This blog is a reminder of my mother. She was my biggest supporter and commented over the years more than anyone else. It was through this blog that I often kept in touch with her and towards the end it was the one full proof way I knew I could reach her, especially when my emails would go unanswered and my phone calls went to voicemail. I knew she would read whatever I was posting. Over the last few years when she could no longer speak, she would send me things that she knew I’d post here, much to everyone’s delight, because the things she sent were such fun.
Like this video:
And then there was this one that I loved:
Mostly I’m missing my mom and while I know this will ease over time, it’s still causing me to wake up many days feeling listless and kind of “blah”. I know from other periods in my life when I’ve felt down and a loss of energy that doing the things that I don’t feel like doing are the things that often make me feel better. It’s funny how that works. It’s counterintuitive, but if I can remind myself to do those things anyway, I’m halfway there.
It reminds me of when I was the Director of the Aspen Writer’s Conference and had organized to have Michael Crichton speak to kick off the conference. During his talk he was spoke of a work ethic. He was speaking of what artists, specifically writers, but it applied to anyone in the arts, often do. He said, imagine if you were an airplane pilot working for a major airline and got up in the morning and thought – you know I don’t really feel like flying today, I think I’ll sleep a few more hours. – You’d expect to be fired immediately or at the very least given a stern warning and if you tried that again, you’d be out of a job. He then went on to ask, why do artists treat their work any less seriously? If you’re a writer get up and write. If you’re a painter, paint and so on. The point was, our feelings don’t really matter when it comes to getting the work done. If we think of ourselves as an artist then put in the hours and create the art, regardless of the feelings.
With that in mind I keep showing up for the work, regardless of how I’m feeling, because I create. That’s what I do. That’s what I’ve always done. Today is no different than any other in that way. Yesterday I taped a video on this idea, and some of the things I do when I’m feeling low energy, which almost always comes hand in hand with doubt.
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’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 awoke this morning thinking I would get an early start by going out into the snowy streets to take some video footage. But then I looked at the weather and it said with the wind chill it felt more like about 20 degrees and I thought better of it. So I practiced my French, answered a bunch of emails, and then finally layered up and went out into, as it turned out, the not so cold, cold.
I did a little shoveling of the sidewalk, took a walk, reminisced about New York City and things that I was reminded of as I walked, before heading home. Here’s that video:
As I finished posting the above video to YouTube I looked out the window and saw this…
So a little more snow, evidently is here. However, according to the weather report on my phone app it is cloudy right now and will rain this Friday. Go figure. I think it’s safe to say that the weather forecast is unpredictable and often incorrect. However this pandemic means that whatever the weather, it doesn’t make any difference because we weren’t planning on going anywhere anyway!
When last we spoke I was getting headaches almost constantly. I am happy to report that I have not had one in two days! My mother reminded me that drinking more water can help, which I have been dutifully doing, as well as a whole routine that involves daily warm compresses, eye drops and neck exercises. And did I mention drinking lots and lots of water? Lots and lots of water.
Aging takes up a lot of time and requires a great deal of energy, I’ve concluded. My mother used to say “aging isn’t for the faint of heart.” At other times she has been known to put it more succinctly: “Aging sucks.” So we can just leave it at that.