Process and Product

Wherein I put social media in the corner.

I’m crocheting a shawl I’m pretty sure I won’t like in the end, but I’m enjoying making it.

I feel like if I were more clever, I could make that statement be about life or lockdown or something, but I’m not feeling particularly clever this week.

I’m lonely, which is a complicated feeling to navigate as a mostly introvert. The lonelier I feel, the less I want to be with people, which is total madness, yet here we are.

I had a terrible dream early in the week about a long-ago friend who broke my heart. I only realized yesterday that this dream probably set off all the other gross-feeling this week. Dumb.

On the other end of it, a very dear friend sent me chocolate treats yesterday, which was a lovely thing to do. (Eating a brownie for lunch was not the best response to this, but no regrets.)

In the middle was a touch of credit card fraud, because of course this of all weeks my number had to be stolen, and also I tweeted some frustration with our ongoing (84 days and counting, here in BC) total restriction on socializing and how once spring break comes around we’ll be forced to choose between a camp for the kid and podding up again so our pod family’s kid and our kid can keep each other company while we adults work. Winter break was a wonderful two weeks of no school or work, but spring break will be no school and all work. I tweeted that tweet in the depths of my crap week, and feeling frustration from our public health leaders continuing, 80 days in, to talk about “two weeks more,” and an acquaintance pounced on me for it.

I think they thought they were helping, but what they were doing was projecting their own experience onto mine. And judging. And lecturing.

I’m angry about it, and part of that anger is probably with myself for complaining in public. But also, that acquaintance’s empty sympathy masking judgment led me to feel even more indignant about it all, nearly eleven months into constantly navigating an understanding of what is a want and what is a need.

In the end, what I got from this week is a desire to throw social media into a dark corner for a while, which I’ve done, except for work.

And with a deep sigh, I’ll claw and scrape my way out of this shitty week by doing things I know I love, even though I don’t exactly feel like doing them.

It may be time to pull out the ochre I brought home from the hay farm last summer, when I was squirrelling away crafts and social connection for the long, dark, lonely days of winter. Well, here they are.

This morning (for it seems this email may be morphing into a weekend email rather than specifically a Friday email), I will put on some loud music and spend ten minutes tidying my home office, then I’ll layer myself up and spend some time crushing rocks on my back porch, which is thankfully covered so I won’t get soaked in the rain, and I’ll turn on the heater we put out there anticipating outdoor visits through the cold months, which visits ended up being prohibited.

If you’re feeling the squeeze, too, and I’ve heard from lots of folks who for whatever reason are having a particularly hard time this week, know you’re not alone. I want to punch the next person who says, “We’ll get through this together, apart.”

But we will get through this, for time will push on and inevitably we’ll end up on the other side.

Find something you usually enjoy making, and force yourself to make it. Let’s see if it helps us all feel better, eh? Chat about it here.


We’ve got two discussion threads going, which next month will be open to paid subscribers (thank you!):

On books, and on crafts.

Come hang out and chat!

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Items of Note

  • In a few weeks, I’ll be shutting down our forums as we move our Community of Creative Adventures over to a Discord server.

    • Discord is like a group chat, Slack, and Zoom all wrapped up in one (which I say even though I hate using Slack; Discord is like Slack but designed for regular people instead of work teams). You can use it in a browser, on your desktop, on a tablet or on your phone.

    • To join us on there, head over to Discord and download the app or proceed to use it in your browser.

    • Then click or enter this link to join our server:

    • Once in there, you’ll see the familiar compass-rose icon that indicates our community. On the left you’ll find a list of information (a welcome note, community rules, etc.), a list of text channels (for discussion), and a list of voice channels (where you and everyone else in the community can initiate or join voice or video calls whenever you want).

    • Starting this coming week, our weekly video hang-outs will be held on Discord (rather than Zoom). Simply enter the Community Hangout voice channel, and there we’ll be.

    • I know change can feel unsettling; thanks for your patience and for experimenting with us! Moving to Discord will enable our community to rely far less on me now that I have limited time, while keeping all the great opportunities for us to connect with each other over our shared excitement about exploring our creativity.

  • Drawing on what I wrote in this newsletter in late December, I wrote more formally about my imaginary relationship with my great-grandfather this week, over at Digits & Threads.

  • I was quoted in this article about—so meta—moving this email to Substack.

  • Important takeaway: If a product claimed to be handmade is priced too-good-to-be-true, it probably isn’t. Look more closely.

  • The #100dayproject starts tomorrow. Are you doing it? I want to…

  • This February Mandala Stitch-along looks wonderful.

  • Love this.

What I’m making: Back to my crocheted hexagon shawl. Also my dad and I made a Zoom date to make bagels “together” this weekend.

What I’m watching: Ted Lasso which is absolutely required watching and is worth every penny and more. It is an absolute balm to the soul and I don’t think I would have gotten through the week without it.

What I’m reading: I put down Mexican Gothic after the first few chapters failed to grab me in any way whatsoever. I always have trouble getting into books when my head’s in a strange place, so I’m just going with it. I started reading the lengthy introduction to Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey, which I’m very much enjoying. The kid and I are still reading The War I Finally Won, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and I suspect we’ll finish it over the coming week.

Head over to the book discussion thread! Starting next month, threads like these will be open to folks who have paid subscriptions. Yum.

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