I think we're all feeling anxious and upset as we see footage and hear the news reports coming out of Ukraine. Heart-breaking images and stories. It sparks confusion and fear.
We can help by donating to organisations and by buying digital products from Ukrainian sellers on places such as Etsy. We can send little parcels via good samaritans driving to the borders but essentially, we have to try and keep calm and hope. Sending prayers for all those who are suffering.
Some of the most widely searched words on Google right now are calm and anxiety. We are struggling to make sense of it all.
So how do you stay calm? For me, it's about busy hands.
Embroidery, knitting, crochet and slow stitching.
Wild angelica embroidery from last month in progress
January slow stitching
I decided to stitch regularly this year and to mark the seasons and my feelings through stitch. January's stitching was very much inspired by snowdrops and I chose a green and grey colour scheme. Oh how I loved putting little stitches on fabric every evening. My mind felt tidy, perhaps inspired by the new year clean up that always seems to ensue after a busy Christmas. There were lots of neat applique stitches and Suffolk puffs. Stitch, stitch, stitch. How lovely to share that stitching with others and see what everyone is doing. Stitching together. Don't forget to pop over to @selvedge.chronicles on Instagram and say hello x
Having decided that I'd fiddled and faffed enough with January's composition, I turned my thoughts to February and selected blues with touches of black and white for my colour scheme. The crisp skies and frosts that February brings.
Then the news reports changed from the good tidings of a world slowly emerging from covid to reports of the possibility of war in Europe. Chilling words.
I needed some colour and decided instead to change so that I could include some pinks and yellows. Out of season colours maybe, but much needed. I'll return to the blues at a later date but right now, I needed a little joy in my stitches.
The stitching style recently has become looser perhaps reflecting my now muddled mind.
Alongside my stitching, I'm trying to crochet a row every day on my granny stripe blanket and to continue with my knitting and quilting projects.
My reading has changed too.
I'm reaching for the comfort reads - Anne of Green Gables and Pride & Prejudice. Old friends that I don't have to try hard with. I've also been delving into my collection of Joanna Trollope novels. The aga sagas. I'm currently reading Friday Nights and it's just what I need. A good old fashioned page turner. What are you reading and enjoying right now?
Nature books and creative books like Making Winter by Emma Mitchell are soothing reads. Because on top of all of this, there are people out there struggling with winter. I find winter cosy and a comfort, enjoying being in my sewing nest and closeted from the outside world. Others find winter daunting and something to be endured.
Nature continues to soothe me. A walk can transform my mood. Every season, nature manages to surprise me with her changes and she continues quietly going about her work changing the world gradually around us while our thoughts are elsewhere.
If you fancy a little calming video, we've just added Chronicles #2 to YouTube. Things that soothe me.
Thank you so much for reading and let's all wish for better days xxx