Sunday, February 22, 2015


Now I'm home from house sitting, I can post halfway decent photos again, though I have to aim my camera blind, since I broke its viewfinder (sitting on the concrete floor of the Thrift Store with the camera in my back pocket). 

Here (below, left) is what's going to be the first page of my Needle Book, stitched by happify, and an elephant scrap stitched by me, both at my Scrappy Birthday Party (taking advantage in this cold snap of staying in a place with more space and heat than my drafty little apartment--my actual birthday's not for a couple weeks yet).

(I surprise myself how much I like little toy animals. What does this mean?)

 < happify also snapped this "snippet" at the party.

Someone recently asked me what my favorite color was.  
This is the answer. 

It makes me want to get out my watercolors again...
And here (below) is a better picture of the first quilt squares made by the Sewing Group at work. 

This is going to be crazy gorgeous when all the pieces are done and stitched together (by me on the sewing machine); the satisfaction it gives swamps any lingering resentment I have about my workplace.

The main satisfaction I feel is that the quilters assemble the pieces themselves, not following directions: they choose scraps from a pile and place them on their square anyway they want.

I have to admit, while some people thrill to this, others do not exactly love it. One woman complained, "I have no idea what I'm doing."

When I said, "Don't worry, you can't do it wrong," a different woman said disdainfully to me, "You're a dreamer."

Her daughter happened to be visiting. She rolled her eyes at me and said, "Now you know what I grew up with."

The idea that people with dementia are no longer themselves does not reflect my experience. Of course I only work with people who want to do Activities, and that's a select group, but I sure see a ton of distinct personality in each person.

Often a person's personality is buried under the disease though, and it can be slow, very slow, to surface.
I think getting to know some of the people I work with is like doing archeology---a long, even tedious process of uncovering small, disjointed bits, with little or no language to guide you in putting the pieces together. Some people are only coming into view for me now, after more than four months of working with them. 

Anyway, I don't make people quilt if they don't want to, of course. One woman who usually joins in refused yesterday, saying, "I'm a poophead today."
But she hung around, watching.

One of the men was also watching from a distance. After an hour, he came over and made a piece too, slowly placing each piece with care. (It's the one in the photo above on the far left, center row.)

"That's a handsome piece," I said. "Do you like it?

"Yes," he said.

"Do you want to make another one?"



P.S. I found the ad for peanut-butter cups I referenced in the last post, from the 1980s: "Your peanut butter is in my chocolate."


grace Forrest~Maestas said...

tried to leave a comment a minute ago
try again...
found your blog by your comment to
Jude Hill Spirit Cloth
LOVE and deeply Respect what you are

Laura B said...

All beautiful.....

Zhoen said...

What a great thing, to allow them space, opportunity, choice, ease... you are a blessing for them.

Fresca said...

GRACE: Thank you for visiting and commenting--I enjoyed looking at your blog!

LAURA: I want to show you in person too!

ZHOEN: Thanks, it is a great thing to do---and the neat thing is, it turns out to be a blessing for me too.