest we lose our damn minds and miss our flight out of here.
Maintaining focus in times of great anxiety is a tall order, but ask any consummate stoner, and they'll tell you a story about that one time they got astronomically high and were coaxed back to earth with some basic, rudimentary act of creativity—which is to say, a colorful distraction can often replace a terrifying reality with one of peaceful calm.
In other words, if you're finding yourself overwhelmed by the current state of the world, you can find your way back to earth by asking one question: "What would a crafty stoner do?"
I reached out to Amy Zimmerman, social media manager for the Portland chapter of cannabis crafting club Tokeativity, for simple, everyday projects fun for creatives and left-brainers alike. When paired with a complementary cannabis strain, these crafts can make quarantine feel less like an end-times punishment and more like a stimulating lifestyle choice.
(Rolling) Paper Marbling
What is it? An art that dates back to the 10th century, paper marbling occurs when color is floated atop water or another viscous solution and then carefully transferred to a surface, such as paper or fabric. Chances are, demonstrations of the practice have already found their way into your Instagram feed. It's a surprisingly elegant craft used in bookbinding and other paper arts, and you probably have everything you need to do it in your own home.
What you need: Shaving cream, food coloring, paper.
What you do: Spray some shaving cream in a pie or baking dish and dot it with food colorings of your choice. Drag the tines of a fork through the top layer, swirling the colors without mixing them. Press paper gently into the surface of the mixture, peel out, and scrape off the residual shaving cream. You will be left with your own bespoke rolling papers.
What to smoke: Acapulco Gold. Find it at Chalice Farms, 5333 SE Powell Blvd., 503-788-9999, chalicefarms.com.
DIY Stoner Buddy
What is it? If you've already tested positive for missing the homies, a sock puppet is a totally not disturbing way to manufacture some much-needed companionship. No 6-foot barrier required, and you can even pretend to "share" joints.
What you need: One sacrificial sock, strong glue (E6000 or hot glue), yarn, fabric, buttons or coins (for eyes), some type of Jim Henson production playing in the background for inspiration.
What you do: Place the sock on your hand and start gluing things onto it until it resembles your new quarantine buddy. Maybe name it Wilson.
What to smoke: Fruit Punch. Find it at Left Coast Connection, 10055 NE Glisan St., 971-407-3049, leftcoastconnection.com.
Bird Feeder/Non-Human Friend Maker
What is it? When human contact is suddenly off limits, the idea of going full Snow White and making friends with the neighborhood fauna gets instantly more attractive. With spring in mind, start by befriending the songbirds whose harmonies remind us that nature continues to do its thing without us.
What you need: A large pine cone, about a tablespoon of seed or nut butter, birdseed, one length of string.
What you do: Slather the pine cone in peanut butter, roll it in birdseed, and hang it from a tree, balcony or awning, preferably close enough to your main stone zone so you can gaze appreciatively at your new BFFs while puffing.
What to smoke: Cinex. Find it at Nebula Cannabis, 11605 SE Powell Blvd., 503-477-5799, nebulapdx.com.
Raise the Whole ’Hood’s Spirits
What is it? On your next scheduled isolation walk, collect a handful of rocks. After thorough washing, disinfecting and sterilization—of you and your new street rocks—paint said rocks and conspicuously place them around the neighborhood.
What you need: Street rocks, paint.
What you do: Paint a pretty picture on them there street rocks and scatter 'em outdoors for people to enjoy.
What to smoke: Sour Diesel. Find it at Green Gratitude, 10322 SE Holgate Blvd., 503-444-7707, greengratitude.us.