Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming. - Alice Walker
One of the silver linings of the current Covid situation has been the time and opportunity to look at the shape of our lives and make adjustments. Who do we want to become? What do we want less of in our lives? What do we want more of in our lives? That opportunity exists for those of us who are already introspective and for those who are asking deeper questions perhaps for the first time. Our life is our greatest work of art and no one else can create it for us. It is up to us to draw the fine lines and broad brushstrokes in a way that develops our best life, holistic health, joy and abundance.
A typical journal question is if you only had a week to live, how would you spend it? It can be hard to relate to a question like that when the sun is shining and everything appears to be fine. It's easier when there is actual danger looming on the horizon. I'm already a minimalist so I haven't been sifting and sorting my house. It's already clean. And I've worked from home for almost thirty years so I haven't been adjusting to being here all the time. I'm already adjusted. What I've missed is...
... a sit down, face-to-face, good conversation with a friend, coffee out, wandering through thrift and consignment stores looking for potential, road trips, workshops, and artist dates. With loosening regulations, I have looked more closely at who do I want to spend time with as I want that time to be positive and engaging, not negative in any way. Which groups have I missed and can't wait to return to and which can I let go of? What did I wish was already present in my life that wasn't and can I put that in place before the second wave? These and others like them are not completely unfamiliar questions yet they've allowed me to tweak the way I live and that's good.
One of the pressures I am stepping away from is the pressure to create some sort of business oriented on-line presence. This is something I pick up and put down annoyingly far too often and it is entirely possibly that this put down will once again be followed by a pick up and yet maybe not this time. Yesterday, I cancelled the plan for my website and will only have this blog. If I want to sell something, there will be a way but I'm not going to allow the possibility that I may sell something to mean spending time, money, and energy maintaining a site when that's not what I really want to do. The same with....
....social media. When the lock down began, I joined several Facebook groups and I've since unsubscribed from most of them. The on-line group environment is always shifting - one minute supportive and encouraging and the next minute someone is up in airs about something and there is negativity and controversy. No thank you. The group I stayed with is associated with the design retreats I've been going to over the past eight years and it's a group of (mostly) women that I want to stay connected with and support in their journey. That is good and enough.
It's probably an obvious choice that many are making yet what I am feeling called to is deeper cocooning, making a warm, cozy home, and enjoying the gift of this space. Instead of going to Starbucks each morning to journal, I am curling up in the chair in my studio and it's wonderful. In the rest of the house, I've eliminated some things and added others to both freshen the environment and reflect my style. The yard has been a five year project so far and there is a deep sense of satisfaction in seeing it come together. My studio work is growing in new directions with metal and wire and I am thoroughly enjoying further developing new skills of which...
... refashioning is one. It wasn't something I was aware of until I went to the first design retreat and at the beginning I was hesitant and then I realized that if this garment wasn't working in its current state, there was a lot to gain and nothing to lose by taking it forward. The journey alone would be stretching and growing.
The first step in any refashion is to deconstruct the present garment to a degree that works for the next step which may be the only step you know. With this dress, I unpicked the hemline and took out the center back zipper. Most of the time I don't know what I'm making, and that's true in this case, except that I do know I want a center front opening because the garment is very fitted and the bust line clearly defined. I also want to add sleeves so I removed the neckline and armhole bindings and put them aside carefully. Don't throw anything out until you're completely done. You never know what you need and what those parts could become.
Right now, I am thinking about the center back. Without the zipper to suck it in, it has fallen into this triangle shape that is an opportunity to add some interesting details and a flared back. The dress has princess seams and those would be mimicked by adding a wedge. I'm also debating if I want to do any surface design. I see this as a spring/fall coat or a sweater-ish garment that could be playful and fun. Since I'm quite busy for the next two weeks, and after that will be a wet noodle for some time, I'm not sure how fast it's going to progress but so far - it's very fun.
I bought fabric. No surprise here. It's not unheard of but it is somewhat rare for me to go into a fabric store and come out empty handed. Every year, Fabricland has a huge buy 1 meter, get _ meters free sale before inventory. The fabrics above left are linen. The crinkled one was buy 1, get 1 free and the linen knit was buy 1, get 2 free. I've wanted to try sewing and wearing linen knit so YES YES! The fabrics at right are a rayon blend knit that I've sewn with before and knew I loved. They were buy 1, get 2 free and I bought a meter and a half of each since there weren't any other colours I wanted. The pink and the turquoise are both colours I love and were fun to add to my mostly black stash.
At Value Village, I found these two trucks made of metal like my boys used to play with. One is slightly bigger for my oldest grandson and the other slightly smaller for the youngest - so they can tell them apart. I was so thrilled to find two. The three bucket containers were from Home Sense and it wasn't until I took this picture that I noticed they aren't identical. Apparently, I was so caught up in how fabulous they'd be for my metalworking tools that I didn't look that closely. LOL - oh well. It works.
In the yard, I finally finished mixing cement and setting the posts for the stairs yesterday. At first, I was waiting for the risers to arrive to make sure the positioning was correct and then I was waiting for a free and rain-less day to allow the cement to dry. I have front yard projects and back yard projects to work on while my grandsons are playing so I can keep an eye on them without going crazy. I'm not very good at sitting around and they are here for two weeks, just me and them, no parents. I'll be exhausted but what fun!
I was a bit worried about whether the stairs would ruin the view from my curl-up chair. There will be wooden treads but even so, it's going to be okay. I'm glad. I spend a lot of time with this view.
SO... today is house cleaning, an appointment, and grocery shopping. Late tomorrow afternoon, my daughter and her family will arrive. Her and her husband will leave on Wednesday morning to go back to work and the boys will stay. I can't wait to see and hug them. It's been way too long and I wouldn't be surprised if this is our only visit this year depending on the second - and now they are talking about third - wave.
I hesitate to ask what you have learned from Covid knowing it has been beyond devastating for many people. If you feel comfortable sharing, I'd love to hear. Thanks.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - home and health