Saturday, 17 April 2021

April 17, 2021

Ahem. So, it has been a while since I last posted anything on this blog. Life has been a huge chaotic and challenging mess where I was lurching from disaster to disaster for months. The challenges have been greater than anything I have ever faced before in my life and there were days when I was not sure how I was going to cope one more second. Through it all, I kept breathing and trying to keep my chin up. Things are better now although there is a long way to go before we hit the good stage. 

In the mean time, I am still stitching on my thread journal and am only a few days behind. My scrap thread pile is slowly shrinking and I am still excited to see what comes off the end of my needle each time I sit down to stitch an entry.

Dear readers, I hope that you and your families are keeping healthy and safe during these uncertain times. From my little home here in Ottawa, I am hunkering down as we face increased restrictions to combat COVID. We are in very challenging times, but still managing to get by, one day at a time.

Happy stitching!


Thursday, 4 February 2021

Feb 4, 2021

The month of February is now upon us and I finished my January journal entries only a day late. To my great surprise, I am still inspired to stitch every day or to at least catch up in a day or two if my work shifts interfere with my needle time. Not only am I inspired, but I am excited about it as well. The COVID lockdown continues here in Ontario so these entries help to keep me motivated and healthy on the mental health front. Having something to look forward to and creating a little something every day is definitely helping me to cope with not being able to go any where besides work and the grocery store. Plus, it is fascinating to me to see what will transpire as I pull out a random thread, put it on the needle and push the needle through the cloth. There is no pattern or plan and that is what I love because it is sparking a creative flame in me that has been dormant for so long.

Somewhere in one of the many social media groups that I follow, I recently came across a photo of a project that involved french knots as a full coverage piece on a hoop. I am one of those weirdos who love doing french knots so this caught my eye and imagination. Where some people will substitute beads for french knots on a project, I go the other way as I hate beading! A quick search through my stash uncovered an old wooden hoop and I cut yet another piece off the fella's old uniform shirt to fit on the hoop. My current thinking is to view this as a thread journal as well in that I am trying to do one thread of knots each day along with the one thread for the first piece. 

 As I contemplated for a few moments about this blog post, I got to thinking about how I declutter my stitching stash every time I think about moving. Mind you, my thread stash goes down slowly with stitching, but perhaps it is the idea of controlling something, anything, during a stressful process. The first time I moved in this itinerant military life six years ago, I was overwhelmed with the volume of stuff that had accumulated in the 15 years that I had lived in my first house. Having a huge shelving unit and a spare room just made it so easy to accumulate stuff and pile it up. That first move was the first time I started a journey of letting things go out of my stash. Little kits that I would never do were sent off to the charity stores for someone else to put in their stash. Before our most recent move from Nova Scotia to Ottawa, I culled my patterns and sold off a stack of patterns that were beautiful as a collection, but were never going to get stitched by me. Two small boxes of Kreinik threads that I had collected went to an even more avid stitcher who loves using threads like Kreinik. I hate stitching with  those types of threads despite how beautiful the final project turns out so it was a relief to let that collection go to someone who would use and appreciate them. This time, there is a lot of sadness around this upcoming move so I am trying to create something beautiful as my heart heals and I try to figure out my next step in life. 

Stay safe and healthy out there! Happy stitching!

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Jan 28, 2021

Each day when I pick up my thread journal, I open up my box of leftover threads and contemplate the colours in the box. There is no planning of stitch or colour until I open the box and let my mood sort through the colours until I find one that speaks to me. Every time, the perfect colour and stitch comes to me. 

Today's choice took a little while. I woke this morning to the news that my brother's ex-girlfriend had committed suicide. As I contemplated my journal and dug around in the box tonight, I found this bobbin of shiny blue and purple thread that seemed perfect for her. This one is for you, Stef. I hope that you have found the peace that you did not have for so many years here on Earth. Fly high, my friend, and shine bright.


Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Jan 13, 2021

 The journal is coming along despite the strong urge I had the other day to cut it up. The fella and I have separated and the fabric is from one of his old uniform shirts. I am glad that I did not shred it in a fit of pique the other day and I am using it as a way to heal. My relationship with stitching is longer than most relationships in my life and it has carried me through many times when I needed to heal.

Forgive all the pet hair on the piece despite my best efforts. Pet hair is both a food group and a good luck charm in this house, or so I tell myself.

Happy stitching!

Monday, 4 January 2021

Jan 4, 2021

 Day 4 of my 2021 thread journal and I am still very excited about this piece which is a refreshing change because I have not been excited about stitching, or really anything, since the pandemic shut us down in March 2020. Maybe the glimmer of hope that the end is near with the arrival of vaccines has sparked me again. Perhaps it is denial that life is going to drastically change in this house in a few days. At this point, I don't care what has sparked this excitement that saw me designing in my head on the drive home from work last night!

I am excited to see how this will turn out! There are some ideas rolling around in my head as to how to incorporate the names of the months into the design. No firm idea on "2021" just yet though.

My ornament stitching fell way behind this year so I am still working on little projects to send out as part of Christmas 2020, pictures to follow when the phone camera has enough juice to take photos. I dunno, at this point in the lockdown, restrictions, find joy where you can, who cares if you get Christmas ornaments for Valentine's Day? Does it really matter any more? My rule book has been thrown out the window and lit on fire.

Happy stitching!

Friday, 1 January 2021

Jan 1, 2021

 Here we are in a fresh new year. I honestly don't know where to begin about last year beyond summing it up simply as 2020 and leaving it at that. There is just so much baggage and garbage to unpack that I am just going to look forward into 2021 and let the chips fall behind me where they will fall.

I hope to get back into stitching and gaining my life back or at least living a happier and healthier version than what I was living as a healthcare worker in 2020. My medicine pack is full of vitamins that I take every day to try to avoid getting sick or run down as I deal with stressful shift after stressful shift and curl up on my couch fully and completely exhausted. My partner has been shouldering the load at home because he has been home for months while his employer figures out how to operate under the public health regulations of each province and the country and those of other countries. That support system heads out overseas next week for 6 months so who knows how things are going to go for me in 2021 as I work and look after our critters, one of whom developed a pituitary/hormone disease as the world crashed to a halt in March. Thanks to the pandemic, I don't expect to see my partner again in person until late July.

My stitchy bug was woken up by some posts I saw yesterday about thread journaling where people embroider a little each day for a full year. There are so many variations and themes and ideas that caught my attention and I could not get it out of my head after joining a group on facebook where people share their designs, ideas and work. After hours of mulling things over, I finally came up with this:

The story behind this piece is that the fella' is heading out next weekend and the fabric is from one of his old uniform shirts. My plan is to use a different colour family each month while working from top to bottom with french knots, back stitching, straight stitches and whatever else feels right at the time. Somehow, I will also stitch in "2021" either as the numbers or perhaps spelled out and somehow represent the months either with their first letter or the full word as the colours change. I felt a bit inadequate in not having a fully thought out plan after looking at some of the other pieces where people have all kinds of designs drawn out for each month, but this is my piece and my life so it remains to be seen how things will turn out! Fingers crossed that my stitchy bug stays motivated and creative in the coming months as I try to stay sane, cheerful and without complaint.

Happy stitching!



Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Nov 23, 2020

 The mad Christmas rush is now on as I try to complete as many ornaments as I can to give out this Christmas. Every year I feel like I am getting more and more last minute and this year is just, well you all know because you are living it, too. Exhaustion and chronic stress have depleted all of my energy, creative and otherwise. The only times that I have been this uninspired was during major depressive episodes where any inspiration to do anything was gone. Maybe I am trying to convince myself otherwise, but I do believe that what I am feeling is mental and physical exhaustion and not depression.

These are the current ornaments taking shape under my needle. They are a Designworks kit on plastic canvas, a cheater for not having to truly finish the ornaments beyond cutting them out! My goal is to have the full crosses on all six of these ornaments this week and then I can tackle the backstitching on both these and the four other ornaments that are stitched.

My main activity beside work and vacuuming up dog hair seems to be trying to get enough sleep and taking lots of vitamins and supplements. My first year roommate from university is now a naturopath and she helped me put together a regimen to help me cope with the chronic stress levels that I have been facing since March when things went south here in Canada. My employee discount card purchases read: vitamins, vitamins, toothpaste, vitamins, vitamins, mascara, vitamins and well, you get the picture. The fella and I each have a pill organizer for our vitamin regimens. I finally broke down and called my doctor for pills to help me sleep so that I can prevent a fast and furious slide into depression via sleep deprivation from the anxiety hum that can take over my brain at night. Last, but not least, my Labrador has inspired me to seek out the joy of living in the moment. I use her example of tail wagging excitement over the little things to psyche myself up on the drive to work and to put a smile on my face. All of these things have brought me back from the brink of burnout.

Well, I hope that you are all doing well and that you continue to stay safe and healthy! Happy stitching!