I have been on summer break since close of business on Thursday, July 25. I spent the first few days catching up on housework and garden clean-up. Some nasty animal, probably a very large black feral cat that wanders through the neighborhood. has wreaked havoc on my squash plants ... stomping the foliage into a comfy little bed for himself. While I am a firm believer in compassionate trap. neuter and release projects, I would like to kick this particular critter to the far side of the moon even though I have a sneaking admiration for his survival skills. I have been looking forward to patty pan squash all summer and have been counting the blossoms in anticipation of a decent harvest. And now my squash is squashed. Muttering nasty imprecations under my breath hasn't quite vented my spleen.
But on to happier topics:
Once I caught up with the chores that accumulated due to heat waves or nearly incessant rain, both of which pretty much squelched my motivation, I did manage to return to something resembling my normal amount of stitching. Here are some photos of what I have done recently.
First, I prepped some old jeans by cutting strips with an eye to braiding the strips into a rug sometime in the future. I've managed to tear all the jeans I had accumulated [some 30 or so pairs] into 2" wide strips and now have two balls, one about the size of a soccer ball and one slightly smaller and each weighing a ton. My next step is to separate the lighter blues from the darker blues and sew them into much longer strips. Then, I'll be ready to thread the strips into my braiding hardware. I figure the actual braiding can be a fall or winter project. I am quite curious to see just how much rug I will actually get out of this much denim. A cyber friend advised me to save the side seams of the jeans for coiling into coasters. An excellent idea, but alas one shared with me only in time to salvage the seams of the last ten or so pairs. I also saved a couple of back pockets with seam allowance to turn into a small shoulder purse after seeing a photo of one on the 123stitch message board.
And after that, I moved on to salvaging some old slip covers into usable lengths of fabric ... this is part of my ongoing declutterring project, the fruit of cleaning out the linen closet. I no longer have the couch for which these slipcover were made but the fabric was way too good to just toss. The fabric on the backs and sides were in near mint condition and can be used for pillows, quilting, or cross stitch finishing..
I imagine I'll end up making some of the fabric into yo-yos. One of my someday projects is a yo-yo bed cover for our queen size bed. And the fabric that showed some degree of wear can be cut into 2" strips and added to the material for my braided denim rug.
The blue fabric can be used as a single strip braided with two strips of the lighter blue denim and the ivory with the dark blue in the print as a single strip braided with two strips of the dark blue denim. As you can see in this photo, I was able to salvage quite a bit of the slipcovers for use in the braided rug. The upholstery fabric is just a little lighter in weight than the denim but not so much that it will fail to work well with it.
And finally, I pulled out some cross stitch pieces that haven't seen the light of day in a very long time and have managed a wee bit of stitching on each:
The Cross Stitch Shop: when last seen looked like the first photo. Now I have stitched a bit more of the second story as seen in the second photo. As charted, this ornament included the year 2006 in the sign but I left it out for obvious reasons. I haven't decided what I will do about the windows as yet.
I will wait till I have finished the rest of the building before deciding whether I will leave the exposed linen or stitch half crosses in a pale blue or stitch as charted with full crosses in white. I will probably go with half crosses in pale blue since I think that gives a more glass-like look..
The Woodland Angel Christmas Stocking: when last seen it looked like the first photo. After literally hours of rather intensive stitching, it now looks like the second photo. I know this does not seem like very impressive progress but the snow and shadows are stitched with 17 different shades, most of which involve blended needles.
The only pieces from my pre-slump rotation that I haven't managed to revive are The English Band Sampler and the Mystic Seaport Stitching Accessories but I really want to concentrate a bit more on The Woodland Angel and the Town Square series at the moment. The other two pieces will have to wait a while longer.
I do apologize for the poor quality of the last three photos: it is very overcast outdoors.
I have a Sisterhood pumpkin ornament, also called BOO!, that will work well on the purple linen and will be my next easy project when the larger more complex pieces get to me. I find I really need to intersperse some easy and small pieces in among the more challenging stuff or I burn out.
I have a feeling that my stitching throughout the rest of the month of August will be an in between sort of activity, i.e.: a bit of a quick break in between other chores. I have all sorts of projects to fill my month long break: cleaning out the large walk-in closet in the master bedroom, clearing up the two sliding door closets in the spare bedroom, emptying and preparing a dresser and a drop-leaf secretary for refinishing, sanding and repainting the back door and door frame, putting up the bird feeder, cleaning the vinyl siding at the back of the house and in the entry area. I also need to get prices and an appointment to have the driveway blacktopped again once the weather cools but before October 31st when we can no longer park on the street in my village. It seems silly to start calling for it now but the contractors who do this sort of work really don't like to do such small jobs as my townhouse driveway but they will fit me in if they have a larger job in the general neighborhood. So long range planning is a must! I also need to have my vinyl siding in the front power washed. Well, I very much doubt I'll get it all done but I'll do my best to make a serious dent in it all.