Strange Days Ahead – Staying Connected

These are not normal times. #understatementoftheyear  In prior times of crisis, most communities were comforted by gathering together collectively. Now, we are socially distancing ourselves. Schools have closed, indefinitely. Bars, restaurants, libraries, travel, museums, public events; they too are falling victim in order to “flatten the curve.” With the closures; how do we pay our rent, balance work commitments, homeschool and entertain our children, take care of the vulnerable?

When “social distancing” was first coined, I wasn’t too concerned. I do quite well by myself puttering in paints or textiles or reading. Then, on Day #3 of my school’s closure it sank in. As the technical resource teacher at my school, trying to prepare for and navigate remote learning this week, I haven’t worked so hard in a long time.

I read a sad local newspaper article today. A family is unable to visit their dying 90-year-old father who is in a hospice home. With the new *CDC rules; he must be in the latter stage of dying before they can visit — when he is unresponsive. Puts my petty complaints into perspective.

What about the socially challenged among us (not to mention that many already don’t trust the institutions that govern us, the ones we rely upon for support). How will this new “experience” affect them? Technology started social decline twenty years ago as more people now tend to socialize online instead of face-to-face. But, maybe, during this confusing time time, technology can now help us to reach out to each other. Whether it is via online video calling, telephoning, sharing photos or videos… it really doesn’t matter. As long as we make connections.

So, back to my remote learning experience. In just three days we’ve learned some things about communication and isolation. We need to connect. We have encouraged families to share with each other via our school’s intranet drive. We have received images of lost teeth, measuring length with shells, study spaces, teachers at work, and virtual playdates — just to name a few. I leave you with remote learning images. 😀

Have a good week! Stay connected! Stay well! – – Joanne

* CDC = U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

#bettertogether #stayconnected #wevegotthis — p.s. the beach scene is in a private backyard

Scrap Happy Comfy Cocoa Quilt II

I had planned this for the February Scrap Happy post. Let’s just say that there are not enough minutes in the day between work demands and home needs. I signed on for several committees at work this year: school re-accreditation, updating technology curriculum standards, and completing the application process for the Federal Communications Commission’s E-rate program. Did I mention that I’m up for my teacher license renewal. Gah! THEN there was the mandatory school closing due to COVID-19, multiplying the workload. I understand, though.

So… walking into my happy place (sew/craft room) and working on this Scrap Happy quilt project has done much to rejuvenate me when I most need it. It is my escape.

I find that I’m less stressed over quilt perfection or timeline since beginning this project dubbed “TV-binge-worthy, comfy, cold night for cocoa scrap quilt.” After all, there’s no deadline or supervisor involved. 😊

I have nine 18″ (45.72 cm) blocks so far and am following the “no rhyme nor reason” piecing method. Not at all sure how I’ll quilt it. I just might throw caution to the wind and try QAYG! Scrap Happy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything and is hosted monthly by Kate and Gun. Check out some of the projects others have created!

Have a good week! — Joanne

Cleaning, Tossing, Finding

When looking at any form of art; humanity’s history is revealed. Fashion, architecture, politics, religion … it’s all there for one to see. From the Leang Sakapeo hand stencils, Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson, Picasso’s Guernica, Rockwell’s The Problem We All Live With we are allowed a peek back in history – the good and bad. I read somewhere (can’t remember the author) that “Art is the signature of civilization.” #truth

I am in no way including myself with the above august company. But, I do love art – or better, creating. Grandma Lillian and my mother, Joan, instilled an innate need to create. Whether it be textile, paint, paper, metals, or wood — I think I’d wither if banned from experimenting or creating. My own children held a paintbrush as wee toddlers.

So, imagine my pleasant surprise as I came upon my teenaged “Pink Floyd–Led Z–J Tull–Leon R–Yes” angst artist days portfolio. (I think I was 16-18 years old when I sketched these pieces). I spent an afternoon reminiscing the 70’s…clothes, music, hairstyles, politics — it’s all there. “How weird,” my girls laughed.

Farrah Fawcett ‘do, LSD, counter-culture, civil rights, anti-war. Now? I’m an old Betty, sitting in my sweats, drinking hot tea. I took a few screenshots and packed it away again. Maybe when I’m in my doddering years (not there yet!) I’ll come across this time capsule portfolio again.

Have a good week! — Joanne

Scrap Happy Comfy Cocoa Quilt

A while back, I gathered and cut fabric scraps into usable squares and rectangles. My goal is to start using up these scraps. I’ve started on a “scrap happy” TV-binge-worthy, comfy, cold night for cocoa scrap quilt using 5″ square scraps. I haven’t gotten very far; but am enjoying working with the fabric and color choices.

I’ve got to get crack-a-lackin’ if I want to use it this winter, LOL! Scrap Happy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything and is hosted monthly by Kate and Gun. Check out some of the projects others have created.

Have a good week! — Joanne

The Best Kind of Holiday

One of my favorite parts about Christmas is how my family shares their time and talents with each other. Whether it is sewing, cooking, painting, pottery… it is and will always be treasured. Whatever holiday you celebrate; I hope it was a wonderful time spent with family and friends.

Happy 2020! — Joanne

Scrap Happy Shoe Sacks

How do you pack shoes when traveling? Not wanting to soil the clothing in my suitcase, I typically reuse plastic grocery bags.  Conscientious reuse of the ubiquitous plastic bag. On my last get-away adventure, a friend tsk-tsked! and gifted me with handmade shoe sacks. Love them! So much that I made a few to gift this Christmas. 

I folded 15 x 15 inch (38 cm) square scraps in half, turned under a top casing, sewed down the side and across the bottom. Easy peasy.

Voilà! Easy to sew, very simple, yet a handy gift. Hope my friends like them. 🙂

Scrap Happy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything to create a new item. It is hosted monthly by Kate and Gun.  Check out some of the creations made this month:

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

Have a good week! — Joanne