Self expression is key to overall wellness and many Foxcroft alumnae are using more time at home as an opportunity to express themselves through crafts and hobbies both new and rediscovered. Having a project to work on and feeling a sense of accomplishment with even small moments of progress can help us feel less stressed and more productive. One alumna who knows this to be true is Vivi Stevenson Miller ’81, who has taken on countless projects and has used this time to lean into her strengths as a textile and craft work artist.
Vivi started knitting and needle pointing around the age of five and shares, “my grandmother taught me needlepoint and my godmother taught me to knit...When I was a bit older, say 10, I learned how to spin and weave. I had a tabletop loom at Foxcroft, and did a harness loom project as part of my art requirement to graduate!” In college, Vivi expanded her skills and learned crochet and counted cross stitch. She later took on Native American beading and began working with silver and semi-precious stone beads, which she continues to do with her children.
In addition to being a lifelong textile artist and crafter, Vivi works as a contract writer for non-profits in emergency management. She has contributed to the National Emergency Management Resource Center and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and is also volunteering in emergency management with the Red Cross and Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. With the spread of COVID-19, Vivi is busier than ever researching and writing and she admits, “the information we have to work with is really depressing”.
Luckily Vivi has several new knitting projects to work on during her emergency management trainings and to help her regain some balance and maintain overall wellness. “Knitting, and all textile or craft work, has been my de-stress method. With spending much of the day working with different factions in emergency management, researching news or update reports, shutting things off after dinner is really important. Letting go, having a good meal, and picking up some complicated knitting (which is a lot of math) really helps me turn my head off. Plus, I get to watch a project take shape, and slowly (magically) turn yarn into fabric and art.”
Vivi isn’t the only alum turning to crafting to help her get through this challenging time. Her classmate, Melissa Slingluff Morley ’81 has been refinishing “brown furniture” with high gloss paint, giving it new life, and working on a beautiful peacock hooked rug. She has also been knitting, preparing for the newest addition to their family with an adorable baby sweater. Baby Carter will be Melissa’s sister, Jennifer Slingluff Robinson’s ’80 first grandchild!
Patti Sifton-Munro ’76 has also tried her hand at textile work and made progress on a counted cross stitch, Foxcroft themed belt she started last year. Moreover, she rediscovered her love of puzzles when a friend loaned her a liberty puzzle, a wooden puzzle with pieces beautifully carved into unique shapes.
Creativity and self expression are most certainly finding a place to grow in the lives of Foxcroft alumnae during these challenging times and continue to help strike balance and maintain positivity. If you would like to share a new project r hobby you have been working on, post it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and tag @foxcroftschool or @fxcalumnae. You can also send a picture or short video to email@example.com and we can share it for you!
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.