Tag Archive | embroidery

Calgon, take me away…

My bathtub is back.

Ahhhhh…..

It only took four days for me to realize having the duckies inside was NOT going to work long term. It did get them past the worst of the cold, I think. And I am more confident now about keeping them warm when the temps dip down, as the forecast (if it can be believed) indicates will happen at least a couple of nights this week. I still have some things to take out to them in Chicky’s shed, but for now they are dry, fed, watered and very warm.

IMG_0091

As you can see, they’ve already grown. It’s quite amazing because every morning I could tell a difference in their size. In a day I had to go back to the larger water trough, as the smaller containers just weren’t working out. The large chick feeder also had to go. It was just too long and the duckies had the habit of going from food to water, food to water, food to water, so that the food was getting soaked and the water was, well, disgusting. I know the water will still be disgusting…ducks are messy…but I’m hoping keeping the food and water apart will slow them down a bit, give them a little of a journey so they exercise more (they are already tired of being cooped up in this tub and can you blame them?) and make less mess for me to clean up.

I know I can’t call them the duckies forever. I didn’t mean to name them. I didn’t want to name them. But, I ended up naming them, pretty much on the first day. Like most small things, anything can happen to them and I didn’t want to get attached by naming them, but, too late, it happened automatically.

When I thought of potential names, an old store that used to be here when I was a kid in the 70s popped into my mind. TG&Y it was called. Its nickname was “Turtles, Girdles and Yoyos” because you could get just about anything you were looking for there. I like the nickname and used it as an idea for naming the duckies. They are now: Myrtle, Gyrtle and Yoyo. (Turtle just wasn’t working for me.)

IMG_0094

Now that MG&Y are back in the shed, we will see each other less. To make up for the time away and to keep them used to me (hopefully) I decided to spend a little time every day reading to them. I’m not much of a talker, but I can read. Today they got to hear about crushing grapes at Cecelia’s place. They settled right down, snuggling into their grass and pine chips for story time. Yoyo (the one with the yellow band around its neck who I suspect may be a drake/boy) even fell asleep.

While in the shed I noticed the Asian lady bugs that wintered over there were up and swarming, trying to find their way out.

IMG_0095

I could have opened the window for them, but why deny MG&Y the fun? They love pecking at bugs. Maybe they will even eat a few.

On the sewing front, I had some fun with In Nature this weekend. I started adding lace…and couldn’t stop.

While playing with lace I was reminded of another time when I got to play with lace. I stopped by the home of a wedding dress maker I knew, back many moons ago when I was a 20-something and worked at Hancock Fabrics in Texas. This lady would come in and buy yards and yards of brilliant white satin for the gowns she made for new brides.

This night when I stopped by her house – it was so long ago I don’t remember why or even what her name was…Anne, I think – she was working on a dress and, so she said, wasn’t getting anywhere and what did I think. I looked at the lace pieces she had scattered about and began placing them in a dramatic yet orderly fashion. There was a lot of lace as it was a huge train she was attempting to decorate. When I was finished with my masterpiece, Anne said that looks great and thanks that really helped. I’m sure she was just being polite and had her own vision firmly in place, but it really was a lot of fun.

I really loved all these pieces surrounding the center square…and left them for a day or so just to enjoy them.

I was surprised how nicely the purple worked.

In the end, I decided to go with this one, although it’s not stitched on yet.

IMG_0137

We’ll see. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

P.S. H knows now. Nothing I do really surprises him any more.

Cat calamities and other nonsense…

This little number has been progressing nicely…

20170223_224045

She did, indeed, go with me to Oklahoma this weekend. I stitched on her whenever time was available. We stayed fairly busy, even though we had little planned.

20170223_230924

H went to the Laker’s Game in Oklahoma City with family Friday night…I opted out and instead went to the Air BnB room (a condo) to get us settled. I had about two blissful hours where all I did was lie on the couch and read a new (to me) blog I am following, The Kitchens Garden. I have gone back to when the author first began the blog, back in July 2011. I am enjoying it immensely. Having already read through Hazel’s blog, I was looking for new blog material. I have a lot of interest in farming/permaculture, so the garden blog is really appealing.

I’m hoping to get outside today and do a little gardening, myself. Although I have sewing I want to do as well. It is always a push-pull kind of feeling, trying to decide what to do with my day. I also need to work on getting a place ready for chicks and ducklings! I have decided (more or less) to just go for it: whether we stay in this house or not, whether we move or not…bah! Just do it! The only sad bit is I will probably have to kick Chicky out of his shed. He does love it in there, but it’s really the only place I have to safely keep the chicks.

20170226_123257

We arrived home Sunday evening to…cat calamity. Weanie and Olive had somehow (I know exactly how!) managed to trap themselves in our home office, which also serves as H’s bedroom. (I have my bedroom, he has his…not every couple can or wants to share a bed! Anyway, it works for us for various reasons.) Besides being thoroughly traumatized by the event, (she was howling under the bed) Weanie had the horrible experience of actually being trapped WITHOUT FOOD in the same room with the dreaded little girl…Olive. Horror of horrors!

And, what you might think would happen, happened. I don’t know how long they were cooped up, but it was enough time for each of them to poo…yuck! Olive discreetly and respectfully tucked her butt into a corner to do her business while WEANIE chose to poo right in the middle of…did you guess it? No, well, right in the middle of her Dada’s BED! Double yuck. She used his comfy blanket to go on AND to use for covering up. Blegh.

In her efforts to avoid said disgusting younger kitty, Weanie had also managed to knock all the photos off H’s display shelf – including his new Two Hearts piece…hmph!… a racy photo of yours truly, and a group shot taken of H with famous rapper Nelly! How disrespectful!

Frazzled and nerve-wracked from her ordeal, Weanie darted outside once she was done wailing under the furniture where she proceeded to gorge herself on the cat food H had just put in the outside food bowls. After few minutes of shoving food into her pie hole faster than she could chew it, she promptly did an about-face and puked…right on our welcome mat.

20170226_224935

In case it’s not clear by now, Weanie is high-maintenance and high-drama. I could tell she was thoroughly ashamed of herself. (The girls – even the little ones – are so good in the house and never disgrace themselves, or us, in this fashion.) This on top of the fact something else has been bothering Weanie lately, so she’s having a rough go of it. I have noticed today she is studiously avoiding the home office – refusing even to look at it or really acknowledge its existence – which is so fascinating as up until the point of being trapped in it, the office/bedroom was her favorite haunt…day and night. She is currently curled up in a tight ball on the couch with her back to EVERYONE.

It really wasn’t the kitties’ fault they got trapped. I should have thought of that possibility. I made the decision not to sequester the little girls to their space upstairs, as I was worried they would go stir-crazy. They have been behaving well enough I thought I could leave both upstairs and down for them to enjoy. The office/bedroom is, also, H’s domain. Before we left I almost said…hey don’t you want to close off the office so they can’t get in there? But, the truth is, I have grown tired of making helpful suggestions only to have them totally ignored.

Things like…hey, if we clean the garage out a little more we could squeeze the car in there and it won’t get any hail damage…Nah…it’ll be ok…or hey, maybe you should wash that apple before you eat it, after all, they are the most heavily sprayed of the fruits…Nah, I never wash my fruit before eating it, hahaha…

You get the drift.

The latter comment was made last night at dinner. I told H that was the exact attitude that got his bed pooped on. And then I laughed. hahaha…

20170226_224942

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karma or coincidence?

I couldn’t get started just now until all my photos were uploaded. I’m not sure why I couldn’t just start writing, other than I couldn’t think of what I wanted to say until those photos left my phone and arrived on the computer where I could add them here.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have a lot to write about. Actually, I don’t have many photos, either.

It’s sunny out today, and warmer. Hopefully a walk in the sun later will boost my mood. I think it’s been two days since I did laps.

I’m also a bit off because there’s a cat-involved situation going on, something I don’t want to discuss because I am fairly frustrated with it. Despite many attempts to prevent this happening, I’m having to deal with it today when I’d rather not. It didn’t help that the big girls have been super pissy the past few days…i.e. screeching, swiping, swearing and generally disobeying orders. (Weanie got thrown out in the cold for her behavior and Buggar got “swatted” and scolded with a soft cat blankie for her crimes.) Honestly, I think they were extremely disappointed the warm weather was short-lived and after a brief taste of freedom and the blissfulness of the outdoors they had to be inside and see each other and continue sharing space. Oh, the horrors. Luckily, today is sunny and warmer, so everyone is OUT!

Brief interlude: here’s a pic of a beautiful cast iron tea pot H procured for me at his job. Thank you, H! (this beautiful pot has yet to be used)

20161028_105813

Now, back to the show:

I have also had housework staring me in the face for a long time, and I’m not interested in it, either. But, if I don’t do it now or at least soon, it will get worse.

I’ve also been thinking about friendship and how hard making friends has been for me as an adult. It’s weird because I have always had several really good women friends in my life at any given point in time. H and I recognized long ago we are basically each other’s only friend. I’m grateful every day to have him in my life. We get along amazingly well – it’s a bit uncanny – and have a lot of fun together. But I do miss having women friends. You’d think it would be fairly easy to find some, but my experience is that unless you are willing to go with the norm – join clubs, participate in certain unifying belief systems, squash your personality in order to fit in, etc… – then you’re probably SOL.

I tend to think this is because I live in small town Kansas where small thinking is the norm (that may sound like a judgement, but really it’s just how things are – people are more simple here in many ways) and there are fewer people to choose from. Whatever the reason, more and more I think it’s just difficult to have friends as an adult. People change so much as they get older. Communication becomes more difficult if you are not naturally a people person, and you tend to have fewer things in common.

More and more I appreciate my cats, even on their pissy days…although they are very much like people.

Sometimes when I’m feeling bummed about the lack of friends in my life I think back to religious school days when a couple of tattle tale girls got on my and my best friend’s bad sides. For whatever reason – I also seem to remember some exclusiveness going on – we decided these two girls were sub-par and not worthy of our friendship. (The memory makes me cringe!) We only had maybe a dozen girls in our class, if that many, so to exclude anyone left fewer friend options for everyone. It was a very hurtful thing to do.

One week I had noticed these two girls hanging out together. I asked one of them how she could stand being friends with her? Her answer was to the point and much more grown-up of a response than I expected:

“Well, what are you supposed to do when no one else wants to be your friend?”

I have felt very badly about that for a long time.

To be fair, I had many experiences of being excluded around that same time in my life, girls who didn’t want to be my friend, wouldn’t talk to me, didn’t want me around. There was a time when I made friends with someone I normally wouldn’t have, just because I was so lonely being by myself. Perhaps it was karma? Sometimes I think I’m still living it.

But, still, I keep thinking about friends. As an adult and limited in my own ways where I live, I have begun reaching out online, trying to make friends. It really has not gone well. Just last night I decided I had, perhaps, been pursuing people who aren’t really interested in being my friend. It was like a lightbulb moment, a moment where you realize you’ve been casting your pearls (or your perles, lol) before swine, and why not move on and find people who ARE interested in you? That was my decision, and that is what I am going for.

In the meantime, I will continue to try and be my best self, work on my own foibles (we all have them, some people’s are just more visible than others), continue to enjoy my own company to the fullest, and cherish any legitimate and true connections which come my way.

On to other things…I’ve been cracking open some of the fermented foods I have stored in the fridge. I opened a beautiful quart of yellow pear and cherry tomatoes, only to find kham yeast had grown. Kham doesn’t spoil, but it does taste bad. Bummer! This morning I opened a different jar, feeling hopeful but apprehensive. Happily, these ones are just fine!

Check out that blue garlic! Yes, blue! The copper minerals in the garlic sometimes turn blue when fermented. I like that. And TGB stands for (green) tomato, garlic and basil. It’s not the best tasting jar of tomatoes I’ve enjoyed, but they’re ok. And, yes, they didn’t go in there until December! That’s how long I had tomatoes sitting around. I like to chop up these pieces and have them with crackers and goat cheese.

On the stitching front, here’s progress on the Two Hearts piece:

20170215_140502

Mainly thread beads.

I managed to go to the thrift store Monday. Often, it’s one of the only highlights of my week! Here are a few slightly antiquated finds:

20170215_140740Wishing you lots of wonderful friends…and good stitching…

 

 

 

 

Getting it wrong…

I read a blog post recently which gave new bloggers tips for how to do things right on a blog.

It went something like: post at the same time every day, have a detailed explanation of exactly what your blog is about, respond immediately to every comment (not to do so supposedly shows you don’t care about your readership), only take photos with a professional camera…etc…

I don’t do any of the above.

I guess I’m doing it all wrong.

I’m actually pretty ok with how things are going on my blog so far. Considering it was really started as an online diary, to have a following at all is pretty sweet. Having an excuse to write about myself and a venue to put it on is even sweeter. I’m having a lot of fun with it. I hope any readers who happen by here are enjoying it, too.

To start things off today, I’d like to share a Kansas sunset…

img_0692

Nice, isn’t it? Blurry, through the glass, on the road, only half a grain elevator-pictured photo and all. I like it.

Sunday – two days ago now – I finally got to mostly stitch. It helped that I refused all the errands H suggested, which were really just ADD-type excuses to go and go and do and do. He complains every day about being tired, but won’t rest. Both of us were “going to bed is boring” kids, so sometimes it’s hard to make ourselves go to bed.

And he likes to go do things, but I have projects – he doesn’t. Maybe I will start making him a list. There is so much to do here, things in which he never participates. I have, honestly, never understood that about him, although I’ve mostly been fine to see him do what he wants when he wants. He is a really hard worker.

Staying home allowed me to stitch. Mostly it was finishing up the seed names on the wordcloth, although I started a new project which I am really loving.

First, the seeds:

Aren’t the names beautiful? Five Color Silverbeet is Swiss chard. I bought it at the local Farmer’s Markets last year in big bunches and juiced it. It was one of my favorite ingredients. Feher Ozon Paprika is a mild pepper.

And then, there was the Strawberry Spinach. I was SO excited to stitch this one, had a lovely idea for it at all, but this happened:

20170214_191407

I got the “font” sizes wrong so that Strawberry looks much bigger and completely separate from Spinach. I’m not sure how that happened. I was also SO excited to stitch the berries on Spinach, but I grabbed the wrong red, instead of the red I used on Strawberry, so the berries, which were supposed to unify the two words of the name, don’t. *sigh*

Still, the stitching is nice and, overall, the cloth is just looking so beautiful. I’m really pleased and every day I’m amazed at how pretty it looks. I’ll try to take a photo soon that encompasses all the stitching.

There was also some work in the rose garden…

20170212_12553120170212_132255

Adding a little outline stitching is really bringing this rose patch to life.

I also discovered what I was doing wrong (specifically on Ukranian Purple) with what I am calling a running back stitch, although I don’t think that’s the name. I’m not being too hard on myself for not remembering since, technically, it has been nearly 40 years since my Grandfather’s wife showed me how to stitch it. It’s also been about 8 years since I was heavily into embroidery, and I guess I’ve forgotten some of the basics. I have books upstairs. At some point I will look it up.

Anyway, what I found was: keep the working thread under the needle; work left to right with the outline (in this case words) vertical; don’t travel beyond the previous stitch (if you do, the stitches stack up); take smaller stitches on the curves and tack them down if necessary to keep them from drooping; and, start work at the bottom of the letter, stitch to the top and then begin again at the bottom. Most of this is pictured below.

20170211_152941

These guidelines kept my stitches flowing together much more eloquently.

I also remembered how tough it is to do knots – French or otherwise – without a hoop. You need both hands on top of the surface of the fabric to make them accurately, and some switching positions back and forth to get them just right. I’m guessing this was some of the inspiration behind Jude’s thread beads. The dot over the “i” in Silverbeet is a thread bead. Thread beads can be made without disrupting the flow of your stitching, because the stitching hand stays on top, and the support hand on the bottom. You just keep going. I’m using a lot of thread beads in the new project. They quickly get better with practice.

Here’s a look at the preliminary stitching:

20170212_232107

I think I’m going to give it to H as a late Valentine’s Day present. I would have finished it today…I still might if I have the energy…but we were gone most of the day. H had some business to attend to and I had my art class. And…speaking of getting things wrong…we drew people today…it was a rough one. I won’t be sharing any sketches.

We had just two days in the blissful 70s. Each of those days I whipped around Path and easily got in 3 miles. The following days have been crappy and cold. It was a strain to do 2 miles, but I did them. No walking Path today…too busy.

But I did catch another photo of Matty playing in the water. She is fascinated by it.

20170211_172043

Sleep cycles have shifted again and I have had some earlier mornings. I went out to feed Chick and saw a quite beautiful silver moon, framed in pink and blue. H’s iPhone captured it the best.

We began with the sun…I’ll leave you with the moon.

img_0761

 

 

Path…

It feels too early for me to write anything. I’m not sure my brain is working yet.

But I want to spend the bulk of the day stitching and relaxing, although a bath and badly needed hair wash is next on the agenda, so it seems like the best plan is to write now, play later.

Do you ever have those days where you wake up and decide you are going to spend the day in bed? And then you don’t? Or you decide today I’m going to do everything I want to do and ignore the rest? But you don’t? This has been my week, a week of feeling like doing nothing but making myself do as much as I could. There is a lot to DO.

In the meantime, we’ve been going around in circles here.

20170208_174827

Our backyard walking has worn a path in the dry grass.

We like that.

We like seeing what our feet have done, what our determination to walk has created. The cats like it too, will sit on it waiting for us to come round, lay in the middle of the path to make us walk around, stalk us – or the string – as we walk by.

20170208_174748

Yesterday did take a lot of determination to make it around the path 50 times. 50 times is 2 miles. It was all I had in me and I had to do it in two parts. It has been bitterly cold the past few days and energy has been low.

It was 36 degrees out when I took these pictures. To the cats it was nothing. They kept running around playing. I turned the faucet on so it could dribble over my cardboard garden plot. Matty – who is fascinated by water, has a thing about water, is not afraid of water – played in the stream for a long time, drank heavily, and walked in the puddles.

20170208_174440

After finishing an unfinished crochet project – the Drops Rondo bag – I decided if I finish one I can start one. So, yesterday I crocheted a bit. Followed by some stitching on the word cloth. The names of the seeds I purchased this week were so lovely I had to put them on cloth.

20170209_205203

20170209_205134

Some days I’m impressed with my own penmanship. And other days I can’t seem to get that running back stitch (or whatever it’s called) to work for me, as was the case with Ukrainian Purple. But I think the lovely  names make up for what the stitching lacks. Rouge Vif D’Etamps is a squash and Ukrainian Purple are tomatoes. I hope they will grow for me.

Last night I made chicken and dumplings. It doesn’t look like much in the photo, but it’s been a favorite since childhood.

20170209_192410

Good ‘ole Betty Crocker. She knew what she was doing.

Have a great weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not a quilter…

The days have been very cold…and windy.

Not really to our liking, at all.

There has been a lot of indoor time, looking outside, listening to wind chimes…

img_0028

Playing inside in boxes…

And desperate faces at the window…

img_0029

Not much to write home about.

Seeing how there wasn’t a lot going on, I took the opportunity to start another new project because, you know, I need another new project.

While reading Handstories (I went all the way back to 2011 and have been reading through) I was taken by Hazel’s Uncertainty quilt. For the quilt top she simply sewed together strips of fabric that she had around and then hand stitched over them. She also dipped it partially into her indigo vat, changing many of the existing colors to a blue/green shade. The dipping certainly unified the piece by casting the same blue hue over them all. She left a little bit at the bottom to show what the fabrics used to look like.

Since beginning my own blog a few months ago a big goal of mine has been to reduce my fabric stash. Working on small pieces isn’t really a way to use things up quickly, and I had a whole box of quilting fabric from my days of visiting my late friend, Judi, at her quaint little shop tucked away in the hills of rural Kansas. Ok, it wasn’t exactly in the hills, but it was located in a very small town on a slight incline with hills around it. It’s actually a very beautiful part of the state, one of my favorites.

Judi used to live in Dexter when she was younger, and her mom and sister were still living there when she returned from Seattle. Judi was a storyteller, an avid quilter and spinner, and her husband liked to weave. They installed a smallish Mortan building on the empty lot behind their house and there set up Creek Water Wool Works. They had a couple of huge weaving looms, shelves of weaving thread, at least one spinning wheel and spinning supplies, bolts of quilting fabric, and a variety of top-of-the-line sewing notions. They also sold specialty items from time to time, like two-cup ceramic tea pots (I used mine so much the spout end fell off) and antique Czech glass beads.

I used to stop by Judi’s shop, unannounced, and usually in the middle or the end of a rough work week when I just needed to get away from everyone and everything. As a reporter, I could always use the excuse I was looking for stories. Judi often had some for me and I wrote up quite a few ideas from news tips she shared, starting with the opening of her shop in 2002. To open a business in Dexter was news, indeed.

Judi was easy to be friends with. She loved to talk and I loved to listen, although she was a very good sounding board when I needed one. I was into crazy quilting then, not sane quilting, and I told Judi that.

I’m not a quilter.

But that didn’t stop me from buying oodles of yards of beautiful quilting fabrics (especially ones from her clearance bin) or stop her from selling them to me. I always figured I would use them for something, but certainly not traditional quilting. I think Judi always secretly hoped I would launch myself into the art. She always enthusiastically shared her pieces and her love of hand quilting with me. I tried hand quilting once and ended up giving the quilt away, I hated it so much. Once, Judi frowned at me when I told her I’d used some of the quilting fabric to make curtains.

Judi was the only real friend I ever had here as an adult, aside from H, of course. When she died in 2010 I was heartbroken.

But I still had loads of her fabric.

So, the other night, after a day of not doing much of anything and feeling fairly unmotivated, I went up to the sewing room and began machine stitching together yards of quilting fabric. I chose the fabrics I thought looked best together, not in a matching sort of way, but I left out some of the brighter ones like the pieces covered with butterflies and frogs.

For a long time I had thought about turning some embroidery pieces – kept with the quilting fabrics – I got from Judi into a quilt. I found those, too, and they were different than I remembered. Prairie girls, but with rounder bonnets and many more French knots than I had recalled. I blushed again when I remembered how I had cajoled her into giving them to me. She had them in kits, cute little colorful bags each holding a square piece of muslin with the template on it, a lovely color of embroidery floss, and a needle. These were kits for kids, but I fell in love with them. She graciously let me have them, and I went home and stitched them all up. They’ve been in the quilting fabric box ever since.

I didn’t get a photo of the prairie girls, but I did take one of the new quilt top. I am still amazed I had enough pieces (more than enough) to make a king size top.

20170201_222936

Judi would really not approve.

Judi would hate the haphazard nature of this quilt. She would probably frown at the lack of imagination that has gone into creating it. But, Judi would never say anything disparaging about it. She would find something to like.

That’s how she was.

I managed to get a fair amount of stitching done to it yesterday. I’m simply using a running stitch to tack down the seams using pearl (or is it perle?) – it’s perle – cotton thread. The perle cotton does away with the need to separate strands of thread, which is a necessary process of using six strand floss.

Judi would probably say something nice about the stitching, how even it was, or the use of color.

When I showed Judi my first sample size cq effort, the first thing she complimented me on was how I had used the same fabric to match 3 of the 4 corners.

That had been an accident.

She went on to gush about the beauty of it. She was such a wonderful woman.

Of course, more than anything, Judi was a big supporter of women making real quilts for use on real beds. She wanted so see things used. She liked to stitch on fabric before washing it and then, when it was done, throw it in the washer on hot and then in the dryer on the hottest setting. The end result was something puckered, slightly faded, and ever so slightly worn that looked like a real quilt being used on a real bed, and not something hanging up as a display in a window.

I felt close enough to Judi that I thought she might have left me something as a memento when she died. It seems foolish that I ever thought of such a thing. But now I’m grown up enough to realize she probably meant more to me than I ever did to her, and that is fine. She was loved by many.

And, I know now, I have the prairie girls and the fabric they will be stitched to, which all came from Judi. And, every time I look at the prairie girls and these beautiful fabrics I will think of her.

On the day Judi posted the photo below online, someone complimented her on how happy she looked. She was very sick then, maybe a year away from death, but her response was just so her.

“You know, I really believe happiness is a choice.

I love to spin and I was having such fun that day:)”

judi

I’m naming my haphazard quilt in memory of Judi and my time with her. If nothing else, this quilt and its name would probably make her smile.

The Creek Water Quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just. One. Thing.

20170201_115412

I made it up to the sewing room a few nights ago. It’s cold up there in winter, so I have a tendency to work on projects downstairs rather than spending much time there.

I had some items to take up and took a moment to look around. All my unfinished projects were staring me in the face. I have started so many and finished…none.

Why is it so much easier to start rather than finish?

I don’t know. I’ve been blaming the injured paw on not finishing a couple of crochet projects and for slowing me down with the stitching. But that’s not totally fair. My left hand is much better these days. I only wear the brace at night when I sleep, to keep from rolling over it or pinning it under me. It’s still a bit sore and not 100%, but I have yet to pick up a crochet hook and test it. I’ve been more focused on drawing and stitching, anyway. I guess I need to step it up.

Anyway, I was looking around the sewing room and decided, then and there, to Just. Finish. One. Thing. So, I finished this.

It’s not particularly clever or well done. There’s no story, just pieces put together. The only real story is I had a moon-shaped pearl bead in that space where the stitched moon is now, but it was too clunky and I snipped it off. I decided to stitch instead. The part I probably like the most, the twisted fringe at the bottom, is Jude’s technique.

I went to bed thinking the piece lacks magic. How do I incorporate magic into my cloth work? Honestly, I don’t really know. But, maybe I can start with story.

Onto other things…

In drawing class we practiced hands. Hands are hard…

20170201_115730

These are hard to see. Pencil doesn’t hold up all that well to bright light, at least not my tentative strokes.

We had to do four different poses:

Relaxed…

20170201_115736

Closed fist…

20170201_115758

Renaissance…

20170201_115751

And claw…

20170201_115743

I’m happiest with the relaxed pose. It was the first one and I probably spent the most time with it. This week I’ll make a few more attempts at drawing my left hand. Hopefully, I’ll get better.

Two more words made it onto the word cloth before the end of January. I was tired last night, but made myself keep stitching. That’s the goal, get each month’s words in before the month is gone.

Sunshine, because we’ve had some nice days for which I was thankful. And Las Mananitas…the new Mexican restaurant H and I discovered this month. We’ve been there four times already.

There was one casualty this week. I woke up the other morning to find the largest bud on the winter cactus (May Flower per Maria in Brazil…thank you) had been knocked off or, I suppose, had fallen on its own. However, I had not appropriately blocked off access to that portion of the table and there was probably just enough room for a fat cat to squeeze in there in order to peek through the curtain and look outside. Hmph. That’s ok, I’ll enjoy whatever blooms I get.

Noodle’s been in good spirits lately. Still enjoying the string game. Sometimes I’ll put the string down when they seem tired, so as not to wear them out. It does get a little old for me after a while, too. When the string’s not there, and she still wants to chase it, she has begun taking a running jump and pouncing off the backs of my legs. Thanks, Noodle.

She really cracks me up.

I thought about selling the piece above. I don’t even have a real name for it, just “Moth.” If anyone would like to have it, let me know. I will send it to you. For free.

As I spread the word cloth over my legs last night while I stitched, I noticed how soft and light it is. It will make a nice summer blanket. Here’s wishing you all some sunshine and a nice authentic Mexican meal.

20170201_120130