It has been a shocker of a new year with heartache and sadness round every corner but I finally feeling that those very dark days are behind us. Our wee clan have suffered and are now in some sort of recovery mode.
This past week I was snowed in so I made the most of the time by sewing and sewing. It means that I am now ahead of schedule and will be able to reopen our online store again soon. That has brought its own sense of positivity. There can never be too much of that floating around the place.
Sewing is therapeutic and healing in equal measure and my wee world would collapse without it. January means teaching and it is always a complete joy to see others fall in love with the craft. I begin a more advance surface design course soon as this is my first offering of it. I am so excited as design is the bedrock of the course and the different paths the students will map will be fascinating. Passing on skills always makes me feel useful and I think we all need that.
I represent rural women in Scotland on a government forum looking at isolated rural communities and mental health. The work is incredibly rewarding and has allowed me to bring together some of my thinking over recent years. So much stems from loneliness and this can creep up on you very slowly and it is absolutely possible to be surrounded by people and still feel very lonely. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has suffered from loneliness and if they have managed to move beyond it somehow. The hope would be that, in the 21st century, there would be no place for loneliness but my fear is that it is reaching epidemic levels and we need to change the way we behave towards each other if positive change is to occur.
Sewing on my own in my studio gives me time to contemplate all this and working with people in our Crafts and company projects brings me up close and personal with the problem of loneliness. To hear someone say they invent a reason to go to the supermarket just to speak to someone is heartbreaking.
So, 2018 is going to be a dedicated year to using sewing as a way of combating loneliness for some people and in our company, Earth Threads, we are going to be doing this face to face and virtually with the aim of reaching as many people as possible. Much more on this as ideas unfold.
If you are reading this and fancy a chat, put the kettle on and message us and we will reply asap. Look after each other at this challenging time of the year.