Thursday, February 19, 2015

When Chronic Disease Steals Your Sewing Time

Hey Fellow Sewists,
  I'd like nothing more than to be showing you a finished project, a new beauty fresh off the sewing machine. Unfortunately I got glutened over Valentines weekend which leaves me open to all sorts of germs so today instead of finishing my new jeans I laid on my sofa bed trying to ignore my aching head and joints.
  I was really frustrated because there is so much that needs to get done and I want to get done and I was at the point where my patience was wearing thin with my limitations. I was sick of being sick. Ever feel that way yourself?
  In desperation I reached out to a new friend who also struggles with a chronic disease asking her how she gets through. Here's what she replied,

"You ask how I manage? I'm not real sure how I do manage. Sometimes I don't manage and (my daughter) gets an ear full.
The one thing that I've been trying to accomplish is to refuse to think about what needs to be done. At a time like this one can always think of hundreds of millions of things to do. But break it down to what is absolutely necessary. Will someone die if this doesn't get done? No. Then it's not necessary for today. Right now just focus on taking care of your body and that is to clear your mind of stress. This is the time when it is absolutely necessary to just rest and meditate on the Word. It's hard to discipline one's mind to do it, but it can be done. ...
As you rest, think of all the fun things you would like to do some day and make a list...yes, just for the fun of it. You can throw it away later or keep it, but it is a way that allows your mind to stay occupied and still lets your body rest.
Now you know some of my secrets that get me through the worst of it. It's called diversion so I'm better able to deal with it.
Hope some of these suggestions will help as you go through this day. Rest and sleep are your best friends right now; embrace them!"
   I think she should add phone a friend to the list. Her words gave me the encouragement and permission to let myself relax and get some rest. I even took her advice and made a list. 
I know I'm not the only creative who has to fight physical limitations to sew and some of you have also shared your struggles. So what keeps you from sewing? What do you do to keep your spirits up?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Coming Full Circle: A Peek at My Sewing Setup

Changes, even good changes can take time to adjust to. Moving unsettles everything. All the sewing supplies are packed away and scattered throughout the rest of the household items. We're renovating our house while camping out in an apartment across the street.  We have half a house worth of stuff crammed into a tiny apartment.
I was sleeping on a nice air mattress bed until it molded, now I pull the sofa bed out each night and sleep there. Looking on the bright side, I was able to borrow a card table and set up my machines. I cannot tell you what a sigh of internal relief this brought me.

Check out the rest of the room. Every time we go out to the moving container I discover more treasures and drag them home. Bits of me slowly coming back together.

Bet you can't guess what project is up next in my sewing queue. ;) If I ever finish gluing...
My hanging ironing board doesn't mind chilling with my bath towel.
I literally stopped in the middle of a project to snap these photos because of that glorious sunshine coming through the
window. It's amazing how much light can cheer you up.
Today I realized I've come full circle in my sewing. I started out on a card table in the living room, watching old movies and sewing polyester. While I'm done with polyester and can't get internet in this back room, the card table remains the same. So does my love of sewing.

With new people, experiences and jobs, spotty internet and cell service, being able to pick up needle and thread and gain confidence in creating has been therapeutic. It hasn't fixed all my problems or made all the anxiety and confusion go away or shortened my to do list but it has given me brief moments of peace. It has allowed me to create beauty out of the chaos.

Eye candy for now... my silk dresses. Left is a new TNT pattern. Right is a Japanese pattern.

And while I haven't gotten up the courage to photograph my latest creations I had no problem filling my pockets with sewing paraphernalia and traipsing out to the backyard scattering buttons and stabbing pins in trees for some fairy sewing photos.

In a time when I feel quite blown about in spirit I'm grasping at the threads I DO have in an attempt to keep me anchored. So hello Sewing Machine. Hello Sewing Friends. I'm glad you are here.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Aria's Needle ~ A Sewing Story

Inspired by Karen's story post I'm sharing something I've been playing with... It all started with this pin: 
Softly humming, Aria sat in an open grassy field; her needle weaving in and out, in and out, gently, rhythmically, methodically, quickly through the fabric in her lap. She felt the soft breeze brush her cheek on it’s way by, and the sun warm her head as she sat and sewed the fabric she had been given for that day’s assignment. With a jolt, her fingers reached for fabric and found none. She had come to the end. There was nothing more in her lap.  Jerking her head up, Aria softly gasped as she glanced around. While the fabric had disappeared, the once empty green field around her was covered in exquisite blooms.
From atop the tower of wisdom, the Headmistress of Fairy Godmothers turned away and began down the winding stair well, busily making plans for what now must be done. Aria had shown much skill and quick progress for one so young and newly entered into the School of Fairy Godmothers. Today revealed potential rarely seen and envious whispers were already rising from the girls in the court yard who had also witnessed Aria’s unintentional feat. Something must be done quickly so her thoughts would not be poisoned and her gift lost or twisted beyond recognition. 


Shivering, Aria wrapped her arms around her knees, pulling herself into a ball as her eyes adjusted to the darkness. Where was she? This wasn’t supposed to happen. None of it. She was supposed to be at home! With her brothers and sisters around the hearth. Telling stories as she did the day’s mending. Not here in some dark hole! What gifts did she have? Sent away from home because she was special. Sent away from school because she was special. “A power to create.” the headmistress had said. Some creating! More like the destruction of her life! 
“There is power in your needle Aria.” the headmistress had explained. Some power. Where had it been when the bandits attacked their cart? When she’d been dragged away with a bag over her head and shoved in this place? 
She unclasped her hands and sat up, fiddling through the layers of her traveling dress to feel the needle sewn into the hem of her chemise. She poked it through and drew out that long thin bit of metal. It glimmered faintly in her palm.  
The headmistress’s words continued to echo through her mind, “There is power in your needle Aria. It is a power that you must learn to use and control. Many will want what you can give them and you must grow in discernment as you grow in skill. The Eagle’s Crag will be a quiet private place for you to do that.”
Power. She mused, index finger poking the needle. “Power. Well let’s see what this can do.” as she plucked a strand of hair from her head and threaded the eye. Her hands felt for the first of many rents in her cloak. “Dragging someone blindfolded through a forest could cause almost as much damage as her brothers in the pigpen.” she mused. 

Aria began to mend; her needle moving in and out, in and out, quickly, quietly sewing up the holes. She sat in the darkness and thought of home, of warmth.


Now Aria's Needle has taken on a life of it's own and I'm not sure where it will lead...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sewing Themed Stationary Adventures

My favorite.
If there is one thing all sewists have in common it's our tactile nature. How many of us are also letter writers? I'll be the first to admit to not being the most regular correspondent but I do enjoy popping things off in the post and not having reliable internet connections has made me more liable to pick up pen and paper in the evening.

I like this concept but not the photo itself

Since I'm always looking for ways to incorporate sewing into other aspects of life I went on a hunt to find sewing stationary, specifically postcards. It was a sad search my friends... Merchant and Mills, this lovely lady, a lovely watercolor, and one set of sewing machines. That was it. Are we really that small of a market? We with our swaps, sewalongs, secret valentines, sew bossyness and general friend making?

Since I'm also always looking for new income opportunities I've been researching printing my own postcards and the findings are surprising. Photography is always a work in progress as well. What makes lovely quality blog photos does not make good printing quality postcards. Composition is also an art. I took 65 photos and only three or four am I happy with.

So what do you think of my ideas? Do you send out snail mail? Would you buy sewing themed postcards?

Monday, February 2, 2015

January Stashbusting 2015 Roundup

Whew! Our first month has flown and the totals are rolling in! January's theme was refreshment. Whether that was reorganizing, tackling the UFO pile or sewing something to get back in the groove I wanted to give us time to catch up and take a deep breath! It's a good thing too because Judy is our Theme Leader for this month and she is hosting a CONTEST! With prizes and everything! So hop over there to get the details and look at the stash in a new light.

How did I do in January?
I also got a couple other projects cut out and some PDFs printed so February should see me chugging right along. But what about you? Here's what's happening in the Flickr group!

M6444 Front
Debra's Celebrating Jungle January!

Jungle January 2014
Katie got in on it too!

Wanderlust quilt
I LOVE this gorgeous travel quilt

Spring Table Runner
Speaking of quilting here's another fresh one from Shannon!

Simplicity 7498
Sue's tearing through her piles which
makes it hard to chose my favorite
make from her. It's hard to beat
polka dots and a pool though. 

Jungle January 2015
Speaking of cute! What a great mother daughter combo!

There's a bunch more great projects in the group  which you are still most welcome to join. You'll have to send a request because we are making it private from now on. 

So how do you feel your month went? Are you refreshed and ready to go or still feeling overwhelmed by the piles?