Our Hiking Trip & So Much More

Our Hiking Trip & So Much More

It’s 4am. That seems important. I should be asleep, but here’s the thing, tomorrow we have to get up at 5am because we have an early flight, so I figure I may as well get up now since I have the option of going back to sleep whereas tomorrow I won’t. This is the kind of thinking that defies logic; welcome to my mind.

My husband told me there are herds of buffalo roaming about where we’re headed, which has me restless with anticipation. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a herd of buffalo in real life, although I think I must have when I was a young girl as we went on a great many road trips out west. Regardless, I am planning to take lots of photographs and will be shooting some video of them. And I intend to shoot some video while we’re hiking too. As I have rarely ventured out of our home in over a year, let alone wandered about amongst large beasts (fellow New Yorkers don’t count) my excitement level is extremely high. I can hardly wait. This is the first trip my husband and I will have taken since we went to Iceland three years ago! Was it really three years? Also I have to interject, when Richard and I got married, we had this crazy idea that we would travel around the world for a few years, but those plans were thwarted early on by work commitments, the realities of having small children, etc.

As I was packing yesterday I came face to face with a major dilemma. What sort of stitching do I take? This will be the topic of another video, no doubt. So far I’ve pulled way too many threads and although I’ve chosen a piece of hand dyed linen that I dyed last week or was it the week before, who can remember anymore? The threads are another issue altogether.

See? It’s a problem. And I haven’t even dipped into my Stef Francis stash yet.

So I have my work cut out for me today. Oh and I have workshop kits to mail. By the way, if you haven’t signed up for my The Basics Workshop, which I made such lovely kits for, there’s still time!

The Basics Workshop – Fall Jewels Kit
The Basics Workshop – Summer Lilacs Kit

I even made a video about the workshop, the kits I made for the workshop and other random musings… Here you go!

If any of you are around in another few hours, don’t forget to tune in to today’s video, which premieres in a few hours, that’s 8am EDT. We can chat together, share some laughter and I’ll show you how I wind and organize my threads. Spoiler alert: it’s probably not what you think!

The next time you hear from me, I’ll be posting among buffalo!

And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter; the signup is just to the right of this blog posting.

Blogging on my New Website!

Blogging on my New Website!

I just can’t tell you how thrilling it is to go to my website and write a new blog post! For those who may be confused, last week I was still posting on my old site, which now is housed under the umbrella of my new website! I know, I know, I’ve already talked about all of this at length and I’m not going to do another post all on the fabulousness of my new website, however I just have to say that as I sit here typing this I’m silently bouncing up and down and squealing with joy. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! It’s been such a long time in the making!!

So. Now that I got that out of the way, what are we going to talk about?

Oh! Before it slips from my mind, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. It’s just to the right of this post. ❤️

The other thing that leaps to mind is that I just released a new video on my YouTube channel.

The title of this video sums it up.

This video begins with an 8 minute riff on life, aging, Merlin, facial recognition, the results of my MRI and whatever else flew into my mind as I was recording. So yeah, there’s that. However don’t despair, I did some stitching too.

In other news… okay there IS no other news. This is my life in a nutshell. It’s evidently a very, very tiny nutshell. 😂 So I will add a few videos of other people’s lives that came up when I went to schedule this video. The first is my favorite Golden Retriever, Bailey and his new best friend.

And then I had to share this one, because going to Africa to see the gorillas has been on my bucket list for decades now.

I wasn’t familiar with Keith Urban and his music until I saw this pop up and hit play while waiting for my video to finish uploading. How great is he? And Nicole Kidman? Love them both.

Enjoy the weekend everyone and don’t forget to check out my upcoming workshops!

New Pat Pauly Workshop!

New Pat Pauly Workshop!

I’m sitting here in my workout clothing sans sneakers typing this as I didn’t dare put on my regular work “uniform” for fear I would never honor my Spin Class reservation that begins at 11am. And while we’re on the topic, I just have to say, workout bras are truly a form of torture. You just haven’t felt discomfort until you’ve shoved yourself into one of those. Yes, yes, I understand the need for keeping everything in place while exercising, but seriously, I’ve become so used to comfort this past year, this feels positively barbaric. Curious about my workout routine, you’ll have to watch the video I’ve posted one paragraph below this one. Spoiler alert: I don’t have a “workout routine.” 

But I am not going to get side tracked. I’m not. My friend Pat Pauly has posted a brand spanking new workshop to her already busy schedule. It’s a Line, Shape, Setting virtual workshop, which I’ve signed up for and it is July 20th & 21st. If you want to sign up for it, hurry! As it will most definitely sell out soon. Click ‘here‘ to learn more about it and to sign up. To see more of Pat’s fabulous work, click ‘here‘. She’s pretty fabulous. By the way, those scarves I always wear? Yeah. Those are all from Pat. As is the gorgeous linen fabric that I’m doing some improvisational stitching on in the video below. Oh, and by the way, that fuchsia colored cording that I’ve couched? That’s silk sari strips from Stef Francis. I just adore all their products.

I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I will be able to announce something fabulous in my next blog post. I thought I would have been able to announce it last week, but alas life got in the way of my best laid plans. I’m just hoping all falls into place in the next two days. We shall see.

Curiosity, Youtube & Asking Quora

Curiosity, Youtube & Asking Quora

One of my favorite memories of spending time with one of my brothers, I have three, as a young girl was sitting in the field in front of our house discussing space. This brother went on to become a bio-chemist and is now a professor. He had just introduced me to the concept of infinity and I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea. I remember saying to him, “but that can’t be right.”

He looked at me and smiled, “So what do you imagine it’s like.”

“There’s got to be some kind of barrier or end or something,” I said.

He nodded and said, “Then what’s on the other side?”

My young mind was blown. That moment was both exhilarating and somehow terrifying. I remember our conversation clearly as though it happened just a few days ago. And while he went on to become a scientist, I went in a different direction – the arts, always drawn to color, shape and the different ways one can arrange them to produce visually appealing things, we both continue to be curious, investigate and ask questions.

One of the many things I love about YouTube is that you can go there and ask how to do something and someone has made a video showing you how. Want to change the filter in your air-conditioning unit? There’s a video for that. Want to know how to open up your sewing machine and adjust the thread tension? There’s a video for that. Want to find out how to take a screen shot? There’s a video for that too, and then a whole bunch of other videos will appear on the side bar on that topic or some other topic you’ve searched for in the past, you know just in case you’re curious… The down side is, it’s easy to get lured into watching cute babies and puppy videos, while forgetting all about that washing machine that is now flooding your pantry or kitchen.

And while YouTube is great for showing you how to do things, Quora is great for answering questions such as what do all happily married couples have in common? Or why are some people more curious than others? Why do cats have different color kittens? My husband is a big fan of Quora and often tells me things he’s learned. Inevitably he’ll begin by saying, “Did you know…” and I’ll know he just read whatever it was on Quora. Again it’s a rabbit hole of sorts, where one can emerge hours later knowing all kinds of things you will never use in life or didn’t need to know or worse, didn’t want to know. Still I have learned some useful things as well, such as why virus’s mutate, what it’s like to go to prison from someone who actually spent 10 years inside, okay, perhaps not so useful for me, but it was interesting, rabbit hole, and when and how often to water your cactus. So if you are looking for answers to random questions, YouTube and Quora are there for you. It’s really good to know, they’ve got your back.


Random photograph of Merlin. As he’s a rescue kitty, we have no idea what his mother or father look like.

Now I have to finish editing my next Youtube Video. ❤️

What I Did Over the Weekend…

What I Did Over the Weekend…

I spent at least 16 hours this weekend analyzing and stitching examples of the Trellis Stitch. Specifically the spiral trellis stitch, which was one of dozens of stitches that adorned the Plimoth Jacket, a women’s waistcoat, made in the early 1600’s.

Photograph Courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum

Another heavily embroidered jacket is in the costume collection at the Metropolitan Museum here in New York City, which I would LOVE to see one day.

While I have done dozens and dozens of Spiral Trellis Stitches over the years, and have used this stitch in a number of my designs, I had never tried to figure out why it was often so difficult to replicate, and to replicate consistently.

So this weekend I decided to do just that. I experimented with a couple of different ways of stitching it, how to best add a new length of thread when your thread, which it inevitably does, runs out, how to consistently get good results when decreasing, stitching in all kinds of different threads and thread weights, and I even tried my hand at stitching a non-circular Trellis, which I will need to do a bit more experimenting with before I am completely satisfied. I had to fill in the center part with French Knots because I couldn’t figure out how to decrease the inside in a way that looked flawless.

I then posted my results to my Youtube Channel: Ariane Zurcher ~ On the Other Hand.

As I am left handed all of this was even more tricky because none of the embroidery books give instructions for the way I finally ended up stitching this beautiful, yet challenging stitch.

What did you do over the weekend?!


Curiosity, Youtube & Asking Quora

My Youtube Channel is Monetized & Other Random Things That Pop Into My Mind

So, guess what!?

I bet you can’t guess…

Okay, I’ll just tell you.

My YouTube Channel, Ariane Zurcher ~ On the Other Hand, has become monetized! Woot! Woot! This means that my channel has over 4,000 watched hours and more than 1,000 subscribers.

This may seem like one of those, ho hum, who cares announcements, particularly as it began with such a build up… however, before you leave in disappointment, here’s the good news – I no longer have a time limit to my videos, I can go on and on and on endlessly for HOURS, literally hours. Just imagine!

“If you are verified, your YouTube videos can be up to 12 hours long, or as much as 128 GB.”


Okay, okay, so maybe that’s not the good news, and anyway I promise I won’t post any 12-hour long videos or even multiple hours, seriously, I swear, though I did have this one idea… Oh come ON, I’m just kidding!

Please enjoy this photo of a beautiful rose that I took while out on my once a week walk where I actually leave our home here in New York City

Also, I can now link to external websites, like this blog, if I could only figure out how to do that, AND, once I’ve converted my website over to the new website I’m planning, which will house this blog, my Youtube channel, a shop filled with fabulous new designs and all the other things on my to-do list, I can add links to that too, at least theoretically.

And then there’s the – is this good news or is this bad news part of the whole my-youtube-channel-is-monetized-exclamation-mark-aren’t-you-happy-for-me pronouncement and that is, there are now ads on every single video I have posted. I’m expecting a huge uptick in the thumbs down button being pushed by disgruntled viewers, however, just so you don’t become one of them, please, please try to remember that those annoying ads give me a tiny, tiny, infinitesimal, seriously small, amount of money, which means I can keep posting more videos, that hopefully you love and will find helpful! A win-win, right?!

More calming photographs of beautiful flowers while all of us take a breath.

But before you say – well not really, I hate ads and no amount of helpful or even mildly useful information will make me hate them any less, they’re annoying and a constant reminder that our world has veered precariously close to becoming some creepy melding of The Minority Report (without Tom Cruise at his prime) and Blade Runner (without Harrison Ford who was just heading out of his prime, though that may not even be possible…) which, by the way, were two really good reasons to even watch those two movies in the first place, and anyway even if those two guys were still IN their prime, it wouldn’t lessen the blow… before you say all of that, let me suggest that you think of this as a tiny (think thimble-sized) tip jar, which literally holds pennies, then maybe, just maybe you’ll feel less resentful when those ads appear, ruining your otherwise blissful experience of exploring the creative process or learning a new stitch or seeing a stitch you already know all about done in an interesting new way or maybe just done in a thread you might not have thought about until now or… okay, I’m running out of helpful suggestions here.

All is well with the world…

Just know that I appreciate your watching my videos even if they are now encumbered by annoying advertisements about things you don’t care about, have never heard of or, as is the case with this blog, photographs of old men’s hairy legs with captions that read “12 Ways You Know You’ll Have a Heart Attack in the Next 5 Years” and things like that. And remember, I love you for your patience in putting up with them and will continue to post videos that, I’m hoping, you will enjoy watching.

Bizarre patterns in the sidewalk in the Meat Packing District a few blocks from where I live.

There. Full disclosure. Whew. It was touch and go there for a minute. Thursday’s post will be full of musings from New York City where we are still in the lock-down-that-will-never-end-and-even-if-it-did-who-will-feel-safe-enough-to-go-out-anyway?

By the way, you have no idea how difficult it was to find photographs to enhance this post, thereby lessening the blow of the difficult news I felt compelled to impart. But we made it. And here we are! It’s a beautiful thing.