Long time no see, I hear you say, and you're right! I am still alive and kicking, just dealing with a lot of stuff these days and not getting a lot of creative work done.
Having said that, here's what my cross stitch piece looks like just now. There's not a lot of difference, just another line of mid-green underneath the left hand leaf, but at least I've done a tiny bit. Very fractionally better than nothing, no? =)
So, what *have* I been doing if not stitching etc? Well, we're planning to move back to Leeds to be nearer to Mum this summer, so I've been devoting pretty much all of my spare time to clearing out and cutting down on stuff. That means everything from sorting through drawers, boxes and cupboards, through selling and donating stuff to throwing stuff out and using things up too. I've been blogging much of the process over on my goals and lifestyle blog, Fluffy Little Idiot, where I've got recently created Use-up and Read-up lists, which are helping me to prioritise my time with a view to having less stuff to take with us. You see, some of the things on my old goals list, including needlework things, yes, were things I wanted to do and complete, but were also things that I was planning to keep. For instance, there was a Chinese history book in the old list's reading section, but I'm not expecting to give that book away in the short term, so I shelved that one and got on with volumes that I do want to pass on very soon. I've also emptied out a number of boxes etc and sold some stuff already.
The most recent part of the clear up process was this third drawer of my larger set in my room:
I also found a few sewing projects that need attention.
This is a cute one, isn't it? I started this when I was about 12 and in the Girl Guides. I didn't get on very well with it and the leaders gave me the pattern and the pieces to finish the lion off later on. As you can see, I didn't! However, I've decided I will soon and then I can make a gift of it to a little child. I even have a little girl in mind already. =)
In the first drawer photo you can also see a piece of stitching I worked a few years ago and never quite finished completing up into a tiny cushion/pillow. The story behind this one is that, a few years ago, a lady called Nicole Burgess, who was running the pearl cotton version of Six Strand Sweets, Pearl Sweets, asked me to make up a couple of models for her to put on her website. Sadly, her enterprise never really took off and so I didn't have much impetus to put the finishing touches to this, which was just to stuff the cushion and sew up the final seam. I came across it recently and thought that it would make a perfect engagement/wedding souvenir for an old friend who gets married in May, so I finally completed it and handed it over to her house-mate on Saturday.
This last one is the parcel I received in an exchange that was run on the long since defunct Country Bumpkin web forums. I was living in Taiwan at the time and I think my parcel came from an American lady. This is what she sent me (along with three skeins of co-ordinating DMC cotton, some over-dyed silk and some wooden thread holder gadgets), and I've long been intending to make it into a nice glasses case for myself. I plan to stitch something on the evenweave fabric, embellished with the beads and make the case up with the dyed fabric as a lining and the button as a fastener. I have no idea when that will happen, but the 'kit' is still here ready!
The idea was that we were to create a kit pack for our partner and they were to make something from it. I sent this parcel of Oriental goodies to Dian Nunn in Australia and I wonder if she ever made anything from it??!! =)
I remember really enjoying looking for the beads and buttons in the shops, making up this parcel and photographing it.
This morning I was looking at the local Show stuff again and wondering if I would have anything worth entering. I've really done nothing since. Well, nothing I can enter, anyway! Also, I don't know where we'll be living when the Sheffield Fayre is on and I'm not ready to enter the Leeds Show this year. I have some ideas to try for the Sheffield one and I daresay I can still enter as a recent city leaver.
I really need to get on and complete the two embroidery projects that I have on hand at the mo. It's hard to motivate yourself when you're finding one rather hard (as I always do with Helen M Stevens' designs) and the other irritatingly bitty to stitch. Can't tolerate unfinished projects though, so completed they must be. Recently I got quite into the Myers-Briggs personality typing stuff and found that it's part of the personality type as to whether one is results or journey oriented. For instance, numerous stitchers have umpteen projects on the go and don't really care whether they finish them or not. Some tell me I'm being 'hard on myself' when I, as an INFJ type, require completion of things before starting something new and feel uncomfy with part-done stuff hanging around. They probably have a 'P' at the end of their personality types. My 'J', however, and means being keen on lists, schedules, orderliness, results and so on (and I test very strongly 'J', apparently!). 'J' types find the 'P' type disorganised and unproductive and can't understand how they can bear it. So, if you're a 'P', don't expect a 'J' to chill out and 'stop giving themselves such a hard time', they're happy with their method and it feels deep down good to them. Conversely, it's no good we 'J's exhorting our 'P' friends to get on and be systematic about it and get things finished, 'cos they just don't have any sort of need to and seriously don't care about it. LOL! =) Kind of a stitchers' live and let live!!! =) Anyway, if you have a go at the test, let me know what type you come out as and how you feel it relates to your stitching habits and preferences.
That's all for now and I hope to have something more creative to share soon.
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2015