Life is a struggle right now for so many people and in so many ways. It's tough adjusting to this new way of being and I'm finding this week hard. I'm a homebody so being home all the time is not really a big deal for me. However other things are. Because I'm home by myself a lot of the time, I do things on my own schedule but now suddenly I can no longer do laundry whenever I need to because the machines are too noisy for others in the house who are working/in class or on a conference call. Food disappears alarmingly fast and dust bunnies appear sooner than I think they should! Everyone handles this isolation in their own way, and we try to be considerate. It's still hard for everyone.
Last night, I was planning to do some stitching but I felt compelled to sketch this quickly before the idea skittered away. I wanted to do felt lettering with tiny appliquéd flowers and leaves and then fill in the gaps with french knots. The colors needed to be happy and bright.
The embroidery floss I use is from DMC and I love using their variegated threads for filling in with french knots. I know french knots can be tricky but they are my favorite stitch and there are a few things you can do to lessen the chance of pesky tangles. Firstly use shorter lengths of thread and a thread conditioner. I use "Thread Heaven" but there are several brands and some stitchers swear by beeswax. Run the thread across the conditioner and you are ready to go. When you are doing french knots, it's important to keep tension on the thread so it doesn't have a chance to tangle. Despite all this, I still get the occasional snarl and I've learned to sigh, cut the thread and move on.
Stitching is something I do because I must. It has a positive effect on my mental health. I keep hearing stuff about self care and I struggle a bit with that because it feels so self indulgent. But you know what? Do what you need to do, take care of yourself so you can take care of others if you need to. Go ahead read that book, bake something, learn something new or make something pretty. Stay home. Reach out when you need to, isn't it wonderful to have the internet? I saw a meme on Facebook today likening this year's Spring Break to one in 1985 but while it made me smile, it isn't really anything like the 80's thanks to the internet. We might be isolated but we are still connected and I'm so grateful for that!