Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rusty Skills & New Adventures

On New Year's Eve, I did something I've never done before. I stayed home completely alone - with no parents, siblings, children, friends or spouse. Howard had to be in Kamloops early the next morning and the weather forecast was for snow so we went out for a nice brunch and he left just as the first flakes began to fall and made it home safely. I curled up on the couch, ate yummy food, read a novel, did some sewing, knit, went to bed early, and started the new year well rested. One of my favourite questions from my studies last year was when was the last time you did something for the first time? This fit. It was good.

And, I watched the news. Before the calendar had even turned over where I was others were experience violence, pain, loss, and chaos. I'm not sure what the right word for how I'm feeling is - not fearful and not overwhelmed and yet exhausted and disturbed - and I can only imagine how those who are living in the midst of it are feeling. I had intended to post that night and then suddenly everything I wanted to say felt so wrong. What I do know is that I want to fully engage in life and enjoy every moment than I can. There is only this moment and it's both precious and fleeting.

Even though I've been working steadily on the red and white piece for the gallery show - with every intention of finishing it - it has stuttered and stalled along the way. I kept putting down the pieces and then scooping them up and rearranging them yet... still... again... until I finally arrived at the arrangement above. It felt like something I could go forward with however...

... just to be sure, I converted the image to grey scale and looked at the arrangement of values. This works for me. I liked how the lines leading in from the edges meet where the dark patch is and how the rest of the piece balances that focal point so I fused the bits in pieces, added the backing and batting, and started stitching.

Stitching a textile piece is not a new skill but it's not a current one either. The last time I stitched one was in the summer of 2009 for a show in early 2010. I'm feeling very rusty and the lines aren't coming out as I see them in my head. And that's okay. I'll push through. I'll finish. And then, I'll gladly return to sewing creative everyday wear. That's the playground I'm most comfortable in right now.

Plus hair. This sudden return to work has significantly altered my schedule. I've been in the salon quite a lot as well as doing research into how to cut different styles and how to put hair up and I'm - LOL - playing with dolls a lot. The partners haven't met yet so it's still not 100% for sure that I'm staying but it is looking good. Once they met and make some decisions, I'll know my hours and that will make things easier although I'll still be shadowing the owner for a while. It's a new (old) adventure that I'm really enjoying.

This posting could just as easily have been titled The Twenty-Five Pound Break. Between my return to hairstyling, my current weight loss, and the next twenty-five pounds, there's not a lot of time for sewing or need. I've taken the elastic in on a few skirts, purchased a couple pairs of pants, and am making do with tighter cardigans over looser sweaters. It'll only last for so long and I do have garments plans in the works but it's going to be hit and miss for the next several months.... as will posting. I'm sorry to be saying this again especially since I thought I'd figured out the rhythm that would work only I didn't know then that other parts of my life were going to unpredictably and significantly change.

The cardigan pictured above is Snowland. It's knit in one of Rowan's cashmere blend yarns. That's not my style or price range so I bought a 55% nylon and 45% acrylic blend of the same weight. In pink. I've always liked fuchsia toned pinks but apparently different tones - just please not baby pink - are calling my name right now. I want to knit this for my spring wardrobe and some garments to go with.

Today, I'm wearing the Butterick shirt I sewed in November. I sized it to a smaller set of measurements and it fits great so I'll use those for the cardigan as well. At the boxing day fabric sale, I bought a cotton large floral print at the that will make a nice skirt and a rayon/polyester blend in light grey for pants.

This is one of the projects I couldn't show you before Christmas - boxer shorts for my son-in-law that are painted with metallic black hearts. He dared me. You should never dare your mother-in-law if she happens to be me.

In November and December, I did a lot of painting on fabric and my skills definitely improved and at the same time, I'm much happier working with fabric and thread. There are a lot of fused bits of cotton left from doing this textile piece that I may use for my next coaching assignment. Diane asked me to take a skill that I typically use small and to make it bigger. I think fused jeans could be fun - LOL - when I get to that.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - two pounds lost over the holiday without measuring or recording - YES YES


  1. Happy New Year Myrna!

    I really love your gallery piece and I know you'll be happy with the end result. You're so creative.

    1. What a lovely compliment. Thank you.

  2. Your gallery piece is lovely. To me it appears to be a metaphor for hope as I see a large object/being - possibly the planet in all its diversity, spinning towards the light coming from the right side...
    Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you. LOVE your interpretation. It's always interesting what people see in my pieces.

  3. As a former hairstylist (but still licensed), I can relate to entering back in to the field. It's a great skill to have. I show an easy and quick way to do an updo on my blog, if interested.
    You have so many talents and I enjoy reading how you work through your processes. Diane is a great challenger!

    1. Diane is a great challenger. I'm really enjoying working with her. I'd love to see the updo. Could I have the link please?


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.