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.
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!
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’m doing a Dorset Buttons Gone Wild 3-hour Workshop via Zoom. (It will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube, but will only be available to view if you have purchased the workshop. You can reference the entire workshop later or whenever you like once the workshop is over.)
When: A 3-hour workshop: Saturday, March 20th from 2-5pm EDT
Cost: $40.00 – I accept payment by check, through Zelle, Venmo or Paypal using my name: Ariane Zurcher and email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me in the comments how you are paying so that I can make a note of it.
The workshop is limited to 30 people, first come, first serve. I have 19 spots left, so reserve your spot now!
What you’ll need and what you can expect:
Have at least a few rings to make the Dorset Buttons: https://amzn.to/2PyqNH3 whatever size you like and a couple different threads. I recommend 3 wt and 5 wt threads to begin and then a few specialty threads such as 4mm silk ribbon, Aurora, Oriental Linen, Soft Cotton, or whatever else you might like to try. For the first couple you might want to use some thread you have lying around that you don’t care about to practice.
#18 Chenille needle and/or #24 Chenille depending on the thread weight you want to use. A tapestry needle will work as well, and you will also need a Milliners Needle so that you can experiment with making some wrapped stitches on the Dorset Button. We are thinking out of the box, so think about what else you might want to add!
I will demonstrate a number of different variations on the traditional Dorset button, incorporating lots of different materials and threads that I think you’ll find exciting and different! You will have completed at least one or two Dorset Buttons by the end of the workshop. ❤️
*Optional: For those of you who are really adventurous, I suggest purchasing, if you haven’t already, my glasses case and/or scissor’s case. If you choose to go this route, prep the linen, with the lighter color linen wave and whipstitch on the wool circles as the instructions describe, so that you are ready to apply your Dorset Buttons to the wool shapes. I embellished the background as you can see below. If you are signed up for the workshop and would like to embellish as I have, let me know in the comments and I will send you instructions.
Don’t forget to leave me a comment that you want to reserve your space and then proceed to payment.
Later today I am doing a livestream on what to do with those odd looking Silk Cocoons. A lovely follower of mine sent me one a few months ago and I put it aside, not sure what to do with it. Then someone in my Facebook group: Ariane Zurcher Stitching Circle asked what does one do with such an interesting and weird looking thing. I replied that I had no idea, but I had one sitting next to me, still in its little bag. Another helpful soul then suggested (dared me) that I do a livestream demonstrating. So I am, because I can’t let a dare suggestion like that go unheeded. If you’re curious, tune in today at 1pm EST.
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! ❤️
I’ve been thinking about relationships a lot. Perhaps that’s because I’m coming up on my 20th wedding anniversary with this awesome man. Our relationship has seen its ups and downs, but we are committed to doing the hard work of showing up for each other no matter how painful and difficult that may be. As a result we have entered into, what I think of as, our golden years together. I love this man more today than those first few years when we met and decided to have children together. I am well aware of how fortunate I am, it helps that he is as committed as I am, and is also funny, smart, kind, thoughtful, complicated, a great dad, a great friend and all around amazing human being.
Or maybe I’m thinking about relationships because it’s the holiday season when we typically fly to Colorado to visit my mother and sister, but because of the pandemic are unable to do so or maybe it’s because this year has thrown a couple of relationships into stark relief. I have had to come to terms with the fact that a few were not what I thought and others that have only reaffirmed how wonderful they are. I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from both.
I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I start the morning reading something, usually something philosophical or a meditation of some kind. This morning’s reading began with a quote:
There are two equally dangerous extremes – to shut reason out, and to let nothing else in.
When I’m stitching the magical moments come when things just flow from one idea to the next – easily, magically. But there are other moments when everything I stitch feels wrong. Color is often at issue. If my base color is one that I don’t find particularly appealing, then everything I subsequently do can feel off simply because the base color isn’t one that speaks to me. The trick is finding the magic even then.
As many of you who follow me on Youtube know, I’ve been struggling with my latest improvisational piece. It uses a flesh-colored hand dyed piece of linen as its base, and it’s been problematic for me since I took that first stitch. Still, I’m determined to continue, if for no other reason than as an exercise in working through the myriad issues that are coming up for me. And what I’m learning is that if I’m committed to something, really committed, I am willing to have the difficult conversations, I’m willing to hang in there even when things get problematic, I’m willing to keep showing up. And when I do that, something magical always happens. (Of course if we’re talking about two people then BOTH people have to be willing. It won’t work if only one person is willing and the other isn’t.)
With the piece shown above, this is the magical moment that occurred a few days ago. I don’t know that it’s enough to shift this piece from an exercise, into something that I’m able to fully embrace, but I’m getting there and I’m going to keep showing up for it and see what happens!