Posts Tagged ‘travel’

I have mentioned before on ODFL that in fall 2018 I ventured to Seoul, South Korea on a textiles tour. Our busy two week schedule included several workshops in traditional Korean crafts.

One such workshop was Korean embroidery, taught by a young and very talented embroiderer in her studio. I had never done any embroidery before but, on a sunny Saturday afternoon five of us sat around a small table and got to work. First we drew a flower design onto a swatch of red silk fabric. Then we stretched the fabric not on a round embroidery hoop, but instead a square wood frame. Stretch tight and keep in place with thumbtacks – that was sort of tricky.

We had two hours to finish and that wasn’t enough time for me; I am quite slow when learning something new and by the end of the workshop my eyes were sore and I was ready to call it a day. I stuffed the fabric into my bag, thinking that probably that was the end of embroidery for me. However, the next year I took an embroidery class at San Francisco School of Needlework & Design, which helped to ease my feelings of inadequacy when it comes to needlework.

Fast forward to Pandemic 2020 and one day while sorting through my fabric stash I came across the unfinished embroidery piece. I spontaneously decided to finish what I had started and in no time, I was done. I made a button out of it and added a pinback, which turned it into a brooch. I wear it on a coat I had made and the red nicely picks up the coat’s red accent stitching.

What a surprise to create something out of what I had (mistakenly) dismissed.

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Restaurants and bars in Vilnius, the capitol of Lithuania, are reopening as restrictions are lifted. But social distancing is still in place and that posed a challenge for restaurant owner Bernie Ter Braak, “Empty tables inside our restaurant look rather odd, and we don’t have any way to remove them,” he explained.

Then Braak and designer Julija Janus had a brilliant idea! They contacted some local fashion designers and invited them to dress mannequins in their latest designs and place them at empty tables in reopened restaurants, cafes, and bars. Now through the end of May, several dozen establishments are featuring fashions from nineteen boutiques. Information about the clothes and designers is made available for interested patrons.

“The fashion industry is particularly affected by the lock-down,” said Julia Janus. “Local boutiques used to sell the niche, original pieces created by local designers. As they are currently closed due to the quarantine, designers do not have many opportunities to showcase their latest collections, and in general, the consumption is down. We hope that this campaign will move the waters and local designers will gain some visibility.”

In the spirit of collaboration one of Europe’s leading mannequin manufacturers, IDW, showed their support by generously offering to loan their mannequins free of charge.

As I said, this is a brilliant idea and I hope it catches on around the globe. I would definitely have lunch or grab a cup of coffee with a fashionable dummy.

* Images provided by Go Vilnius.


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Tools for staying healthy. (Thanks for the mask, Kit.)

Last week I was in the grocery store and noticed that people were going out of their way to keep a “safe” distance from one another. I had to chuckle to myself because that’s a regular practice for me.

The coronavirus or COVID-19 is causing a lot of anxiety. We all know, hopefully, the basics of trying to stay healthy – wash hands often and avoid anyone, as best we can, who is ill. Of course if we’re not feeling well ourselves, COVID-19 or just a cold, we stay home.

But I have some other tips that perhaps haven’t occurred to most people:

  1. Pens: I don’t use a store, restaurant, or bank pen. I carry my own and I usually don’t loan it to strangers but if I do, I tell them to keep it.
  2. Grocery carts/baskets: I haven’t used one of those in years. I put my purchases in the reusable canvas bags I bring with me. If it’s a big grocery shopping trip, then that won’t work so just make sure to wipe the grocery cart handle. Speaking of canvas shopping bags, it’s a good idea to throw them in the wash every so often.
  3. Pubic transportation: For starters, I don’t touch anything. But I also have a dedicated pair of gloves for the task if needed. I spray the gloves with alcohol after each use and keep them in a plastic bag. (I just read that Queen Elizabeth these days is sporting gloves in public. Good for her!) I also refrain from putting my purse or tote bag on the floor or on the seat next to me.
  4. Airplane travel: I’m with Naomi Campbell! I wipe down everything with a disinfectant towel – seat, screen, seat-belt, tray, etc.
  5. Public spaces: What to do in a classroom, conference room, work staff room? Before I sit, I wipe down the seat and table with a disinfectant towel.
  6. When I get home after having been on public transportation, or in any public space where I’ve had to sit, I spray my clothes with alcohol and hang them in the bathroom overnight. Just as as extra precaution.
  7. Finally, I keep hand sanitizer at an easy reach. I have noticed no matter how much I think/plan ahead something unexpected happens. Having the sanitizer in a pocket is helpful. (Such as, after using a store keypad. I hear those are covered with germs.)

This is what I do all the time to avoid colds and the flu and now the dreaded COVID-19. It seems to me that taking precautions during this pubic health crisis is the right thing to do for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Stay healthy out there!



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On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me … 




… a good laugh. 

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On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me … 




… a man in an Oxford shirt. 

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On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me … 



… a world’s fair. 

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On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me … 




… a lesson on good manners. 

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On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me … 




… a new hair color? No thanks! I’m happy with my life as a redhead. 

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On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me … 




… a reminder!


Happy New Year!

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On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me … 



… a cocktail for New Year’s Eve. 

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