A new start….

I am restarting this blog to participate in Sharon B’s Take A Stitch Tuesday challenge.   Wish me luck!

How do I spell procrastinate

There are so many ways to procrastinate in the spring.  There is planting to do, and weeding, and watering, and checking what has just flowered, and chasing rabbits out of the garden.  There’s the awning  to put up and the hammock to bring out  (which, of course, is followed by extensive testing to make sure that it still works).  The farmer’s market reopens.  Everyone comes out of the little cocoon they’ve been in for the last 6 months or so of winter.  So despite good intentions, no stitching gets done.

And if good weather and flowers weren’t enough, I came up with a new project – I started cleaning out my sewing box, which led to cleaning out basement cupboards, and then to sorting through all my threads.

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I remember the projects that some of these came from.  There are some that I’ve purchased in the last 2-3 years, often for playing around while participating in Take a Stitch Tuesday a few years ago.  Some of these skeins come from a tablecloth that I embroidered about 15 years ago, for which I way overbought threads – easily twice as many skeins as needed.  There are some which came from my grandmother – leftovers of projects long gone, perhaps 30 or 40 or 50 years ago.  Some bear labels and tags from companies that are long out of business, names that I don’t recognize, and now am reluctant to use until I find a project “worthy” of them.

What could possibly be a project worthy of these?

Assisi – oops

March’s Stitch Explorer was Assisi embroidery.  I don’t think I’d ever heard of this style of embroidery.

I’ve never been a huge fan of cross-stitch.  It seemed very – unimaginative?  After you choose the colors, all that is left is the same stitch over and over.  So with mixed feelings, I set out to try Assisi.

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I had a little doodle that I was playing with, and turned it into a border.  Ok so far.  I outlined the doodle in black backstitch, and then started filling in with long-armed cross-stitch.  But then I got bored and added an irregular  bottom border.  Big mistake.  I hadn’t thought this through – the irregular line vs. long-armed cross-stitch meant that I having to fill in many odd-sized areas and take many compensating stitches.  This was not a good idea.

I did like the idea of Assisi, though.  I like the visual impact, and I’d like to try another sample (probably won’t happen this week, though).  Some of the samples that I’ve seen on others’ sites show other stitches used as background, which lend more interest and texture to the pieces – for example, treating this more like blackwork.

Just one more

Just one more bug – I couldn’t resist.

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Each of these is about the size of a dime (Canadian or U.S. – they’re about the same).

Anne had commented about the difficulty of  embroidering on top of a spiral trellis.  I agree – I use a very loose tension and sort of “coax” the stitches into place.

Another bug

Before I move on from spiral trellis, here’s one more bug -

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The body is done with spiral trellis, the dots are French knots, the legs are fly stitches, and the antennae are straight stitches.  The black is perl no. 5.  I’m not sure if you can tell from the image, but this really jumps out from the surface.

And more spiral trellis stitch

There are some very imaginative examples of spiral trellis appearing online.  I particularly like the flower done by Anne ,  and also the flower here .  Lovely work.

I decided to try something a little different.

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And another view:

bug1

The body is spiral trellis.  The spots are Chinese knots, the head a bullion knot, and a flystitch for the antennae.

Plans go awry

Some evenings don’t go according to plan.

My husband is away, so I thought I would make myself an easy dinner, then spend some time relaxing and stitching, and go to bed early (I was up at 4:45 this morning).

But what happened is that I started dinner, and then started a load of laundry, and then the phone rang, and then I went to check email, and back to the stove, and in between, I made a batch of cookies, and put them on the stovetop while waiting for the oven to heat up.

And then, 10 minutes later, while checking my work email, I smelled something burning, and went into the kitchen, and discovered that the I had put the baking pan with the cookies on a hot burner by mistake.  So I grabbed the Pyrex baking dish, and moved it off the burner, and took a step back, and the dish exploded.

This didn’t just break.  It exploded.  It was one of the few times I’ve been truly grateful that I wear glasses.

There were shards of glass everywhere.  And even better, I had made a batch of linzer bars, which include raspberry jam, so there was raspberry jam mixed with the glass.  On the floor, on the counters, on the stove.  It looked like a crime scene.  Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Ontario division.

So I spent the evening cleaning – swept, vacuumed, cleaned all the counters, took apart the stove (glass got in the burners, and under the burners).  Tomorrow I’ll wash the floor.  Really, I’m too tired and too pissed off to stitch.

Lesson learned – and I’m sure there’s a more eloquent way of stating this – too much multitasking ruins the cookies.