I am back!

I wasn’t actually “gone.” As you know, I am at home. And I’m not going anywhere, anytime soon.
But I’ve been so very, very busy with work. So busy that I failed to even submit Directrice Global Industries Ltd.’s application for CARES Act funds to pay our unpaid interns.*
So busy that I have not sewn a fabric mask for myself and instead fashioned this one from a bandana and two rubber bands after watching the Surgeon General’s how-to video.
The new normal

What is normal?
I still cannot decide if the Surgeon General’s video — in which he uses a Got Naloxone?** tee-shirt to make a COVID-19 mask — was intended to be funny. Or satirical. Cutting up an emblem of 2019’s public health crisis to make equipment for 2020’s pandemic . . . I don’t know what to say.
Let’s focus on my mask, made from an old JCrew bandana that I bought when I was in law school and wore as a scarf while attending a very lame summer school program in Barcelona. A happy, happy time in my life. In case you can’t tell, it’s printed with oranges.

What about you? Did you make a mask or buy one?
If you made one, did you sew it properly? Does the fabric hold any special meaning for you? Is the whole family wearing matching masks, like the Von Trapps?
I could not say

After seeing two colleagues wearing jewelry on Zoom, I decided to put on a necklace m’self.
I thought this charming horn pendant was a good choice for an oatmeal sweater and action slacks.
But I know it’s not this; actual does not equal normal

Horn up close
Pawing through my jewelry was an excellent reminder: Now would be a good time to support your favorite artists and craftspeople.
I’ll remind you of some of my favorites:

Wearing this mask, I almost feel ready to start rounding up the pieces for our Stolen Art Museum. Anyone could be under this mask.
I loved your museum stories. Don’t forget to tell us about your masks. Stay safe.
Directrice, pretending to be St. Sebastian while wearing a mask

* Under the Act, employers are eligible for a loan equal to 2.5 x monthly payroll (of salaries less than $100,000). For Directice Global Industries Ltd., that would come out to zero. Check my math!
** Naloxone is the opioid overdose reversal drug. Having a shirt that says “Got Naloxone?” seemed like a bad starting point to me.
Not funny, Directrice

26 thoughts on “Masked!”

  1. The satire wasn’t lost on me, but I quickly passed from amusement into a very dark mood. Watching the U.S. Surgeon General wearing a not-humorous tee while showing the rest of us how to make a not-very-effective homemade mask — while the rest of the world looks on in a combination of horror and amazement — struck me as strong evidence of our doom.

    On a lighter note, I bought an assortment of masks from sellers on Etsy. Their creativity and small business acumen offset the above.

  2. My sister made masks for me, beautifully sewn and pleated. Her COVID-19 super-power appears to be general craftiness and handiness. (Not sure what mine is yet. I hope it’s home repair but am concerned it’s snack-food appreciation.)

  3. A screen printing and embroidery business close to my office is making masks for businesses with their company logo printed on them. The owner came to my office with a selection of free masks for us. Such a kind gesture.

    I do not want to wear masks but do see the need for it. I am attempting to view them as a fashion accessory in the hopes it will encourage me to wear one. I purchased a few more on Facebook Marketplace for my family. I also purchased ear savers for my elderly parents. They had problems with mask strings getting tangled in their hearing aids, ear savers fixed that problem.

  4. Ah, yes, masks. Well, my husband works in a hospital, although not directly with Covid patients, and he wears a hospital-supplied mask at work. When he’s not at work, he along with the rest of us are wearing masks I made from my stash of quilt fabrics. I even made the ties out of fabric, since I didn’t have any elastic or bias tape. So, they are in fact quite pretty, a mix and match of prints, mostly botanical, some large, some small.

    I made myself cross-eyed researching various types of masks and settled on a hybrid design that has a pocket for a filter (further research about usefulness of various types of potential filters), pleats, a wire for the nose, and ties. I sent a few to my sister and her kids. I traded a couple with a friend for some amazing baked goods. I made about a dozen extra for our local food pantry. I was glad to pretty much run out of fabric, because sewing masks really made me mad. Mad doesn’t even begin to describe the fury I felt as I was sewing. This is not a political blog, so I won’t get political. Let’s just leave it at rage. And it’s not just because now I have to start collecting fabric for a quilt again.

    But I am glad to see you, Directrice. And I am wearing two necklaces. Layering. Also, a silk blouse and sweater on top, because I am teaching today, and sweatpants on the bottom.

    • Yesterday I sunk to an unbelievable sartorial low: I taught while wearing pj bottoms. It’s in the high 90s to 100s this week, the house was hot and I haven’t had time to pull out my summer clothes. It’s too hot here for rage, a slow simmer will do nicely.

    • Lovely family members and friends have given me two hand sown masks. One is a electric turquoise and another subdued navy with flecks of gray and white. Which one should I wear to court next month?

      • It depends on why you are going to court. If you are a litigant or witness, go with the navy. If you are a prospective juror, wear the turquoise.

  5. D, you read my mind! I knew you were going to have a fashion mask. I’m fascinated with all the new design variations. Have you seen the ones with transparent windows for the mouth so folks who lip read can continue to do so? Very clever. Right now, I am trying to figure out how to incorporate a face mask comfortably into my eyeglasses. I’ve discovered that masks that knock eyeglasses out of place play merry hell with progressive lenses, makes one feel as if in a circus mirror. Also a nonstarter are masks that fog eyeglasses. I predict we are going to see high-end eyewear with built-in masks by end of 2020.

  6. My sister Sandra is part of a 500 strong group of women who have made masks to donate to at-risk and underserved populations in California. She’s made more than 120 masks and the group has delivered over 6000 masks. I’m proud of her efforts and applaud those of the group.

  7. Directrice – I adore the happy oranges AND I hope you will delight us with a future installment: Layered Masking. I encourage you to put your avant- garde fashion skills to the test and fashion surprising mask shapes or masks layered over Unorthodox Material Configurations (like a mask/veil/hat/necklace combination). I can submit makeshift photos for inspiration through your professional fashion lens.

  8. Hope Perlman, the word “rage” is totally justified. Our so-called “leaders” at the federal level have completely and utterly failed us. It is simply insane that we should be reduced to having to sew our own masks.

    Christine Q, I’ve seen those masks! and ordered some. I can’t understand anyone through regular masks, so I wanted to have some in case I become one of the unfortunate souls who has to go to a hospital. They’ll arrive in, I don’t know, maybe mid-June.

    Never thought I’d be photographing The Directrice in a mask.

  9. Rage is indeed the word. What a total bodge. Michael I agree with you so much about what should follow in November and beyond.

    That’s a fun fabric for your mask. I made masks for our family out of some sewing project leftovers. Not doing the kind of amazing production a lot of folks are though.

    And nice shout-out to Abrams Wearable – Natalie is a friend.

  10. Welcome back! Your mask con naranjas is fashionable. My generic mask is missing sartorial flair yet successfully avoids reminding people of past public health failures.

  11. I wear a mask out to the store. I made several for family and friends out of fabrics that do indeed look like drapery fabric, so we could appear quite Von Trapp-ish, but we are usually venturing out alone. One daughter asked for leopard print… so I obliged.

    As a member of the Deaf Community, I’ve been asked several times, “Aren’t you glad you have ASL so you can still communicate wearing a mask?” to which I answer, “That’s not how it works! You can’t obscure the mouth or half the face and still understand ASL! Grammatical markers, facial expression – it’s all important.”

    I’m feeling you Michael.

  12. Long time lurker coming out to say (a) I love your dress and writing style and (b) I ordered a couple of beautiful necklaces from Alison Hilton Jones and Meghan Patrice Riley – thanks for the recommendations!

    • Welcome into the light, Toni! So glad that you’ve been enjoying the blog and am delighted that you found the recommendations useful. I met Allison and Meghan at the Smithsonian Craft2Wear show last fall and can tell you that they are both lovely people as well as talented jewelers.

  13. We’re legally required to wear a mask when we leave home (I moved to Mexico last year) so I have a few, bought from our popular local tailor. Tailoring is a non-essential business that would normally have closed, but he’s allowed to stay open because he and his family make masks practically around-the-clock.

    Separately, my state in Mexico has banned alcohol sales for a couple months during quarantine. To prevent domestic abuse as Mexican families are cooped up in small homes, and stop men from spending their last pesos on beer rather than food for their families. Although the expat community is carrying on as if Mexico is doing this to stop foreigners from enjoying wine with dinner. An expat neighbor posted a recipe for fermenting wine from pineapples; he’ll probably poison us all.

    I’m appalled to see the protests in the U.S. by crowds of reckless people who refuse to respect quarantines. They couldn’t assemble like that here. Vanloads of heavily-armed police cruising the streets warning people through megaphones to stay home (unless heading to the grocery store or pharmacy or medical visit) are pretty effective.

    • Thank you, Laurel, for the report from Mexico. My parents (Pere and Mere Directrice) always enjoy reading the comments on my blog posts and were particularly interested in yours. Take care of yourself! Perhaps pass on that pineapple wine . . .

  14. Rage is indeed the overwhelming sentiment. Passions…

    Contemplating stylish mask patterns and Alison Hinton-Jones necklaces is far more soothing.

  15. I am making masks. I wish I had something as cute as your orange-print bandana, but I’m making do with the remains of a beloved duvet cover that met an early demise (note to DIYers: no matter how cute, do NOT sew square metal buttons on your duvet cover, as they will cause your duvet cover to self-destruct in the laundry). Though I have enough fabric to kit out a dozen Von Trapp families, I will wear the duvet-cover masks, and my husband and sons will will wear more utilitarian tan and black masks from other scraps. I like having a sewing project to do, and while I’m not an expert, squares and rectangles are right up my alley.


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