So, I would like to have posted the May Burda preview/review post by now, but, alas, quarantine life is complex and full of unexpected surprises. In this age of social distancing, it is becoming increasingly clear that having functioning technology is critical to survival (I mean this in a very literal sense in this case), so I had to prioritize playing tech support to my family over blog writing and other personal pursuits this past week. Thus, here I am, April half over, feeling very behind. I am still working on my May Burda post (hopefully will have that up later this week) and my Kibbe types spring patterns roundup post (hopefully will have that up later this month), but in the meantime I wanted to share a few cool things I found and ponder the larger implications of quarantine life.
First, Some Cool Stuff:
- I thought this article on Tor.com about the implications of needlework in fantasy writing was a really interesting read. While this article certainly doesn’t sum up all of the fantasy stories that use needlework in interesting, magical, or subversive ways, it certainly does make a nice defense of the craft in a “it’s not just women’s work” sort of way. Obviously, everyone here knows this, but I think it’s interesting to look at it from a higher literary analysis perspective, and see how it is treated in several stories. Also, the fact that Tamora Pierce’s work gets a huge shout out is a bonus, because I’ve been reading her since I was 11 and I’m still obsessed.
- Burda has this cool notebook for sale on their German site. If you like plain paper notebooks for sketching or planning out sewing projects, this one has a pretty sassy cover, so it could be really fun.
- Burda Germany also has these awesome Vintage Cover Postcards. I refrained from getting the Vintage Cover Posters (in blue, green, yellow, and pink) because (1) they are expensive and (2) I don’t have the wall space. But framing this set of 10 postcards and doing one of those wall collage artwork arrangements would be so cute! Of course, the price would add up with the frames, but, it would still be really pretty.
Secondly, What I’ve Been Doing in Quarantine:
Unfortunately, the very unexciting answer is work. I’ve been putting in a lot of hours at my job getting everything situated to deal with necessary remote delivery of educational resources. Granted, I am well aware that it is much better than the alternative (which would be sitting on the phone getting busy signals from unemployment due to un-work… a very charged topic that I really don’t want to get into right now). I think we all know a lot of people in difficult situations, be it from unemployment, or mental stress, or being in the situation of having an essential job that puts them out and about in the public sphere. Any way you slice it, times are rough, and I think everyone is really stressed out right now, for one reason or another.
So, my “extra 2 hours a day” from not commuting hasn’t really been an extra 2 hours a day. I’ve been working a lot of hours the past month, and it has been emotionally and physically exhausting. This week things are almost feeling normal-ish in terms of workload, so we shall see if that amounts to more sewing time or not. Despite desperately needing to sew some new work tops before all this happened, I can’t muster the excitement or energy to work on those sorts of projects right now. I am finally back to reading sewing blogs (after 6 weeks of not having time to do do much of anything for myself), and I did sew some masks a few weeks ago and was able to give them away to friends who are non-medical essential workers:
And I’ve been on a bit of a cleaning spree; I’ve completely reorganized my sewing magazines:
Yes… I have a lot of sewing pattern magazines.
There was a time where I’d been stocking up on vintage Burda’s from Ebay… it’s almost what we might consider a problem. But, I figure as long as they all fit on the shelf… it’s ok for now.
And I’ve re-worked my sewing book organization:
Though now I’ve got to figure out a better solution for thread storage…
I’ve got some ideas about creating a more compact and better organized thread system… though it may take a while to get it all sorted out. It’ll be my next work in progress before I move on to organizing other sewing notions.
Finally, Where I’m at Now:
Anyway, at this point I’m trying to find the motivation to actually get to sewing. I’m enjoying re-working my sewing space, yet the desire to create is very absent. I have been binge-watching CosTube (historical and fantasy costumers on YouTube) like there’s no tomorrow, and I’ve been trying to catch up on some Bluprint classes, so I feel like I’m still wanting to think about sewing. And I’m reading a lot of sewing books? So obviously some aspect of my brain is very much set to “sewing mode.” Yet, when I go to the sewing room I feel uninspired. Though sometimes I wonder – maybe it’s guilt? I did “enjoy” sewing the face masks, in a meditative sort of way. Though it is hard to fully find joy in the task. I mean, you can’t really divorce the action from the need and that can be a bit… overwhelming. Regardless, after equipping my family, I gave away the rest of the masks I sewed just before face coverings became a mandatory requirement in much of the area where I live. Then the inquiries about buying masks came in and it no longer felt like… well I don’t suppose we can call mask-sewing “fun” but perhaps the term “pragmatic” or “philanthropic” or “therapeutic” would be correct here. It’s funny because I’ve done a fair amount of commissioned work in my time, but for some reason this request feels different. It’s almost like, no matter what I do, there is guilt attached to it now because I “should be” doing something else. And it’s hard to say what is the most important thing in our current climate. Is it doing good things for others? Is it taking care of your own mental and physical health? How informed should we be on the current situation at all times? How many news sources can we stand to listen to before we go insane?
So yeah. A lot of people have said this is the time to “take stock” but I think it’s hard to do that when you feel you are in the middle of a whirlwind. I think maybe I’m finally getting to a place where I can start to take a breath and sort things out, but it is difficult. Here and there I feel inklings of inspiration, but I have to figure out if or when I’ll have the energy to pursue them. In the meantime, I suppose I shall keep on keepin’ on, because I’m not sure what else there is to do at this point.