Busy Times

Winter Gatherings

FriendsIf you click on this image, you can go download the free cross stitch chart from the Fat Quarter Shop (with my thanks to the designer!). Today was a good day to meet with friends to stitch.

It was C-O-L-D today - my husband said it was 9 degrees F when he went out to retrieve our trash bin after the collectors passed around our cul de sac. By the time I left the house around 1 p.m. it was in the mid20s with a nasty cold wind blowing. Gray skies, too. Brr!

I managed to take a shower, eat breakfast and start dinner in the crock pot between 11 a.m. and when I left at 1 p.m. OH, and gather up my embroidery project as well as the new book I bought that Patty and Barbara wanted to look through. Pretty efficient for me. :)

I spent most of my time at Barbara's house helping her decide what to do with the component blocks from her Bonnie Hunter winter mystery project - Rhododendron Trail - which B did not like much. Between the three of us, we turned 30 pink/yellow blocks and 15 purple butterfly blocks into three lap-ish sized designs, two with patchwork borders. I think B was much happier with her project by that time. :) Patty liked one of our layouts enough that I think she plans to make that one with her blocks, too.

I managed to figure out which embroidery block to tackle next (the 'retro coffee pot' design), calculate and cut out the background fabric and start the embroidery. My stomach was unsettled (seems to be its normal state recently) so I did not do any more hand work, just helped arrange blocks and offered ideas. ;) I find it difficult to get into a flow/trance state when I am physically uncomfortable. Shrug

By the time I got home our house was smelling pleasantly of corned beef and vegetables in the pot ... and was warm and cosy compared to the outdoors. I feel great pity for any being (man or animal) that does not have a nest, drey, den or home in this weather! Killer cold. Shivers!

I spent some time in the late afternoon working on my next exercise in Creating Art at the Speed of Life - lesson #5: complementary color schemes. I chose the orange-blue pair for my colors, my favorite complement. :) When I finished and photographed this, I realized it bears a striking resemblance to yesterday's (lesson #4) work. Maybe I'm stuck in a rut (or onto a good thing, depending on your viewpoint I guess:).

IMG_0300Here is the two page spread. I think the colors worked out pretty well. I was surprised how much orange paper I found. Blue is more common. :)

IMG_0301That blue-shirted figure in the bottom left is me, maybe twenty-five years ago.

IMG_0302The author's pages were more heavily decorated with overwriting and hand drawings. I didn't have the urge to do that much work to mine. I think I enjoy the print texture more. 


After dinner I watched the recorded video of the Handmade Paper group's first retreat session from earlier this afternoon - Winter's Gatherings. Among other things, the leader taught two quick book constructions that do not require sewing for holding the pages together. I actually managed to make both of the books while I watched the video. Watercolor paper to the rescue! :) The retreat continues with two sessions tomorrow and a final one on Sunday afternoon. I will probably watch at least one and maybe all three in recording as I have other things I have to do at the same times. I will share more of what I make on another day.

Meanwhile I have set in on the embroidery of my Coffee Pot block. This one is pretty big (19" x 22"?) so it might take all week.

:) Linda


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