First things first… I know you’re dying to know if I have continued my “workout” routine, which I posted about on Tuesday. Thanks to all who laughed along with me on that. I put the word workout in quotes because is it really a “workout” when it’s just for 10 minutes? I’m going to say YES! And yes, I have. Every single muscle in my body aches. How is that even possible after just 10 minutes? Seriously. What have I been doing for the last two years? Oh, right. NOT exercising. At all. So there’s that.
Next up: France!! I’m starting to get seriously excited, which is saying a lot because I was already excited before, but now I’m in a kind of twilight zone of over the top excitement.
The Chateau where I will be staying for two weeks.
There’s still lots of things to do, figure out what I’m taking, pack, figure out how I’m going to fit in a couple changes of clothes amongst all my stitching stuff, get some Euros. I’ve got packages to mail to people who’ve enrolled in various workshops. By the way, The Improvisational Stitching Workshop only has ONE spot left, so if you’re thinking about enrolling, do, before it’s sold out. And the upcoming Stitch Along has only a couple spots left as well. That’s the one where we use my improvisational stitching techniques with creating buttons of all kinds and adding them. I’m just starting to learn how to make Zwirnknopf and Death’s Head buttons to add to the Dorset Buttons and will be teaching both as well! Who knew buttons could be SO much fun?!
Combining Improvisational Stitching with Button Making!
This is an example of a Zwirnknopf Button.
I haven’t attempted a Death’s Head button, but will be learning how. All of these various things are things I’ll be bringing with me to France to practice and play with. And then there’s the big piece which I’ll be layering and painting on.
Did I mention that I’m going to be visiting the Catacombs in Paris? Now I don’t remember ever hearing about the Catacombs when I was living in London and visiting Paris more frequently, but something popped up about them while I was looking for thread shops that might be still open, and I thought – what? Catacombs? I’m all in! So I promptly booked a tour of them for the second day that I’m there. Death’s Head buttons, catacombs… I’m noticing a theme here.
And then there’s the Aiguille en Fête which will, miraculously, be going on JUST as I’m there. Aiguille en Fete basically translates to Needle Party and there will be all kinds of exhibits, demonstrations of thread, fiber art, etc. I am thrilled. Absolutely thrilled. Beyond thrilled. Pretty much beside myself with excitement. AND where ever and whenever possible I’ll be shooting video, recording and posting back to my Patrons, in my FB group and on my Youtube Channel. I’ll be busy!
There’s nothing quite like being woken in the middle of the night only to then not be able to go back to sleep. I took this opportunity to read. I read about Britney Spears and her ongoing battle to gain her full independence and then an article about how learning a new language will increase one’s chances of not getting Alzheimers. Lest you think me shallow, I just finished my french lesson. Je suis encore très fatigué, mais au moins je suis moins inquiet, which means: I am still very tired, but at least I am not so worried. Added plus, I may even be able to purchase a train ticket and find a bathroom when in France next year! Now to tackle a few pages of Marcus Aurelius.
In stitching news, oh there’s always stitching news(!) I’m working on three different projects simultaneously and am feeling okay about that. Usually this would make me anxious; I don’t like having lots of projects going at once, but at the moment, it’s fine. I have at least four other projects in various stages of completion, but have put them aside for now so that I can concentrate on these three.
And today is the 2nd day of my Dorset Buttons Gone Wild Scissor Case Workshop. We are beginning to stitch the Dorset Buttons and the stitching around the wool shapes. This is one of two workshops I will be teaching again in the fall with thread kits AND fabric kits now available!
I just posted a new video about using the Helix Angle and Circle Maker on fabric with mixed results. I think there are definite possibilities for this little gadget. Go see for yourself.
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.
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!
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!
And here are a few of my other designs from the past 12 months.
And along the way I began to explore what I call Improvisational Stitching.
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! ❤️
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.
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.