The Warm & Fuzzies
We have had a weird February in Minnesota and now March is proving that weather is truly an unpredictable thing. Spring is fighting hard to come early, yet we have had snow, rain, tornadoes, and more snow.
But today is a wee bit chilly. Why? Well because the sun is playing peekaboo with us and the wind is very fierce. So I am back in a sweater and I may even use a blanket or a heater when I head into the sewing room after writing this post.
Being an avid Pinterest user (ask my husband, I am on the app all the time whenever I am not doing anything more pressing), I of course have a board for blogging. One of the thirty day blog challenges wanted to know about what makes one feel warm & fuzzy. Because of the chilly weather and snow, all I can think of is warm and fuzzy things.
After thinking about this for a day or two, I realized this can actually be an ecclesiastical sewing question and topic!
Here are ten things that make me warm & fuzzy lately:
#10…feeling like a newscaster:
Whenever we are in the midst of a project, I take notes & pictures. I post these of social media and-or write about them. I am an unofficial journalist or news reporter, without all the stress of being happy or sad while reporting. I just report!
#9….new paraments at church:
Who is not proud of their accomplishments? Having people look at your work helps critique and gage reaction to what we are producing. The eyes can visually feast on what the hands helped labor to make. This is the greatest blessing to sharing our good gifts with our church. There are still a few sets that need to be updated. In the future, our church will have all new vestments; we just need to tackle it one project at a time.
#8…learning how to make a new product:
Anyone who has read about our Ecclesiastical Sewing family knows that Carrie went to school for fashion design. What may be now equally as well known is that Carrie grew up sewing. Unlike my spoilt generation, if Carrie wanted new or trendy clothes, she had to make them. My closet has 90% store bought and 10% homemade–that 10% being dresses or skirts. Hers would have been the opposite. Her mother taught her to sew and was VERY particular about technique. As a result, Carrie can just create and sew up anything, or that is how it always seemed to me. I, on the other hand, wait patiently for the nights or weekends to learn the steps to create something new. I sit at my sewing chair and take CAREFUL notes in a dark green composition notebook. Then I make a sample, and if that passes quality control, then I can make the real deal. So far I have stoles, chalice veils, and altar pulpit falls down to memory. I love to learn the steps to make new things!
#7…getting new things (material or products) to work & create with:
Recently we received some wonderful trims from Russia. We only bought a few to test the quality. To our surprise, they are actually terrific! One never knows what will show up from a questionable source. Carrie and I have been incorporating them into the designs of new vestments and paraments. Little things like this make for a fun and exciting time in the creation side of Ecclesiastical Sewing.
#6….Having feedback from a customer:
Many of our customers and friends have sent us pictures of their new vestments or notes describing how excited their church or clergy have been. Vestments are an important part of our worship life but they are something we tend to settle for having old or worn pieces due to money or lack of knowledge. Knowing how happy we have made people, how special a new stole or chasuble is for them, that is something that radiates back to the headquarters here in frozen, northern Minnesota and perks us all up!
Okay this isn’t sewing; it is, however, relevant. After spending so much time in Italy, I am addicted to the stuff. So when Travis comes home with a bottle of “gas” or “frizzante” water, oh it is my second wind of energy! I can work late into the night or get up very early to begin a project. Don’t we all have something that helps us keep going? Coffee & tea are off my daily diet list due to something about caffeine in large amounts being bad for a pregnancy, but soda water I can down all day long! So you see? It is relevant: no soda water, no productive work from Ashley.
Every time my phone buzzes, I look down to see if our social media grew. Social media is one of those funny things that unless you have someone to get you connected to a large network, it almost grows like word of mouth, one by one. Social media is very new to Travis & I; we didn’t know much about it till we were hired at Ecclesiastical Sewing. Sure we had Facebook and I had Pinterest, but that was it! We prefer to act like Stone Age people. But an online business doesn’t grow without social media. So we learned; we are still learning. What makes me super happy & bounce (literally, I bounce) is seeing the reach of our brand, one ping at a time.
#3….trim that doesn’t pucker:
Yes, this is self-explanatory. BUT taking out stitches and redoing work more than once is frustrating. Yes, I will do it as many times as it takes to do correctly….but it makes me so happy when it just works after try number one.
#2….looking over my computer screen and seeing the deep look of concentration on my husband’s face:
You see, not only do I spend every work day with three fantastic four legged fur-babies, but I work alongside my other half. My husband, although mainly the business head of this operation, has also been known to help cut lining, iron, tailor baste, and will be learning how to construct a stole in the near future. Yes, my man can sew; he’s good at it! All around there is nothing better than being close to the one you love all day long.
#1….finishing a vestment:
This is satisfying because I DID something! I can see the finished result! I can neatly store the thing away, where it will wait to be purchased, packaged, and shipped. I have a very active brain, but I also enjoy using my hands and making beautiful things with my ten little fingers. Finishing a vestment or parament means I can begin to create something brand new!
What makes you feel warm and fuzzy, while waiting for winter to disappear?
~Nihil Sine Deo~