Crazy Times

How are you all doing? I am struggling to stay calm and sane when it seems like all is going down around us. I was supposed to go to Chicago today and spend some quality time with some of the kiddos but obviously that got cancelled. My days shouldn’t seem all that different than usual since I work from home and spend most of my time working alone and not going out. It is the news and how the people I care about are being affected that is causing anxiety. Schools shut down, shows cancelled, shops closed, and everything uncertain. So, I am still working away in my studio but I am distracted and I’m not sure what I am working toward.

I put away all the merman supplies- paper patterns, merman specific fabrics, other random bits, and decided I’d stick to the ocean/water theme of these recent days and make up some fish. I pulled out ALL the bins of wool, sorted through to pick out colors and fabrics that appealed and got to work. The photo above is the construction stage after I’ve cut out the main body pieces- the ribbing and boiled wool bits are used for the fins and tail. I’m always looking for the good textures and interesting color matches.

Sewing, sewing, sewing… next step, clipping curves and turning to the right-side. I want to make a stockpile with an assortment of colors. It is so satisfying to have a big pile all cut out, then all sewed up, ready for me to finished up. When I decide I need to make up more fish, there they are!

And here they are- that is approximately 35 sewed up fish plus about 15 more that are cut out with all their pieces neatly stored in zip-lock bags. Every time I start cutting things out, I think I should cut out “a few”. Several days later, it’s 50! I got tired of the sewing so some fish will wait for another day. I picked out 6 to stuff and finish and the rest went into a storage bin to wait their turn.

Here is the thing I don’t understand- I cut out 50 fish and yet all my fabric bins seem as full as ever! I think the fabric swells in the night :-) I will post some more pics of the finished fish but the weather here hasn’t been great for photos.

And so, how are you doing? How are you coping? My husband has been working from home for 2 weeks now. That’s a bit different. We had food delivered last night for the first time ever- we decided to support local business and try something new. Usually, if we get take-out we can just walk or drive to get it. I have so many friends who make their living by selling their artwork and ALL the shows have been cancelled. (I have a show scheduled for Memorial Day weekend and I’m wondering if it is going to happen.) If you can afford to buy from small and micro businesses, now is the time to show your support. Also, if you are bored and have supplies, a lot of us sell patterns! fyi- if you want to make your own fish, the pattern is in my etsy shop and I’d rate it advanced beginner. I like to make them from wool but they can be made from any fabric including quilt cotton, cotton knit, home dec fabric, etc.

Lastly, if you want to lean into the whole pandemic thing, I think this book is excellent- Get Well Soon by Jennifer Wright. The chapter about the flu of 1918 is still very relevant. The big lesson of the book is that you want a strong and compassionate government in place when something like this happens. Her writing style is not too serious which helps with this very serious topic. The book is set up with each chapter focusing on a particular event so you don’t even have to read it in order. I listened to the audiobook several years ago and have re-listened to sections ever since. Also, a lot of libraries have it.

And hey! Spring is on the way! (the first daffodil in my garden)

4 thoughts on “Crazy Times

  1. Hi Mimi! Your blog is such a welcome respite from the news. So glad you are staying healthy. The fish are delightful! I just purchased the pattern as I’ve been wanting to make one of these for years and now I seem to have unlimited making time. Stay well.

  2. Mimi I was happy to see your post. I’m.trying to stay busy here in Charleston too I. In the process of making a quilt for me ! I have been sick this past year and had surgery in early Jan. Gall bladder and appendix/colon surgery. All went fairly well. Except my oxygen levels weren’t good after surgery. Seems I needed ladies. I’d had bronchitis and just didn’t shake it completely. And couldn’t without the Lasix, Home and feeling much better. Now to get rid of the bursitis in my hip. Just saw directions for making masks since there is a shortage so I thought tomorrow I’d make a few of those for friends and family. I’ll see how they go and maybe sell a few.
    Stay healthy and keep those fish coming. They are stinking cute.
    Do you ever hear or see any of the gals from Textile Tarts.? I wonder if they are still meeting. I enjoyed them and do miss them.
    Barb Baylis
    Charleston SC

  3. Just popped in today for a relief from the news. I always enjoy seeing what you are up to. I have been trying to work only from my yarn stash and feel the same way as you – no matter how much I use – it always seem like there is no less. Hopefully at the end of the year I will see a change? Fingers crossed. This past weekend I was able to go out and do some yard work at my daughter’s while they were building raised beds and digging out a big tree stump. It was nice to be around some new faces – even though we all kept far away from each other. In Seattle we are having a streak of sunny weather that has too many people in the parks so it was nice to be outside and not worry about people getting too close. Trying to do my part to give local and some online small businesses some business. Working from home and thankful that I have knitting and sewing to keep my mind slightly distracted. Thanks for the book recommendation and a place to ramble for a minute. Hang in there!

  4. I always love seeing your creations. The cats and foxes are my favorites. The time you spend with each detail is fascinating.
    I’m unable to stay focused on much right now. I’m used to being home and sewing most days so it’s not too different for me. My husband retired in September to help with his parents. My youngest son and his wife in Iowa are going to have my first grandson the end of May. I hope we are able to visit them! We live in Texas – 13 hours away. We had to postpone the baby shower. My daughter-in-law is a nurse so I’m sewing masks for her. I’m hoping she is safe from the virus.
    Take care.

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