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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Flypaper thoughts: catch up edition

  • This week I finished the manuscript on my next book
  • Publishers aren't keen on revealing that you are writing a new book
  • Since it will be about a year until it is out for sale
  • For six months I have been sewing and writing every day on this project
  • This has cut into my blogging time so much
  • And I think you should know why
  • So I would appreciate it if we kept this info between us
  • But we're friends
  • And I thought you should know the why
  • Writing this one was hard
  • I put in all my best ideas
  • But thought that there would be more than a few readers who would think
  • That's not the proper way to do it, is she nuts
  • But you can only write what you have to write
  • Nuts or not
  • It's what you've got
  • It was extremely strange to write a sewing book in the middle of a global pandemic
  • The fabric stores were closed so I cut up coats and scrounged for materials
  • You'll see 
  • These are such strange times
  • Here in Nova Scotia we remain Covid free
  • The premier said stay the blazes home and we did
  • We are in our own little world right now, living normally
  • With the understanding that if a case comes in we will slam shut again
  • When you are small and have a tiny border you can do that
  • And when you more or less know or are related to everyone
  • You aren't going to let them down
  • It isn't that hard
  • However I am cut off
  • From my son and his family in California
  • I never thought I would have a child I couldn't get to
  • So just so you know I don't have any patience for those who won't do what they need to do and are prolonging this
  • You are part of a community
  • We all are
  • That is our learning opportunity here
  • As we used to say when I taught
  • Now I am not sample sewing
  • I am going to sew for myself
  • Stay tuned on that one
  • I have been knitting though
  • Learning continental because it is faster
  • I think it is important to live richly
  • What are we waiting for?
  • I have moved the crystal into the ordinary glasses cupboard
  • I have been growing herbs and cooking Greek food because it uses herbs
  • I have been treading water for whole afternoons and catching small boys barrelling off the water slide
  • And landing with a belly flop
  • I have realized that I made a mistake with my sewing
  • I have been caught up on making the next thing
  • And home now
  • I am wearing what I have in the closet and appreciating it
  • Maybe all the focus on making the new
  • Has taken the enjoyment out of appreciating what we already have
  • Seems like that is a mistake
  • And another learning opportunity
  • My husband is one of those older guys who loves apps
  • Right now he is renting his tools through something called Good Neighbour
  • He is a good neighbour and apparently 4% of all the rental tools in the greater metropolitan area are in my garage
  • I did not know that
  • I don't go into the garage
  • It is the kind of place that you feel if you went in you might not find your way out
  • Sort of like the Amazon jungle but with weird devices instead of trees
  • Sometimes the kids have me lift the garage door for a look
  • They stand outside, quiet
  • And say "wow that's a lot of junk"
  • And now it seems that there are things in there that other men want
  • Mysterious things that are left on the front step when they are done
  • My husband realizes that this funny extra income will allow him to buy more tools, off book
  • I have fabric he has things that plug in
  • Or screw together to help you screw more things together
  • He is a super renter
  • I didn't know that power washers came in two strengths
  • One that cleans the deck and one that removes it
  • But that's another story
  • We rent both
  • Apparently
  • So I guess I wanted to tell you where I've been and that I am back
  • Strange times or not
  • But I am here
  • And this is where that place is
  • The anthem of my culture is in my head right now
  • The right song for these wrong times
  • It will be OK
  • I promise


Unknown said...

I am excited to hear you have another book in the works! I bought your first book and have enjoyed the tips, your encouraging approach, and your humor. Thank you for your hard work on the new book, I look forward to reading it!

Sarah Wale said...

How exciting you have a new book in the offing; I will certainly buy it and can't wait for more of your pearls of wisdom ... and humour.
Your comments regarding COVID-19, Nova Scotia and intolerance of those who won't do the right thing. As you know we're in New Zealand and by locking down hard and fast and keeping the borders closed we have this thing under control but it would only take a few irresponsible bad actors to put us back into the danger zone. Like you, we are lucky we can close off the borders, as we are an island country the same size as the UK (but they're a whole 'nother can of worms!) and it must be hard for places with longer, land borders which have traditionally not been well controlled but that just means they should try harder!
Stay safe and keep on blogging - and although you're missing your family just think how lovely the reunion will be. xxx

zomodo said...

Ah Barbara you are so funny and refreshing. Love your fly paper thoughts! I look forward to your new book.
I would love to learn more about life in Nova Scotia. You are blessed to be virus free, we in England still loose 100 plus a day on a bad day. I oray this is over soon

Helen Marshall said...

I look forward to the next book!

Kamchick said...

I am delighted to hear that a second book is coming. Also, I think of your distance from your family - very difficult. We have our son and his family in BC - that's hard enough, since we aren't flying in the current conditions and maybe never? Always appreciate your sewing wisdom and your humour...

Patricia said...

Loved this post! First your book - I would love to buy it and enjoy it. It was good to read Nova Scotia is Covid free, especially knowing that Ontario where my daughter lives has such awful statistics. We are here in Queensland, Australia, isolated from our daughter and also a son who is in Sydney. Queensland has done very well, and only one or two cases coming home from overseas for the past couple of months. However, it has flared up in our southern states, so borders are a real issue. Many people refuse to abide by the rules, and selfishly lie to authorities. I am sewing away here, working through my stash. So good to have one. And growing our first vegetables, so much fun. Wishing you happy sewing and hope you see your family soon.

Laceflower said...

Glad to see you back with a legit excuse for being awol.*G* We are also at zero here on Van Island and watching what is happening in the states with horror. I have been sewing quite diligently since the lock down in March and have had no interest in organizing, cleaning or gardening like others have been. Some of my fellow fibre artists have lost their mojo but I'm going from project to project. We all cope in different ways I guess. Looking forward to your new book.

AnnCarol said...

I won’t lie. I’ve missed you and flypaper thoughts. Now I understand why you’ve been MiA. Welcome back.

Anonymous said...

Loved your description of the garage. I thought I was the only one with a husband like that. Since he has retired, he has made $400 selling stuff out of the garage. Then he promptly put it into buying a new kayak to fill up the space! Can’t complain much. My sewing room is just as full. Congratulations on the new book!

Judith Newman said...

Welcome back. Glad to learn that you've been a sewing whirlwind. About those tools - I should look him up, might want to rent something myself even though I'm a woman. I do more than sew.
And congrats on the upcoming book.,

Moosiemoose said...

You never fail to make me chuckle or laugh out loud. And I look forward to your next book.

You Canadians have shown Americans repeatedly how to behave better and the pandemic is no different. I wish we had as much sense. In the last few years I have been traveling to Winnipeg to see relatives but not this year.

So stay safe. Jean

Unknown said...

So pleased to read you have another book coming. I loved the last one. Still do! After four months of lockdown sewing I have a wardrobe full of lovely clothes that fit me properly now, and that I really like, with little design features that I don't usually have time for. It's good to have a tangible and lasting benefit to offset the stress. It reminds me of a line in the 40's book 'The Egg and I' about the beauty of handmade patchwork quilts being the result of the loneliness and boredom of the makers. Don't worry that your way of doing things is the wrong way: it's always interesting to experiment with a different method and then adopt it or not. It's about living richly, as you said. Adaptability in the small things in life engenders resilience with the big ones.

JustGail said...

I'm glad you are doing OK, and am looking forward to your new book.

Marishka said...

I’m with Gail, I look forward to your new book, but mostly just glad to hear you (and it sounds like your loved ones) are okay.
To unknown: I skipped “The Egg and I” because I thought it was much like “Cheaper By The Dozen”. Maybe I’ll look for it now! I do enjoy references to forgotten, mid-century (at their time) favorites.

Alison G said...

Sorry I didn't mean it to be completely anonymous! I haven't come across Cheaper By The Dozen but I found The Egg And I funny but also with enough thoughtful and thought provoking passages to make it linger in the mind