Tuesday, May 19, 2020

What I did on my Coronavirus vacation (so far...)

Here we are, well into our third month of staying at home, doing our best to avoid getting, and, or spreading the virus. Since we’ve never done this before, I think we’ve all had to figure out how to “do” quarantine. I am reading that everybody responds differently to such unusual situations. Some people have talked of being depressed, hopeless; some of my art friends are having trouble focusing, or feeling creatively dry. My initial feeling was restlessness and indecision about what changes to make and wondering how long this would all last. But meanwhile I had some projects in process to work on and I found spending time in my studio was a very welcome distraction from the onslaught of bad news coming in. I can spend time in my chair, in my house, catching up with online life and news, and I do, but I seem to make sense out of the senseless by having a project to work on and see through to completion. Perhaps that is just my lifelong habit and only now am I realizing it is also my way of pushing aside stress and worry and creating a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Clicking through my phone photos this morning illustrated to me just how hyper-productive I’ve been. 

What I’ve been doing...
  • Making art. I can’t show yet the quilt I made for the newest Cloth in Common challenge, but it is done and will be revealed at the end of this month. I also made a 12” square piece for the SAQA auction in September.  My latest everyday saint – St. Corona. She, of course, is wearing a mask, which is removable. I am grateful that I have a large stash of fabric and art supplies, because I am not out shopping for anything. By chance, I had purchased some tiny, but very strong magnets for another project and ended up not using them. They proved to be the perfect thing for making Corona’s mask magically removable.  

I also made a small portrait of my granddaughter for her March birthday.      

I made this bird, with a copper beak, to submit for a High Fiber Diet Show. I wonder if that will still happen. 

I finished a penny necklace I had started several months ago, for myself. 

  • Making clothes and mending, hemming and altering old clothes.
I’ve had the fabric and pattern for this top for more than a year. Finally made it. 

I bought the fabric for this jacket in Mexico in early March. I wonder when I’ll ever get to wear it. 

  • Connecting online. Meetings and get togethers on Zoom, sharing with groups on Facebook. I designed a Stay at Home craft project for my grandchildren. We worked together on FaceTime and they made little (3” x 3”x4”) collaged houses with an LED tea light inside to give their mother for Mothers Day.

I created a pattern and directions for this as pdf files. If you want a copy click here and send me your email address and I will send you copies—
  • Made masks. 
I wore this one on my outing to the eye clinic. Going out in the world is scary!

  • Cooking, cooking, cooking.  I think everybody is doing this! Rightly or wrongly, food is comfort!
An especially pretty bacon, spinach, cheese frittata 

Ray’s birthday cake. 

  • Painting the kitchen. I’ve had the paint samples for close to 2 years. We were going to do this. We kept putting it off and putting it off. This week we did it! The new golden color is so warm and inviting. 

I hung my New Mexican hearts up with the Mexican Skeleton on the newly painted wall. 

  • Cleaning and organizing. One thing leads to another. Painting the kitchen meant I wanted it put back together in a more organized way, which meant I needed to reorganize some cabinets where I could store things I no longer use frequently, and dispose of a lot stuff I no longer want or need. I’ve cleaned out drawers and closets and piled up clothes to donate. A search for a specific photo reminded me that I have never gotten back to my project of organizing 50 years worth of photos. 

And so it goes. I am looking forward to getting back to our normal life, but it doesn’t feel safe. I am alarmed by the anger and impatience of the noisy minority who are pushing to put aside all caution and endanger the slow progress that has been made. I hope I can relax and be patient and maybe slow myself down a little. We ponder a road trip to a place where we feel safe and at peace. Perhaps...  

When will we all feel truly secure again?  We do what we can do. I busy myself, you sleep more, or read more or pace the floor. I feel softer toward everyone—more forgiving, more tolerant. I feel that from nearly everyone. Will we, in hindsight, view this time as cursed or blessed? Will we come out of it bitter and grieving or somehow better than we were? I don’t know. In the midst of so much death and illness and anger and petty snarling, we are also seeing courage and generosity and kindness of a sort I’m not sure we’ve seen before. Are you as confused and conflicted and bewildered as I am? I know only one thing, for sure right now. That is that staying apart has brought us together. Stay safe...


  1. I so love your creativity, Terry - not only in your art, but throughout your home and life, by the looks of these photos! And yes, bewildered, too.

  2. Love all that you have been doing, but I do have to say that I love birds and was wondering how you made the legs for your fiber bird. They are so realistic. I have a cockatiel and hope to one day replicate him especially since he is 24 years old this year.

  3. Good for you to be so productive. Saint Corona is very special and I hope I will be able to add it to TCQC in the fall. You are an amazing artist and I so appreciate your work. The Virus has had the opposite effect on me and I struggle to do anything creative. The Little Houses started by Diane Perrin are busy work and I have been working on them for weeks. Mending seems to be calming and I have mended everything I can find, pillowcases, towels, undies, vest, etc. I guess because it doesn't take a lot of thought to mend almost anything. I am sad that my trip to Washington is not possible. Maybe in the fall I can chance it. KoKo keeps me going. He needs feeding, walking, pottying, chasing Froggy, snuggles and rides in the car. I think of you often and send Love. Del and KoKo