Replacing “Have to” With “Get To”

Replacing “Have to” With “Get To”

My husband and I read and contemplate a philosophical reading of some kind every morning. Every now and then there is one that is so helpful it stays with me, like this one from The Daily Stoic:

“A long To-Do list seems intimidating and burdensome – all these things we have to do in the course of a day or a week. But a Get to Do list sounds like a privilege – all the things we’re excited about the opportunity to experience.”

Yesterday I was again reminded of this powerful reading as I sat waiting for my husband to be released from what we both had thought would be a minor surgical procedure. Until it wasn’t. Until things went wrong. Until this minor medical procedure turned into an all day long nightmare for him. A day in which I kept saying to myself, because of modern medicine he gets to have this procedure done, no matter how awful it is. Because of the times we live in, we get to call a car in 95 degree heat and have someone drive us to where we need to go. When stuck in traffic we get to consult WAZE and take the most expeditious route. And while waiting in the waiting room I get to have uninterrupted hours of stitching to calm my nerves.

He is home now and recuperating, for which I am extremely grateful. A big thanks to all of you who reached out to me and wrote such nice comments in my Stitching Circle.

And now I get to go do some work with my daughter and then I get to do a whole lot more stitching on my current project!

What do you get to do?

New: Improvisational Stitching Workshop!

New: Improvisational Stitching Workshop!

I am doing a new 5-day workshop! Improvisational Stitching!

But what does that mean, exactly? Well funny you should ask, because I’ve given it a great deal of thought. Improvisational Stitching is what I call what I do when I begin with a piece of fabric, usually a piece of hand dyed linen, with no preconceived notion of what I’m going to do other than follow the striations in the fabric and begin stitching. I don’t sketch anything out, I just begin stitching.

This is a new piece that I haven’t had time to do much with. Right now it’s just a few stitches, but eventually it will become more.

Over time the piece develops and I begin adding other elements. Sometimes I’ll add other materials, other times that means painting directly onto the fabric and even over the stitching, as I did with my piece, Perseverance.

Do you see how I painted over the green ribbon floss and then covered that area with the hand dyed cheesecloth?

Eventually the piece takes on a life of its own and then it’s up to me to follow as best I can.

Olea began as a 14″ by 16″ piece of olive green hand dyed linen. I started stitching and adding things, like the hand painted t-shirt strips to the left.

Eventually it became this, which I titled, “Olea” but my friend Anna Bates called, “After the Wedding”.

Olea: Hand dyed Linen/Cotton blend with cotton, silk, wool, sheep’s silk threads, ribbon, t-shirt & cheesecloth
This is my latest piece that I haven’t even begun stitching on, but will be soon with hand dyed t-shirt, cheesecloth and tulle.

Improvisational Stitching is so much fun! There are no rules, nothing is forbidden, anything goes. I absolutely love it!! Which leads me to the workshop I’m doing: Improvisational Stitching!

Have you ever wanted to create an improvisational piece, but felt too intimidated to start? This is the workshop for you! 

We begin with a hand dyed piece of linen, loosely woven cotton or wool. I suggest starting with a piece that isn’t too large – say 14” x 16” or smaller.  It can be a square or a rectangle.  Choose a color that you love for the background.  It can be any color, just make sure you LOVE it!  If you want to piece a background together, you can also do that.

This is a “hands on” workshop, in other words, everyone will be working and creating during the workshop with me cheering you on. Using a wide variety of threads, and other materials, we will embellish with no preconceived ideas. I will hold your hand, encourage you to explore and try new things. Each week you will be given a challenge to expand and add to your piece. This is a dive-into-the-deep-end workshop. We will have a blast.  All levels of stitchers are welcome.  You will not be alone. I will be with you every step of the way. 

Workshop Length: 5 Saturdays from 1pm – 4:30pm EDT

Date: April 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th & May 1st

Cost: $500

Until my website is up and running I will be taking reservations through this blog, via my Facebook Page: Ariane Zurcher Stitching Circle and my Youtube Channel: Ariane Zurcher ~ On the Other Hand.

New: Improvisational Stitching Workshop!

One Year Ago…

I wanted to write this post on Saturday, February 20th, because that was exactly one year ago when I launched my first video for my Youtube Channel, Ariane Zurcher ~ On the Other Hand!

Here it is! My first On the Other Hand video.

Since that day, just over one year ago today, I have made and posted 248 videos! Yesterday I did a livestream, where I’m obviously feeling quite a bit more comfortable filming and posting. I went from having 0 subscribers to 3,865 subscribers as of yesterday. I say this not to brag, but more as a mark of where I began with YouTube and where I am now. Because in this crazy time of the pandemic, when everything can feel really, really off and sad, I also want to remember some good, which means honoring my own personal little milestones.

Here in the United States we hit more than half a million dead from COVID19. It’s a grim reminder of the perilous and tragic times we find ourselves in; a time when so many of us have been unable to see those we love, whether that’s our aging parents or young grandchildren. It’s been a period marked by disconnect and fear and worry and yet, we have also made different kinds of connections. Zoom calls and classes have taken off. Who would have thought any of us would know our way around a Zoom meeting?!

Personally this has been a year of massive and intense learning. When I began my Youtube Channel I had no idea how to upload videos, make thumbnails, do livestreams or premiere a video. I also taught myself how to create a design from paper sketch, to computer, to downloadable PDF file, write instructions, and in the last 12 months I’ve posted 8 new designs in my Etsy Shop, conducted an 8-week Zoom Workshop, with another one in the planning stages, created a Facebook Group: Ariane Zurcher Stitching Circle (which has 1.2 thousand members) and a Patreon page!

The sketch for Making Waves: A Drawstring Bag
The finished bag!
My most recent sketch for my next design.

And here are a few of my other designs from the past 12 months.

Rhino Pouch – This was the first of a few pouches I began designing.
A larger abstract pouch
The Otter Needle Roll
The first of my “River Rocks” series. This one is a small pouch using a linen background.
Rock Gardens: A Variation of a Rice Sack
Padded and lined scissor case
Glasses Case
Making Waves: A Drawstring Bag

And along the way I began to explore what I call Improvisational Stitching.

Olea: The first of my “improvisational” pieces.
Perseverence

This has been the most intense year, both incredibly sad and scary globally, as well as exhilarating and exciting on a personal level. It’s been both. I have met thousands of new people from all over the world and for that I’m so, so grateful.

So, to all of you who’ve joined me during this truly bizarre time, thank you. Let’s keep laughing and stitching! ❤️

New: Improvisational Stitching Workshop!

To Do Lists & FB Live Mishaps

Some people use calendars, others just keep everything they need to do in their heads, I keep lists. You know the old fashion, hand written list made on a scrap of paper or if I’m being really organized, on a note pad, preferably letter or even legal sized, as my lists tend to be pretty long.

Lots of lists I even have them organized into Designs, YouTube Videos, Livestream, and then a general ToDo list. This one is the beginning of what will become a two pager, just so you know.

I’m a big believer in lists. Also unexpected things happen throughout the day that can intrude, thus derailing my list. It’s comforting to know my list is still there, ready for me to continue checking items off once the intrusion has been taken care of or passed on its own.

Yesterday my friend, Anna Bates, of Quilt Roadies, and I decided we were going to do a Facebook live video together. We fully expected that as we both know our way around Youtube, have done livestreaming, set up large groups on Facebook, and in Anna’s case, even done a FB live video before, how hard could it be? Right? So when Anna’s husband helpfully mused aloud that maybe we should do a trial run before just launching in, Anna did what I would have done, shrugged this advice off, because we’ve got this! All I can say is that Anna was so utterly demoralized by the whole experience, she went on to do another video, this time on Youtube, just to feel better. And she does redeem herself in that video. Me, not so much. Instead I’m just writing this post about it, you know, to reduce the trauma. Oh! And by the way, Anna isn’t the “intrusion” in this story, but our failed FB Live so derailed me, all I could do for the rest of the day was work on my mother’s Making Waves: A Drawstring Bag, which is the second to last item on my todo list.

Still, Anna and I are determined, and one little mishap isn’t enough to keep us down. SO this Friday, February 19th at 10am PST, 1pm EST we are going to attempt another Facebook live video, this time, together! We even tested it out, as per G.’s helpful suggestion, and we’re good to go. This time (we are hoping) there will be a split screen with Anna on the west coast and me on the east coast chatting together about our stitching and all that we love. Unlike yesterday, when Anna, in a moment of desperation, (and a stroke of genius on her part) saved the whole mess by putting me on speaker phone so that people could, at least, hear what she was responding to, as my voice goes in and out. We did laugh though, quite a bit, even so. I will share this coming Friday’s video via my FB group, Ariane Zurcher Stitching Circle so anyone in that group will be able to watch it. In addition anyone who follows me and/or Anna on FB should be able to view as well. Anyway, that’s our plan. But no worries, we’ve got this. I swear.

Even with yesterday’s fumble, I was able to post this video this morning of my latest design onto YouTube AND I got quite a bit of stitching done. So there’s that.

My mother’s drawstring bag so far.

What’s on your To Do List?

❤️

New: Improvisational Stitching Workshop!

Stitching with Gimp and a lot of Laughter

If you’d like to laugh and explore stitching (or in my case attempting to) with silk gimp and the thicker gimp that Painter’s Threads hand dyes, this was the live stream I did yesterday. Warning: We laughed A LOT.

My attempts at using the crinkly silk gimp became more comedic than informative… However, I am determined to continue investigating this beautiful, if challenging thread, and what I’m able to do with it. So this is just the beginning. By the way Mary Corbet, who is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to threads, stitching, and everything and anything to do with embroidery, is such a great resource. If you click on her name above, it will take you to her blog. She also has a YouTube Channel, where she demonstrates stitches.

So here’s the thing… I am a designer first and foremost. I love playing with threads and seeing how I can use an unusual thread in a different way. My approach to hand stitching is from a design point of view. When I’m working with a thread, like gimp, whether the crinkly silk gimp or the thicker cord Gimp from Painter’s Threads, I am thinking about color, texture, and how I can use it so that it creates something interesting. As I design, I’m considering size, shape, dimension and how all of that fits into the piece I’m working on.

For my River Rocks Pouch, I used all three of these gimps in different ways. A couple of the shapes on that pouch I added gimp French Knots, which I love.

2-Wrap French Knots using gimp
Silk Gimp used for the Running Stitch, French Knots and A Variation of the Whipped Woven Circle.
Crinkly Silk Gimp Couched around the edge of the shape.

I’m off to the last remaining quilt shop in New York City in a little while. I’ll be filming it, and will post tomorrow morning. So if you want to come with me on my little adventure, tune into my Youtube Channel Ariane Zurcher ~ On the Other Hand tomorrow. Until then, here’s to exploring and stitching!