In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Canvas and more canvas

There's been a lot of canvas in my life this week.

This is In the Mood Red, through the second lesson. Third lesson was posted in the last day or so, so that may be what I work on tonight.

While I was waiting for Lesson 3 to post, I picked Journey up again:

Baby Girl was home last week and mentioned that she likes this design, so it moved up on the list. I will say, however, that I did not enjoy stitching the four sections that make up the upper right corner and lower left corner. All of them had somewhat fiddly counting and compensating, and I do not have the brain yet for fiddly stuff.

Canvas is easier, though, than my usual beloved linen and 17th century stuff. The canvas is held by the stretcher bars, so I don't have to worry so much about my tension. And the holes are big enough to see without magnification.

Obviously, I'm still in the recovery stage from the surgery, although I did work half days in the office for part of the week. There has been a glitch in the recovery process, since the pathology report indicated some further problems--so I go to see a specialist next week to find out what the next step is. I am more than ready to get back to normal--or whatever passes for normal for me!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Reeling toward Recovery

I'm getting better, slowly but surely. I have passed from Persistent Pain to Usually Uncomfortable, and this is actually a vast improvement.

Although I had fantasies of stitching for hours and hours as I recuperated, the reality is that I was drugged for a good bit of the first week, then I've been working from home for several hours a day during this second week. During both weeks, I have discovered the pleasures (and the necessity) of napping during the middle of the day. Reading fits napping better than dozing off with a needle in hand--I've read two books in the last ten days.

However, there have been some stitches worked.  Not many, but some.

Here is where I am on Morning Has Broken:

There are two flower-ish things that go on either side of the bee skip and then that section will be complete, but it's mostly over one and I do not believe I'm up for that at the moment. The alphabet nearly did me in.

Then there's a start on In the Mood Red, a companion piece for In the Mood Blue that I stitched last year:

This was not on the original list for this year, but because of thread usage I want to stitch this as soon as possible. If I don't have enough thread, I need to let the teacher know within a year in order to have her provide more--so this has jumped on the list and moved up in priority.

Lists . . . I've been having discussions with several friends about goals and lists and UFO's and WIP's.

One of my friends views needlework as a journey rather than a destination and doesn't care if she finishes anything or not as long as she learns a new technique or tries out a new thread.

I have another friend who works on only one project at a time and each piece is carefully considered for a position in her home or as a gift. Her stash consists of one small chest of drawers since she doesn't like to have "stuff" lying around. She can also take or leave her needlework--she doesn't feel compelled to stitch. I'm not sure if she meets the definition of needleworker, come to think of it . . .

I have another friend who sticks to a strict rotation and clocks her stitching time for exactly ten hours per project at a time on her ten-project list. She has a stash that could bring a strong woman to her knees, so this may be the way she feels she has some control.  She has about 20-25 finishes a year  and all are fairly large and complex projects. She's still going to have to live to 636 to finish it all, but at least she has a plan.

I like lists. I like to check things off the list. And I've been wondering how to attack this year's list since, thus far, I haven't managed to check anything off--that's why I've been asking people how they approach their projects.

Of course, now that I'm supposedly on the road to health, maybe I'll have the energy to get some things done.

Now, though, it's time for another nap.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Still drugged and loopy

I made it through the surgery.

I made it through the hospital stay. (I  get why they may want to check bp and temp in the middle of the night, but why in the world do they need to come draw blood at 3:20 a.m.? Dearly Beloved suggests that perhaps it's because the victim . . . er, patient . . . is less likely to slug the technician. I will say that she was quite proficient and all but painless, especially since I have deep veins that roll, but I was asleep and she woke me up for this!)

I survived hospital food (which wasn't as terrible as it could have been but was on the bland side and not very warm by the time it arrived).

I made it home.

I am still drugged.

My current schedule is:

Get up
Take pill
Go for walk
Take a nap

Am I stitching?

Nope. I'm still a little loopy and don't trust myself with a pointy object or sharp scissors.

And it's time for another nap.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Not one of my favorite things

I've been repressing a realization about a major design element in Morning Has Broken.

It has an alphabet.

It's a very pretty alphabet, but it's an alphabet. And I really, really, really hate cross stitch alphabets. Especially cross stitch alphabets over one thread.

I actually enjoy eyelet alphabets and satin stitch alphabets and even Smyrna cross alphabets (which doesn't make any sense at all when you consider that they're actually two cross stitches for each stitch). But I hate cross stitch alphabets.

I've managed this much:

I've been trying to decide if I want to play some mind games--after so many letters, I can work on another motif--or just count down to another area and work on it for awhile--or even chart something entirely different to go in this space.  (Yeah, right--like I'm going to very carefully remove all those stitches worked in black silk over one--nope, once they're in, they're in.)

I have come to the conclusion that I need to just forge ahead and get this done.

Speaking of getting things done:

I don't really talk much about my personal or family life here. For one thing, it's supposed to be a stitching blog. For another, I have a rather routine and mundane life that provides very little interest to anyone but my family (I assume) or me (and even I'm bored by parts of it).

However, since the first of the year, I've had some health issues that have left me feeling tired and run down and--for some rather extended periods of time--not even interested in my needle. The latter was beginning to concern me. Anyway, after being poked and prodded and scanned and biopsied, the medical people have determined that surgery is both advisable and necessary. So I'm having surgery Wednesday morning.

And of course, the first thing I thought about was which project to take to the hospital with me. I did come to my senses since I will likely be drugged and goofy for a bit. Drugged and goofy are a sure way to invite the frog in. So I have a book. And maybe a little project, just in case I'm not as drugged and goofy as I anticipate.

So, if I am a little quiet for a bit, that's what's going on.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

the birds and the bees, again

Catherine Theron was in town this week-end, teaching Morning Has Broken to a group from both our sampler guild and EGA chapter.  As I had taken the class at Jeannine's several years ago, I did not, of course, take it again--but, as you all may have noticed, I have been working on it.

So yesterday I spent the day finishing up the border, with all the blackbirds and swarms of bees buzzing around:

And here's the whole border:

I love Catherine's designs! She has about half a dozen designs on my bucket list that I would be so happy to stitch. One thing I've found, though--if I'm meant to have the opportunity to take a class, somehow it will come my way. I may have to travel a bit to get to it, but it will happen. The power of positive thinking!

I was able to take a mini-class from Catherine on Friday night before the main event on Saturday. It's a fob, based on one of the motifs in Morning.  I'm looking forward to stitching it--but I'm not looking forward to the search for the scissors to go with it. The fob has a blackbird on it. Along the way, I acquired a pair of black scissors that I think would be perfect with the fob.

The problem is, of course, that I put the scissors in a very safe place so they would be not be used for non-embroidery purposes. Despite the fact that my family (aka Dearly Beloved) has been very well trained (read, scared-to-death-to-think-about-touching), inevitably I have to periodically provide retraining. It's just easier to put certain things somewhere out of sight and therefore out of mind. (This does not include objects behind other objects in the refrigerator--have you ever noticed that people of the male persuasion do not look behind the first row of objects on any shelf--if it's not front and center, it does not exist.)

Anyway, that place is so safe, even from me,  that I have not been able to locate the scissors. Finding them has just become today's task.

Or I could start to work on the center of Morning.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

And this is where I hit the wall

I stitched all day Saturday. And then, Saturday evening, there came a point when I literally could not stitch another stitch. Not another one.

I should have known. If I've been focusing on a project for awhile, and I'm past the excitement of starting a new piece, and I'm not close to the finish line, BAM!  I run full-tilt into the wall and end up flat on my back, thinking I may never stitch again.

And I haven't picked up a needle this week. Granted, there have been many, many other things going on in my life and taking up space in my head that have kept me from peacefully stitching, but it's unusual for me to totally ignore the needlework basket.

I think I'm over the wall though. Tonight it looks enticing again. Possibly that's due to the fact that Catherine Theron is teaching this very same sampler to my sampler guild and EGA chapter this week-end. Obviously I'm not taking the class because I've already taken it, but I am taking a mini-class with the group tomorrow evening.  And I'm really looking forward to that.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I discovered early Saturday morning that I had used the wrong shade of green for all those blasted little branches in the cartouches.  I seriously considered ripping them all out and restitching them in the correct shade. Then I decided, in the interest of full sanity, that I was just as happy with the shade I had used and there was no way, no way ever, that I would rip and restitch.

This was somewhat reassuring. I may suffer from Stitchers's ADD, but not Stitcher's OCD!