Discover Prompt 28: Focus

Instead of focusing on circumstances that you cannot change – focus strongly and powerfully on the circumstances that you can.”

Joy Page

When I heard we’d be sheltering in place in Knoxville for a couple of weeks (or more), I remembered a project, stored in a back bedroom closet, that needed attention: a hand-painted needlepoint canvas purchased almost 15 years ago depicting five females sitting side by side in swimsuits, posing coyly for a picture.

Well, as of April 25, 2020, I can report that something good really did come of my stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic: I successfully, with laser-like focus, working at least one hour each day . . . completed that canvas! Ya-hoo! And drum roll, please!!!

As the oldest of five daughters, I’ve seen plaques, painted pictures, and renderings suitable for summer rentals of four ladies on beaches plenty of times. But never five. I mean, that’s a lot of ladies to pack into one picture! So when I spotted this painted canvas (Heaven knows I didn’t need another project!) in a shop called Flying Fuzzies in Cambria, California, I knew I, the oldest of five girls, had to have it. And so, the ladies came home with me, nearly 15 years ago!

I chose to render the piece in pearl cotton rather than Persian wool, possibly a mistake because pearl cotton tangles easily, as I can attest. But stitching the piece “sparked joy” for me, as the ladies came to life with their painted nails, one-piece suits, mysterious smiles, and pinned up hair!

When my granddaughter saw the finished piece, she asked which “beach lady” I was. And which of my sisters were the others. I told her I had no idea. It was just the fact that there were five of them, and I loved the needlepoint canvas, so I stitched it. Not knowing the identity of the ladies just adds to the mystique.

I wish I could hug the artist, Maggie, whose name appears in the far right corner of the canvas and tell her how happy I’ve been all these years to own the piece she created and also, finally, the time to focus on bringing it to life.

Signature of the artist, Maggie, on my painted canvas purchased from Flying Fuzzies

And I’d also like to show her the shiny fibers in the sunglasses, a suggestion of the owner of a needlepoint shop in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

Overall, the Joy Page quote at the top of this post rings true: “Instead of focusing on circumstances that you cannot change – focus strongly and powerfully on the circumstances that you can.”

And since I couldn’t change the quarantine we’re under, I do feel I’ve made the most of my time at home focusing on finishing, sitting back and admiring, and planning what to do next with it.

Focus feels good! (And yes, I’m the one smiling.)


Note on Flying Fuzzies: I looked for Flying Fuzzies on the internet, but a Yelp post noted that it is permanently closed. Any information you may have to the contrary would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

This post is part of a series of one-word prompts for April 2020 called Discover Prompts by WordPress. Enjoy!

6 thoughts on “Discover Prompt 28: Focus

  1. anotherday2paradise

    What a fun tapestry! You’ll certainly have something beautiful to remind you of the Covid-19 lockdown and your family’s survival. I think your granddaughter chose well. She’s obviously an admirer of yours. 😍

  2. Nancy Stanley

    Whitley nailed it! She picked the most glamorous one as her grandmother! I absolutely LOVE this and am so impressed that you have completed it. Will it be framed or a pillow? Destined to be an heirloom one day. . .❤️

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