Happy Valentine’s Day and a happy celebration of love all month long!

During this pandemic it is especially challenging to find ways to express our love and affection to each other, so get inventive and explore ways to send love and hugs to friends and family.

I usually take a day or two and bake goodies to share before Christmas, but last week I used a sick neighbor as an excuse to get in the kitchen and bake. There is never just one cake or pie, once I start, I might as well use all the ingredients already laid out and go for it.

I left bread and a small cake at my neighbor’s door and rang the doorbell. I was trying to ring and run like the UPS man but, all bundled up in her recliner, she saw me through the glass door and waived at me.

A friend left a sweet note under my windshield wipers while I was in the store last week. I intend to send mushy e-cards in time for Valentine, just because it is fun!

I think it is also time for some self-love. After all, taking care of our own needs benefits everybody around us. While teaching adults at the Community College, I used to tell my overworked wives and mothers that their cup could not run over unless it was full. What a revelation to many who were brought up to put everybody else first! Self-care is self-love and an especially important component of well-being. My manicure, pedicure and hair appointments are part of a regular wellness routine, but this month I might throw in a facial and even a massage.

Wintertime is great for a personal care day; not the usual “work at home” day that many of us experience due to the pandemic, but a vacation at home day. No bedmaking, no cooking, just hanging out on the couch in my robe and bunny slippers. There are dozens of movies and documentaries waiting to be watched! Maybe even a chocolate treat or a heart-shaped cookie, just because it’s Valentine’s month.

Outdoor playtime is another fun activity, weather permitting. Sometimes we just run away to the park and throw a frisbee or try to fly a kite if the weather cooperates. Outdoor play is fun and great exercise! Well, I mostly like to play indoors in the kitchen or playing with thread or yarn.

After completing my baby projects for my neighbor’s new great-granddaughter and replacing many of the items I left for the new baby corner at the Folk Art Center in Asheville, I received several interesting requests for restorations. I am currently working on a granny afghan made from 3” jewel-toned squares, bordered with dark navy around each square and the outside border. A lovely way to create a granny afghan for a little boy. It is made from soft wool and I had to dig deep in my supplies to find the lovely shades of wool. The same customer sent his parents’ wedding afghan, made in 1941 by his grandmother. It is made from early orlon, and the center is in good shape, only some of the outer squares came undone and in some areas, she used a 2 ply instead of a 4 ply yarn and several of those shells in the squares need to be reinforced. Thankfully she changed colors in every row, that held most of them together. I will enjoy going through my orlon stash to match or complement the really pretty retro colors.

Another interesting piece is on the way, “The Lord’s Prayer” in filet crochet. Several of the letters need to be reinforced and some need to be restored. The customer also asked about how to remove small brown spots. I suggested hydrogen peroxide applied with a Q-tip or a drop of lemon juice for just a few minutes. I intend to block the piece to its original 26” x 39” size, because the customer is having the piece framed after I restore it, and it will turn out so much better once it is properly blocked to size.

So, February looks like I get to spend lots of time doing my favorite things, restoring heirloom treasures! The other favorite, of course, is creating heirloom treasures.

Be sure to do something really special for yourself this month and know that you are loved and appreciated. I love my customers and all my fiber friends.

“I do what I love and I love what I do.”