Since Friday is my day off, I was able to enjoy a lot of quality stitching time ... so the photos are a touch more impressive than they would have been had the camera battery been properly juiced last night. Things started at 6:30am, with a nice cup of tea, some chores [unloading the dishwasher and doing a load of laundry], followed by stitching. Then I alternated chores/errands and stitching/sewing for the remainder of the day. I suppose this is a small foretaste of retirement but I was informed yesterday that though I am fully vested, my employer will not start paying out my pension until I am 66 ... first the Social Security Administration and now the Archdiocese of NY. I have contributed to SS since I was 16 and got my first part-time job and my pension plan is the only benefit attached to my salary - since I use my husband's health plan. The Church has gotten a real bargain over the past 20 years and will for the next 6 years, apparently. In this economy, I am grateful to have a paycheck when so many do not but I can't help resenting the nasty trick fate is playing on me as I approach retirement age ... I feel like the proverbial and very weary donkey following the unattainable carrot on a stick. And to think, back in the 60s, the folks who put together the futuristic pavilions at the World's Fair in NY promised us a four day work week and earlier retirement ages ... was my generation ever sold a bill of goods! I routinely work a 50 hour work week, during peak times as much as 70 hours [no overtime pay since I am in Ministry]. Don't get me wrong, most days I love my work ... but as my body ages and my health wears down, I long for rest. I suppose once I do get to retire, though, I'll fill half the time with volunteer work because, tough as it may be to imagine now, too much rest will be boring.
But less whining and more stitching photos:
I spent some time today working on an ort jar I plan to use as a giveaway when I reach my 100th follower [I am currently at 93]. I had originally planned to fringe the top with orts but that didn't work for this particular lid ... For this first jar lid, I slip-stitched a lace ruffle to the edge and now I'm trying to decide how to conceal my stitching. Shall I use the pink and blue braided cord or shall I use a combination of the pink and blue pearl strands? And, because I have figured out a way to go with my original design idea using a standard mason jar lid, I'll be making a second ort jar. Maybe I'll give folks a choice on that giveaway: conventionally pretty or fun and funky. I hope to have both ort jars made before I ever post the actual giveaway. Unless a personalization is involved, I like to have everything ready to mail the day a winner is chosen ... just getting myself off to the post office can be the cause of lengthy delay ... I can't imagine adding the actual stitching into the mix.
Here is what Halloween Greetings looked like after today's stitching. Now, I love Crescent Colors floss so I am never averse to building my stash, especially in the colors used in this design which fit so very well into my preferred palette ... but, I can see where a more frugal stitcher would be rather annoyed to purchase two of the colors used in the pineapple portion of the design [Ye Olde Gold and Weeping Willow] only to discover that they need less than one/half length of two strands pulled from one bundle of six after buying a whole card ... that works out to a little less than 1/30th of the floss on the card. It seems to me that designers might consider some of the concerns of stitchers who can't afford or who don't have an available source for the often pricey and sometimes hard-to-find over-dyes. Personally, I love overdyes and am constantly adding to my stash whenever I see colors that I might use someday. I frequently convert from DMC to overdyes because I love the graduated tones and the added texture they give to my finished pieces. However, I realize that many stitchers don't share my preference and it seems that designers might be wise to take that into consideration. In this economy, many US stitchers are opting to purchase from designers who chart for DMC only or who include DMC conversions in their floss list. International stitchers who already have a hard time with inflated DMC prices must be even more inconvenienced by the high cost of overdyes, especially when used so sparingly in a design. Obviously, stitchers are always free to make their own conversions ... it's something I do all the time. But some, who lack the confidence to do so, simply stop buying the work of a particular designer. I would think this should concern designers when so many have already left the industry because the income doesn't justify the time, energy and effort invested.
And, finally, I finished another Town Square SAL piece, Cricket Collection's Clock Tower. I am guessing the town [or towns] that inspired the designers who participated in this project must be one of those Midwestern towns where loads of immigrants from Europe settled to farm and run shops. If one is to judge by this clock, it had to be a place filled with Europeans accustomed to seeing the work of skilled artisans and craftsmen in their public buildings: lots of colorful mosaics and brilliant stained glass and fanciful brick/stone work.