Weekend

This week has been…

challenging

infuriating

isolating

and it has also been reassuring at times to find hope and strength among friends and in the sewing community.

I needed some self care time this weekend and turned to a number of creative projects.

I started work on the Sierra halter bra pattern, by Madalynne. I bought this stretch lace bra and panty kit from Tailor Made. The fabric has been cut and I hope to finish sewing it this week.

A couple weeks ago the puppy pulled a knitting project (and the ceramic yarn bowl it was in) off the coffee table. The bowl broke and I finally made time to super glue it back together. There are still some cracks and tiny holes that need filling before I feel ready to use it again for knitting.

I started two more “Hope” multimedia paintings for our house and a friend’s house. Right now it just looks like the Empire has taken over, but you can see the outline of the Rebel Alliance symbol on the right painting.

With immigration being the primary topic of the weekend, I finally started a DIY project that I’ve been eyeing for the last decade: upcycling an old suitcase into a side table. This is one of three of the suitcases my grandparents carried with them on their boat ride from China. It is too brittle to use for actual travel and I want to keep it in my life. I want a daily visual reminder of their journey and what they faced.

I cleaned and moisturized the leather exterior using the leather cleanser and lotion sold by Coach.

Then I removed the lining. This suitcase is between 70 and 80 years old, and the fabric lining is perpetually dusty. No amount of vacuuming can remove the particles. I want to be able to store things in the side table, so the interior needs to be cleaned.

Then I cut out some foam with Finn’s help. This foam will help fill a recessed area in the suitcase lid. (PS – you can see the repaired knitting bowl in the background.)

I think I’ll reline the interior with an old bedsheet.

Before I can attach the brackets for the table legs I need to remove the little metal “feet” from the bottom of the suitcase. For this and for the lining removal I used a chisel.

You can buy table legs at Home Depot for $6 each. Here they’ve been painted with one coat of interior house paint. (Thanks Richelle!)

Each of these projects were trapped behind mental blocks that kept me from working on them. Mostly I was restrained by the idea that their was a “perfect” way to do each and I needed to wait until I felt inspired to find that perfect way. For the ceramic I wanted to be sure I had the right glue. For the suitcase I needed to find the right table legs. For all of them I told myself I wanted to set aside blocks of time to really work on them. 

Why was this weekend different? What suddenly spurred action on four projects? I think it is related to the social and political climate of this past week. I have usually been pretty passive politically. But waiting for the right moment to speak up or act is no longer an option. My brain is learning new habits and my daily routine has a new rhythm. It even has affected my meal planning and cooking. Being able to push through the temptation of procrastination I am asking myself, what can I accomplish in the time I have? What is possible with the resources I have here? This is  proving equally pertinent to self care, creativity, work productivity, and socio-political activism. 

After this weekend I feel proud and renewed. Bring on the week. 

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2 thoughts on “Weekend

  1. Working and forward motion are good.
    I love the project with your family suitcase. A friend of mine never knew that his parents met in Minidoka, (his father was ashamed), but his mother kept the crate they brought their household goods back in and eventually the story came out when my friend was working on a play on the subject. It changed his life as surely as the camp changed his parents. Stories matter.

    educators.mysticseaport.org/artifacts/immigrant_suitcase/

    artthreat.net/2007/05/a-suitcase-of-politics-baggage-or-box-of-tools/

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