Still Workin’

Some days things take longer than others. You know those times, when the internet lags, but all the work you need to do is online with approaching deadlines and then the power goes out. Yep, that’s how these days can feel. Some folks complain about the weather being too hot. Some folks give their opinions over politics. Some of us just keep on truckin’. I find that I’m still working on some ideas and projects that never seem to end. 2020 holds that theme of never-ending. When will Covid-19 “end”? When will the political banter “end”?

The Neverending Story

Perhaps we all need a winsome Luck Dragon like Falkor to take us away from all the woes of the world. OR maybe we can use some creative outlets to break the tension, anxiety and uncertainties. Then, those outlets might allow us to think more clearly and solve the quandaries of today with less quarrel. I allow my creative outlets to produce results that hopefully inspire our readers. Whether in the garden, kitchen, studio, or makerspace, it is my goal to keep us positively motivated. We are all in this time together. Let’s make the best of it!

Seize the Season

One way to make the best of life is to use that which is at hand. BLUEBERRIES are now at hand, or should I say in season at this very moment. I made a beeline to Peek-a-Blueberry Farm in Bath, NY to get my hands full of these azure colored gems. Since our most local berry farm in town is closed due to Covid-19, I had to do some research. If you have never picked your own fruit, promise that you will put this on your bucket list. That sweet farm I found even provides a picking bucket and I overfilled it. With all that abundance I tested a scrumptious Blueberry Lemon Loaf recipe from Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. If you are local to the Southern Tier Library System, please check out the book for all the vegan inspiration. If you are a reader from a far-off universe, test this recipe from V is for Vegetables. This recipe far surpasses the old adage of making lemonade from life’s lemons.

Masks are Lemons

If you read Work with Whatcha Got, this mask was in progress. It certainly has become a Lemony Snicket! I wanted to test a different pattern in an extra large size to compare it to our Face Mask Pattern and Tutorial. I wanted a slouchy effect that felt more like a bandana tied around my head than a close-fitting face mask. This tutorial is one of the most popular on YouTube, so I wanted to give it a whirl. The pattern size is slightly larger than the one Tangled Hangers provided, but after a few tweaks and retries, I struggle with the design. It’s just too big on my face. Dastardly Device! Luckily, the majority of my Work with Whatcha Got ensemble is complete and ready to reveal.

The headband I created out of the excess fabric from the skirt hem. It fits very well and holds down those stray hairs on a hot day. To make a similar one, follow this tutorial and share your creation in the comments. I wanted to accent the tank top with some fabric from the skirt to tie the two together. There was a sheet of paper towel closest at hand, so it became my pattern paper. I creased the paper in the seam gap on the shoulder strap and cut out an abstract shape. The pattern was traced onto the fabric, then pinned in place on the shirt. I decided to alter the shape just before the final application.

Tell me what you think of my work. I enjoy this comfortably cool “new” addition to my wardrobe as much as I enjoyed the journey of upcycling the “lemons” from my closet. Although some parts of the project took longer than expected, it feels great to meet my goal. While we can’t control what comes at us tomorrow, we can Keep Calm and Create.

I’m still working on creating new programs for the (dare I say) Fall season. In the meantime, I have to return to this free (until August 31) Anti-racism Training. There is a lot of work ahead of us. The work begins with you. The work begins with me.

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

It’s Summertime…

“…and the living is easy.” Despite the lyrics of sweet Ella’s voice, living is UNeasy at this point in history. In the hiatus of this blog, our nation has exploded with a civil rights movement during a pandemic and fear escalates amid the rising temperatures. In attempt to flip the panic, let’s focus on today. June 19 is Juneteenth, “a day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.” Our amazing neighbors at Elmira Equal Opportunity Program are hosting their 17th annual celebration with social distancing in mind.

Knitting “Nancy” and Me at Juneteenth, 2016

Traditionally, I attend this wonderful celebration and help teach attendees how to weave. The giant knitting “Nancy” that I commissioned to have built creates large tubing that can hold yoga balls. The process is a historic method of weaving, but the result is an interactive sculpture that guests help make. Once the tubing is long enough, the yoga balls offer a place to relax, bounce, and take in the scenery.

A Weaving Student in Process

I’ll have to miss the event this year, because I will be helping out with reference desk needs at The Annex (find out how the Southeast Steuben County Library is “Unbound, Online and in the Community” on the website for more details). But, YOU can go out and support the community effort. Follow this link to learn out how to honor this day in history with our local community. As we all learn how to talk about race and find a voice to discuss our nation’s legacy and how to improve upon it, I urge everyone to register for this Anti-Racism Training that is FREE and open to the general public through June 30. Although I claim to be able to step up and speak out against racial discrimination, I have found this training extremely beneficial to expand my awareness.

Ernie Davis Park

When you are at the Juneteenth Celebration, take a peek at the playground. That equipment is in need of some upgrades! If you have construction skills or are simply willing to volunteer your time to help in a community build at Ernie Davis Park, the location of Juneteenth, I encourage you to participate. The City of Elmira is working with Play by Design to install customized playground equipment. Come volunteer the week of July 7-12. Three daily shifts available: 8:00AM-12:00PM; 12:30PM-4:30PM; 5:00PM-8:30PM. This is a wonderful way to take action and cultivate the grounds for impressionable youth. You know, it’s all about being the part of change you want to see.

Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice. Welcome the season’s change as we honor the memory of Retha Cazel. Retha passed on June 3, 2020. She was a cherished friend, mentor, and instructor to so many yoga practitioners in our community. To recognize the impact Retha made over the years, the Library wishes to honor her mission to share the joy of yoga with everyone. Start the Solstice with us in reverence of a compassionate yogini. Sunday is International Yoga Day.

This session will be led by Elizabeth Moses, owner of Crystal Heart Yoga. It will be a live streamed event on the library’s Facebook page. If you are unable to attend, the video will be archived here so you can watch it anytime.

Summer, summer, summertime

As time rolls by and change is ever-constant, remember the wise words of the Fresh Prince. We all need to take the “time to sit back and unwind.” Stick around this summer to see the exciting things I have planned. Let’s get creative this season as we practice yoga, garden, sew, learn and explore together.

Be well my Friends.

xo, Erica