Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Stash Quest

In my quest to finish cross stitch already in the works, I got working on a design by Need'l Love called Shaker Town which I started many moons ago. There's not very much to go (just the details on the houses and a few little areas). I am working with matte cotton which creates lovely stitches well suited for a prairie style design like this.

Another love of mine are the E-Z Stitch scroll frames from The Stitchery. A friend of mine who lives on the west coast developed them way back when we were much younger (but just as feisty). I can't remember a time when I used anything else for cross stitch. I love the furniture finish on the frames and that I can use them in a lap/table stand like this or in my floor stand. I have all the sizes now! The tension is wonderful and they are so easy to stitch on whether I am on the couch or outside on a lawn chair in the summer.

Ahhh, summer. It is coming, isn't it? While we have been deluged with rain for days and days, Easter weekend promises sunshine and temps in the high 70's! I am so looking forward to it. I'll be the one doing the happy dance in the front yard.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Simplify, simplify, simplify

My mantra. Not one I actually adhere to. Ever. New threads, lovely bamboo knitting needles, a paint color I just have to have - they all tempt me into excess.

Stash - isn't it the most wonderful word? Heaven forbid I should actually reduce my stash! What if I need it? So what if my Irish linens in multiple colors and counts fill an entire drawer? There are plenty more projects in my future and I just might need it.

Now, the rest of the house...and garage! We have a huge garage - bigger than any couple should ever have. It is lovely to have all that space, but we have been in this house for eight years now and there is a lot of stuff in that garage that hasn't seen the light of day since we got here.

A Spring garage sale is in the offing. It promises to be an event of major proportions. I mean, I need to make room for more stash....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rainy Mondays

I wonder if 2010 will be the year of extreme weather. So much rain! House has stayed blessedly dry, but the dehumidifier is chugging along out in the studio. No paper curling yet, but I think the paper towel roll may have gained weight this past month.

In my quest to finish what I start (a novel thought), I am adding a few decorative borders to the olive branch design I started awhile back. I am toying with finishing it as a box cover if I can find one in the right shape or perhaps simply frame it. I need to check and see if Sudberry House's jewelry box will work. I love its elongated, almost William Morris style design and textural stitches. The silvery green leaves remind me of peaceful hillsides in Italy where the wind once gifted us with a symphony as its breath rustled the leaves in the olive trees on its pathway from hilltop to valley floor.

I have many other works in progress (WIPS) as I tend to move from one craft to another on a whim. I am easily taken in by shiny new threads and a painted canvas. It is all about the design. I could stitch for the rest of my days and still want to do more.

Now, with Spring officially here, the earth is calling to me so my fingers are flying to get the most out of my cozy inside stitching time. I can see a few plants in the front garden which need to be separated and moved so the blue hydrangea doesn't shadow them this summer. Almost time to split the irises again. I love the scent of freshly turned soil.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Winter's Slumber, My Awakening

I enjoy each of the seasonal cycles. Living in New England, winters can be dramatic. Hunkered down under an afghan with a cup of tea, I knit scarves and sweaters and finish up the needlepoint projects I started before Christmas. Winter is my best stitching time, expansive in both duration and projects.

I can't remember a time when I didn't stitch. Well, maybe I can - Mom says I all but flunked out of home ec in high school with my misshapen dirndl skirt. Setting in a zipper was definitely not my forte at the time. I got better over time as my interest grew. I learned to sew better, knit and crochet. Needlework became my passion when I started a family.

All thru this, I painted and drew. Not with any regularity, but with wonderment that my hand and mind could work together to create something on paper and canvas.

My paints live inside the house for the winter and spring fills me with anticipation. The closer it gets, the closer I get to my own seasonal change. We had a weekend of near 70 degree weather two weeks ago and I was out in the studio like a flash, cleaning around the stored deck furniture and scooting early ladybugs out the door. I carried the paints out of the house and put them back in their home on the drawing table. I played with watercolors for an hour or two...ahhhh.