Quiet Little Stitches

Jonny looked over at me the other night, sitting on the bed, quietly focused on my cross-stitching (familiar scene lately), and he asked, “So, are you pretty obsessed with that project?  Is it all you want to do?”

“Do I seem obsessed?  Maybe a little…”

I remember when I was working on Winterwoods (nearly four years ago!), I did feel obsessed with it.  There was something so satisfying about finishing each letter, each motif.  I finished it, and went on to start several more cross stitch projects, most of them designed by Alicia, because I love most everything she comes up with.  A little over a year ago, when she released My Sweetiepie ABCs, I started a little stitch along similar to what we did with Winterwoods, but I only made it to letter ‘d’ before I stopped.  I was having to strain my eyes too much to make those tiny little x’s.

Over the past year I have only cross stitched sporadically, because I needed bright daylight to be able to see well enough, and I don’t actually have time for cross stitching during the day.  But then I completed this simple little piece in a weekend (Jonny was out of town with most of my boys) and I got all fired up about stitching again, really wanting to finish some of the projects I have in progress.  I posted a photo on Instagram of my work in a little wooden hoop, and one of you mentioned Q- Snaps,  saying that they made stitching much more pleasant.  I ordered one in the 8 x 8 inch size, thinking it was worth a try, even though I really love the look of wooden embroidery hoops.  I have to say, this thing is a total game changer for me!  I love it!  Now I have a system for cross stitching that is really working and doesn’t make me feel like I am going cross-eyed.  The Q-Snap does an excellent job of stretching and holding the linen tightly, making counting easier, and it is very comfortable for me to hold my work this way.  Thank you so much for recommending these, Arlene!!  I also bought a nice bright hobby lamp, and that has made a huge difference as well.  I can sit in bed at night and cross stitch comfortably with plenty of light, and I am finally making progress again.  My goal is to finish My Sweetpie ABCs, and then start on Alicia’s latest kit, ‘Night, Neighborhood, which I received as a gift from a reader (thank you, Gwen!!)  I think it will look great in my girls’ newly redecorated bedroom, so I am pretty motivated to get started on it.  And then I will get back to some of the other cross stitch projects that I have going (Midsummer Sprigs is the one on black linen, and the other one with all the little green sprouts is from this book.)

Lots of quiet little stitches seem like just what I will need in the coming weeks.

The Making that Happens

This weekend was kind of nuts.  We spent Friday working on Larkspur and Beatrix’s room re-do (Last minute crazy pregnant lady project.  So much painting involved.)  Friday night Jonny set the alarm for 4:30 a.m. so he could travel with Keats and Gabe (Silas and Job in tow) to an out of town baseball tournament for the weekend.  We fell into bed close to midnight, and I woke up shortly after with a nasty headache, and that stomach bug feeling.  Thankfully, the bad stomach passed, but the headache remained.  I was still awake when Jonny and the boys left.

Saturday was meant to be spent working on the girls’ room, but I was feeling kind of terrible so instead I did the logical thing and started a new cross-stitch project.  (Alicia Paulson’s Florabella from the first issue of Making Magazine.)  I think this was just my natural reaction to having Lark and Bea’s stuff exploding all over the downstairs and feeling too crappy to deal with it.  Hide from the mess, make something pretty.  (There are so many pretty things to make in that magazine!  I already have yarn for three of the knitting projects.)

Saturday night things went downhill as Beatrix started feeling sick and Weasel felt like he needed to bark non-stop, I assume because Jonny and the boys weren’t here and he was nervous about that.  I emailed Jonny at 2 a.m. with the subject line, “Horrors” after getting Beatrix situated after a puke session.  He replied around 7 a.m. letting me know that Job was now throwing up in the hotel room.  Such good times.  Who needs sleep?

Anyway, despite the fact that my habit is to start cross-stitch projects and then spend ages actually getting around to finishing them, Florabella was completed over the course of the crazy, sick, bedroom re-do, menfolk traveling weekend and it’s hanging on the wall over my desk now.  Such a lovely manageable project and maybe the reason that I didn’t lose my mind over these past couple of days.

I ordered the linen called for in the pattern, in antique white, along with Weeks Dye Works floss in Bluecoat Red and a 4″ wooden hoop from 123stitch.com

Oh, and that red yarn!  It’s a skein I dyed for a friend with madder root.  It matches the cross-stitch!  The photos of Bea (in hot pink lipstick–maybe she’s attempting to graduate from markers to real make-up?) and Silas are from last week.  They were painting with these paint sticks that Silas got for his birthday.  They have been very popular with my kids.  And, some of you asked about the colored pencils in Silas’ birthday post.  We’ve used these pencils for years and I recently restocked.

Girls room details soon.  It’s such a tiny little closet of a room that photos are hard, but I will do my best!  I’ve been painting bunk-beds on our disaster of a front porch for two days.  Almost finished.