I have a couple pieces I’m working on simultaneously at the moment. One is a piece I began for my Improvisational Stitching Workshop. We are having SO much fun! As I was working on it, I decided to do a video on one way I like to create organic looking shapes. That video is premiering at 1pm EDT today, so if you’re around, come join me as I will be watching with you and can chat as we watch. Typically I go online a few minutes prior to the release time so that I can chat with anyone who is waiting. The Premieres are lots of fun and a way to connect with each other.
Another piece that I’m working on is what I thought was going to be a Stitch Along and then got stuck and decided to play around with a few different ideas before I committed one way or the other. That piece is just beginning to take shape. So far so good. I talk about it and begin working on it a little in the video below.
And then finally I’ve got another improvisational stitching piece that I’m just beginning and that is much larger than what I have done before. It measures about 44″ x 36″. So exciting!
In other news we continue to steam ahead on my website, which we’re hoping will be up and running by the end of this month. And I’ll be adding some fun workshops, a newsletter and lots of other things, so stay tuned!
By the way, that silk scarf I’m wearing in the photo at the top of this post? Yup, that one. It’s made by my friend Pat Pauly, who does the most gorgeous work. If you aren’t familiar with Pat’s work, go over to her website. She’s fabulous!
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love making Dorset Buttons. And like so many things that I fall in love with, I went head first down the Dorset Button Rabbit Hole and have yet to reemerge! So much so that I just taped and uploaded another Dorset Button video, which will be premiering later today.
Last summer I made my first Dorset Button video, but this winter I decided to make another, slowed down version, and then did another that is a deep dive into the dorset button and variations to it. That video is available to all my patrons who are on my Patreon page. It covers: how to secure your dorset button once you’ve created one. What to do if your thread runs out in the middle of making one, how to make all of the variations shown above, like the tree and creating stitches on the outer rim and using different threads and thread weights. So much fun!
The Dorset Button popular in the 1600’s was replaced by machine made and mass produced buttons in the 1800’s. However many of us who love to hand stitch also love the dorset button. It is not only a fully functioning button, it is also decorative and therefore can be used in a variety of ways. For my mother’s Making Waves: A Drawstring Bag (which I just sent to her yesterday) I used almost a dozen dorset buttons to embellish it. I love how it turned out, and hope she will too.
For my next design, I’ve been playing around with lots of different ideas and one of those ideas is how to use the largest plastic rings I have with some variation of the Dorset Button. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m going to keep playing and see what I come up with.
In the meantime, here are a few more close ups of some Dorset Buttons I’ve made in the last few weeks.
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!
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.
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! ❤️
Seriously, is this one of the most hilarious things ever? Merlin is SO clever!
So Merlin, in addition to all of his other amusing and endearing characteristics, also plays fetch. He may be small, but he’s fierce! In the morning, but occasionally in the evening as well, he will bring me his “cork,” which is actually an edible cat chew called Virbac, to throw for him. Eventually he will eat it, but first he likes to play a few rounds of fetch. One morning, in a particularly boisterous mood, he even went more than a dozen rounds with me throwing it, him chasing, then bringing it back so that I could throw it again. One evening he brought it into our bed as my husband and I were watching TV. Best. Cat. Ever.
In other news I am premiering a video on the Pearl Stitch later today at 1pm or 13:00 EST. Premiering on Youtube means that the video has been shot and edited and is scheduled to post at a given time and I will be watching it live with anyone else who cares to watch with me. We can chat live, just as we would if I was livestreaming, the only difference being that the video has been made already, so I can answer questions as we watch together. AND I demonstrate how to stitch the Pearl Stitch, how to end the thread if you run out in the middle of the stitch, how to join a new thread and I even demonstrate how to stitch the Pearl Stitch using my right hand while standing on my head, submerged in a fish tank with my other hand tied behind my back. Just checking to see who’s paying attention. I’m kidding about the standing on my head, fish tank part, but everything else is true! It will be lots of fun. Join in if you’re able. Here’s the link, just remember it won’t be available to watch until 1pm EST today, Thursday February 18th.
In other news, my friend Anna Bates of the popular Youtube channel, Quilt Roadies and I are doing a Facebook live video tomorrow, Friday, February 19th, at 1pm EST.
Now where’s my ToDo list? I have a LOT to do today and Merlin just brought me his cork again, so I have to play fetch with him before I do anything else.
Welcome to my store!
Please browse and look at our patterns available. We also offer Workshops! ~Ariane