Fortunately, there were some moments in Paris that were almost light-hearted, even pleasant.The "Polishing" class at Sketchbook Skool prompted me to use a comics style to record a funny conversation. True story:
And again, I recorded an interesting day in Paris that included a museum, a good meal in a restaurant, demonstrations, and falling asleep over my stitching...
Ahhhh, do not despair--stitching still takes up most of my time. I stitched my way through April and May; in fact, I did much more stitching than sketching. I'm "writing" a "Book of Etudes" ("Studies"--memories of violin practice books from 40 years ago), a sort of textile sketchbook. I needed easily portable stitching to go to Paris and this project has been tugging at me for awhile. Yeah, I know, I know, I have a rule in place that says I have to finish things, not start new projects...but this was the call of the wild--high adventure. The rules were simple: only hand work with an emphasis on abstracted, fairly simple needle-turn appliqué motifs and embroidery. I have wanted to explore the mixture of appliqué and stitching for a long time. So I cut 5 black, or black and white, fabrics 8" x 12", put two temporary safety pins down the middle to hold them all together in a book, thus having pages of 8" x 6". And I left raw edges...which I may or may not regret. I chose some fabrics and threads that sang to me and carried the whole mess around with me in a small plastic sack in my purse.
I first stitched in place small rectangular pieces of fabric onto the background, then added larger pieces to appliqué.
The back side is equally interesting, a sort of shadow page that echoes the appliqué motif and stitching on the other side. The pages can be read in any direction.
Did I say simple shapes? Admittedly, I have a tendency towards complexity. Each page in the book requires more work and ruminating--so many possibilities. And despite the constricting circumstances of April and May, I was able to fly high thanks to my Book of Etudes.
Jiggety-Jig. Of course, I'm delighted to be back home and Mr. M. is now on the road to recovery and breathing well. Although this was an extremely difficult six weeks, we met with kindness and caring everywhere. My sketchbook/journal was a recycled student's paper from last year--regular typing paper, nothing precious, do-anything-you-want type of journal. The idea of incorporating memories of Tunisia into this record pleased me. In the airport, I sketched Mr. M. in his wheelchair.
In the airplane, I played with decorative lettering on the cover.
In another sketchbook with good paper I recorded my husband's first day after surgery. Full of tubes, groggy and somewhat puffy, he had to sit in a chair most of the day to help with breathing.
They had him up and walking almost immediately and so things seemed to be going well after a week in the ICU. There was talk of transfer to a regular room.
However, there was a complication (pneumothorax) and I found him the next day sedated and once again intubated. Although I could see that the ICU staff was on top of it all and very competent, it was still a hard day. I went back to my "Aparthotel" and ate chocolate. Some days require chocolate... Another week in the ICU and then finally Mr. M. was moved to a regular room, and miraculously, all the tubes and bandages disappeared. And so, after another two weeks in the hospital, the big day came when a gaunt-looking Mr. M. could leave.
Once again, I would like to thank you all for your support during this difficult time.
And I am indeed grateful to all the people at the Marie Lannelongue Hospital who worked conscientiously and with dedication to save the one I love.