Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Been Sew Long

In the past 359 days, I have been a negligent blogger, only read one of the books on my reading list, returned to the USA for three months, married my Brit, and my passport and visa application that were lost by the USPS arrived in New York a year and two months late (which didn't stop the consulate from processing it and threatening to refuse the visa).

I now find myself in unemployment limbo, that seductive stalemate in life that gets you thinking things like, "Maybe I should open a 1950s themed ice cream parlor in Picadilly Circus". It only took me about a month to discover that the only way to survive not working is by having a hobby. So now I sew. And my project list grows as my job application list dwindles.

But sewing has been more than a pass-time, a stress-reliever, and a distraction, it's been an acclimation tool. It's been a way to get involved in the culture here and meet new people, which admittedly hasn't been easy since England seems to be surprisingly lacking in haberdasheries and fabric stores. The crafting culture in the UK isn't the same as the US and there's nothing similar to a JoAnn Fabrics or Michael's. So at the beginning of every project, I have to go on the hunt and drive forty minutes to a tiny village in Wales in search of Amy Butler fabric or a replacement bulb for my Janome sewing machine. But these expeditions have introduced me to some interesting places and I'm slowly making connections with the "locals" and women who have been sewing since the Second World War.

I'm so used to the convenience of the giant chains in America and I'm realizing just how impatient it's made me. It's nice to slow down and enjoy the entire process of a project. Still, sometimes I just want that quick crafting fix. Maybe I should open a chain of fabric stores...

Happy Spring!