Am pleased to report that I have found a different creative use for Big Bertha – without permission, necessity has lowered her sights to sewing little black notebooks. Still, for such a hard worker, it’s better than being idle!
Although her favourite thing is still needling right through layers of gorgeous leather, wool tweeds, oilskins, heavy canvas and whatever other materials AppleTown Designs handbags could muster, she’ll settle for anything at all that makes her motor purrr. Right at the moment, that’s layers of black cardstock intended for travellers journals, ready to take on white doodles à la Dyan Reaveley.
The reason for the change is that, sadly, I am forced to retire AppleTown Designs and sewing for production. At the moment, I am not able to accept custom hat orders either. For the foreseable future, I am limited to personal sewing – primarily upcycling hot-weather garments, having left my summer gear at the New Brunswick house last year, not forseeing a pandemic or closed borders!
As Big Bertha and I work on our paper project, I am thinking of my friend Shelley who introduced me to the world of art journaling and paper crafting at her well-stocked and joyful studio in Oromocto, N.B. Was that only a year ago this month? Oh my.
The last workshop especially stands out where Shelley taught a small group of crafters how to make/embellish a Travellers Book with inserts (above). Which is what I am currently trying to immitate save for all black inserts (below).
Much has changed since that Saturday workshop, including both of us returning to Ontario. I miss my friend and the creative wonders our hearts shared. Head willing, I plan to pick up where we left off, one day, somewhere between Peterborough and Pembroke where Shelley now lives.
You will remember that the original intent of this blog was to demonstrate bright possibilities for a creative person with a history of mental illness (depression and generalized anxiety).
Add to that a more recent case of repetitve strain jnjury – now chronic due to “excessive” sewing, plus ever increasing migraine disease and I am left with limited options for expression and good mental health. C’est la vie!
Of course, being creative means more than playing with colourful media; it also implies being resourceful, which I certainly try to be. (Hoping it makes my mama proud, the queen of resourcefulness!)
On that note, my current favourite pastime is doodling – both freehand and using stencils. This simple creative activity helps keep my migraining brain distracted and relaxed. Thankfully, there’s a world of mindful doodling inspiration on the web – who knew?
I have also taken up daily art journaling often including small photos that I print directly from my phone, which I LOVE. As well, I am making mini-picture books for each of my four grandchildren. (Shhh, it’s a surprise.)
So, there you have it. I will not give up, just keep changing gears.
With love and courage,