I’ve tested positive. It was bound to happen, and yet, somehow it still caught me off guard. Even with two vaccinations and the follow up booster the virus managed to worm its way into my system. Blinding headache, but I’ve been getting migraines for over a year now, so thought this was some new horrible post menopausal progression that was the new normal. Took migraine meds. Nothing. Doubled the dose and finally had some relief. People who have chronic migraines talk about being in so much pain they’re nauseous and even vomit. I stopped just short of that. The feeling of exhaustion I attributed to my mother’s memorial service, losing her, missing her or some combination of all of the above.
But in the end, I’m a New Yorker. We’ve been through some pretty horrendous times when it comes to covid so when there’s any sign of fatigue, sniffle, anything out of the ordinary, get tested.
Negative. Whew. Dodged the bullet. Again.
Then the feeling of being chilled, even though it was a beautiful spring day. Sunny, in the 70’s. We haven’t started using our air-conditioning yet. I check the thermostat. 75 degrees inside. I’m happiest when it’s 70 or maybe 71, so this was odd as normally I’d be warm. Decide to test myself again, just to be safe. And there they were, those dreaded two lines. Grab a mask, start texting everyone I’ve come in contact with, cancel any appointments that can be postponed.
Instinctively reach for my husband’s hand, sense his reluctance and draw back. Right. I’m a walking viral infected vessel for the foreseeable future.
Still I was able to conduct my Patron’s Ask Me Anything Zoom meeting. I did a demonstration of how, with photos, and in real time, I evaluate a piece, the things I look for to help me decide what my next step might be by looking at value, composition, mark making, etc to give me ideas and direction. I use lots of photographs and annotate them. I even have one piece that isn’t quite right yet, this is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.
Afterwards another call, immediately after my Patron’s Zoom, but I’m still well enough and the distraction is nice. Besides it’s always great to see other’s work evolve and take shape.
New meds, Paxlovid, are delivered, the young man delivering this new medication door to door is maskless. I restrain myself from scolding him. He’s a grown man, after all, surely he knows the risks. He’s delivering medication to people with covid…. it’s impossible for me to understand the thinking. Everything’s political now, taking precedence over common sense and our collective well being. Still I worry about him. I fall asleep at 7:30 with his face in my mind.
It’s morning now, I’ve taken my 2nd dose of Paxlovid. Am I any better? Is it working? Did I wait too long to start the medication? Who knows. I think I’m feeling a little better, maybe. I don’t know. It’s hard to say.
I go to gratitude. Because this life is so fleeting and then we’re gone. Laughter, kindness, random acts of care and thoughtfulness is always the way to go. There’s so much pain and suffering out there, am I part of the problem or part of the solution? These are my go-to thoughts, especially when I don’t feel great.
My brutal, brutal migraines are Covid and not the new norm. Yay!
I was able to get this new medicine quickly from our GP (who also has Covid). We compared notes on symptoms and next course of action.
My husband, who is recovering from surgery is testing negative. So far so good.
My children are both negative.
I’m upright and able to type this and even maybe have put a few coherent sentences together.
It could be so much worse.
Thinking of all of you and hoping you are safe and well.
I’ve mentioned this before; my husband and I start the morning off with a reading of some kind and then discuss whatever it is we’ve just read. Today we read about relationships using thread as a metaphor, which was kind of perfect for someone like me. This quote was particularly appealing for obvious reasons.
A strong rope is made of many threads. Looking at one point on the rope, we can focus on the detail of a single thread. But when we look only at a single thread we cannot see the big picture.”The More We Find in Each Other by Mavis and Merle Fossum
And, of course, I immediately thought about my stitching and how I love using lots of different threads and other elements to enhance and add interest to a piece that I’m working on. In particular I thought of Gimp, Silken Chenille, and Viscose Ribbon, three threads that are challenging to work with, but that add tremendous texture and interest to a piece.
In a relationship it’s often the challenging parts that can bring growth and welcome change to both people if they’re willing to show up for the hard work that’s required. I thought of how the foundation of my marriage is our love and the threads are all the moments we’ve spent together, some more challenging than others. But like those challenging threads, they are woven into the fabric of our love, making that fabric all the more interesting and ultimately stronger. Oh, and a sense of humor helps!
Okay, I could go on and on about all of this, but then I wouldn’t have time to tell you about my ice dyeing experiment. This was all inspired by Nancy who was in my Improvisational Stitching Workshop. She had a really beautiful piece of fabric, which I asked her about and she told me that she had ice dyed it. Now I have to say that for the most part I haven’t loved the ice dyeing that I’ve seen, so I’ve never been tempted to try it, but Nancy very generously wrote out instructions and gave them to everyone in my workshop. All my ice dyeing attempts were using her instructions. By the way, I have urged Nancy to sell some of her beautiful ice dyed fabrics. When she gives me the okay I will post where you can purchase her fabrics.
So… my little foray into ice dying is ongoing and was somewhat successful. I say somewhat because some of the pieces came out nicely, but others were not to my liking at all. Those will need to be redone or perhaps I’ll paint on them, I haven’t decided yet. Part of the problem was I ran out of ice. As in right in the middle of sprinkling the dye onto the fabric. Now one could argue that seeing that you don’t have enough ice right off the bat is probably step #1, resulting in STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND GO GET SOME ICE, however in my case it was more like – huh, I don’t have enough ice, then think about how that means I’ll have to put on shoes, remove my apron, gloves and mask (not the kind we’re now used to wearing because of the pandemic, but the kind used when working with toxic chemicals) and then go look for my son so that I can ask him to run out to get ice. Wait for said son to dutifully do my bidding and while waiting get impatient and sprinkle more dye on. Eyeroll. Impatience is NOT a virtue. I know this, and whenever I give in to it, I always, always, always regret it. So I skimped on the layer of ice and ended up with some not very attractive streaks of color before my fabulous son reappeared with 4 bags of ice, having had to go to a couple different places to procure it. What a wonderful son!
Another problem was that my disposable pans were way too small, resulting in more of a tie dyed look than I was hoping for. As in my husband’s comment when I unfurled the first piece and said the words every spouse hates to hear, “So what do you think?” And his response, “Oh yeah, you’ve got some seriously hippy dippy stuff going on there.” Needless to say this was NOT the reply I’d hoped for, but the bold, unvarnished truth is always difficult to hear.
I’ll post a video about all of this later, but for now here are a couple of photographs of the pieces that were sort of successful and a few that I really, really liked.
What will I do with all of this fabric?
I have no idea.
PS: For those of you who didn’t see my most recent Youtube video of Richard and my Mother’s Day walk and our surprise encounter, go watch this short video! All the reasons why I love living in this vibrant, wonderful city we call New York!
I’m knee deep in writing instructions to various projects that I’ll be doing workshops on. I have to admit I don’t love writing instructions. It’s kind of tedious, exacting work, but it has to be done. Also it’s been kind of grey and rainy out, so one must grab the sunny moments to venture out when one can. I’ve decided to break up the monotony of instruction writing with a little walk. Spring is in the air, and though it’s still a little chilly out there, the flowers are beginning to bloom.
I thought a little stroll in the West Village would be fun. There are still a few cobble stone streets left in New York City and the West Village is one of the places where you can still see them. So off I go, and while I’m at it I’ll get the blood work done that my migraine doctor asked me to get. It’ll be an adventure!
This Thursday I’m hoping to be able to share some exciting news, but until then I thought I’d share this video and besides there’s zero chance I’ll get any footage of bear cubs while out and about in the West Village! For those of you who might be wondering, my mother did not send this to me, but I think she’ll enjoy watching it.
First things first. There are just TWO spots left for my Dorset Buttons Gone Wild Workshop on Saturday, March 20th. So if you want to reserve a space, you’ll need to let me know right away!
For those of you who watched my livestream the other day, you’ll know what happened when I cut into that silk cocoon. It was one of those moments when words failed me. 😳
However it was fun to stitch with and if I had more of them I would certainly add them to other things I’m working on.
In other news I received my FIRST vaccine dose and am So relieved. I had them give me a shot in my right arm and then immediately iced it. Other than very slight, almost imperceptible soreness, I felt some mild dizziness and loss of appetite, but truthfully if I hadn’t been hyper aware of how I was feeling, I wouldn’t have noticed. I will be fully vaccinated by mid April! I cannot wait and am beyond excited.
It will be in the 60’s today here in New York City, so I may have to break my routine and go for a little walk later! I am wishing all of you a beautiful Thursday! ❤️
Before COVID hit I would begin the day by going to the gym, riding a stationary bike for 30 – 45 minutes, perhaps taking a 45 minute high intensity workout class before heading home. So when the gym closed I figured I’d landed on a “free space” meaning I’d start my exercise routine again once all of this was over. Most of us didn’t really anticipate that a year later we’d still be in that “free space”, which for someone like me was a welcome relief. Until now. Now I’m feeling increasingly guilty for counting as “exercise” walking to the elevator and getting our mail. So back in December I downloaded an exercise app because now that I’m in my sixties, exercise is less about wanting to and more about health and balance. So yes, I downloaded the app with high hopes and then promptly forgot that I’d done so. It was one of those “7 minute” workout apps. At the time, I thought – seven minutes? Who can rationalize out of doing that?!
Me. As it turns out.
This morning I decided to go see what Youtube had to say on the topic of exercise during these bizarre times, and I found this.
And then I ran across this old chestnut, which I’m pretty sure I’ve posted before, but in case I haven’t, here you go. Enjoy. I don’t know about you, but my life looks an awful lot like it did when we were in lockdown. I rarely leave the house. I’m more paranoid about catching COVID now than I was at the height of the pandemic. And now a variant, that they are saying may be resistant to the vaccines, has hit New York City and so I’m completely freaking out. Dancing around the house to music videos is as good as my current exercise routine is going to get. Still, I hold out hope that at some point I’ll take it all more seriously. Maybe I’ll try one of those 7 minute exercise workouts after I finish writing this. Or not.
I’m pleased to report, however, that my hands and fingers are as nimble and dexterous as ever, thanks to my daily hand stitching, um… workouts!
Here’s my Making Waves: A Drawstring Bag that I’m making for my mother. As it’s not a surprise, I know she won’t mind if I post photos of my progress. I’m using lots of Dorset Buttons on this one and threads from Stef Francis Threads and The Thread Gatherer.
Later today, at 2pm (EST) my Threaded Backstitch and Double Threaded Backstitch Youtube video is premiering, so join me and we can chat as it plays! Remember, it won’t be available to play until 2pm today. And in the meantime maybe I’ll work in some squats and push ups. I’m not making any promises though.