At the stitching group yesterday, I received a wonderful surprise: a hand towel with an embroidered Charlie Harper cardinal. I've had this cross-stitch pattern at Scarlet Thread, and it's one of my favorites.
I also gave myself a present yesterday, a new camera. This picture is the first one I've taken with it.
Hey, I'm back! The holiday furor has subsided, frantic finishing has ended, and near-normalcy is returning, well what passes for normal in my world.
I can now post the gift I was stitching away on for a couple of weeks, which was record time from start to finish for me. When I started the M Designs "W," I wondered if stitching the negative space rather than the charted space would be simpler and take less time. Based on my experience stitching at least three others, the answer is a resounding, "Yes!" I only had one counting error that resulted in frogging, and a small one at that; and it did take significantly less time to complete. Part of the time factor is related to the reduced amount of frogging and restitching, but I don't think that accounts for all. So here's the piece, temporarily ensconced in its boxtop:
I received a gift of textile art that I love for the color and design: a mola from Panama.
Since I don't do applique, I may be compelled to adapt this style to canvaswork or counted thread. How hard could that be? Just a matter of finding the right stitches to produce the right effect yet make the piece distinctively cw or CT. I'm leaning toward counted thread, because I just received the samples of new colors from Picture This Plus, which include a gorgeous linen almost the same color as the background of this mola. Coincidence? I think not. In the meantime, though, I need to decide how I want to have this piece finished. A pillow? Framed? A tote bag (though it would have to be fairly large)? Decisions, decisions.
The other gift I've been eagerly poring over is a cookbook that Jane gave me. She reads ThePioneerWoman.com cooking blog, thought I would like it, and gave me the cookbook that grew out of it. I can't wait to try some of the breakfast dishes, which is about how far into it I've gotten.
I've made a good start on one of my mad-dash-for-Christmas projects, better than a third of the way stitched. The Sudberry box it will adorn has been purchased, and I think I can do the finishing on this myself. Yay! I may just be able to get this done.
The other project will be put on hold for later. How hard can it be? I'll tell you how hard. Try at least 7 or 8 false starts, with the 9th apparently a success. But there's no way it'll be done in the next month or even two months. I think this will become something for me. I may, in fact, go in a totally different direction now, which means the 9th start, though successful, will now be discarded. Gah!
The group project, "Stars for a New Millenium," is getting closer to an official start. I finally have all of the books for everyone who's going to be a part of the stitch-along and most of the suggested variegated threads so people can create their colorways. About half of the canvas is in and Evertites are on the way. Woo-hoo! I can hardly wait. Maybe by January we'll be ready to have our first meeting, which I envision as the color selection and planning stage.
I'm even getting closer to launching the new Scarlet Thread Web store. I see a lot of photography in the near future. Having dragged my feet on this so long, I'm finally anxious to get it done. How hard can it be?
I have a bad habit of deciding to start and finish a project under very tight deadline restraints. Why do I keep doing this to myself? This week I started two new projects that will be gifts for, yes, Christmas. Is this even possible? I'm not sure, but I really hope I don't realize one week before the holiday that I have to make a mad dash to buy something because there's no way I'll have them ready.
I mean, how hard can it be? All I have to do is nothing else but that until they're done, right?