Winter Plans in the Midst of a Pandemic

READ  •  [publish-year]


While 2020 is a year most of us would rather soon forget, it’s still a year that we have to go through. And with restrictions on everything from indoor dining and recreational experiences to fitness facilities and events, we’ve had to adjust how we socialize, relieve stress, and spend our time. We caught up with our team to ask them how they plan on keeping busy and keeping sane through a pandemic-affected winter.

Pauline, Creative Director

We try to keep a balance of indoor and outdoor activities with our kids. Outside, we’ve taken to doing scavenger hunts with our kids — all things you’d find outside walking around our area. Inside, we’ve aimed to change up their play stations often with a focus on activities like games and crafts. I also tend to spend more time experimenting in the kitchen during the winter months.

Baking bread has long been a family tradition that I grew up with and am now carrying on — it’s been pretty therapeutic, so I find that I’m spending more time doing this.

Kaleigh, Content Director

I bought the recipe cards at 26 Market and have been using them to write down recipes we do at home ad lib. My partner is an amazing cook and runs The Moonlight Inn restaurant at Victoria Beach during the summer as a side hustle and I’m also not a bad cook (terrible baker). I’ve worked in restaurant kitchens all throughout university and before starting at 26 — food is a big part of my life.

My partner is a photographer and we hope to make a cookbook that is entirely photo-based. We’d like to photograph the recipe cards with raw ingredients styled around them. I love styling and plating. It’s kind of like our personal Covid cookbook with all original recipes!

This is a fun project that we’re excited about because it combines our professional and personal lives. I have an insane passion for editorial design and he is truly a talented photographer.

Jess, Strategic Designer

To cope with a COVID-19 winter, I’ve been trying out new recipes in the kitchen — primarily focused on plant-based dishes and baked goods. Cooking with my boyfriend is actually one of my favourite things to do, and we can spend hours cooking in the kitchen, so it’s a really great thing to do when we need a break from checking the news.

My go-to recipes are usually roasted vegetables and tofu stir-fry, but a new and notable dish I’ve recently made was quinoa and lentil cabbage rolls. They were pretty good for the most part, but I have some perfecting to do.

Baked goods is a must because of my sweet tooth! Things I’ve made so far: lemon poppyseed loaf, banana bread, blueberry peach crumble, and blueberry coffee cake.

And to help stay positive, I’ve decided to take part in a virtual sketch club with a few of my friends who were in the Environmental Design program with me. Every week, there’s a new theme or subject and we all find some time to sketch/illustrate something to share in our group chat on Sundays.

Cyrene, Strategic Designer

I’m planning to work on some personal projects and draw more in my free time. I’m also trying to find time to get back into some old hobbies — particularly making block prints.

I’ve also been hoarding a bunch of puzzles and have a miniature garden set that’s supposed to take about 40-70 hours to complete, so I’ve been pretty excited to start that!

Something I’ve really been to trying to focus on is making things by hand to cut down on my screen time since we’re already spending so much time staring at our computers, which is kind of what led me to hoard puzzles and pick up that mini garden. Listening to Christmas tunes always brightens my mood in the winter, too.

RB, Marketing Manager

Biking has always been an outlet for me to relieve stress and when we were in the thick of the pandemic in March/April, I bought a new bike — my first non-fixed gear bike. I bought it with the intention of using it on all types of terrain in all types of weather.

Since then, I’ve logged over 1,500km on the new bike and I don’t plan on keeping it locked up all winter. I recently picked up some winter bike tires that have held up really well so far, even in thick snow, so I’m going to see how she fares on some of the fat bike trails in Manitoba.

Apart from biking, other ways I plan on keeping sane are running D&D games for my friends online, working on my photography and illustration skills, and helping my partner bake her way through Claire Saffitz’s cookbook, Dessert Person.

A Refined Wish List for 2020

USE  •  [publish-year]


… And the time has come for writing our wish lists, this time one more personal – for the new year. As we move into the new year, it is naturally a time to reflect on the resolutions that will be lasting and enriching, and to dream of adventures (perhaps in travel or in work).
To help you begin the year with mindfulness and good habits, we’ve assembled a selection of items that we use and deem, ultimately very useful, beautiful, and long-lasting – all echoing our perspectives on design and organization.

Portable Storage Systems – The Superior Labor

  • Petite Engineer Bag
  • TSL Backpack
  • TSL Passport Case
  • TSL Fanny Pack

For All Note-Taking. Analogue Style – Notem

  • Annual Journal
  • Work Journal – for your daily overview, meeting summaries and project planning
  • TSL Brass Clipboard

Birds in March and Transition – Seasonal Reflections and an Announcement

READ  •  [publish-year]


I began writing this reflection on my birthday – March 12th – what seems now to have been the tipping point for us here in Canada with respect to the COVID-19 crisis. How things can change in a matter of a week or two. Working for 26 Projects out of Toronto was both a personal and professional shift, and our focus on this transition has been top of mind for our company. Now, we are all faced with a new and immediate transition that we know has reverberated through every industry. We are dealing with separation beyond my removal from the studio environment, but like most, we are drawing closer and becoming more resilient with each day that passes, even with the distance.

What we want everyone to know, is that we are committed to and will continue to work and show our support to our clients, family, friends – our community – for as long as we possibly can. Although we are faced with important decision making for 26 internally, something that we are wanting to do is give back through support by way of communication and design. We are opening up our hearts and our minds to all those in need of COVID-related help through visual and written communication. Whether today, or in the coming days, we encourage you to reach out to us. And, we will do our best to reach out to those in our immediate circle to respond to every unique scenario. We will work to our capacity to create thoughtful and informative messaging for your audience via notifications and updates. Perhaps it is an email that you don’t have the time to assemble, a message on social media that you’d like to send out, or a more dynamic pursuit that you’d like to flesh out with us. We are here to share our ideas and to help execute where we can. The point is, we can do this together.

Lastly, I want to leave you with this. With any journal entry, it’s important not to erase words of reflection. We still stand behind our ambitions and desires through this time of uncertainty. Every word still rings true to us.

A move east in January can be overwhelming, exciting, cold, but someone reassured me, “birds will be singing on your birthday”. This is true. Spring is on the horizon. Earlier than I can ever remember. And, for the first time, it’s comforting to be here in Toronto for an earlier seasonal shift, away from the tumultuous March weather that Winnipeg often sees.

A point of reflection for me, is that transition is dynamic – it can be abrupt, and it can be incremental. The latter has been more affecting and challenging. You can leave, but what’s next? Time passes, days, and there you have it – two plus months have gone by. A short time in the grand scheme. One of the aspects I miss most about being away from the studio is the collaborative spirit, but the idea is to continue that here in some capacity.

When you bring a studio to a brand-new home in Toronto, you realize the ample opportunity for growth before you – from both a creative and business perspective. I knew I would be bringing 26 along with me. And, beyond continuing to support the team in the same way as always, there is the obvious goal of seeking out new connections and opportunity. We frame it as such: 26 is expanding an arm into Toronto.

We are here, exploring and expanding. After six years, we have developed a confidence – as a collective – in our ability to be dynamic, adaptable, and fluid. Perhaps 26 (the collective) is thoughtful in different ways here because of where we started. For one, I have noted a clear distinction in our communication style if I am to compare ourselves to the creative agencies I have been exposed to in Toronto. We are different in that we are less confined to a way of being, less informed and exposed to industry language (just spend a day in a Liberty Village coffee shop and you’ll see). I see this as our strength.

With two months behind us and spring around the corner, beginning anew feels right, right now. As the birds sing. I take it as a sign.

– Kaleigh Lysenko, Content Director at 26 Projects