August Progress …

Here are some newly completed hats, caps, & masks. The first is an Imperial style in brocade fabric ornamented with braided yarn passementerie, Afghani silver belt pieces and silvertone beads. The cuff is from a vintage fox stole that the customer provided. The mask is made from the same brocade and also has an Afghani silver accent piece at the upper right corner, sort of like a beauty spot.

This next one is a hand sewn wool cap with a fish themed ribbon on the padded wool cuff, edged with custom braids which I repeated as ties for the mask. I chose black for this mask to pick up the black accents of the hat, and because it was less predictable than red. The tassels are leather, suspended from glass teardrop beads.

I have dropped the price of my Kid’s masks to $6.50 (down from $10) and added two new design choices: Geometric and Super Heroes.

My company is officially 20 years old this year, marking my transition from hobbyist to small business owner. In more normal times I would have planned some big splashy way to celebrate the occasion, but instead, like everyone else celebrating milestones, I’m opting for more subdued activities.

My first plan was to send Fancy Face Masks to 20 of my Facebook followers who responded to my 20 year announcement. The first 10 masks ship out this week.

I had planned to share a series of retrospective projects, but so far the only one I have brought out of my archives is Something Tattered This Way Comes.

I am still in the design phase for a new hat, which I’m hoping to launch before September. The rest of my list of planned promotions have so far, not moved off the page.

I am fortunate to have a home not threatened by fire, and an income outside of my hat business that is not threatened by the COVID-19 economy. No kids to home school, no parents to look after. And yet, I’m slogging through mud. Everything takes three times as long as it should and the smallest things completely trip me up. Every few days I wonder what is wrong with me.

Then I heard a new term this morning – “corona-coaster’ – an apt description for having big plans and short bursts of energy, followed by lengthier lags of lethargy. I also found this article on surge capacity and ambiguous loss, which was hammer to nail for me. Perhaps you will find it helpful as well.

“How do you adjust to an ever-changing situation where the ‘new normal’ is indefinite uncertainty?”

I especially took note of the advice to find fulfilling activities. So I’ll continue to donate about 50 masks every month for distribution through Days for Girls and other organizations. I’ve become a contributor to Mainly Museums. And I’ll be expanding my skillset when I engage in my first virtual art show with Peters Valley School of Craft in October.

Today I washed all the windows to my live-work space that I still rarely leave.

I’m learning to cut myself some slack, or what a therapist friend calls “gifting yourself with white space”. White space is how every project starts, whether it be a book, or a painting, or a dress, or dinner. White space is a necessary thing. It’s up to us to figure out how best to fill it, and in turn have it fill us.

And that, even in the most subdued and incremental of terms, is progress.

4 Comments on “August Progress …

  1. Congratulations on 20 years!… Well done madame!… Everything looks amazing as always… Your creativity has risen to new heights… Oh and put me down for one each of the kids masks (one superhero and one geometric) surprise for the grankids…

  2. This Fan Gal loves everything about this! I will read the highlighted article about coping with these troubling times and re-read, with great relish, the awesome story of the “Hat Whisperer”! I adore you and your hats, your travels (which I enjoy vicariously) your generosity and your ART!

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