Millions of job layoffs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be the downfall of DIY-project fanatics everywhere.
Pre-quarantine, 23-year-old Lisa Tedesco worked full-time at a marketing agency on top of doing freelance work. Free time, for Tedesco, was when her head touched the pillow at night. This all changed three weeks ago when Tedesco was let go from her job. With all this time and nothing to do with it, she looked for crafty projects to fill her suddenly empty schedule.
It started when Tedesco learned how to make plantable seed paper. She decorated them with doodles and positive messages, then sent out the cards to a few friends and family members to be read and planted.
On Monday, Alicia Lamond, a recipient of Tedesco’s plantable card, visited Tedesco at her home to catch up and thank her for the “cute and fun” card. Having not seen Tedesco since she was let go, Lamond started to suspect that the DIY card wasn’t the product of creatively killing time during her time off, but a red herring.
Tedesco’s hands were covered with cuts and burn marks from using the hot glue gun and learning how to embroider. What appeared to be purple paint or marker was smeared under Tedesco’s eye, and bits of yarn were entangled in her hair.
“It looked like she hadn’t slept or showered in days. I know she is like an A.C. Moore hoe or whatever, but this seems … unhealthy,” Lamond said.
Tedesco’s DIY projects last week included weaving a throw rug out of old shoe laces, which she has since been using as a bath mat, and crocheting armbands for when she exercises.
“I don’t go on Pinterest anymore, I just can’t,” Lamond said. “When I scroll through a hair styling board, I just see Lisa with two body loofahs in her hair, using them as scrunchies.”
This week, Tedesco wanted to decorate her living room. To “spruce it up and make it more chic,” as Tedesco put it, she made a chandelier with seashells around the ceiling light and designed a macrame-esque wall hanging out of macaroni necklaces. Tedesco even built a waist-high cat tree out of wood and twine.
“She doesn’t even have a f*cking cat!” Lamond said. “When you ask her how she’s doing, she insists that she’s great, that she’s ‘living her best life.’ She’s completely unhinged.”