April Distance Brings May Existence

Dear Reader,

How are you holding up? I feel like I was doing well with social distancing & isolation until a few days ago. Now, I’m stir-crazy. On Friday, I got out for a bit. I needed to buy some ribbon for the face masks I’m sewing for friends & family. I also needed to drop off some toilet paper to a friend in need. And I guess that was the beginning of the end for me–that little bit of freedom, seeing a new face, walking inside WalMart, wanting to buy things that would make this difficult time easier.

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My favorite cozy corner of the living room.

The weekend was rough, too. Saturday I worked but was quickly exhausted and overwhelmed. I ended up leaving a little early because I my throat suddenly started burning and my nasal passages were starting to get a little blocked. Sunday was a lost cause. I barely got out of bed.

And then yesterday, I rebounded with a vengeance. Up before the alarm clock, dishes washed before breakfast, class, a pile of plastic ziplock bags (usually forbidden in my house–only allowed as reusable face mask packaging) sanitized and put out to dry, two loads of laundry washed & dried & put away, a trip to the post office, and twenty-five math problems completed before five o’clock.

Today, I feel that restlessness again… that urge to communicate and be seen and engage. So, I figured I’d do all of that the safest way I know how: through a blog post.

~

I’ve been hesitant to post about Fashion Revolution Week on my Instagram or Facebook. I feel like with all of the crises going on in the world, the last thing we all need is more guilt. And yet, I feel like I ought to write or share about it somewhere, somehow; I’ve decided to write about it here so that if someone isn’t interested they can just scroll on down to the next section.

For those of you who have never heard of Fashion Revolution Week, here’s a summary from the homepage of the Fashion Revolution website:

On the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more in 2013, we encourage millions of people to come together to campaign for systemic change in the fashion industry.

We are living in a climate emergency and the fashion & textiles sector is one of the most polluting and wasteful industries. The industry continues to lack transparency, with widespread exploitation of people working in the supply chain. Never before have there been this many people on the planet in slavery, and fashion is a key driver of this reality. Brands and retailers are still not taking enough responsibility for the pay and working conditions in their factories, the environmental impacts of the materials they use or how the products they make affect the health of people, animals and our living planet.

One thing I wonder is if people will become more conscious of the impact their choices have on others as a result of the pandemic. I hope so. We all have a new-found appreciation for truckers, for grocery store clerks, for healthcare workers, and other essential employees. Will that compassion extend to the seamstresses who stitch our clothes? Will we all become more conscious consumers?

I encourage you, if it is of interest to you, to ask brands who made your clothes. Be sure to use the hashtag, #whomademyclothes and #FashionRevolutionWeek.

Most of my clothes these days are thrifted. My jeans, thrifted; the new t-shirts I bought last summer, thrifted. Thrifting is an excellent way to help close the loop on fashion waste, cut down on water consumption used in the dying process, and keep your wardrobe affordable.

Buuut… you can’t get everything from the thrift store… not quite….

In the spirit of the upcoming Fashion Revolution week (and because I was in desperate need), I ordered some new socks & panties from a sustainable brand I’ve been aching to try for years, Pact. My package is supposed to arrive today! I can hardly wait to replace my completely worn through socks and dwindling undergarment supply!

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This has been happening a few times a week for a month or more… time for new socks!

~

A friend posted on Facebook last week asking who wanted to complete a week of hygge at home with her. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Nordic concept of hygge, you can read about it here.) I said I was down! Yesterday was our first day, and our hygge event was to make dinner whilst listening to favorite music and eat by candlelight. I must confess, on such a nice spring day, I wasn’t really in the mood for a hearty stew. Chris wasn’t very hungry either, so we ended up making salad with roasted chick peas and homemade agave mustard dressing. It was surprisingly savory for a salad! I did light some candles and add a touch of fancy by adding some tropical fruit to our water. (I’m dubbing it dessert water because it was so yummy!)

Today’s hygge event is to add some greenery or plant life. However, with the ban on going out, I’m improvising on this one and sharing Chris’s cacti instead.

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Snow & Cacti

I was *this* close to deciding to take a hike and look for wildflowers this morning, but peep the snow–let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to find anything. The trees have barely started to bud.

Tomorrow’s event is a screen-free evening with a book or a board game. I think I’ll challenge Chris to a Boggle re-match (he beat me last time by three points), and take a hot bath and read a book. I really need to get a move on my Mark Twain book. It’s do back to the school library in a few weeks! On Thursday, our goal is to be creative: knit, sketch, write a poem, etc. More on what I plan to do below. Friday is movie night! It’s been a while since I made kettle corn so I think I’ll bust some of that out for a snack, and maybe even make cocoa. On Saturday, breakfast in bed. I don’t think that’ll happen because I hate eating in bed, but maybe I’ll compromise with muffins & coffee on the futon. Sunday’s challenge, weather & work & homework permitting, is a long walk outdoors. Feel free to join along with us for the rest of the week!

~

Above I mentioned being creative, which was one of my New Year’s Resolutions this year. I’ve been doing it! Albeit, I didn’t envision sewing dozens of face masks, but hey, life is full of the unexpected. To date, I have sewed six face masks for myself (two were duds early on–one I’m going to salvage it, though!) and have mailed out eight to friends & family. I am working on eight more this week and they should be finished by Thursday if not on Thursday.

The style on the left photo is my preferred pattern. It takes longer to sew than the one on the right, but is much more comfortable for long-term wear. If you’re in need of any pattern tips, feel free to drop me a comment and I’d be happy to send you what I’ve learned about making the masks. They aren’t comfortable, or fun, and they make it a lot harder to work, but they are helping to keep me and others safe, and that is very satisfying.

~

As always, thanks for reading! I hope your case of cabin fever isn’t as bad as mine.

Be safe, be well, and be kind,

Camille

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