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Here I am, back from the depths!

Shortly after my 57th birthday, I flew to Manila because my mom had a stroke. For the next three weeks, I spent most of my waking hours in the hospital to be with her and my sisters. Lots of miracles happened and I found myself in a very strange place.

I use the word strange because that's what it felt like to me. There was so much to be grateful for. As I said, we were gifted with miracles in that hospital. Then there were my sisters who I swear must have been put in my world to keep me sane and cocooned in so much unconditional love. My own family made sure I wouldn't have to worry about anything and my husband sent messages of comfort and love (and reminders to eat and watch my blood sugar levels!).

At the same time, there was a brooding thing growing in me. Maybe it was jet lag. Maybe it was from being in a hospital and remembering what it was like years ago when my dad was the patient. Whatever it was, it came back to the States with me.

In the weeks that followed after my return, I found it difficult to paint or do any artwork. There was an online class that I signed up for and that pushed me to bring out the canvases and paintbrushes. Still, I found one excuse after another to put the brush down. I chalked it up to the respiratory infection I came down with as well as jet lag but I knew it was more than that.

Well, something had to be done for sure. Brooding isn't something I do. I'm usually not focused enough to brood. So I sat and made a mental list of what could be going on. I listened to Dr. Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay. I did some yoga and managed a bit of T25 in spite of the coughing. I even watched Tara Stiles make Lazy Pad Thai (which I didn't make because I had steamed buns from Stew's in the freezer).

Still muddled, I knew that the best way to get out of all that grayness was to make something for someone. There's a lunch I'm going to for a high school friend who's visiting NYC with her family. I decided to make something for her and if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you'd have seen what is.

I had some leftover linen from the large bento bag I made for my sister. She had requested me to make one so she could bring her ongoing knitting projects around in them.



I had enough to make a much smaller bag, perfect for wrapping a present. On a recent visit to Hobby Lobby in Bristol, I found fabric ink. I'd never used it before so of course, four colors found their way into the shopping basket.


Carving out a simple design was next. After the experience of carving out my own stamps, it's become a bit difficult for me to buy ready-made ones unless they're the kind you find from India that's carved on wood. I may start collecting those!


The fabric ink had a different feel to it but it was just as easy to use as acrylic paint. Easy water clean-up as well. It needs to be heat set after a 24-hour drying period. I didn't exactly do 24 hours since the paint I used was minimal.


First knot after tucking in some Connecticut-made souvenirs.


And here's the final product gussied up with a fabric flower found in the clearance shelf at Hobby Lobby and the carved stamp. The flower's just for pictorial purposes--I wanted another color in the shot.


So did that get me out of so much brooding? Of course it did! I keep saying that the best way to get one's self out of a miserable state is to do something for someone else. I'm hoping my little present brighten's my friend's day as it did mine. 




 















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