Sweets for the Sweeties

Here we are on Friday. Did you think you would make it? Not me. Well, I knew I would make it (Lord willing), but I wasn’t sure what shape I would arrive in.

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What a relief! The broomstick’s been a little shaky here and there, but no harm done. When the ride gets bumpy, I make a pie, and pie always helps. (P.S. Follow zebrakeper’s 5-star advice under ‘most helpful positive review’ below the recipe.)

Yes, my lovelies, a pie will always get you through. The pie loves you; the pie cares. Look to the pie.

I know you’re all waiting for the unveiling of the latest and greatest stitching adventure. Have no fear, but first… Let’s have a little discussion about big change. Did we already talk about this? Change is a thing that never changes. Just when I conquered the driving commute, lo! and behold, my strategy changed. I had to learn the protocol of train travel. I feel so grown up.

View from the train through the tinted window

I also survived my first office party. Okay, never, in my life have I ever seen anything like this. Sure, I whipped up a batch of peanut butter cookies, but how could they compare to something like this?

My poor lil’ cookies, how could they compete? That’s okay; I know they found a good home in somebody’s purse.

How many pieces can be patched into one little life? Most of us have more than one “I.” There’s the office me, the train me, the wife me, the home me, the mom me, the daughter me, the sister me (kind of stumbling on that one, right now), the writer me, the stitcher me, and–last, but never least–the blogger me. How about you? How many you(s) are you juggling at the moment?

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Whew, *shudders* let’s move on. After her face, hair, hat, and uniform details, my WAVE woman is ready for anything.

Yay!!! I used satin stitch on her hatband, shoe heels, tie, and clothing folds (skirt, sleeve). I thought the braids of her jacket would pop nicely with a chain stitch, and of course, french knots for the buttons. Through all the good times and the bad times with this girl, she came out looking good like a service woman should. Go ahead, enlarge on the details. I’m so proud.

While considering my next major endeavor, a little knitting. You know I can’t think without my knitting needles.

I had such a good thing going with my yarn journey, I must return to it to find my creative center. Whatever. Really, it just fits nicely in my bag o’ tricks. No matter what’s happening on the outside, I save the best for the bag, that piece of me, the real me, that can fit snugly in my pocket wherever I go. This is the primary “I,” the secret smile, the speed bump in my brain that reminds me to slow down and knit a wash cloth during lunch hour.

What’s next? Easter? Mother’s Day? Hmmm…let me think. What can we make for the bunnies and the mommies? I may have to knit a while on that one.

 

 

 

 

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It’s My Bag, Baby

Still crawling through the Redwork, but it’s clipping along, now that all the special stuff is done.

I finished her head which was slow going with lots of little details. When she’s finished and pressed, I’ll post a nice look at the whole thing.

Some of you may be wondering, “Gee, now that she’s a bona fide wage slave, will she let her creative angst go unsatisfied? Will she starve her little snarky blog until it fades away with nary a farewell to the faithful?” No way! I take my creative spark along with me on my travels. Goodness! I cannot imagine a day without the soul-satisfying beauties-duties, the little joys I take along in my work bag.

img_0158These past few weeks have been so stuffed with electric change and gonzo activities, that the flame of invention briefly goes untended, but fear not! Though an occasional flicker may occur, I’m always near by with the lighter of renewal—in this case, a small, heart-covered, drawstring bag of stitching happiness. No matter how terrifying reality threatens to be, my hand work always comforts and consoles. Whatever hurts, imagination heals.

I’ve learned a few things and met a few people and gone some places in the last several weeks. Even though I’m the same, I feel different, somehow, than the person I was only a few months ago. Change is always with us, because nothing ever stays the same. That doesn’t mean I have to give up on my dream of stitching, cooking, wrapping, knitting, stapling, and writing about it. The best plan of action, for me anyway, is to stuff my dreams in a bag and bring them along.

Yeah, that’s me, a friendly cartoon cat with a bag of tricks.

Stitchin’ Time

Well, my darling ones, last week’s writing hiatus has rendered me fully prepared for the FIRST DAY OF MY NEW JOB, and a job that required a bachelor’s degree–ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!! Woo-Hoo!!! But, wait just a minute, there. Does this mean the end of Piece Home? Heaven forbid!

Amidst the hustle and bustle of it all, I did manage to crawl through a bit more of the embroidery gauntlet.

Funny, it doesn’t look like the death of me, but, somehow, it is. I never dreamed such a seemingly simple project could become a real beast–yes, just one beastly rip-out after another. First, it was her back.

I embroidered what I thought was her back (blue highlight), but then I wondered if I had mistakenly filled in a wrinkle and should have stitched the other faint line under her arm (red highlight), instead. So, I ripped out the first one (blue) and stitched the other one (red; there really is a line, there), only to find that I had it right the first time. Alas . . .

Then came the hat.

Sure, I decided to invoke the satin stitch, a slow but worthy process. I was a completely different person when I finished the hat-band/sash-thingie, than the person I had been before I started it. I laughed; I cried.

That’s when I decided to attack the purse/satchel-whose-a-ma-whatsis.

It was all good fun until I got to the shading lines. See ’em? They’re the detail on the bag. I tried stem stitch with two strands.

No. Too lumpy.

Stem stitch with one strand?

No. One strand of floss looked, what’s the word? stickly. They looked decidedly stickly.

Finally, I settled on a back stitch with two strands, but that was after ripping out almost half of it at least twice.

I’m afraid. Somebody hold me.

And that’s where the dare I say it? DARNED thing rests, at the moment. Let this be a lesson to all of us, my pieceful friends, that we should never, ever, judge a project by mere appearance. Like books and dogs and potential jobs, a random piece of embroidery can look altogether deceptive. Do your research and never flinch from a rip-out. Be honest with yourself, first, and everything else will become much clearer.