First things first… Pat Pauly! I just posted my interview with Pat Pauly on my YouTube channel. For those of you who may not be familiar with Pat, she is a brilliant, multi-talented artist, who also hand paints and dyes fabrics that she sells on her website, is a sought after teacher and does the most beautiful art quilts.
Pat’s hand dyed linens are what I’ve been using exclusively for my latest improvisational stitching pieces. They are unlike, and far superior to anything I’ve found anywhere else and are endlessly inspiring.
My improvisational stitching using Pat Pauly’s hand dyed linens.
Improvisational Stitching piece using Pat Pauly’s hand dyed linens and inspired by my Africa trip.
If these pieces are interesting to you, you should consider enrolling in my Improvisational Stitching Class, which meets for 5 consecutive Saturdays beginning Saturday, September 25th. In this workshop I cover the elements of design, use of color, incorporating other elements into the background, using things that inspire us and making them apart of our work, creating abstract as well as representational elements into a piece, finding which threads and stitches to use to create different effects and so much more.
As it turns out the bobbin winder on my new Bernina is broken. Silly me, thinking I could wind the bobbin upside down, I didn’t realize this until it was too late, and it did us both in. Off to the shop it will go, but in the meantime, I continue to fine tune my newly organized working space. In between stitching, reorganizing and preparing for our upcoming trip, I did manage to do a livestream for my YouTube followers.
Some love the livestreams and others dislike them. Part of what’s fun, in my opinion, about livestreaming is the interactive aspect. It’s really what sets these videos apart from a recorded video. For me it’s fun to hear from all of you as I’m working. There’s an easy going banter that is often funny, there’s lots of laughter, with the added plus that I’m able to answer questions in real time, demonstrate different things as I’m working and in general have fun. However part of the livestreaming experience is that I also greet people when they say hi, sometimes get side tracked, but usually am able to stay on target, and try things I might not otherwise try because of things suggested by others.
In preparation for our trip I found the following video.
This is where we will be going. In fact, in one week from today we will be in Rwanda! Hard to believe.
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!
My mother hasn’t sent me anything in a few days other than requests for rain, which I’ve done my best to accommodate, but I only have so much reach when it comes to the weather. Speaking of which, it’s in the upper nineties here in New York City for the next couple of days and then will plummet into the mid to high seventies before rising back up. At least this is what we’re being told by meteorologists, who have the cushiest job ever, in my opinion. What other career allows you to be completely wrong more than 50% of the time and still hold onto your job? So much so that there are even a whole bunch of memes out there, like this one.
But all of this hot weather means that staying inside continues to be a good idea, which means, hand stitching! Here’s what I’ve been working on.
It all comes down to what you’re willing to say out loud. Which, one could argue, if you’re asking yourself this question it’s probably best left unsaid. You know?
However, never one to stay quiet, I did just post a video regarding The Ice Cream Situation. You can view it below.
So there’s that.
Do you ever feel like there’s so much going on you can’t really keep up and so you end up being less productive rather than the reverse simply because it all feels like too much? It’s all about balance, I think. That’s kind of what’s been going on around here lately. Nothing bad, all good things, but just a lot of things. So I’m scrambling, and feeling a bit like a hamster on a tread mill, moving quickly but not really getting anywhere. That’s how it feels anyway. I know this isn’t the truth, but it feels that way. Feelings are not facts. Hence the deep dive into The Ice Cream Situation. It’s okay, I’ve extricated myself and am now ready to face my never ending “To Do List”.
I’ve written about the To Do List before. It’s kind of an essential part of my day, a kind of road map to follow and then whatever doesn’t get done gets rolled over to the next day. Kind of like frequent flier miles or data storage on your phone, except there are no hidden costs. A win-win, right? Well, sort of, except that sometimes that to do list feels like an anchor so then one has to ignore it or make the decision that it’s a “to do tomorrow” list. But you can see where this leads, can’t you? Fortunately I don’t often procrastinate and my To Do list can be very bossy, but in a good way.
To Do List: email so and so.
Me: Right. I’ll do that in a few hours.
To Do List: follow up with a phone call.
Me: Yes, ok. I’ll do that in a few hours.
To Do List: Give it 24 hours then email again.
Me: Oh all right. I’ll send them an email now.
To Do List: Work out cost of thread kits
To Do List: Work out cost of fabric kits
Me: Isn’t there anything on this list that is actually fun?
To Do List: Work on improv piece.
Me: Oh! I can do that!! That will be fun.
To Do List: Work on Abstraction piece.
Me: Oh, yes, another fun project. I’ll pull that out.
To Do List: Clear up sewing machine desk area.
Me: Right, now where is my improv piece?
To Do List: Website Issues – (and then a three page list of things that I need to learn, figure out or actually do)
Me: I love my improv piece. That’s what I’m going to work on.
And so it goes. I’ve found that if I put at least a few things on the list that I really, really love doing then I can usually start on that and then work in a few of the not so fun things in between. Kind of like when you’re hiking and get a blister and then keep going anyway because you know the view at the summit is going to be spectacular and you don’t want to miss it.