Monday, January 19, 2009

Easing back in to stitching routines

I am certainly not stitching as much as usual but I am stitching. I have finished the top of the Poisson du Avril biscornu which is a free chart from a French site and have begun the bottom which I am designing as I go along ... we shall see how that works out ... with sea shells done in a back-stitched outline. I figure I have enough of the Waterlily 32ct linen to stitch one of the fish and use it as a scissor case. I do believe this will make a nice little set. I originally intended to set it aside and use it for an exchange at some point in the future ... but I find myself getting greedy [or perhaps, growing attached, would be a politer phrase]. I have all those lovely mother of pearl buttons from Farmhouse Fabrics from which to choose for finishing details on both the biscornu and the scissor case. I think this shall be a lovely little project. I'll post pictures when it is complete.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The January Malaise continues ...

... and has begun to extend into areas beyond stitching. I am reading less, sleeping more, have lost interest in food and cooking [today's lunch box for work contains only some boring but easy celery, carrot and cucumber sticks, one navel orange, crackers and about 2 oz of Brie]. I just seem to be taking the easy way out in every aspect of my life. Could it be my body adjusting [rebelling?] to my new food plan and the goal to lose 80 lbs. ? I am sure the dreary and bitterly cold weather isn't helping either. This morning started off with a steady snow shower, will continue with overcast skies and temps that will not top the teens but when adjusted for wind chill will hover around 5 degrees Farhenheit. I can't afford this malaise because things are about to kick into high gear at work with the beginning of the "Sacrament Season": First Penance, Confirmation and First Communion following one another in rapid succession ... interspersed with registration for 2009-10 and two more fundraisers for the program. All this in addition, to the day to day routines of classes, mid-terms, progress reports, more classes, finals, more progress reports, catechist training, adult formation, Lenten spiritual exercises for children and adults. I get tired just thinking about it. Educators in the US know to expect such doldrums in March ... a month without holidays or breaks ... the mid point of the long march of days from the end of winter recess in mid Feb. to the Easter/Passover Spring break in mid-April. But I seem to be getting an early dose. Well, one does what one must ... so I imagine I shall recover my momentum at some point ... may that point come soon!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Not much stitching going on

Oddly, I haven't been doing much stitching or finishing over this Christmas break ... though I had expected to finish my Holly and Hearts sampler and perhaps, the matching ornament as well ... I also have four flat-finish ornaments half finished [meaning I have the backs covered in fabric and only need to apply the stitched piece to a padded form and assemble.] I don't know what the deal is ... perhaps the fact that the job leaves me so little time to just "be" ... and I am taking some much needed genuine down time: no goals, no pressures. Just endless cups of tea, a little reading, a lot of napping and a modicum of cooking and housework. I haven't done much more than 30 minutes stitching a day, if that much, for the past three days ... that practically represents a cold-turkey withdrawal from my usual 2-3 hour a day routine. My current project, the Poisson du Avril Biscornu, seems to be growing scale by scale by painstakingly slow scale. But that's seems to be just fine by me. Very atypical for my decidedly A-type personality.
As to the reading: some of it has been just browsing through new editions of old friends and some of it even has been fiber-related. I browsed through my sumptuously illustrated new set of Lord of the Rings. I finished both of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's books about knitting: The Yarn Harlot and The Free Range Knitter. Very easy and enjoyable reads: a sort of Erma Bombeck meets Foxfire meets [supply the name of your favorite knitting designer]. I have begun my annual ritual a bit early and have re-read two Jane Austen novels: Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice. There's still Emma, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility to go. I never read the pitiful mock-gothic novel ... Catherine is such a ridiculous heroine. I really do have to purchase a replacement for my old Modern Library Edition of Austen's Complete Works. I figure, when you have to hold a book together with rubber bands, it's probably time to invest in a new copy. Finally, I have dipped into The Shack, to satisfy my brother who wants my opinion of the book. I should finish that book today.
I have studiously avoided all the New Year's Day on-line stitchery sales and will continue to do so, as per my 2009 resolution to avoid lavish purchasing while I have such an extensive stash. The folks at The Silver Needle will probably think I died and, no doubt, will consign my file to the Inactive drawer. I don't think I have missed a New Year's or Super Bowl Sunday sale in five year's ... hence, my extensive stash! I do believe my next project will be a knitted throw rather than a cross-stitch piece ... just for a little change of pace.
Not exactly a stellar start to 2009 ... but sometimes a little detachment is just the ticket.