The Comfort That Comes from Using My Hands

I have been up in Ojai today making slipcovers for our outdoor furniture. I am not a seamstress of any real merit, but I am capable of sewing a straight stitch on my old Brother sewing machine. I will say that I’m a better seamstress now than when I started, which, in truth, included another full day for these seven slipcovers with tie tabs. I am slow but diligent and, I must say that I enjoyed the process immensely. What is better than having a task that needs to be done and actually having the time to do it? Plus, working with my hands over these two days – and another two last week spent hand-sewing several outdoor cushions from Liz and Ron’s outdoor furniture – has helped me to stay connected and calm and relaxed and focused. Sewing, like cooking, seems to have a direct line to a pleasure center for me. Typing does this too, by the way, which no doubt has lots to do with my love of writing and working with others on their writing using a shared Google document.

I am truly a “hands-on” person in many ways. I like to get my hands in dirt, in clay, in play dough, in cookie dough, in meatloaf as well as warm soapy water. I find real comfort in lifting and hauling furniture, scrubbing down tubs and kitchen surfaces, pulling weeds, pushing a lawnmower, sanding, sawing and polishing. Call me tactile, if you like. I certainly am, along with auditory. I am a person who learns best by doing things myself or teaching someone else to do something. I am a person who would prefer to work outside all day long in the heat doing something physical then sit all day in an air-conditioned room doing something mental. I like mental challenges, of course, but only if I’ve had enough time moving my body so that I’m grateful to finally be sitting. I have lots of energy it seems…

So, sewing all day made me happy. And calm. And peaceful. And centered. All good things.

Maybe it’s time to buy a pattern and make a dress. That might be fun.

Whatever the case, my slipcovers look great and are all done. (Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo.)  I also made a quickie slipcover for a chair for Liz that she thought was ugly. My slipcover is imperfect, but it makes the chair much better than it was. Liz and Ron are pleased so that’s good enough for me.

Happy Friday, everyone.

A Quickie Fix for an Ugly Chair





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